Date or ditch?

There's a fine line between love and a waste of time. We ask a matchmaker when to call it...

There's a fine line between love and a waste of time

To see him or to ditch him? That’s the eternal question when you’re in the dating game. There’s nothing worse than being plagued with dater’s regret and “what ifs” when you give a potential BF the flick too soon. But the longer you wait, the harder it is to give him the “thank you but no thank you”.

The problem is this thing called the slow-burn love, how do you know you won’t fall in love with him in slo-mo? After all, according to Blue Label Life matchmaker Samantha Jayne, woman fall in love more slowly than men. If he doesn’t feel it on the first date, he won’t feel it on the third, fourth or even twentiethdate but females have a more onion-peeling-back-the-layers approach.

So how do you know when you’ve given him a good run and it’s time to cut your losses? Cosmo can help you out.

If you feel thunderbolts from a single look, that’s an excellent sign but that doesn’t mean you should disregard anyone who doesn’t make you feel love struck. According to Jayne the third date should be the decider.

The three-date rule

Not feeling the love on the first meet-up? Don’t worry, Jayne says eight out of 10 of her female clients, who have gone on to marry their partners, didn’t feel a “click” on their first date.

“This happened to me with my husband, first date I thought nice guy but not for me, by the time I got to our third date I couldn’t sleep a wink I was so excited to meet him!” she says.

That’s why she recommends the three-date strategy. On your first date, you’re both nervous, judgemental and on your best behaviour. Like a job interview, it can be hard to let your true personality shine, which can then put a dampener on any potential chemistry. Rather than worrying about whether he’s right for you, just go and have fun!

How to approach date number one:

“Here you are total strangers getting to know each other. Rather than expect perfection, expect things won’t go as planned. It might rain; he might say the wrong things and heaven forbid he may wear the wrong shoes! Guess what else… your heart may not skip a beat,” says Jayne.

She recommends keeping your first date short and sweet. Don’t have any expectations, focus your conversation on dreaming rather than superficial subjects like where you live or work.

“Talk about your favourite holidays, your passions, who you’d love to meet (top five celebrities and why), talk about the things you’d like to do,” she says.

Keep it playful even if you aren’t feeling any chemistry. Be your charming self, it’s great practice!

How to approach date two:

This date should still be focusing on having fun, but you don’t need to keep it short this time.

Plan something you both love to do. Like playing sport, going to a concert, horse riding, ice-skating, going for a run, or trying something completely new together.

“Date two should be all about play with lots of laughing and flirting. Don’t take things too seriously,” Jayne recommends.

How to approach date three:

It’s decision time. Go back to classic romance - the dinner-drinks-long-walks-on-the-beach kind. This is when you should start feeling butterflies kick in.

“You should start to feel excited about being around him and make up your mind as to whether you want to see him more. On date three, the ice has broken enough that the two of you are more natural and able to be yourself. This is the time women start to fall for a guy,” says Jayne.

When should you call it quits

A British survey of 100,000 people found the average couple initially went on one-to-two dates a week and said “I love you” after 14 dates. While this seems to be pretty early on to the saying those three little words, if after 14 dates you’re wondering if you even want to see him again, then you probably aren’t going to be falling head over heels.

Call it quits before date three if he’s rude, disrespectful, drives you crazy or makes you go “eek”. Other than that, give him a real chance. It’s better than missing out on a great love.

How many dates have you waited before calling it quits?