First dates often end up with one person being keener than the other. If only we had a crystal ball and could see into the future of a new relationship ... By Paula Hall
But as we all know, life's not like that. No one has all the answers and many relationships break down. Sometimes it becomes clear within weeks that there is not enough to keep two people together, while other couples can carry on for years. There will always be differences between two people, but sometimes potential 'killer' issues can be spotted right at the beginning.
e can make the situation less painful by being as honest as possible with ourselves and by learning to truly trust our instincts. During any emotional interaction our instincts give us vital clues as to what is going on at a deeper level. For instance, if you feel surprisingly anxious, then this should tell you something. It's important to tap into your emotional experience, so that you can distinguish between two different sorts of feelings: 1) your typical responses to other people, and 2) what you are 'picking up' from the other person. With practice, we can learn to rely on what our instincts are telling us and really understand how well we are getting on with another person.
Confusion can sometimes arise from the social rules of dating. For example, at the end of a date hardly anyone would say: 'Thanks for the date ... but I don't think you'll be hearing from me again'. We generally want to be polite and spare the other person's feelings. But if promises such as 'Let's do it again soon' or 'I'll call you' don't lead to anything, the result can be feelings of rejection - even if you neither of your felt much electricity in the first place!
If you're the one who has been let down, it is vitally important to stay positive. You should banish any negative and exaggerated thoughts about yourself. Don't think: "This always happens to me', or 'No-one ever wants a relationship with me'. It's far healthier to examine your instincts and ask yourself if you truly did feel that vital two-way excitement, attraction and spark. Replace those negative generalisations with something more rational: 'These things happen to everyone sometimes. At least I know I'm getting out there and meeting people.' And if, as you say goodbye at the end of a first date, you're not really sure if you want to see the other person again, why not just say: 'Thank you for a lovely evening'? It's polite, pretty neutral and you won't run the risk of letting the other person down. After all, if the other person is really listening to their instincts, then the chances are that they probably feel the same way you do.