How to date without feeling or creating pressure—a must-know technique

My top-ten list:

  • Good communicator
  • Family man
  • Adventurous
  • Kind
  • Ambitious
  • Outdoorsy
  • Intelligent
  • Happy
  • Patient
  • Spiritual

This list wasn’t easy to pin down, but after many discussions with Lili, I think these are the characteristics that are important to me.  They are not yet in any particular order, but at least they are there.  And, hopefully, like Sarah it will help me to recognize more men I’m interested in getting to know.  Now for the dilemma of the week.

Sarah and I realized that we were both dealing with the same problem today.  I went on a second date this week with a guy who’s really nice and we had fun, but I don’t think I’m interested in going out with him again.  So here is the problem: Alisa keeps giving us all this great advice about how to get a person interested, one of the most important tips being that you should always leave a person feeling great. But what happens when you’re on a date and you realize you don’t want that person to call you again? And I’m realizing as I write this that you men out there are lucky (unlucky?) and don’t often have to deal with this situation. But, really, what’s a girl to do?  How do we most kindly communicate this without hurting feelings or ruining friendships? Any advice?

Alisa’s response

So here’s a good opportunity for any reader (male or female) to do some real soul searching and to reassess their top-ten list.

  • What is it about this person that doesn’t fit your top-ten?
  • Is your lack of interest due to the person’s appearance, the way he/she makes you feel (uncomfortable, pressured, bored), his/her technique, etc.?
  • Or are you perhaps not being realistic enough about the things you really need in order to be satisfied in a relationship (i.e., your top-ten list needs to be changed because, although the person fits your top-ten, you now realize you couldn’t really live with your current top-ten list)?

The point is that I want you to use this opportunity to really evaluate your list and whether or not the person has enough qualities that match it that a second date would be wise, if for no other reason than to have more practice and experience with people who have the kinds of qualities you are looking for.

If someone really does fit the qualities on your list (or at least appears to, since you really don’t know them yet), then keep going out with them. At this point they would be on your B list: You aren’t excited about them but you never know—you may become more interested in time, which would cause them to move up to your A list.  (Those on your A and B lists should fit your top-ten. The difference is, you are more excited and interested in those on your A list, and, as such, give them greater priority than those on your B list.)

There is no harm in dating someone on your B list, especially when your goal throughout the dates is to:

  1. have fun
  2. make them feel great
  3. practice

Don’t date anyone for more than six weeks if they don’t move to your A list, but don’t just stop dating them because you don’t feel an immediate connection either. You need the practice and so do they. If you make each experience fun and treat them great, there’s no harm done.

I understand that most singles feel a lot of pressure to make a decision right away so that they don’t hurt anyone’s feelings or waste their time, but that just creates too much pressure for everyone and ends up over-complicating dating and preventing progress and improvement for all.

So on your next date, assuming the person fits your top-ten, try this essential technique:

(Excerpt taken from the It’s Not You—It’s Your Technique manual (This technique can be used by both men and women and as early as the first date.)

To relieve anxiety, slow things down, or prevent too much pressure (from them or you), tell them you want to have fun and just see where things go. If either of you gets too into each other too quickly, shares too much personal information too soon, fears hurting the other person’s feelings, or stops having as much fun, don’t give up, avoid, or just hope that the relationship will correct itself. Your date most likely will not know how to get dating back on track. So remember: “If in doubt, spell it out.” Take the pressure off by directly facing the situation and saying, “I had a lot of fun. I am sure you are dating others, as I am too. But I would love to keep having fun with you and just see where things go.” If you use this technique, don’t send mixed messages by making out. Always keep your affection simple, clean, and respectful, or people will feel used, led-on, or over-pressured.

If you decide to go out with the person again, make using this technique your goal for the date. What do you have to lose? It would provide a valuable opportunity to practice a technique you will eventually need. Let me know how it works out.

Good luck,



Your response really made me think. I went back and looked at my top-ten list, and there is no doubt that the guy I went out with matches every single item on it. I spent a lot of time and effort making that list, and I don’t think anything needs to change.  So there must be a different reason why I’m not interested in going out with him again.  You asked if I felt pressured, uncomfortable, or bored around him, and, honestly, I have to say that I think I feel a little bit uncomfortable and maybe a little bit bored at times. And maybe it’s because I haven’t really taken the time to get to know him well enough. I’ve known him for about 2 years, but we didn’t spend a lot of time together until he started asking me out. So I think you’re probably right about me writing him off too early. I’ve only been out with him twice, and there’s no reason for me to not go again. I’m not entirely certain he will ask me out again, but if he does, I plan on following your advice and just having a good time and using our date for practice.
I think your response really helped me confirm that my top-ten list is pretty good for right now. The characteristics on it are all really important to me and a really good place to at least start looking.



One more thing to follow up on then

If he made you feel uncomfortable, then I want you to review chapter 5, “Oh!!! That’s a Warning Sign,” in my book, Dating Game Secrets for Marrying a Good Man. He may appear to have the qualities on your top-ten list, but you may also be picking up on some emotional immaturity or warning signs that you can’t put your finger on. If you discover any warning signs, don’t go out with him again. If not, then just have fun, make him feel great, and practice your techniques.

Going on a few more dates is a great way to increase your experiences and skills with men who fit your top-ten list. If you use the technique described above, he should know that you’re dating others and just having fun while being open to where things may go. Thus, he should over-think the process less and so will you. It will take the pressure off both of you, which will help you to either feel more interest for him or not. As long as you treat him well, there should be no hard feelings if you stop seeing him before the sixth date.

I hope this helps. Let me know how it works out. Good luck.



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