This is Why You Didn’t Get a Second Date.

Via Ellen Smoak
on May 22, 2013
get elephant's newsletter


We’ve all been there…

Butterflies and all that jazz that start to happen when we meet someone special.

We go out, we make out, and maybe we do something else too…and then we wait. Ugh.

The damn waiting we do for these darn men!

We wait and we wait and we wait (hopefully) and by that I mean hopefully you aren’t pursuing him with phone calls and emails and other “chasing” type behavior.

If you are, stop immediately.

You are going against the grain of male/female attraction…read this blog for more information on that subject.


We wait and we wait and we wait. And then nothing. Nada, zip, zilch—absolutely nothing comes our way except a big pile of disappointment when we aren’t swept off our feet like we thought for sure we would be.

So, what gives?

Well I have some answers for you.

I was talking to my good friend and she was telling me about these seminars that she goes to which are full of men.

And in one of the seminars she was in recently, the men were surveyed (several hundred of them) on what keeps them from asking a women out on another date—even when things have been going quite well.

It turns out that most every man in the room was in total agreement that there are a few reasons why women don’t get asked out on another date. One important one.

Have you made this number one mistake before? (I know I have!)

The number one reason women don’t get asked out on a second date is: because we’re too bossy and we override suggestions.

Now, my friend didn’t go into the reasons why these men said that being too bossy and overriding suggestions turns them off to the point of not wanting another date…

…but I’ve been thinkingI have some advice from not just my own dating life, but from my years of relationship study and working with private clients that has given me amazing insight on understanding men.

Here’s why this response doesn’t come as a bit of a surprise to me: men don’t like being told what to do. (Neither do we, but for different reasons.)

Men don’t like being told what to do because it offends their “manhood”—that masculine quality about them that makes them want to be your hero, your “Mr. Fix-it” and your masterful provider.

Imagine this scenario:

A man asks you out and already has the night lined up. He’s picking you up at eight, and he’s taking you to this great little Italian restaurant that he’s been to before and just knows you’re going to love.

But when he calls to confirm, you tell him that you don’t want him to pick you up, you’d rather meet him at the restaurant and you really aren’t in the mood for Italian…you’d rather have Thai.

Without knowing it, you’ve essentially offended his ability to provide for you, take care of your needs, and do something special for you.

You’ve offended his masculine energy, the very energy that wants to succeed, wants to win you over, and wants to impress you, too.

Your date has taken special care to think of and plan something special for you and instead of welcoming his gifts of thoughtful planning and consideration, you shoot down his thoughtful idea, taking with it his pride and manly ability to provide for you.

We women do this all time and don’t even realize it!

We “tell” our men what to do—even when we think what we’re saying is just a “suggestion.”

We must remember that men wear different ears than women—they actually have different brains in their head, different ways of seeing and feeling and acting and thinking.

The list goes on and on and on.

So, when a man makes a plan, appreciate what he’s offering. He’s operating from the very core of his being, from a place that is wildly passionate about providing, finding solutions and taking care of the most important people in his life.

And don’t you want to ultimately be one of the most important people in his life?

Of course you do.



What To Do When A Relationship Makes You Cry.

I Love You, now Leave me Alone. Why spending Time Apart can help our Relationships.


Like elephant love on Facebook.


Ed: Bryonie Wise

Source: via lila on Pinterest



About Ellen Smoak

Ellen Smoak was called a “true change agent” by New York Times bestselling author Marci Shimoff and her work has been featured on ABC, NBC, Yahoo, and FOX. Her mission is to help you realize the power within you to create the life you want and the love you deserve. Ellen’s #1 bestselling book "Breakups Are A Bitch, But Getting Over It Doesn't Have To Be!" has been read in over 27 countries and her online courses have transformed thousands of lives around the world. A South Carolina native who spent her twenties in San Diego, Ellen combines her East Coast sensibility with her West Coast to inspire a global audience to take charge of their happiness by teaching them how to access their power, boost their confidence, and increase their self-love -- the three ingredients that Ellen believes will make it possible for you to get anything and anyone you want. To get Ellen's free video series "How to Beat Your Broken Heart BEFORE it Beats YOU" click here.


64 Responses to “This is Why You Didn’t Get a Second Date.”

  1. Really? This is so demeaning to men. Men of quality LOVE women with real thoughts and opinions, not doormats. Yes, of course there's a give and take of ideas and suggestions, that's just thoughtfulness in a relationship. But I can't think of anything less romantic than 'sticking with his plan' to save his pride.
    If a guy is that over-sensitive and prideful, I do not wish to 'be one of the most important people in his life'. It makes me sad that any woman would actually follow this 'advice'.

  2. Paula says:

    This is the second dating article I've read on Elephant in the past two days that speaks in these gross generalities about male and female attraction. It reflects a growing trend in dating advice that I see all over the net. Sometimes, with some men, I really enjoy sitting back and watching how they pursue me and what they "provide". It's fun. Other times, with some men, I totally enjoy being the one doing the pursuing–and yes, I've chased before and enjoyed it–as did he. :) I don't want to be locked into some concept of gender roles. I prefer the freedom to do what comes naturally to me.

  3. Katherine says:

    I have to agree with the above comment. Any date I've been on, we discuss and agree on what we might want to do or where we want to go, with some flexibility naturally occurring. I don't think I would be waiting and waiting hopefully for a second date with someone who was so instantly put off by my tendency to have my own ideas and opinions.
    Call me crazy.

  4. Paula says:

    "Didn’t we have it made wearing sexy aprons and and being able to stretch out and relax in an empty house all day while someone else went out to push, pull, and wear themselves out to bring home the bacon? "

    From blog. Really? Is that what women were doing in the home all those years? Was this fantasy pre-kids? Because being a parent and running a household can be quite tiring. When I was in a relationship where he "brought home the bacon" I was pretty damn busy all the time.

    I don't discount that women who are dating can stand to look at their feminine energy if they want a masculine man, but prefer it not couched in sentimental crap.

  5. Take this from thought from a Man who has been married for 23 years. Women, we love your thoughts and opinions, but we don't need to hear them drummed into our head all of the time. Do you remember what it was like growing up and your Mother was constantly nagging you about every little thing in your life? Guess what? You have become that nagging Mother you complained about as a teen and couldn't wat to get away from!

    The paradigm has shifted and Men just have more options then Women when it comes to dating. I see and hear my single and divorced Male friends say it all of the time. They are not looking for Ms Perfect or Ms Doormat in a relationship, those never last. What they are looking for in a relationship is a Women they can actually enjoy living with who isn't nagging them insesently like their Mother! Women, stop the nagging because you are driving Men away from you!

  6. Lea says:

    "So, when a man makes a plan, stick to it!"

    Unless you don't feel like sticking to the plan.
    As long as you're not rude or considerate in the manner you express your thoughts you can suggest different options.
    Otherwise to "appear" to be enjoying something you're not for the sake of scaring a man away would only make you unhappy. And I'm not talking about occasional compromises or being disrespectful to a person's plans. But plans should be made with consideration to both of your interests and liking in the first place.

    so "stick with whatever plans a man makes for you to assure his need to provide" is not a healthy advice.

  7. pinedita says:

    Wait a second, so its not that the men in our culture should learn to curb their egos to listen to what the other person has to say, but that women should, yet again, roll over and excuse men’s insecurities and little egos (further justifying it in pseudo science) for the sake of being called on a second date? No thanks. That men have this common interpretation of women being bossy is an indication of a greater cultural problem here and its the backlash of patriarchy towards independent women who have a voice. I’m coming from a premise that a difference of opinion on the evening’s activities are expressed respectfully. Equal relationships negotiate, they don’t assert. Women also have an innate desire to protect and provide. Why are we being asked to put ourselves aside? This article is too medieval for me.

    And the nagging mother piece? Clearly if your partner feels the need to “nag” you about something, you’re unwilling to listen to something that is very important to that person. When a person continually brings something up, it means they haven’t gotten from you what they have needed.

  8. Sarah phillimore says:

    If this is dating, thank fuck I don't do it.

  9. Katie says:

    This is satire…. I hope! What an absurd thing to write! You don’t get asked out on a second date because you’d rather meet a stranger or semi-stranger at a restaurant rather than let him see where you live and you express a preference for a type of cuisine? Either the author is completely full of shit or the “survey participants” are single for a reason!

  10. Tamara says:

    Are you kidding me? For one, most of the men I make plans with ask me where I want to eat, instead of assuming I want a carbo loaded italian meal. I appreciate the idea of the man making the plan, but taking my preferences into consideration while doing it should be part of the deal. Of course, then I would be accused of expecting him to read my mind. A good man and woman will take their dates preferences into consideration and if they don't know what they are, they should ask. Communication people, communication.

  11. Kathy says:

    What are the other two reasons? I'll reread. Maybe I missed something.

  12. Shay says:

    Any man that gets upset that I have opinions about something that pertains to me, when they didn't consult me first, isn't really worth the time it takes to worry about his poor little feelings. What if I'm allergic to tomatoes? What if my boss surprised the office with a huge Italian lunch? What if I just don't LIKE pasta? It is great that a man takes initiative, but he should do so with what I want in mind, not what he thinks will be impressive.
    Plus, as Katie said, who wants to give a stranger their address? No thank you, if a man has an issue with me taking basic precautions about my safety, then he is one I should probably worry about.

  13. Kate says:

    I am a huge elephant journal fan, and read daily. This is by far one of the worst journals I've read and feel that this advice is ridiculous. If your date is that easily offended by you having a mind of your own, then he/she is probably not the right fit for you. I just feel we need to be cautious when using words like "bossy", or "overriding" so that we do not discourage women (or men) from having a voice, to not compromise themselves and to have an opinions.

  14. Jill says:

    Bossy? Because she's assertive? Women are allowed to have thoughts, opinions, and their own wants. Being told what to do offends their "manhood" does this suggest that women on the other hand should be told what to do? Everyone likes their thoughts and opinions validated, but because a woman voices her thoughts its considered offensive. And ability to take care of? Really? I can take care of myself thank you very much. I want a partner not a parent. This is the worst article I've read on elephant journal. It is painfully hetero normative. Painfully gender biased. And shame on you for suggesting a woman shouldn't voice her opinions.

  15. David says:

    Women, it's not at all about not having your own thoughts. It's about honoring the gift somebody is giving you, even if ultimately you want to change something. That's fine if you change something. But it would be nice to recognize the effort that went into thinking of something meant to make you happy. And then there's the realistic aspect of male psychology: we care about some stuff and you don't; you care about some stuff and we don't; so let's learn to connect better and bridge those divides.

    I think you are reacting defensively if you think the point is to not voice your opinions, and unfortunately, in doing so you are losing the point. Perhaps you should consider that we men have our souls fed by providing for the woman in our lives, and that something that seems silly to you might actually be really important to us. If you want to "correct" us, please, do so! We want to do better for you! But keep in mind *how* you do it.

    Would you want to be with a man who doesn't honor your investments in your actions for him, and around whom you felt dismissed? No, of course not. Men don't want that either, it's just that we (or some of us) care about different things.

    (And, yes, this is all from the perspective of a heterosexual male.)

  16. Paul says:

    "So, when a man makes a plan, stick to it! He’s operating from the very core of his being, from a place that is wildly passionate about providing, finding solutions and taking care of the most important people in his life." Ellen, I'm not sure what men you're talking to , and I'm not sure how much projection is going on and I'm not sure if you're taking advice from female friends ABOUT men, but whatever the case may be— I want the woman I'm with to feel free to express herself and speak her mind. Also, maybe I'm rare in this regard–when I'm operating from the core of my being, TRUTH is what's most important to me. Authenticity is what's important to me. Transparency, mutuality, vulnerability and honesty. That's what turns ME on. Some of the reasons I don't go out on a second date is, bitterness , held on resentment toward men, energetically cold and hard, when the armor is up.

  17. WhoopDaddy says:

    This is way too generalized; too simplistic. I enjoy the company of women who know what they want and who will make it known, however if ANY date, friend or potential friend hijacks our plans and does not bother to check in with me this is a red flag for selfishness. We've all known those who make a habit of getting their way. If one simply inserts wording that shows consideration for me as well, that is appropriate. Anything like "would it be OK", "would you enjoy", "would you mind if" whatever, as long as one shows consideration for the other. I am far from rigid and admire spontaneity but if it's all about you then; dear, I am definitely not all about you. If a woman will speak honestly and openly then we can bypass the games, second-guessing and manipulation. Yuck, those things are the most grandiose turn off. It is your company that I desire. If a woman shows lack of kindness and respect toward other beings then I can hardly expect better treatment from her. Nope! Won't be calling. In any true friendship or relationship both people need to acquiesce at times as a simple act of kindness to the other. Be well, still love you, Dave.

  18. M. Marie says:

    This perpetuates gender roles. Maybe you could try writing something more progressive and positive. Maybe you could just have enough courage to be who you and trust the universe enough to provide. Screw the survey.

  19. Vidya says:

    This is disappointing. I'd expect this article in a teen magazine and not on Elephant Journal. Of course if someone has planned a special date, it's polite to try it out once but there are ways of nicely asking for a change of plan if it's something you're sure you don't like. And "manly ability to provide for you"? Really? I'm pretty sure most women with access and interest in articles like these are completely capable of providing for themselves.

  20. Beth says:

    This is ridiculous. It may be truthful, but you’re essentially pioneering patriarchy, where the women have to be obedient and pander to men’s needs. This highlights something much more wrong about society than our dating techniques. Women’s assertiveness needs to be celebrated, not quashed. We’ve spent far too long being door mats. And, if the guy truly wants to show us that he can care for a woman, he should be happy and willing to care for a woman in the most pleasing way to her. As she would do for him, this works both ways. What an incredibly damning article towards a woman’s agency, and a real shame that this has been written by women, for women.

  21. craigdrummond says:

    Ya this is complete nonsense and a massive generalization. I'm actually worried that your profession is that of 'relationship coach' when the level of advice you've given here is awful – so black and white. Sounds like you're giving yourself advice for past-actions regretted.

  22. Kari says:

    Holy Moly! I would LOVE it if a guy actually had a date planned like the one the author describes. Mostly I just get, "I dunno, what do you want to do?" or "I guess we could go for coffee? Where's good?"
    It's almost as if men are too wary of taking the lead and making concrete plans – maybe because they've been shot down so many times by these women that are not getting second dates.
    And it also seems like men don't want to invest as much into a first date – not financially, necessarily, but more like time and effort. My guess is that they are feeling fearful that the woman will take it as a sign that things are serious too soon.

    Or maybe I'm just dating jerks. Yeah, it's probably that.

  23. ohhoneyno says:

    This article is embarrassing and I can't believe that it made onto EJ. This advice is archaic and manages to be demeaning to both men AND women. Plus, if a man can't handle that I have my own opinion, he doesn't deserve a second date in the first place.

    This is a HUGE strike one, EJ. Keep this up and you'll lose a paying subscriber.

  24. Brittany says:

    While I agree with the other complaints above, I'm more upset by the way this article encourages women to view getting a date with a man as a pivotal, defining event in their lives, one that they wait for, pray/hope/wish for, depend upon, etc. It's a juvenile, primitive, game-playing, character-defeating way to look at and live one's life. I don't really care if playing games and engaging in classic male/female biological roles is the way to 'catch' a man; I'd rather feel like a human being with a greater purpose and enough self-confidence that I don't have to spend all my time and emotional energy trying to be the perfect date and – "hopefully! *squeals*" – a perfect wife. Ugh. Gross.

  25. Peter says:

    Whatever dynamic you are allowing in the first few dates is setting the tone for the relationship. If you want a guy making all the decisions for you than by all means follow this advice. I don’t meticulously plan dates without input from the woman I am taking out(because this is a novel concept) …I want her to be happy! I am more concerned with getting to know who she is as a person including what she likes or doesn’t or what she may feel she wants in that particular moment than trying to impress her with my great date idea. I want an equal and opposite partner in my life not someone to impose my will on. On the same token I am not afraid to make a decision if the woman in question is feeling indecisive. Why would you even want a second date with someone who doesn’t listen to you and insists on having things 100% their way.

  26. Lara Koch says:

    Oh no! On a first date you should not be picked up at home! If it scares him off then too bad! The older I get the more I realise how sexism is ingrained in daily life…

  27. chica says:

    I couldn't even finish the article. But, i'm pretty sure this is what it means:

    Women: If you have a strong personality, and tend to be a leader…sorry….men won't like you, because women need to allow men to do most of the suggestions.

    Men: Women who are leaders, do not make good life partners.

    What a way to paint an ugly picture of men, and make women degrade themselves in the process. I really disliked this article & it's really a ton of bull. What ever "seminars" your friend is going to, she needs to stop. She is getting a false reality from a bunch of douche guys. The "good guys" would probably have nothing to do with some seminar that helps people find partners.

  28. Lawrence says:

    Isn't it time women did some of the asking and taking the initiative for dating? You're "waiting"? Why? If you're interested in a guy, ask him to lunch. If that turns him off, you probably wouldn't have wanted him anyway.

    As someone whose shyness was a huge dating obstacle when I was younger, I'm probably being a bit self-serving. But I've often thought that half the misunderstandings between the sexes could be eliminated if women did some asking, which might give them some empathy for how difficult and awkward it is, and how easy it is to say something stupid.

  29. Uhmmmm… When was this written? 1950's?

  30. Amanda Suutari says:

    I think the intent of the article was twofold:
    1) A man who takes the time to thoughtfully plan a night out should be appreciated and supported by a woman who is willing to surrender to. and enjoy the adventure.
    2) There is a sexual polarity between the masculine and feminine that should be embraced (ie the directional, decisive masculine and the receptive, creative flow of the feminine) a la David Deida. We are in an era where men and women have a balance of power but are now re-embracing their divine masculinity and femininity in new and empowered ways.
    If these two points were the intention of the article, I think they are valid. HOWEVER, the article does a very poor job of communicating this. For one thing, the article assumes a one-size-fits all piece of advice for ALL women at ALL stages of the dating process. I would say MOST women, especially on a first date,, have WAY more trouble FINDING their voice and expressing their needs than being overly vocal about her opinions. So this advice really doesn't resonate with me or almost every other woman I know. I would argue the reason most women 'don't get a second date' with someone she's interested in is because she didn't show enough of who she was, for fear of being rejected. I think men are very turned on by women who know what they want and are confident about expressing their needs. THAT's what 'gets' a second date–if she wants it. The other thing is, the idea of a man picking up a woman and taking her to a great little Italian restaurant that he knows 'she'd love' is a bit hard to swallow. This to me sounds like a bygone era when dating was a little more ritualized and romanticized. Very few first dates are much more likely to be afternoon coffee or otherwise casual situations with both parties feeling each other out for the first time. It's not usually about splashy displays of romance at this stage. I can imagine this advice be relevant when the relationship becomes comfortable, where where we may all become more critical of our partners and are not seeing and appreciating them as much as we did during the 'honeymoon phase', in which case the advice should go both ways, as men ALSO take their partners for granted (in different ways than women). Perhaps some of the critical responses to your article may have missed the point she was trying to make, but perhaps she was not skilled in making that point in the first place.

  31. Ray says:

    That's all well and good but what do you do when the guy can't make up his mind about anything, he doesn't know where to go, doesn't know when, makes inappropriate arrangements (like being picked up for a blind first date with someone off a dating site) or you get there and he doesn't take the lead so you sit there like a goose while he stares at you waiting for you to do something. For men to be men they have to act, too many guys are just letting women do all the work and then when things don't go their way blaming it on "bossy"

  32. Heidi says:

    I love the article and thought it point on. I have a tendency to be bossy, which can correlate with the need for control. Although I've made it to the second date many times, however, making it through a succesful relationship is a whole different story. After a failed marriage and failed relationships, I'm finally happily married because I considered my man's feelings and needs, as he considers mine.
    With so many responders being put off by the article, it must have struck a big cord, a cord they're not willing to see nor change.

  33. natalie says:

    Ugh this is a horrible article – Who cares if a woman doesn't want to get picked up and go to an Italian restaurant. Speak your mind, I say! The guy might have an idea but he got it wrong. What better way for him to get to know you than to speak your mind. This article sounds like it was written in the 1950's! BOO!

  34. Cindy says:

    This is just awful and demeaning to both genders. It promotes dishonesty and inauthenticity. A relationship with that foundation, created through manipulation will not be healthy. I agree with considering the man’s feelings and honoring his offerings and, that does not have to be done through disempowering the woman. A truly evolved man will respect a woman who knows what she wants and is able to kindly and authentically voice that. Maybe the intent was misinterpreted because of a poor example used, however, as it is written here, this article is archaic and has a misogynistic flare to it.

  35. Parisa says:

    Thoroughly disappointed with this article but the silver lining is there are great discussions happening in the comments.

  36. Cora says:

    I like how many "men" are giving their opinions on this subject… It's refreshing . and About the article.. It was pretty "vague"…. And some readers have pointed out that it wasn't realistic advice for a first date . That would be sweet , If someone was that thoughtful and interested in planning a date with me. (And since the internet, it's opened a buffer of options for both sexes. Especially men. and its a big distraction… Consideration, Appreciation, Communication… are building blocks. In any relationship.. With others. God bless all.

  37. Donna says:

    Is this article for real? First, I am the most important person in my life! While I respect a man trying to plan a special evening, if I am not up for his choices I see nothing wrong with going in for a duo decision. Please, lets remove ego from the dating/love scene and get over ourselves. We still like you guys even if we would like to change the plans :)

  38. Michelle says:

    Only one reason? Women are too bossy on first dates? Surely this bossiness doesn’t only surface within the context of a first date? The more interesting article is why men ask women out on a first date at all. I bet it’s because, despite all the personality quirks he must have noticed in the run-up to asking her out, she still appealed from the point of view of her looks. If she subsequently reveals herself to be a troll, who is really to blame?

  39. LP says:

    Ellen, I am sorry for whom had raised you believing that you should not want or are not equal partners with your man, but this is a really lame attempt at some sort of ‘old school ego boosting for men’. I agree, there are a lot of insecure ones you should be taking care of and nurturing, which many women will be lucky to have found. I am not one of these women however, looking for one of those men – I’d rather keep growing and nurturing myself for those (real) men who are looking for real women. I might not find him in the end, risk I am willing to assume, but at least I would have tried rather than settled. Meanwhile, I wish you all good luck in finding exactly what you are looking for!

  40. David says:

    This is what sours marriages as well.

  41. Michael says:

    As a man, I would never be offended by a woman letting me know what they prefer. I wouldn’t find it insulting at all, and in fact, I would appreciate knowing so that we can both enjoy the evening.

    But then, I am having a rough time on the dating scene so my thoughts may not be the most accurate. I was married for 14 years, and it seems that everything has changed now that I am single. I am hating all these rules around dating who should chase who etc. I end up having to read articles to figure out what is going on. I really don’t remember it being this complicated.

  42. Asha Thornton says:

    Thanks for setting us back 50 years. BE YOU!! If he doesn’t like that he isn’t the right one and forget him! Most men like a woman that will stand her ground and isn’t afraid to voice what she needs or wants. Send this article back to the Stone Age where it belongs. Come on Elephant Journal, this isn’t about offering an alternative view; it is poorly written and not progressive at all. The article should encourage people to be themselves and to be AUTHENTIC. Instead it encourages women to shut up and do what a man wants. Very disappointed in this selection.

  43. deepgreenmoss says:

    Gag. Just gag me now, so I don't gag on the first date. Lol. Authentic relationships involve authentic people. Only people lie, and lying is about controlling outcomes, not guiding principled discussion. Courtesy and assertiveness are not mutually exclusive.

  44. Lakia says:

    Dissapointed that EJ published this archaic way of thinking. Conversation has been great to read though. I wouldn't want a second date with such a fragile man. This man described would not be my equal or in anyway become a true partner. I AM the most important person in my life, aside from my child.

  45. Nicole says:

    I think this article brings up something interesting that I have had a hard time working around myself this past year, feminine and masculine energies and how those dynamics have shifted as a result of women gaining more respect and power in society. Rather than shooting this article down, look at it with curiosity. I was raised to be fiercely independent by a mother who was the main breadwinner and have made a career and a life through my opinions and lets be honest, a tinge of bossiness when I get into my passionate, productive mode. My last relationship was with an amazing guy who recognized how beautiful all of that was about me, and he did not not have an ego at all, but I look back now and I see how I beat down his masculinity over and over again without even knowing I was doing it. I was protecting my right to be right over letting go and being taken care of; there should be a balance here and there wasn’t. I don’t think Ellen is telling women to stop having opinions to preserve weak men. She ‘s saying we’re all human and those inherent gender energies are something to pay attention to. Its a generalization because she can’t write about every single individual couple! Each couple will work out what it means for them, but it is something to put value in, respecting those energies. Respect, not submission, to those X and Y chromosomes, not to societal standards that have kept women down for so many years.

Leave a Reply