I had an amazing first date with this guy: dinner, a movie, a stroll around the park and a passionate good-night kiss. That was two weeks ago. Since then, I haven’t heard a peep. How was it awesome for me but not for him? Were we, unbeknownst to me, on two different dates? –Disturbed
When a man disappears on you after a great first date, it’s natural to search your mind for the most plausible explanation – that is, whichever one doesn’t shred your ego and feed it to your fish. Top choices include 1. He was kidnapped by revolutionaries. 2. His couch caught fire while he was setting up candles around a shrine to you and he’s now homeless and, more importantly, phoneless. 3. He double-parked at 7-Eleven and then a witch put a spell on him, turning him into a Big Gulp and some skater kid drank him.
The reality is, maybe you and he actually were, “unbeknownst to (you), on two different dates.” We have a tendency to assume others’ thoughts, beliefs, feelings and desires match our own, explains psychologist Nicholas Epley in Mindwise. What we forget to consider are what Epley calls “the broader contexts that influence a person’s actions.” For example, maybe smack in the middle of all that “awesome,” the guy was raking through a few thoughts – like whether he’s truly over his previous girlfriend, whether he likes the woman from Tuesday better, whether he’s straight.
And sorry, but despite the “passionate” kiss, it’s possible the attraction to you just wasn’t there. One of my guy friends, a reformed cad, explained: “I used to do this all the time with women. I’d realize I wasn’t that attracted to them, but since I was already there on the date, I’d keep moving forward and see if I could get laid, ‘cause why not? So from their point of view, the date was ‘awesome,’ but what they didn’t know was that there was never going to be a second date.”
The hurt and “huh?” you feel when this sort of thing happens is a measure of the distance between expectations and reality. You can avoid this by managing your expectations, and the best way to do that is by not allowing yourself to have any. In short, until your phone rings and the guy is on the other end asking you for a date or another date, he doesn’t exist. When you’re on a first date that seems to be going well, the attitude to take is to enjoy yourself to the fullest in the moment – which is loads easier when you aren’t all up in your head figuring out what you’ll say when the little girl you two have together comes home at age 8 demanding to be allowed to have her nipples pierced.
© 2015, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon. Order Amy Alkon’s new book, “Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck” (St. Martin’s Press, June 3, 2014).