Should I go on another date with this guy?

ramarsh asks: 

I’m 23F, he’s 29M. We went on a date the other night. I wasn’t initially physically attracted to him, but decided to give it a go just to see where it could take us. It was a lot of fun, he made me laugh till my face hurt, he seemed nice, and we had a kiss at the end. I don’t know if seeming nice is enough though, guys are always nice in the beginning. If someone could tell me how to spot someone who will be horrible later, that would be great.

I feel like there’s a lot of background on this. I’ve had a few really bad relationships in the past, and since have been hooking up quite a bit, but nothing serious. I’m torn, sometimes I think I’d really like to have a nice boyfriend around, and other times I’m deliriously happy to be single and not have to deal with anyone’s awfulness. I hate the trapped, can’t-really-breathe feeling that relationships give sometimes, and I dread feeling it again.

I don’t know what to say really. The guy I fell hardest for in my life was someone I didn’t even feel attracted to in the beginning. I actually thought about how to turn him down nicely. Then I got to know him, and fell hard. I feel like this new guy could be nice, and the last date was fun. Not like I’d be ready to jump in bed with him, but I could feel something.

Demetrius says:

Your question, as the kids say, went from 0 to 100, REAL QUICK. First we’re talking about this one guy who you aren’t that physically attracted to, then it turns into a much larger issue around commitment. Let’s start from the bottom, and work our way through everything you discuss (I promise, that’s my last Drake reference).

Okay, here’s how everything breaks out:

  • Should you go out on another date with a guy if you don’t feel physically attracted to him?
  • How to spot someone who is nice at first, but will be horrible later
  • You want a nice boyfriend, but don’t want to feel trapped in a relationship

Alright so starting with your first question/issue: Yes. You should go on another date with this guy, even if you aren’t that physically attracted to him. Dates really are just try-outs for people you maybe want to date seriously. If they make it past the first tryout, you’re risking nothing but your time if you bring them back for another tryout. Like you said, the last guy you fell for was someone who you didn’t have an initial physical spark with, so you clearly don’t need that as much as a good connection. There isn’t anything wrong with that, and I would say it’s probably a lot healthier than basing your dating choices primarily on how attractive your partner is. You might end up dating more attractive people sure, but looks eventually fade. It’s better to build attraction based on looks last and connection first in my opinion.

Now, how exactly do you spot someone who is nice at first, but will be horrible later? The short answer is…you can’t. The longer answer is you can never know for sure if someone is going to change or not, but there are usually warning signs. If you’re on a date and you notice that he’s being nice you, but not so nice to the wait staff, that’s a pretty good warning sign. You can also check his social media and see if he’s got any views that you might consider horrible (maybe he’s a closet misogynist for example but reposts misogynist memes on his facebook or twitter page). What’s his relationship with his mother like? What does he complain about the most? And so on. There really isn’t a foolproof way, but people show you who they really are pretty early on, whether they know it or not. Whether you pay attention to the details or not is entirely on you, but there will be hints if you go out and look for them hard enough. Sadly  the line between “horrible” and “not into you and will passive aggressively reject you at a later point in time” is a wide one. There isn’t any real way to figure that out just yet.

Finally, lets talk about wanting a boyfriend, but not necessarily wanting to feel trapped. That’s a pretty common feeling honestly, and a feeling I’m very familiar with. You want to be able to have your cake, and eat it too. If you don’t want to feel trapped, but do want companionship, you need to be vocal about what you want, and if you are ignored, find someone who will listen. If you tell a guy “Give me x,y, and z and I’ll be happy” and he gives you a,b,c…drop him. If you want a relationship where you don’t feel smothered or trapped, tell the person you’re dating exactly what you want once you get to the point where things might get serious. Like all interpersonal relationships, there is no guarantee that you will get exactly what you’re asking for, but you do have control over whether or not you stay in relationship. Remember that.

So yes, go out on another date with this guy. Hopefully you’ll click, hopefully he won’t turn into a terrible human being, and if a relationship does develop, hopefully you’ll let him know exactly what you want so you won’t feel trapped.

Good Luck Out There.