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13 reasons why she felt there was no 'spark'

Some of the common reasons a woman feels there was no 'spark' after a first date

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Let's start with a scenario:

You take a girl on a date.

You act as any perfect gentleman should.

She responds well to your jokes, you two have heaps in common.

Everything goes great.

So great in fact that you even share a brief, lip-to-lip kiss at the end of the night.

You say your goodbyes and you gleefully make your way home, certain you've found the one.

2 days pass and she hasn't texted you.

You figure both of you are playing it cool, so you decide to break the deadlock - 'Hey you, how's your week been?'.

Hours pass and no reply.

'It definitely sent - it says sent.'

'Damn it, why hasn't she got an iPhone. There's no read receipt when I text her.'

7 hours and 2 existential crises later, your phone buzzes.

It's her, and it's wordy.

Uh oh.


I had a really good time the other night, and appreciate you inviting me out, but I'm sorry to say - I don't really feel like we had a spark.

I'd love to stay friends, but felt I should be honest about my feelings towards you romantically.'


She sent you the classic rejection text and didn't even refer to you by your name.

Give or take a few of the details - has this happened to you?

For those who said yes, it sucks, right? Especially because it sounds like a load of rubbish.

A spark? She couldn't feel a spark? Is a spark even a real thing?

I don't fully understand what a spark is. I mean, I understand the idea - it's that instant, magnetic chemistry you feel with someone you like.

Some people swear by it as a necessity for a happy relationship.

Some people believe it takes years to develop.

Some people believe it's purely sexual.

Whatever your belief, there's no hiding from the fact that many women view the 'spark' as a mandatory requirement for the advancement of a friendly relationship, into a romantic relationship.

With this in mind, it got me wondering. Could a 'spark' be quantified?

I started to consult my single female friends, to see if I could find out.

Every single woman I spoke to could think of at least one example of a time they chose to cut a relationship short due to the absence of a spark.

But none of them could put it down to one defining moment.

Instead, it was a sum of moments and anecdotal occurrences.

Among hundreds of occurrences I noted, here were the top 13 most common:

1. 'He made tired jokes'

Women often noticed this particular grievance towards the start of the date.

I'm not surprised why.

At the start of the date, when a man is presumably his most nervous, it's natural for him to want to be funny, in an attempt to lighten the mood and come across more confidently.

Sadly, if executed incorrectly, it can have the opposite effect.

Based on this I say: If she has a name or a job you can make a tired joke out of - don't.


If her name is Naomi, you don't have to tell her it spells 'I moan' backwards. Even if she never saw Van Wilder, she's certainly been reminded of it by every asshole since.

If her surname is Sanders, don't ask her for the Colonel's secret recipe. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly amused when I was told about this one, but truth be told, Ms. Sanders wasn't.

Finally, if she works as a psychologist - don't ask her to guess what number you're thinking of. Plus, that's not even what a psychologist does. You're thinking of a clairvoyant.

If not for the fact they're cringeworthy, she's heard them a hundred times and she's sick of them. They exhibit no creativity on your end.

Frankly - they make you seem a little immature.

First dates are about being cool, charming and original - especially if you're in pursuit of that magical spark.

2. 'He was a nerd'

This one seemed a little unfair. Women would object to the fact that their date collected Star Wars figurines, or how they played 20+ hours of video games a week.

I mean, how is that different to women who online shop for 20+ hours a week or those who've seen Gossip Girl start to finish more than 5 times?

Turns out, fundamentally, it isn't - which is good news for anyone who fancies themselves a nerd.

The difference laid in the fact that these men were revealing this information far too early in the piece.

Essentially, this means that as your relationship develops, and her attachment to you grows, so too can her knowledge of your 'nerdier' hobbies and interests.

Upon first impressions however, keep them (or at least the extent of them) under wraps.

3. 'He complained a lot, and it wasn't charming'

Whinging can be charming. Just ask Jerry Seinfeld.

If you're going to whinge on a date, stick to observational humour and witty self deprecation.

Here is a real example from one of the stories I heard:

'He kept complaining about everything. We went for lunch, and although admittedly it was quite a humid day, he would not stop complaining about it. The more he complained, the sweatier he became. He was visibly flustered and annoyed. He must've brought it up like 5 times. It was distracting and it ruined the flow of the date'.

Ok, so what I can see here is a guy who was obviously feeling sweaty and uncomfortable, which likely only made him more sweaty and uncomfortable. 

If he had been more charming around his frustrations - he could have even turned it into a positive.

Imagine this:

They're on their date, he's feeling the heat.

He begins to visibly sweat.

He rolls up his sleeves and sarcastically quips to her: 'I'm really glad I wore a long sleeve shirt on a first date with such a beautiful girl. I'm sure there's nothing more appealing to her than dinner with a melting 29 year old man.'

She would laugh, he could relax. Problem solved.

If you can't turn negativity into charming quips, try to avoid them in general.

Being anything shy of generally positive on a first date is typically frowned upon.

4. 'He acted weird about my profession'

This complaint came from women in a variety of industries and occupations.

Their complaint was that men would either start to big-note himself, or worse, belittle her, based on her profession.

My advice here:

- If she's a lawyer, don't feel the need to start forcing your knowledge of big words into the conversation.

- If she's in marketing, don't make jokes about how she gets paid to make logos.

- If she works in a cafe, don't ask her if she went to University.

What you should do:

Show interest in her profession, ask some thoughtful questions around it and continue to treat her with the same class and respect you should to any decent person.

If her profession noticeably intimidates you, or causes you to treat her with any less respect, there's a good chance she won't be feeling the spark.

5. 'He was a loser'

This one sounds a little harsh - but hear me out.

The women who referred to their date as a loser weren't referring to his social standing, his salary or his looks. They were referring to the way he described his life.

The noticed that instead of excitedly describing his goals and ambitions, he would instead recite a series of excuses as to why things never quite worked out for him. He would speak about his life with a high level of cynicism and felt that the world owed himself something and that the universe was against him.

6. 'He got wasted'

There's not a lot to say on this one.

Don't get wasted.

7. 'He was way too agreeable'

This one likely occurs when men are trying too desperately to force a spark.

Examples of over-agreeability included:

- Agreeing with her thoughts and opinions on world views

- Coincidentally sharing all of her interests

- Laughing a little too enthusiastically at her throw away jokes

You may believe that being agreeable will make her think 'wow, we have so much in common, he's perfect'. Though what you're really telling her is 'wow, this guy is a complete pushover and he is far too easy to please.'

Part of the fun of the initial 'chase' that leads to a 'spark,' is making her feel like you're a challenge. Being 100% agreeable with everything she says and does is boring and easy for her.

8. 'He was an asshole to our server'

I've heard this one a number of times, something like: 'I was quite interested in him until I saw how he spoke to the waiter - he was really rude and dismissive'.

Firstly, if you're the sort of guy who tends be dismissive of someone, based purely on their occupation - then, (as the kids say) get woke bro.

If you are someone who judges others, not by their status or looks - but rather by the way they treat others - you're on the right track.

My suggestion here would be, if anything, to turn up the charm a bit.

When a server is taking your order (and your date is in earshot) say something like: 'hey, I'm thinking of either getting a Mojito or a Margherita - which one do you think will impress my date more?'. If you can deliver this confidently, and with a smile on your face, your date and the server will find it charming and amusing.

9. 'He kept asking about my dating history'

I know. It's a great way to break the ice during that slightly nervy initial encounter. It's an easy conversation to have and it often inspires some interesting conversation - but really, her dating history shouldn't matter to you.

Leave the 'how are you finding the dating apps' question alone.

Here were some key reasons women found these questions to be a turn-off:

- 'I felt like I was forced to reflect on negative past experiences

- 'Sometimes my response would make him appear insecure'

- 'He used it as a thinly veiled excuse to brag about all the women he's bedded' (do some men truly believe she's going to be impressed by this??)

10. 'He acted differently in person to what I expected'

This complaint mostly came from women who made first contact with their dates through the likes of Tinder.

Women would note that guys seemed to be charming, funny and extremely self-assured when texting online, but when it came to a face to face interaction, they were awkward, nervous little boys.

This is what happens when men rely on recycled, stolen pick-up lines when they engage with women online. If a pick-up line you've stolen in no way resonates with your own personality type, you will be found out.

Pick-up lines are mostly advised against in general, but if you're going to use them, try to ensure they're somewhat indicative of your real-life personality.

11. 'He had a superiority complex'

This one was a particularly popular complaint from women who dated men in the Professional Service industries (Lawyers, Consultants, Finance Brokers).

These men would complain about how stupid their boss was, or how they're the only capable employee in their team at work. They'd whinge about how boring and mainstream all the new shows on Netflix are, and they'd make nasty comments about how poorly dressed some poor bastard at the next table was.

See, these men believe that comments and musings like these would lead a woman to perceive him as brilliant at his job, as far too cool to subscribe to something as 'for the masses' as Netflix, and that they have impeccable fashion sense.

What it really proved is that these men had impossible standards and delusions of grandeur.

Women responded far better to men who were more open minded and generally happy go lucky.

12. 'He was unsure of himself'

This one exists on the other end of spectrum to men with a superiority complex.

Being unsure of yourself becomes obvious to women in many forms, here were some of the most common:

- 'He slouched his shoulders'

- 'His body language was closed off'

- 'He wouldn't look me in the eye when he spoke to me'

- 'He kept apologising whenever he felt he was telling me an uninteresting story or asking me a boring question'

- 'He spoke quietly'

Disclaimer: Some of the reasons above could be mistaken for shyness. There is a big difference between being unsure of yourself and being shy. If you're shy, you can still pull off the 'quietly confident' angle. If you're unsure of yourself, she likely never will be either.

13. 'He insisted we split the bill'

I know this is a hotly debated topic.

I also know that some women become genuinely offended if a guy insists he pays for the first date. But guess what? The women that get offended by your offer to pay, make up a tiny portion of the overall population.

Plus, regardless of how offended the very idea of it could make her, there's always a safe way to play it. Try this out:

1. When the bill arrives, tell her you'd like to pay.

2. If she gratefully accepts, you're done! If she says no, let's split it, move on to point 3.

3. Tell her 'how about this, I'll get this one, and if you'd like to go out again, you can pay next time'.

4. If she gratefully accepts, you're done! If she says 'no, let's split it.' Split it.

This method is great for a couple of reasons.

Firstly - Because you've put it out there that you'd like to see her again and you can gauge her reaction.

Secondly - If she insists you split because she doesn't want to see you again, at least you know now and therefore won't resort to days of distraction, waiting for her to text you.

So there you go...

If you can think of something you did on past dates that killed the spark, Please share your experience in the comments below. Who knows who you can save from making the same mistake.

In the meantime, be good men.