Having A Lot Of So-So Dates?

If you’re unenthusiastic about dating and feel burned out, it can be hard to face a second (or third) date with someone. Try these strategies for keeping things fresh and flirty.

By Barrie Dolnick

ou glance at your calendar wondering what you have to look forward to this week. There’s a date for Thursday night. Good! It’s with someone you’ve seen before—twice. But you check your heart rate—nuthin’. You find yourself wishing you could watch House reruns instead. Is this what dating is all about? It’s definitely not what it should be.

So what do you do about lukewarm love? You certainly don’t hate this person, but you sure don’t love this
Experiment with some mood changers and see if you find a new level of attraction.
person. You find his or her company inoffensive, agreeable, even nice. But since you prefer romance with someone who inspires at least something approaching butterflies, you’re wondering what to do.

As a love and success coach, I’ve heard this issue again and again. Clients tell me that they like a person but are feeling he or she isn’t The One. How soon to break it off? Is it dishonest to keep dating while you see if feelings might grow? Pretty much anyone who has ever dated has been here before and pondered these questions. Let me give you some advice that should help you decide what to do.

1. Administer chemistry tests
Experiment with spontaneity. If you’re on date number two and you don’t feel the call of the wild, try putting yourself in a situation that dares your inner animal to emerge. Linger in the moonlight, throw your head back and laugh. Brush your hand “accidentally” across your date’s face. Elements of atmosphere and spontaneity can put you in circumstances that bring out more primitive sensual instincts. Experiment with some mood changers and see if you find a new level of attraction.

2. Conduct an interview
Sarah from Minnesota says she keeps up conversation in the hopes of finding a place to connect. “I don’t write off a date just because he doesn’t share my love of ballet and modern dance. I’ll give him a solid opportunity to bond by asking a lot of questions about his interests. I must admit it is always more important for me to be polite than honest.” You never know what might come out when you ask someone questions—it just might be that you share a passion for roadside diners, Tilt-a-Whirls, or bird-watching. Sometimes you have to dig for gold.

3. Use the three-date strategy
Fear and pressure to make things click can numb your feelings on a first or second date, so be patient. You may be caught up in how you’re presenting yourself, or your date may be trying to impress you with an arsenal of charming date-night banter. Your real self isn’t coming through, nor is your date’s. So — if a person strikes you as interesting and agreeable — go on three dates to see what may develop. By the third date, you can be pretty sure whether or not there’s something there. Sometimes you just have to wade through lukewarm water to find those hot springs.

4. Slack off
See what it’s like to coast. How many times have you changed your outfit, driven for miles, or
Here’s a chance to share the love.
spent way too long wondering what to say only to feel that it was all for nothing? Forget that. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself (and your date!) to have sparks flying and fireworks exploding on date #1. Decide to relax and see what unfolds. Grab coffee, or spontaneously call up to see if the person is free to join you and some friends at a concert in the park. Chances are, this lukewarm love will either go stone cold dead or you’ll realize you’ve got one great date here—with or without the big-night-out trappings. Low-key can be just fine—and a lot easier on your stress level.

5. Hang on and see who else is out there
This is an age-old tactic in which a relationship that doesn’t have a lot of going for it is “used” to keep you busy. Yes, I know it sounds cruel and as if you’re using the other person, but what’s surprising here is that sometimes as you continue to date the lukewarm person and see who else is out there, you discover that your lukewarm love is actually very hot stuff. Which is terrific. But if that’s not the case, and you find yourself attracted to another, you’ll know that you hung out with the lukewarm date for a while and allowed lots of opportunities for true chemistry to kick in.

6. Transfer affections
Here’s a chance to share the love. Offer to set up your so-so date with someone you think could work better. Yes, you can forge ahead and play matchmaker, provided you do it tactfully. (“You’re terrific but I’m not sensing that we have long-term potential. However, I do think you and my friend so-and-so would get along famously. What do you think?”) Hey, you’ve already determined that this person is nice but not for you. So why hog an eligible person? Let your lukewarm love go out with your best friend. You could be their fairy godmother. And get some good love karma cycling in your direction.

Astro-coach Barrie Dolnick helps people find love and happiness by understanding their stars and their karmic energy. She is the author of twelve books, including Enlighten Up! and KarmaBabe.
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