The Third Date Dump

We interrupt your previously scheduled philosophical musings about religion and its place in the universe and life to bring you…another post about being single. Yay.

So I have probably done a lot more dating in the past year than I’ve done in any year previous. And while that doesn’t mean I’ve actually done a ton of dating, I have dated quite a few different people, and different types of people. I’ve dated people near my age, and people a lot younger than me. I’ve dated people I’ve known for years, people I’ve only recently met, and people I met online through dating services. I’ve dated fat girls, skinny girls, girls who climb on rocks. Tough girls, sissy girls, but no girls with chicken pox. And even though I’ve gone through a rather large range, there have been some striking similarities with every single one of these “relationships”, and one common trait in particular, which I shall dub the “Third Date Dump.”

What is the Third Date Dump? Well, contrary to what it sounds like, it’s not where I consistently got dumped on the third date. At least, not exactly. Rather, it refers to the moment, usually during the third date, where I know that the relationship wasn’t going to go anywhere. And on almost every occasion (save maybe one), it was due to the girl making it clear that she was just kind of being polite, usually something like sitting stiff as a board with her arms crossed while we’re watching the movie/watching the DVD/taking a walk/whatever, coupled with That Look. This normally coincides with a complete lack of contact after the date other than replying to me asking what their schedule is so we can go on the inevitable next date (which is especially telling with the girls I meet online, where we normally have several long and meaningful conversations in text before we even meet each other). Sometimes (OK, once) we do end up talking about it, where the girl confirms my suspicions that yes, she’s not interested and was just interested in putting me in the friend zone. Other times she just gracefully disappears from the radar (this works great with the dates found through online services). Often we go on a fourth or even fifth date, but it’s apparent to both of us that the relationship is over and we’re just humoring each other, and things just peter out after that. This, I have found, is the way that most girls will dump you: not by sitting down and saying, “I think we should see other people” or whatever, but by the little signs until you get the hint. Therefore, the “Third Date Dump.”

This has happened with every single relationship I’ve been in over the past year. Heck, I shouldn’t even call them relationships, since three dates doesn’t really constitute any sort of meaningful relationship. This is similar to something I’ve complained about several times in this blog (see that “That Look” post I linked to earlier), but with one important distinction: the first date is almost always great. We normally hit it off pretty well, have a lot to talk about, and we enjoy each other’s company, with both of us eager for a second date. And the second date normally goes pretty well, too; sure, some of the excitement of the first date may have worn off, but we still normally have a good time and get to know each other better. But always by the third date we hit that wall of “sudden disinterest”, and I just don’t understand it. A few times this wall had been hit prior to the third date, but all of those were cases where the person had known me for a while, which makes me think, “At what percentage of knowing about me does the typical girl get turned off?” or “What precise trait do I possess that always comes out at the same point in dating someone that is such a deal-breaker?”

It’s really starting to get repetitive. And that’s what caught my attention. Normally I’d be prone to think, “Well, this particular girl isn’t interested, and that’s fine,” if this had happened once or twice. But every single one? What are the odds? In fact, if we extend this back to all the relationships I’ve had/dates I’ve been on, only once has something like this not happened. And of all the times it did happen, only once did it not take place until past the third date, that I can recall. It’s seriously sapping my will to date at all. Why put so much effort into getting to know a person if we’re just going to break it off two weeks down the line?

I’m turning 30 in a little over two weeks. And the problem with being single for so long is that you get set in your ways. Your life is so self-focused that, even though you want a relationship, you really have no idea how to get one to work, or even start. I know I have this problem, and all of the girls I’ve dated around my age have the exact same problem (and anyone who doesn’t…is probably already married). They have constructed their life already, and adding a partner to that doesn’t jive with everything else that’s already been set up. And while that carries with it a certain amount of loneliness, it also carries with it a certain amount of control and comfort. While I was searching for an image to put at the top of this blog post, I came across this article (yeah, I just linked to the Oprah magazine; make of it what you will) that describes this phenomenon much better than I can. And while the analysis is spot-on, the conclusion (that people who feel this way should learn to accept and embrace being single instead of chasing unobtainable dreams) is something that I can’t accept. Is there another option to break out of this? Is this the thing that breaks up every relationship I’ve attempted? I don’t know! How come everyone who has a successful relationship is always like, “Well, I met the right person, and the rest is history?” How is that supposed to help? I didn’t make it this far alone because that “special someone” is still out there, gazing at the stars outside her tower window. I don’t believe in the “one true soulmate” story. So it’s gotta be something else! Angry rant! Frustration at everything! Inability to figure out what to do differently! Resignation that nothing’s gonna change unless I change it, coupled with the ignorance of what to change! Awareness that I keep using the word “couple” as a verb, because I guess it’s on my mind! Exclamation points!!!!

Here’s the thing. My most recent relationship is currently right at this phase. It’s a girl I met online. We’ve had the third date. The 3DD (you know what this stands for) signs were there, coming from her. At the same time, she wants to go see the current Poison Ivy Mysteries show with me. There’s always the chance that she’s just not sure how she feels and maybe this relationship will work with some effort. Or there’s the chance that she’s done with me but wants to go see the show anyway because it sounds fun and hey, free dinner. I want to actually discuss the topic with her, but I don’t know how to bring it up without the dreaded “DTR” talk somehow pushing things too fast and killing off an otherwise salvageable relationship (which has also happened in my past).  I like her. I want to like her more. Everything that implies. But I feel like a fourth date at this point will be the same as the previous fourth dates I’ve had recently: we’re just kind of humoring each other, and it will peter out after that. So there’s the impasse.

Thanks for reading this rant. I promise next time we’ll go back to questioning the foundations of my faith, which garners a much larger response from people.

24 thoughts on “The Third Date Dump

  1. I know you’ve tried tough girls and sissy girls, but maybe you should try some girls with Chicken Pox. That way, you can always say, “Hey! I like your freckles!” and that’s always a good conversation starter in and of itself.

  2. Follow-up: the fourth date actually went pretty well, as did the fifth. I’m actually more optimistic about this relationship than I have been in quite some time, so wish me luck!

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  6. They don’t want to have sex with you. Or continue the relationship (which is why they don’t want to have sex with you.) The third date is typically a decent time to cut things off with someone your meh about… particularly if you’re pressured for sex.

  7. Randomly came on this post (was reading your Ultima one)…Nice observation you made. Usually by 3rd date the girl is waiting for you to make a move….physically! take her hand, kiss her, maybe more, because the time for talking is OVER, at least until after getting past the first awkward physical moments. Generally, they want the guy to take lead and show that they are “ALL-IN”. Maybe it ain’t the best for society but that’ll get you past your 3DD. Good luck!

    P.S. Make sure you really like her though…else you’ll both be in for some suffering.

  8. Oh my God, I’m a girl but i can relate to this so much! Granted I have done the 3DD with guys in the past but just had it done to me!! So after the 2nd date this guy is being like ‘if we like each other, no need to wait for things to happen’ etc…hinting at sex obviously. So I tell him I want to take things slow and we agree to go with the flow. Then, when you would think that he would plan a romantic 3rd date at a nice restaurant or just some drinks in a bar, to loosen up, he suggests as a third date, a movie in the middle of the afternoon! Combine that with the fact that he’s just slightly pressured me for sex and the fact that he refuses to make a move!! We were just sitting there watching the movie with our arms crossed, lol!
    And then I never hear from him. I mean if you want something to happen, make a move, however small! Was he waiting for me to do that honestly?? Don’t understand guys sometimes…

  9. Holy god you just described my dating life. I literally searched online for “why do girls always dump me after the third date?” And I can’t figure out what to change either! Thank you at least now I know I’m not alone.

  10. Funny. I was looking up how to dump a guy after the 3rd date and came upon this. So my theory is this. By the second date you should at least try to kiss her. I don’t mean peck on the cheek, I mean a real kiss. If she is going out with you again she is interested. Make it a good kiss. Then if she is not you can google getting dumped on the second date. The first date is too forward and by the 3rd you are entering the friend zone. At least with me 🙂

  11. I am 27 and can highly relate to this. This was eerily similar to my dating experiences, both on and offline. Have you managed to connect with someone in a long term relationship yet?

  12. Not yet! Though the particular woman I was talking about in this article I ended up dating for a least three months or so instead of just three dates, so at least there was that.

  13. After a 3rd date, things start to get more serious. I give myself 3 dates to decide if I like someone and want to pursue something. If the answer is no, then I dump him after the 3rd date. Better to find out sooner than be 10 dates and 3 months in and realize it’s not going to work, right?

  14. I can relate to this article in every way. I just finished my third date last night and I can’t get a read on whether it went well or not. We made out at the end of the night, but she left abruptly and said she had to get up early. Slightly afraid I won’t hear from her again…

  15. I understand everything you wrote. I have a similar situation but from a female perspective I guess. I usually lose interest by the 3rd 4th date because by that point I’ve gotten to see enough of the guy to decided if I want to continue or not. My 2nd date with a great guy was a couple of nights ago but unfortunately I won’t be seeing him again. Everything was going well until his jealousy came out toward the end of the night. To me that was a turn off and a deal breaker. I mentioned to him that was not cool at all. Anyways, I don’t fully understand why it fizzles after a few dates. My guess is people having too many options and being comfortable in their singleness.

  16. I am a girl — who just went on two second dates (with different guys) and am in the same situation with both. I am trying to figure out how to ‘end’ both of these ‘relationships’. The issue is that I’m not attracted to either. So I do exactly what you mention above — I avoid eye contact (because they are trying to look me in the eyes to kiss me!), etc! But I’m really not attracted, which I didn’t realize for sure until the second date. So I think I will have to end things digitally.

  17. I’ve been at the receiving end so far…. I’m asian, been actively finding someone online. however i call it the ‘4th date curse” I’ve dated the ladies for the 4th time and they just disappeared. it really sucks and i felt really horrible. some of the dates (1st or 2nd) was promising and there was definitely a hint of chemistry. i’m posting this after being dumped after 4th dates the 4th time.

  18. Damn I’m Asian too and this just happened to me. got the old “had a great time, was a lovely day” but when I proposed the meeting for the 4th time the excuses started coming out. Gutted because I really liked her and finally met someone who was half decent but I guess it is what it is. Would be great if you could get a proper insight as to why they lose interest.

  19. This happened to me after a 3rd date – got the whole “I see a friendship connection, and not a romantic one” text the day after, and stupidly, I pursued this person, won her back very briefly, then lost her all over again – all in the span of a little over a month, and having no sex (although we did make out pretty passionately after the first break and the brief reconciliation period). At the end of the day, she ended up with someone else, and I found out the hard way – through facebook stalking. Believe it when you hear others here saying it’s a sexual attraction thing and to make a move by the 3rd date, unless the woman specifically states they want to take it slow. Women want to be led and the initiation coming from the man. That’s the bottom line. I know that now through learning the hard way, and I do not consider myself to be a dating novice. 99% of the time, especially if the woman is very attractive, they are looking for an alpha male to lead the way. Being a beta ‘nice guy’ will not do it most of the time, especially women are being chased by other men.

  20. Yup, Found this article looking at the 3rd date dump. We didn’t make it that far actually, because he wasn’t a very good conversationalist, but I’m sure would make a great boyfriend for someone else.

    Although I’m starting to wonder if the dates (assuming 1 date a week or nearly that far apart) have anything to do with our hormone cycles and we do this subconsciously.
    Like, we all start being super social before ovulation, but as our hormones calm down, so are we able to assess the other person more clearly and whether or not we’d actually match. We just get a little too excited a little too early when ovulating and meeting someone new….maybe that’s it?

  21. I am suffering from the same issue. Last 6 girls same case. I go max 2-3 dates. Then the girl looses interest.
    You have explained the issue better than I ever could. All, I know is that I will keep trying. Every next time I am wiser. Let’s see when do I succeed.

  22. That’s because people have begun to live in an ADHD world of constant stimulation and have no idea that boredom is a big part of a relationship. It happens after you have exhausted all your funny stories and exciting moments in your life. After that, you have to accept each other’s slightly boring side. If you can’t get past the boring moments from time to time then you haven’t talked to your grandparents lately. Ask them.

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