Do You Know How You Come Across On A Date?

woman calling someone on the phone


I just read “Why He Didn’t Call You Back”. I picked it up after reading your recommendation. It’s rare that I go on a date and not get a call for a second date. So I don’t have that problem, but I rarely want to go on the second date. My friends often tell me one date is not enough, so I thought the book might give me some insight into myself; perhaps I am being too critical when on dates. But I also thought it would help me understand other things I might be doing “wrong” in the early stages of a relationship.

From reading the book, I see that I am a little bit of The Boss Lady, The Closer, and Sadie Hawkins. I am sure I am too hasty and critical because, like The Closer, I am 43 and I feel I don’t have to waste anymore, so let’s cut to the chase, get these questions answered and see if there is any chance. Why waste 4 or 5 dates, to learn about someone when you can do it all in one night? Well, that has been my thinking, but I can see now how un-romantic that is! There is something to be said about leaving some mystery and intrigue. Turning around Sadie Hawkins will be hard. I have a friend that has told me that several times. You have to let the man lead; they like the chase. Well, I like the chase too! It is frustrating to me that I can’t do some chasing! I am not good at sitting around waiting for a guy to call!

Thanks for the book recommendation! And for your advice!

Take care,
Sue G

Kudos to Sue for picking up “Why He Didn’t Call You Back”. It takes an amazing woman to learn something from a book that she didn’t think applied to her.

As a dating coach, the biggest problem I see is that men and women don’t have FEEDBACK to learn from their dating experiences. What Rachel Greenwald created in researching her book was a true feedback loop – so women could FINALLY learned the REAL reasons he just disappeared into thin air.

She did this from a process she calls “Exit Interviews” – following up a week or two after the failed date to find out what, if anything, there is to learn.

As Greenwald states on her website:

“Please believe me when I tell you that Exit Interviews are more empowering than embarrassing. It’s proactive, not desperate, to get answers and make improvements–as you probably do everyday in your job. And in the dating world, I’m not suggesting you make the calls yourself: you need a third party to get the feedback for you. Of course no one ever enjoys having an ex-date called on her behalf, but it is a means to an end.

If you truly want to find the right mate, it can be extremely helpful to bite the bullet and find out what’s really going on during and after your dates. Uncovering the gap between your perceptions and his perceptions will enable you to find your mate quickly and efficiently.

According to my research, 90% of women are wrong when they predict why he didn’t call back. You may have a recurring pattern of which you are completely unaware that is sabotaging your dates and potential relationships. Why wonder needlessly when you can just get the information you need, direct from the source?

Exit Interview Example

Sophie, one of my private clients in New York City several years ago, complained to me on the phone about James, a 27-year old investment banker. They had had a great first date, she said, but two weeks passed without a word from him. She said to me, “Rachel, why didn’t he call me back?” Well, I had absolutely no idea–how could I? I’m not a psychic and I hadn’t gone on the date with them. But I did have a radical thought: why not call James myself and ask him?

With Sophie’s permission, I called James. He was surprisingly willing to talk about their date. Sure, I had to use my charm to get past his initial “there was just no chemistry” answer, but he opened up after a few gentle, probing questions. I had expected that my phone-call attempt would simply become an unreturned voice message, but it actually turned into a thirty-minute discussion with this guy. I learned that while he thought Sophie was attractive and the date was fun, she had made several references to being deeply rooted in New York. This had concerned him. According to James, one of the things she said was: “I love New York– I’d never leave the city. My job and my whole family are here.” James was originally from the West Coast and hoped to move back there after working a few years on Wall Street. He concluded that Sophie was geographically inflexible and didn’t think it was worth pursuing a relationship with her. He admitted shyly that he used to enjoy dating a cute girl without thinking about the future, but he was ready to settle down soon and only wanted to date women with long-term potential.

When I relayed this feedback to Sophie, at first she was surprised–then even a little angry at the wasted opportunity. She remarked, “Well, I do love New York, but for the right guy, and especially if we were married, I might be willing to move.” But of course that’s not what she had conveyed to him. And because they’d only known each other for an hour, he never probed further about her long-term geographic intentions. She didn’t have the option to find out if James could have been her “right guy.” She made The Never-Ever mistake on the first date. {The Never-Ever mistake is discussed in Chapter 3 of Why He Didn’t Call You Back}

This is an obvious idea – but one that is rarely employed in dating and relationships. Companies do exit interviews all the time with employees leaving the organization. Websites do it with buyers who have purchased their products. The only way anyone can learn about what’s broken is to ASK FOR FEEDBACK.

But we don’t do this in dating. As a result, we never learn what people TRULY think about us – and are doomed to repeat our mistakes OVER and OVER again.

Imagine if all the bad dates YOU’VE ever been on had asked for feedback. Couldn’t you have saved the pain of HUNDREDS of people after you? I’ll bet you could. What you might not realize is that you’re somebody ELSE’s bad date – and that, unwittingly, you’re shooting yourself in the foot with people you really DO like.

You know how I know this? Because I’M dozens of people’s bad dates! That’s right. If I went out with 300 people in ten years – there’s probably a good fifty of them who could tell you exactly how much I sucked.

And if all 50 of them said, “He asked me to split the check,” or “He didn’t ask me questions about myself,” or “He wanted to get physical too quickly,” I would be ignorant if I ignored all of the feedback.

The thing is you generally don’t GET this feedback from your dates. All you get is SILENCE as you’re being blown off. As a result, you can never LEARN anything or improve your odds of making a love connection.

Until now.

Inspired by Rachel’s book, I’m offering Exit Interviews to you. Now, once and for all, you can gain full understanding of your role in the dating process. By clicking below, I – or someone on my team – will directly call three of your past dates, learn what they REALLY thought and give you the crucial feedback you need.

Soon ALL of your future dates will ALWAYS want to come back for more.

This is a unique service that isn’t being offered ANYWHERE else, so take advantage of it now.

I can’t wait for you to get rid of that blind spot and become a more confident, attractive dater INSTANTLY.

Join our conversation (41 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Based on Evan’s recommendation, I too read the book. I thought it was very insightful and had more practical, “doable” advice than lots of dating books — and I’ve read TONS of dating books. I think most women will really benefit from this book.

    However, reading this book had one huge, negative side effect for me. While getting into men’s heads can certainly help women achieve that second date, the book just made me not like men all that much. Instead of being happy knowing about the quick conclusions make about women’s behavior and how to avoid them, the book just made me feel why should even I bother trying to connect with someone who is just looking for a reason to discard me? It just seems like women have to be perfect — not human, but perfect — just so that we can be granted the favor of a second date.

    Plus, the book did something every other dating book does — something that I absolutely hate. It suggests that if you follow suggestions/guidelines in the book, tons of men will be beating down your door — you’ll just be drowning in men and choices. I guess that promise makes me sad because I’ve never had that kind of success with men after reading any dating book. So, dating books just make me feel like one big loser. I actually wish someone would write a book that helps women overcome the compulsion to be in a relationship with men…especially when the search for one just tears us down.

  2. 2
    Evan Marc Katz

    “Why should even I bother trying to connect with someone who is just looking for a reason to discard me? It just seems like women have to be perfect not human, but perfect just so that we can be granted the favor of a second date?”

    Thank you, Kenley, for reporting the exact feelings that many men feel when taking out a woman for a first date.

    You’re not a loser. You’re human. EVERYONE goes through this – not just you, not just women, but EVERYONE.

  3. 3


    For post-date feedback to be effective you need to contact at least a few people to see any pattern.

    The example Greenwald gave says more about the guy as it does the gal. He may have heard her say, “I’m never moving” because this is something that’s been on his mind, yet she may have only casually stated things that demonstrate her NY roots.

    Maybe this feedback puts the gal’s mind at ease, but if she takes this advice too seriously it can backfire. For example, the next guy may want someone who’s looking to settle in NY, but the gal may play down her local roots based on the feedback, and therefore come across as not knowing what she wants, which may turnoff Bachelor #2, who may therefore not call her back.

    If the feedback included stuff like, she complained too much about her ex, never smiled, was nasty to the waiter, tried to special order her meal, only discussed work, rattled on about the foods she doesn’t like to eat, seemed unresponsive at the end of the date when he asked if she wanted to do this again, or came across as too desperate, well, then yeah, that’s constructive.

    You can’t please everyone. Just be yourself. I’ve gone on great first dates w no callback, and have had ones I thought were ok but ended up dating the guy. if you really want to meet someone keep trying.

  4. 4

    @ kenley, post #1.

    I’ve heard many men make the same complaints about women as you do about men. I don’t think it is a male/female thing.

    I think it may be a *human* failing that we expect more from others and then give ourselves a free pass out of those same expectations.

    A good example is the looks issue. If someone turns us down because of our appearance, they are shallow. Yet, we don’t condemn ourselves in the same way for wanting good looks or for turning someone down based on looks.

    I don’t know the answer, but maybe the way out is to accept that what other people want is at least as reasonable as what we want.

  5. 5

    Downtowngal, there’s no reason that Sophie, to her next date, couldn’t mention that she’s a born-and-bred New Yorker, and would be happy to never leave, but in the next breath still say something like, “But never say ‘never!'”

  6. 6
    Karl R

    downtowngal said: (#3)
    “He may have heard her say, ‘I’m never moving’ because this is something that’s been on his mind, yet she may have only casually stated things that demonstrate her NY roots.”

    Reread the example. Sophie didn’t deny that she said those words. This wasn’t a situation where he put words into her mouth. She specifically said, “I’d never leave the city.”

    If that was truly the case, then there’s no harm in her saying so. But Sophie said that she’d never leave the city, even though she’d consider it under certain circumstances.

    The simple solution (which might be what Rachel Greenwald recommends) is to cut the words “never” and “always” out of your vocabulary … unless you absolutely mean them. That is useful advice that can be applied in any circumstance.

  7. 7

    That is just a poor choice of an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of exit interviews. Being open or closed to the idea of relocating is not a universal turnoff. And many “never-evers” I wouldn’t care losing a potential date over (although I personally don’t have many “never-evers”), but would instead think of such reactions as weeding out the undesirables.

    Indeed, all that’s necessary to make a good impression on a date (or in life), for both men and women, is to act with tact, class, and consideration. And if someone doesn’t like it – oh well, somehow I wouldn’t think it’s my loss.

  8. 8

    i am getting ready to go out and buy the book TODAY — unlike Sue, i often have “great” first dates followed by me staring at my phone/computer for days waiting for the follow-up call that never comes. i’m SO tempted to get the 3 exit interviews done – but it does feel desperate. on the other hand, maybe i am, in fact, “desperate” to know what i’m doing wrong. it brings back memories of grade school when we had our friends go ask boys if they liked us…..ugh! just the thought makes me a little queasy. i’m so conflicted!!

  9. 9

    @Downtowngal, post #3

    I completely agree with you, but I think Evan’s clients being intelligent adults will be able to tell the difference between an issue that would only matter to one person they dated and issues that will apply to their dating life in general.

    Yes, being willing to move or not would be specific to particular people. Hygiene would be applicable to everyone a person might date.

    I read some of the reviews on Amazon. One of the reviewers stated that one deal breaker, mentioned in the book, that caught women by surprise was hygiene. They thought men who never called them again after having sex were just players, but those men when interviewed mentioned unpleasant scents in places that a bath would reach but that a shower might not.

    That 411 isn’t just for hippies. There are fashion conscious women who try to bathe less as a means of preserving their skin. People get used and stop noticing their own smells.

    Back to the point, I think Evan’s clients will be able to tell the difference between feedback that is relevant only to individuals and feedback that would apply to dating in general.

  10. 10
    Evan Marc Katz

    I agree it’s not the best example – just the one that was on Rachel’s website. The way to think of it is this: if you’ve gone out with dozens of people and could pinpoint what you didn’t like about them, isn’t it logical to conclude that someone could do the same about you? And wouldn’t it be valuable to hear if there’s specific, consistent feedback about what people didn’t like about? You can discard it or consider it, but you can’t do anything empowering unless you know what’s truly going on.

    Any person who willfully chooses to ignore their own role in their failed dating experiences is doomed to repeat the same behavior – and get the same results – eternally.

  11. 11


    Did you ever ask for feedback from a person you dated?

    “Any person who willfully chooses to ignore their own role in their failed dating experiences is doomed to repeat the same behavior – and get the same results – eternally.”

    Are you suggesting that NOT asking for feedback is equal to willfully choosing to ignore my role in my dating experiences? It almost sounds like you think we have an affirmative duty to get feedback. If that is the case, then I guess it stands to reason that I have the responsibility to respond when someone asks me for feedback — something I have been uncomfortable doing in the past.

    I’m not rejecting the exit interview concept, just rolling it around in my head and seeking more clarification. (note that I haven’t read the book yet — is the author suggesting that women/men do these “exit interviews”?)


  12. 12
    Evan Marc Katz

    If you think that the ONLY reason you’re single is because everyone else sucks and is too foolish to appreciate how amazing you are, then the very concept of Exit Interviews is probably not for you.

    But if you can own the idea that there are things you do unintentionally that send the wrong message to people you may like? Yeah. Feedback is critical.

    There were a few occasions that I asked for feedback. But mostly, I dated in such great volume that I often found myself with women who, for some godforsaken reason, thought it was their duty to tell me how much they didn’t like me. And while it stung – and didn’t make me want to go back for more – I learned things about myself that helped turn me to a successful dater.

    But if you’re not going on 2 dates a week for 10 years, the exit interview concept is a really fast way to get present to what OTHER people experience when they’re around you.

    I highly recommend it:

    1. 12.1

      It is a womans thing to give feedback. Men don’t care they just go next and move on….

  13. 13

    Frankly, I’d love to know what women REALLY thought of me after a date. Good God yes! I’m sure in most instances it would be surprising to say the least. 90% of women were wrong remember, I wonder how many men would be wrong? And it’s most likely a small thing in that example of how the woman stated she’d never leave NY. That’s not she meant at all, yet it was taken in a way that discluded her from being one of his prospects. On any date, I may have thought it went great and am looking forward to seeing them again and then they disappear…I’m sure I’m not the only one this has happened to! You always wonder why don’t you? I’ve always said I don’t care what the truth is as long as I know it’s the truth. I think you have to look at it that way and be open to the reality of yourself…if you’re really into self improvement, you’ll want to know the truth, even if it hurts a little. Lets face it, we all have character flaws and blind spots, and areas where we can be easily turning people off and it’s usually a misunderstanding anyway…they took it the wrong way or we made it sound not quite exactly how we really feel. We all tend to give answers based, at least a little, on what we think the person wants to hear. That’s human nature. But to get feedback would be phenominal I think. Great idea…one of those why didn’t anybody think of it before?

  14. 14


    I just had this exact situation happen. The gentleman in question and I went on two dates, and then he had a business trip. No plans were set for our next date because of scheduling conflicts to be resolved later. While he was gone, we emailed back and forth once or twice, and in one of the emails he mentioned he wasn’t feeling well and his schedule was crazy.

    But then I don’t hear from him for like 2 weeks. So, I emailed him to see how he was doing and how his trip went — no pressure, no histrionics, no when are we getting together. He responded to my email and said that he had gone out with someone else (which I had no problem with because I too had gone out with others on initial dates), and he wanted to pursue a relationship with her on an exclusive basis. Of course, this really sucks because I wanted to pursue a relationship with him on an exclusive basis.

    So, would you take his email at face value? Is this considered valid feedback?


  15. 15

    Well, Evan,

    I just finished reading Rachel Greenwald’s book — I bought it after reading your blog entry about it; but, I posted my previous question before I read it. I think I answered my own question and have a new one.

    I have to say that most of the categories didn’t fit me. I was getting the calls after the first dates, etc. The problem…one really resonated with me…the “Sadie Hawkins.” I’ve always been a “never be afraid to ask for what you want” kind of person, which is a very good thing in most contexts. But, when you consider Ms. Greenwald’s point that there are 28 million women and 18 million men over 35 and men over 35 are used to being pursued, being a woman who is never afraid to ask for what she wants isn’t a good thing. You are inevitably perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a pursuer even if you didn’t act this way because you are desperate, not a challenge or think you have to remind a guy to call you.

    I understand now why I have been so upset over this gentleman and not any of the others…he is a really, really good man and I totally blew it even though we had a discussion one time about my being a “never be afraid to ask for what you want” person. Furthermore, even though I rightly assumed he was dating several women at once, and thought I had a good chance of being the last one standing, I filtered myself out by being perceived as a “Sadie Hawkins.”

    So, my new question for you is this: Is there any way to recover with a particular man from being previously filtered out when a woman is perceived as a “Sadie Hawkins” or any other type for that matter? Or should I just let it go? If I can recover, what do you suggest I do?

    Of course, I do realize that the mere fact I’m asking the question could be reinforcing the fact that I’m a “Sadie Hawkins.” 😉 I’m not saying I will do anything, I’m just throwing the question out there because I am curious by nature and would really like to know the answer.


  16. 16

    I tend to think that if a relationship doesn’t work out it’s due to the other party’s lack of perspicacity. I mean sure, I might come across as a boorish, narcissistic braggart, but that’s only because they’re not smart enough to see that that whole “dick” thing is an act; a veneer; A FACADE. And that the REAL me is 100% PURE UNDILUTED AWESOME.´s last blog post…Hilarious phone sex prank between 2 phone sex girls

  17. 18

    Steve, those people just probably can’t shower properly, or don’t realize what’s needed to maintain one’s hygiene down there.
    I can’t even remember the last time I took a bath, yet the feedback I get is the exact opposite of that.
    In other words, this is the most bizarre dating-related bit of info I’ve heard.

  18. 19

    Karl R, I don’t disagree with you, but my point was that, unless you’re a fly in the wall, you really don’t know what was said or how it came across.

    Sometimes people (mis)interpret what they hear based on what’s on their mind. Or say that they ‘only said x’ when it may have come across as y because of body language, etc.

    This is why a first date can be tough. It sounds as if Sophie’s date didn’t think negatively of her, he just felt they had different goals. It’s too bad for her, but if the guy’s not interested for whatever reason, it’s her cue to move on.

  19. 20
    Karl R

    Casey asked: (#13)
    “He responded to my email and said that he had gone out with someone else, and he wanted to pursue a relationship with her on an exclusive basis.”

    I’ve been on the guy’s side of this before. When I told a woman this, it was the complete truth. You could dig a little deeper, since there is a reason why he prefered the other woman. In my case, I was pursuing the exclusive relationship with the woman whose sense of humor clicked better with mine (which I mentioned when breaking things off with the other one) and who was better looking (which I kept to myself).

    Casey said: (#15)
    “being a woman who is never afraid to ask for what she wants isn’t a good thing. You are inevitably perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a pursuer even if you didn’t act this way because you are desperate, not a challenge”

    I like dating women who take some initiative. If you’re dating someone like me, you can ask him on dates some of the time. I would recommend waiting until you’ve been out several times. I would also recommend that you let him do the pursuing 2/3 of the time. And even if he enjoys you taking some initiative, that doesn’t mean he’ll have the time or inclination to date you more often than he would otherwise. So if you start asking him out 1/3 of the time, he may cut how often he asks you out by a similar amount.

    Being a Sadie Hawkins may actually be an asset if you’re initiating a relationship with someone who is shy about asking women out. But in that case, you really want him to take the initiative as soon as possible.

    Casey asked: (#15)
    “Is there any way to recover with a particular man from being previously filtered out when a woman is perceived as a Sadie Hawkins or any other type for that matter?”

    Usually not. The only way to recover would be if you are both active in the same social circle. If so, he could observe your behavior in the future and come to the conclusion that you weren’t desperate (or insert other perceived flaw here). But you can’t count on that, even if you’re in the same social circle.

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