Advice From My Spiritual Director: Saying No To A 2nd Date


Chatting with a colleague after Mass one afternoon, he suddenly asks, “Do you want to get a bite to eat?”

Since we’ve know each other for a long time I thought nothing of it. Two peers having dinner. No big deal.

I chatted away during dinner (as usual) but suddenly noticed his nervousness. I decided to change the subject because I thought I was talking too much.

At the end of dinner the waiter asked if we wanted anything else and then slipped the check on the table.

I reached for my wallet and my friend insisted, “No, I got it.”

Now normally I think it is important for a guy to pay for the bill on a first date, but this is just a business dinner and I have my sparkly socks on and my hair in a ponytail.

I thanked him for being so generous, and then he gave me a good-night hug.

Umm, what?

We are just friends and I have sparkly socks on for goodness sake. This is not a date!

I got in my car feeling utterly confused but giggled a little and then drove home singing a cheesy country song (at the top of my lungs): “I want a love like Johnny and June…I want to love. Love you that much. They’ll remember, remember, A love like that. …Like Johnny and Junnneeeee!”

Over the next month or so my friend would invite me to meet his co-workers, go to brunch with his family and we’d also attend Mass together. I was so excited about this new suitor and it working out that I didn’t really think about compatibility. He is Catholic. I am Catholic. Of course this is going to work out.

He must be the one!

I wanted the relationship to move at 100 mph, but after good advice from a close friend I finally I allowed myself to reflect. Yes, he is Catholic, but what do we have in common? When was I going to admit that every time we went out together we ran out of things to say by the time dessert came?

On our next date when he told me he wasn’t ready to move forward to anything serious it still hurt, but I was glad that we were honest with ourselves before the relationship went on for too long.

My spiritual director told me the most charitable thing you can do is to say no to a second date if you have absolutely no interest in the other person. I think that is very good advice but hard to do when your date is Catholic and a nice person.

Has this happened to you? Did you draw out the relationship or break it off? How do you end a courtship that isn’t working?



  1. Georgina S. August 27, 2013 Reply

    I think it gets tricky sometimes since occassionally it is very easy to know he’s not the one and I do the same as Brenda, however, from time to time I think more like Paula since wouldn’t it be too anticipated to discard someone just because there wasn’t an initial spark? or if he is not exactly what you wanted but still could be great? I’ve got trouble distinguishing what is absolutely essential and what could (&should) be overlooked. After the age of 20 we realize that love at first sight is neither real nor desirable, isn’t it? An article on that subject would be great! 😀

  2. Paula C. July 30, 2013 Reply

    There is a kind of balance in this that I think can be hard to discern. I mean the balance between knowing right away that (you think) there is just no “chemistry” and giving things a chance by trying to get to know a person better. I’d like to give him a chance and try to get to know him a little better before saying no to the second date. Is that leading someone on? I hope not.

  3. Brenda-731971 August 15, 2012 Reply

    If I already work with him and I had no interest, I would make it clear that we are just “buddies” by making a statement of the sort in the conversation or talking about a guy I just me, so he gets the hint.

  4. Virginia-834978 August 12, 2012 Reply

    just having someone on line to converse with would be great.

  5. FloviaOlivia-879285 August 3, 2012 Reply

    i hope i meet someone that ready for 2nd date 🙂

  6. Tank S. August 1, 2012 Reply

    I can’t even get a first date.

  7. Diane M. August 1, 2012 Reply

    I make sure the first date is a few days off, and I fast and pray for God’s vision for this ‘relationship.’ OnceI have HIS perspective, I have direction for my heart. I am the steward of my heart, and ‘the keepers of my brother’s’ also.

  8. Robyn Lee
    Robyn Lee July 31, 2012 Reply

    Spiritual direction isn’t only for those discerning a religious vocation. “Anyone who wants to live their baptism responsibly should have a spiritual director.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI. Perhaps that could be the topic of my next post. Thanks!

  9. Katrina F. July 31, 2012 Reply

    I have to ask, did the author have a spiritual director because they were discerning a religious vocation? And if the answer is yes, then why were they “dating”? .

  10. Lea-822141 July 30, 2012 Reply

    i REALLY need advice w/ this. i always feel so bad & end up going on a 2nd date, anyway.

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