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How Many Dates Before You Decide It’s Not a Match?

by eharmony Editorial Team - August 15, 2013

The first few dates with someone can be considered, by some, “the easy part.” But in actuality, they often involve the anxiety-inducing decision of whether or not to pursue a relationship with that person. Unfortunately, there’s no magic number of dates after which your chemistry and compatibility with another can be completely determined. But here at Dating with Dignity, I’ve outlined a few important things to consider before deciding to either go for it or break it off.

1. Put your deal breakers on hold

For the first date, try to put your nagging list of usual deal breakers aside and get to know your date with an open mind. Once you’ve gotten that initial impression, use the second date to gradually ease into your deal breaker evaluation. Remember, both of you may be nervous; and if he refers to his dogs as “his children,” keep an open mind before deciding that his love of dogs is weird.

2. Don’t dismiss them after one date

Unless you have a legitimately terrible time on your date, be open to giving your prospect a second shot before making any concrete decisions. Would you want everyone you meet to make snap decisions about YOU solely on their first impressions?

3. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re with them

With all of this thinking going on, there are going to be times when you need to let go of all the analyzing and just focus on your date. But if your mind involuntarily wanders as he/she is talking to you, or you find yourself not enjoying activities with them that you normally love, they may not be a match. Focus on the experience itself. Let go of “destination thinking” and instead view the date as one step on your journey toward love and partnership.

4. How do you feel when you’re NOT with them?

Time spent apart is just as revealing as time alone, so be aware of your initial feeling when they send you a text or suggest getting together. Also, pay attention to how you talk to your friends about your new date (or if you’re even talking about him/her at all!). All these interactions while you’re apart are subconscious indicators of how you’re really feeling.

5. Trust your gut

When all is said and done, your intuition about a person is usually right. If you’ve been on two or three dates and still really aren’t feeling a romantic connection, it’s most likely simply not there. Go with your gut and move on to someone who can provide you with something lasting.

6. Once you know, don’t waste any time

No one relishes initiating anything remotely close to a breakup, but many of us have wound up in drawn out, grey area relationships because we’ve avoided having those conversations. If you feel fairly sure after a couple of dates that this isn’t someone you want to pursue a relationship with, you need to let them know. It’s entirely possible that the feeling is mutual; but if they are still pursuing you, find a gentle and kind way to express that you just aren’t feeling a romantic connection. It may be uncomfortable, but ultimately it will save both of you time and free you both to find that person who IS a great match!

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