First Date and No Attraction: Etiquette


Pastor Jim provides advice for Christian singles regarding how to react upon realizing you are not attracted to your date.


» Dear Jim: I finally met someone in person and am not attracted. When should I tell them?

Relating to others develops many scenarios. The one that most often occurs when using the Internet for dating is that there often develops a ‘connection’ prior to actually meeting face-to-face. This is accomplished by many emails exchanged and perhaps phone calls where there appears to be a rapport and mutual draw.

A meeting is set up for them to actually meet in person. The meeting occurs and very frequently one or both of them find that they are NOT attracted to the other person. What does the person do that does not feel the attraction – and when? Here are some thoughts:

Expectations: It is very important (especially when using the Internet!!) to not create expectations beyond what is really happening. Emails and phone conversations are wonderful tools to learn about each other, but there is NO substitute for the dynamics of being in each other’s presence.

There are so many ‘forces’ at play when singles connect with each other. I give the benefit of the doubt and believe that most of the time the exchanges taking place are honest ones. However, I find that most times what takes place in these distant contacts is more fantasy than reality. There is a ‘force’ out of the want for something good to happen that emotions are allowed to travel way ahead of reality.

Every single should have an ‘accountability’ group so that they can remain in touch with reality as they go through these times.

Let’s proceed ahead to the actual time when the two meet in person. It is not uncommon for one of them to immediately discern that for one reason or another, they are not attracted to the other person. There is a variety of reasons – and not one of them usually a fault of anyone. For example, there is the ‘presence’ that each of us gives us to others. It is our bearing and attitude and the way we communicate (verbal and nonverbal). It could be a mannerism or just something sends a message that this is not the one.

“compassionate openness is the best course”

Now what does the one do that finds that they are not attracted? Here is where character comes into the exchange. IF the expectations for this meeting were discussed ahead of time and it was openly discussed that this could be a possibility, it is easier to approach the topic. If it is not and ‘expectations’ of romance are in the air, it is more difficult. However, I am of the thought that compassionate openness is the best course.

Even though there is no attraction, this does not mean that a wonderful meeting cannot be enjoyed by each of them. You had some reason that drew you to meet. I would encourage you to accept this fact and discuss a way to make this a mutually enjoyable time of continuing to get to know one another and have a good time.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

I have difficulty in the thought that the one who finds them not attracted should ‘play along’ with the romance and not be honest about their thoughts. To go through a meeting like this and allow the expectations on the other person to build and then send them an email later saying that you are not attracted is really playing with their emotions.

There is something in the Bible that speaks to this. It is found in Luke 6:31. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!’

Relating to other singles is so much about emotions. Be considerate and thoughtful as you interact and always honest (with compassion!).

Dr. Jim

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  • http://google.com says:

    “First Date and No Attraction: Etiquette” ended up being a
    wonderful posting. If it had alot more pix this might
    be perhaps even more effective. Thank u ,Regan

  • R2 says:

    While that had some excellent points, not sure Doc Jim covered every angle. Sometimes first attractions in first meetings can be based on the wrong reasons and a lack of maturity on the parts of individuals involved.
    Physical desires can mask the truth. So why walk away?
    Can’t love develop over time?
    A slow burn as parties get to know each other as friends?

    Some wonderful love stories have developed over time from initial meetings and lack of attraction, but parties remained mature and friends.

    Don’t place too much on initial first attractions. Give love an opportunity. That’s all I’m saying. Never know what God can do.

  • Jane Pinney says:

    This is the “sticky-wicket” of internet dating. However, I think if someone sees a picture of the other person first and likes it, then reads all of the answers to the questions (and this is where a professional match maker who is a professional writer, is really needed, as many people can not answer these questions effectively), then writes back and forth, and then talks on the phone and then doesn’t feel attracted when they meet? I think there is something wrong with them.

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