36 Reasons Someone Ghosts You After a Great First Date
by Frank Kermit
You go out on a first date that goes incredibly well. There is great music, a proper mood, great talks, laughter, and physical contact including passionate kissing, and you maybe even had sex!
Things are going so well that based on the way you are connecting, you both make plans for a second date. Then the next day, the person contacts you and says that they are not interested anymore and did not feel any chemistry. Why would anyone go through the motions of an entire first date as if they are interested only to say in an impersonal communication the next day they did not feel any chemistry?
Actually, it could be a number of reasons. It really depends on the overall context. As a coach for dating and relationships, I have come across more than my fair share of reasons why people disappear (Ghost) after a great first date.
Here are some possibilities and reasons that come directly from my experience as a coach, working with people who have dumped someone after a great first date:
When It is Because of You
(You did something that turned them off)
Each person has emotional needs. If you did not satisfy the emotional needs of the person you dated they will have no motivation to date you again. Maybe you seriously violated the person’s emotional needs. If you did not violate an emotional need, it is also possible that you simply did not address them and were neutral. When someone tells you “no chemistry” it is possible you killed the chemistry yourself.
1. Something you said/did on the date turned the other person right off. The person could not react in the moment, (for example: During the date you made insulting jokes about a particular group of people and the person is related to someone of that group) so instead of acting in the moment and revealing private personal information, the person chose to act as if everything was OK to protect their privacy for the rest of the night to be safe.
2. You’re just a little too boring. The person sensed that you generally have a good heart, but they simply are not into you as much as you are into them. The person liked you a lot, but not as much as you liked them, so they decided it was best to cut you loose before you get more attached and got really hurt. The person might be trying to be ethical after all, but has chosen a less than great way to do it.
3. You love too much drama. The person is more sedate and seeks a calmer companion, but everything about you screams drama-drama-drama, from the things you like to talk about, to how you handle common situations that came up on your date. Maybe you acted too immature, like a child. The emotional range that comes with high doses of drama can in fact be a lot of fun in the short term, but can be very draining for others in the long term. After that first date was over the other person decided that you were too much for them.
4. You did not stand up for yourself. I hear this one quite a bit. Sometimes your date will test you to see if you would stand up for yourself, and when you didn’t, it was a turn off. Some people just do not want to date a mousy person. They seek out someone that isn’t afraid to be assertive, and are willing to speak their minds. Ever had that gnawing feeling that you should have said something at some point on the date, but held back because you were trying to be too nice and too polite? That might have been the moment you failed a test for assertiveness.
5. You came across like you were going to dump them. You gave the impression that you were not serious about seeing the other person again, so the other person decided to dump you first, before you had the chance to abandon them. Did you make the person feel they were unique to you? Did you give the impression you were the type of person that could commit long term? If you did not do these two things, the other person has no evidence to take you seriously when you say you intend to see them again. Very few people are going to stick around for a second date with a person that comes across as wanting to be independent of them.
6. You came across as untrustworthy. If the person you dated felt you could not be honest with them out of a fear of conflict, or if you came across as someone that could not be honest with yourself, they simply will not be able to put faith into anything you say or do. Trust is a key factor for any relationship. Violating a person’s sense of trust will not get you a second date, even if they decided to have fun with you on the first date.
7. You don’t make people feel safe with you. Maybe the person looked you up on the Internet after the first date and the searches revealed lots of information about you from your professional work profiles, and your social media. With the mystery gone, (and perhaps finding out things about you and your worst moments and traits), it was a no-go from there. Maybe you are friends with someone that is an ex lover of theirs, or they do not like the social circles you keep. Maybe they just did not feel safe with you, either physically or they worry associating with you will hurt their reputation. Perhaps you publicly shared too many things that your date would rather keep private and they worried you are not a good secret keeper. The bottom line is that even after a great first date, if a person does not feel safe enough with you, there will be no second date.
8. You’re a lousy kisser and/or lover. I am sorry to say this, but just because you really enjoyed yourself on that first date, it is not a direct indication that your date enjoyed it too. Even if your date had an orgasm, it may have less to do with your efforts than you might care to admit. This is not about just being sexually incompatible (see further down the list when that comes up). This is about you just not being any good. Sexual skills are just like any other skills. You can develop a better skill set, if you are willing to learn, experiment, and are open to feedback. However, unless you make it clear that you want feedback to help your date enjoy being with you, your date might assume that you are just going to be this lousy on an ongoing basis, and rather than tell you the truth, they would rather just avoid having to be physical with you again.
9. You come across too happy being single. You are not relationship minded enough. You said that you wanted to see the other person again and you really meant it, and the person believes you meant it as well. However, the question becomes are you capable? Not everyone knows how to act in a relationship. This comes up a lot for people that have either never had a relationship, or people that have been single for so long that they have forgotten the nuances of how to take another person’s involvement into account. A person who acts too happy being single, might give the impression they would rather not be in a relationship. If you expressed how much you rather enjoy doing things on your own that the other person would rather do as a couple, you aren’t going to convince anyone that you are seriously interested in a second date.
10. You would rather be with a different gender/sexual orientation. Believe it or not, just because you are willing to date someone of a certain gender/sexual orientation, it is not enough evidence you actually want to be dating a person of that gender/sexual orientation. Sometimes the frustration that you feel towards the dating scene and specifically the gender/sexual orientation of your past dates, might come across that you would rather date someone that is the opposite of the gender/sexual orientation of the person you are currently dating. If you are giving a vibe that you may not be fully comfortable in your own skin, or if your frustrations get misinterpreted as hate, or lack of attraction for the gender/sexual orientation of the person you are currently dating, it is unlikely that they will want to have a second date with you, even with the first date ending OK.
11. You are missing something they want. Some people do not want to bother with a second date if they do not see a definite future with you. If the other person is looking for someone to back them up for the long term, they will be looking for things like: stability, if you can support their lifestyle, and their social environment. Can you hang with their social groups, and at least equal or better their own current status. If they already have elements of a life plan in place and they do not see you fitting into their plans, a great first date, might also be the last date if they cannot envision a future with you being part of their life plan.
12. You are too needy. Perhaps things were going really well until you went a little too far and gave the impression that you were just too needy. This means that the other person did not feel that you wanted them because of the commitment they had earned from you; they felt you were so desperate for any companionship that you wanted a second date because it is better than being alone. Sometimes a needy person comes across as way too compliant; lacking any personal boundaries who might one day lash back because they do not feel they are getting the same level back from the other person that they are putting in. The scariest thing about getting attached to a needy person is that a needy person can go to one extreme and get obsessive, or go to the other extreme where since they no longer feel needy for you, they can dump you unceremoniously. Why chance any of that with a second date?
When it is The Other Person
(You did nothing wrong)
In the next cluster of reasons we are going to look at reasons you were Ghosted that actually have nothing to do with you, but have everything to do with the other person. In this section, it is clear that you did not do anything wrong, or incorrectly. It is just a matter that the other person was the direct cause of you not getting a second date, and possibly involved in a situation that you may not have been aware of. So when someone tells you “no chemistry”, maybe there wasn’t any, or maybe there was, but it wasn’t enough.
13. The person was using you to pay for the meal and lavish date, or using you to get into a venue that you have access too. Once the person got what they wanted in exchange for a little compensation touching, they moved on to the next target. You never actually had a chance for a second date, because dating you again was never the goal. The goal was to use you for the experience of a date.
14. The person is running scared. The person did not expect to like you so much and wasn’t ready for the potential connection that seemed to be developing, so they ran away from you using any excuse they could think of. (Run Forest Run!) Some people really have a fear of intimacy and you came across too good to be true. For example: Your date was a virgin (or very inexperienced) and did not know how to process intense emotions that comes after having a great first date. That person does not want to feel pressured into going on a second date, as they were not ready to experience the next level of intimacy that a second date may represent. (This is assuming that you did not have sex on that great first date.) The pressure that a virgin feels to perform sexually on subsequent dates can be more than enough to cancel any possibility of dating you in order to avoid that pressure. At the same time, they do not have to be in a position to admit to being an adult aged virgin (which can be stigmatizing for some).
15. The person is trying hard to date someone (i.e. you) who is not their type BUT isn't willing to push through the next level of a second date. You weren’t the type they were normally attracted to and they were looking to be open-minded on a first date, but could not fake it enough to make a second date happen. Sometimes people date as part of an experiment to try putting themselves out there in new situations to learn about who they are (self-actualization). This could involve dating someone they weren’t really attracted too in the first place. Usually, this kind of self-actualization process requires the person to give people like you an honest chance with a series of dates before calling it quits, but not everyone has that level of resolve.
16. The person lied on the first date about something, and is worried they will get found out. You got dumped before you even have the chance to dump them later on when you would have found out the truth. People who lie on a first date are not usually expecting to have a second date, or subsequent dates. It can happen that they realize they really like you, but they know that they have already ruined their long-term chances by lying early on. In most cases the person in question might be self-sabotaging with this kind of behavior pattern as part of a fear of intimacy, which helps keep them out of any potential serious relationships. A person that lies so much might have incredibly low self-esteem and figures that you will eventually end it when you get to know them, so they dump you first even though they actually want to date you. They feel it is better to dump you now instead of you abandoning them later, and justifying their low self-esteem.
17. The person was a professional (sugar baby/sex worker) looking for you to pay money for companionship on an ongoing basis. They discovered through the process of the date that you were either not wealthy enough or not willing to accept such an arrangement. Rather than try to change your mind or reveal their true intentions, they would rather focus on recruiting an easier client and cancelled any second date you tried to set up. This gave them the ease of not having to reveal their true intentions if they wanted to keep their economic interests a private matter.
18. The person was running a bet or taking part in a contest with some friends. Maybe it was who could they get to date them? Maybe it was how many first dates could they get, or how far they could get someone attached to them who wanted a second date? This one is cruel, but it does happen. You might have been a target for someone else’s participation in a contest or bet that had nothing to do with you. One such scam I came across in my coaching practice involved getting the “targets” into heated text messages after being dumped and insulted. The texts would then be posted online as a means of ridicule. Very cruel indeed! If something like that ever happens to you, as much as you are being baited to write back hatefully, try as much as possible to walk away. The person you think you are cursing out might not even be the one writing to you.
19. The person wants to play a mind-game with you to see if you will chase them. Some people are legitimately interested in you, but the way they react to any attachment/attraction is to push that person away really hard to see if they are going to “prove” themself and chase them. Some people will have no interest in you at all, but they love the attention you may shower on them by pushing you away, and having you come back to chase them again. Some of these people could be suffering from a mental illness of some kind, while others are just malicious. Either way, if someone pushes you away that much, accept it and move on.
20. The person was a people pleaser. Fear of conflict makes some people act completely agreeable during the first date to the point of misleading you to think you actually stand a chance at a second date. They hide behind a polite façade to the point of aggressively going along in the moment with anything someone presents them with, to the point where they react with a backlash the next day with a rejection. It might be a good thing that you did not end up dating that person more than you did!
21. The person was cheating on an existing partner (or attempting to cheat) They decided against it and ended it before things got out of hand. In this vain of thought, if the person was actually trying to cheat and got caught (or almost caught), it would make sense to end it quickly before you sent a series of text messages that the cheaters partner may come across. When someone tells you “no-chemistry” most people will back off at that point, which is what the cheater counts on.
22-The person has a sexually transmitted infection (STI). I have come across difference cases of this as a coach. Some people with an STI desire socializing, even limited physical touching, but cannot risk giving into the impulse to have sex, so the person cancels any potential future dates where sex could happen. Instead of wondering why someone broke your heart, you might actually consider being grateful that someone may have just spared your health without you knowing it. It is easier for an infected person to dump someone than to expose their health status to a relative stranger. In other cases, a person with an STI rather than deal with being in a relationship may go out for anonymous sex without ever telling their lovers of their condition unless directly asked about it. It is easier to simply disappear after a first date sexual encounter, than to go on subsequent dates where the person would have to reveal their status of their STI, which they would rather keep private.
23. The person is just not ready for something serious. It is very possible that the person really liked you and really thought about getting more serious with you, but then decided that you were too a good a distraction and did not want to be tempted. Some people need to be hyper focused on things like getting an education, establishing a career, or even raising kids, and are just looking to causally date and have fun. However, they met you, and really liked you and even considered allowing themselves to break their own rules, which explains why the first date was so great. However, realizing that you really are the right person, but at the wrong time in their lives, it can be easier for some people to let you go completely instead of continuing to see you and be tempted with a strong distraction from their previous set goal plan. Others may or may not agree with this decision, but the issue is not whether it is agreeable; the matter is what it is.
24. The person is Immature. Very sad to say that at some point, it really can come down to a simple matter of a lack of maturity. The inability to know what they want, getting swept away in the moment of the first date, then making the snap decision to recant and disassociate without the benefit of a more personalized goodbye. It has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the person being too immature to take any accountability or responsibility for their own actions, or for leading you on.
When it is Neither of You
Lastly, in this next section are situations where it is not you, or the other person that is at the source of you not getting a second date, but some real possible situations that people find themselves in, or issues of compatibility that has nothing to do with how a person feels. Rather than discuss the real reasons, it is easier for people that do not know each other beyond a great first date, to simply cite “no chemistry”, so that they can end this particular stage with you, because it is just easier that way when life happens.
25. The person was hit with a crisis situation that required all of their focus and attention, and simply was not in a position to even entertain getting into a relationship much less date. A personal medical diagnosis, sickness of a family member, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, and any other major sense of loss that a person would have to cope with. Tragedy can kill any feeling of chemistry that may have actually existed, and the person would rather set you free than to be honest and risk you wasting your time waiting for them. Tragedy changes people, and the person they become might not be a good dating partner for you in the future anyways.
26. The person could have been triggered by a past trauma and just cannot date you. It has nothing to do with you personally. It could be that you remind the person of someone that hurt them; or it could be the feeling of connection and chemistry that triggered them; and they associate good feelings with a core hurt. It is easier to dump you than to deal with past trauma.
27. The person was struggling and/or questioning their sexual orientation. They decided to try to date someone like you to see what it would be like, to either prove, confirm, or disprove something. Sometimes you are just someone else’s experiment while questioning.
28. The person really liked you and intended to date you again, but felt their friends and or family would not approve of you so they dumped you. Family and friends can be very important factors in deciding whom a person continues to date. It is interesting to note that seeking the validation of friends and family approval is why some people will continue to end up perpetually single.
29. The person was seeing multiple people at the same time, and someone made the move before you did to earn a monogamous commitment. For this reason the person had to dump all the other people they were dating. I have witnessed how dating another person can motivate an admirer to pursue someone. It is a common enough occurrence that as soon as someone starts going on dates, others who worshipped from afar, or who were dating casually until now, suddenly feel compelled to make a move and secure the affections of their would-be lover. Sometimes people can date you just to make someone else jealous for exactly this reason.
30. The ex of the other person came back into the picture between your first and second date. It is easier to tell you that they felt no chemistry, instead of telling you the truth. With that said, if the communication is happening right in front of the newly returned partner/formerly ex, it would make sense for the person to completely downplay any chemistry that might have actually existed. There is nothing quite like seeing the person you like dating others to light a fire of motivation to aggressively pursue (whether out of jealousy, or a legitimate belief that they should be together).
31. Off Limits. After a great first date, the person comes to identify you as an “Off-Limits” person. This means that they came to realize that you were someone they never should have had a first date with, or they already had such a hesitation, gave into temptation, but afterwards came to their senses not to pursue you any further. Perhaps you are a co-worker and they do not want to complicate anything by putting their careers in jeopardy if things go really bad. Perhaps they realize that they were romantically involved in the past with one of your friends or a family member (or vice-versa), and would rather follow a rule of non-fraternization. Putting someone in the “Off Limits” category is about avoiding dating someone who, for reasons that have nothing to do how you feel about the person, could complicate other areas of their life.
32. Different stages in life. After a great first date the person goes home and recognizes that you are both at very different stages in life. For example: One of you wants the lifestyle that comes with retirement, while the other to seeks a lifestyle that is just starting out with a family or new career. A great first date can reveal the awesome potential you may have as a couple, but if your lifestyles are incompatible because of the different stages you may be at, those incompatibilities may be more than enough to end things before a second date ever gets started.
33. It’s about the kids. This reason lumps together all the cases having to do with having kids. Perhaps it is that one of you wants kids, and it comes up during the date that the other does not want, or cannot have kids. Perhaps is it a matter of one person never wanting to be a parent or step-parent, only to find out the other is a single parent already. It could be that one person is not interested in helping raise younger children, and the other person has younger children. It can be politically incorrect for anyone to claim they are skipping a second date, after a great first date, because of the issues surrounding having children. There is no fault, blame or judgments here. Just people that went on a date who are not compatible for a long-term involvement because the issues surrounding having kids will eventually end the involvement regardless of what a great start it had.
34. Incompatible pasts. Each day of our lives we all make choices, and with each choice we make there are consequences. We do not control what those consequences might be. Whether it is a series of choices that leads to having a criminal record, choices affecting your health today, choices about the education you opted for, or the job environments you had to work in, or choices in the people you have dated in the past, each of us has a past built on the choices we made, both good choices or bad choices. Not everyone you date will be able to handle or accept your past, just as you will not be able to handle the past of everyone you ever date. There is a difference between being non-judgmental about someone’s past, and getting romantically involved with someone with a past that you would not want to be associated with. When getting more serious beyond a first date, it is important that you are with someone that can fully accept your past. If someone does not accept your past, or you cannot accept theirs, then it is best to end it. Again, no fault, blame, or judgments here. Just people that went on a date but are not compatible for a long-term involvement.
35. Sexually incompatible. This is different from a person just being lousy at sex. The issue here is that you were not compatible. For example: If the other person was just looking for a one-night stand and you did not make the first move or give them a sign, it is not just an issue of not having sex, but an issue of having different sexual values. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with your love-making skills, but you just aren’t used to going at the pace as your lover, it does not mean you aren’t good, it just means that you are not seeking the same kind of touch. Some people like a really gentle touch, while others like it more rough. There is nothing wrong with either. Even if you had sex on the first date but the sex was not what the other person is used too, or hoped for, and there was no sign or discussion that you have similar sexual values as the other person, then a lack of sexual compatibility can be classified as a lack of sexual chemistry.
36. There actually is no chemistry. The date came across as just two good friends hanging out but nothing more. It is good to get along with your date, but if all you do is act like good buddies, it may not be enough to help generate attraction. And yes, even if you had sex on a first date, friends can experience casual sex together and enjoy their time together, but still lack the chemistry necessary to take it to the next level. So when someone tells you that they did not feel any chemistry, it is possible they are lying for any number of the reasons listed above, or maybe they are being rather truthful, in that they just did not feel what they needed to feel to see you as anything more than a friend (that they were willing to try having sex with).
Chances are, that in reading these stories from my years of coaching, you might see yourself in one of them, or even come up with a few more possible reasons on your own.
Regardless of the reason, you might just be better off without a person that would Ghost you to begin with.
You are not in control of others rejecting you. You are only in control of how you come across. If you are coming across in ways that unintentionally turn people off there are things you can do to change that. Just do not give up. Even with the odds against you, you can still find what you are looking for, as long as you are willing to put in the work. With that said if you continue to have no second dates, you may want to sign up and see a dating coach, before no second dates turns into no first dates either.