He Said, She Said: Why Am I a One Date Wonder?

He Said, She SaidThe Question

Dear Daniel & Mandy: I have been facing a problem for quite some time. It’s become more like a cycle. Whoever I like or get attracted to talks to me for some time, we meet up for coffee/one date…but beyond that, nothing happens. I had a bad breakup two years back and since then I have been single. I have gone on several dates to see if something might work but in the end nothing does. The guy doesn’t even show further interest or call back. I am kind of embarrassed to write this. Please advise me about what I should do. Is there something really wrong with me that it never works with anyone and I never get to be with the guy I like or fall for? Please help. ~Anonymous

The Answer

Daniel Goddard: Let me start by saying this: There’s nothing wrong with you. There is NOTHING wrong with you. Even if you have one leg, one arm – there’s still nothing wrong with you because you could meet someone who’s got the other leg and the other arm and the two of you together make a complete person. So there’s never anything completely wrong with you, number one. Number two – it comes down to chemistry. Single women, single men, every single person out there needs to understand: It is chemistry. You can meet someone at work, you can meet someone at school, you can meet someone at a Bible group, you could meet someone at the bus station, you could meet them anywhere; every person you meet every day, all of your girlfriends, every guy’s guy friends – there is a common thread of chemistry that you have with that person. You enjoy their company, you get along well, you have common interests, and it’s easy. So I would question whether or not she’s been meeting the wrong people and she’s judging herself on that. I think that she needs to understand that it doesn’t matter what you say or how you dress or whether she had a pigeon on her head during the date…

(Laughter from Mandy)

DG: …if the guy had chemistry with her, and she had chemistry with him, he would call her back. Because what happens with people when they don’t have chemistry? They meet, they go out on a date, they feel lonely and they decide to have a relationship anyway out of loneliness, and they end up in a passionless relationship because there’s no chemistry. Everyone who has a great, long-term, lasting, loving relationship – they have chemistry.

Mandy Hale: Something that really changed the way I look at things from our last interview is when you talked about energy – when you would walk into the grocery store after a bad audition or a good audition, the difference in the way that people would treat you.

DG: Right.

MH: And the thing that I picked up on in this question that really screamed at me is: “I had a bad breakup two years back.” So my thinking about this…because I went through a very bad breakup myself four years ago…I think sometimes if we are still carrying around damage and heartbreak and trauma and insecurity and all these other unhealthy things that we picked up from a toxic relationship, I’m wondering if maybe she has not taken time to heal from that before then branching out and trying to meet someone new and date other people while she’s still damaged and broken from the past relationship. That one sentence in her question really spoke to me. It seems like that breakup two years ago was really sort of a defining moment for her. Before that, she had a boyfriend and probably dated and had successful relationships, but then the line in the sand was the bad breakup, so I’m wondering if she’s not still carrying around residual pain and feelings of damaged self-worth. I know my boyfriend, the one who actually inspired The Single Woman (who I now need to send a fruit basket or something to, to thank him for being such a jerk and inspiring The Single Woman)…he was mean to me and he was very belittling and he was verbally abusive, and so I left that relationship feeling sort of beaten down and broken and like there was something wrong with me. I feel like I carried that out in my life and I think other people pick up on that. So I’m wondering if that’s not something that is interfering with this girl’s ability to meet someone new, that she’s not ready to meet someone new because she still needs to go through a time of healing, maybe go to therapy, maybe read some self-help books…really figure out what it is within her that might have been broken in that relationship and let that heal, and only then try again.

DG: I agree. I think that’s probably the #1 thing this girl needs to do. It seems she had this bad breakup that she refers to, and she has not taken the time to regroup. When you have a bad breakup, it is like a battle or a war. It’s two sides, and there is this conflict. And after that battle, and the conflict has ended, you need to regroup. You need to give yourself emotional sustenance, physical sustenance, spiritual sustenance, you need to take care of your body, take care of your mind. Otherwise… it would almost be as if you played tennis, for example, and you lost a game that meant so much to you because on the last point, you ran across the court and you missed the ball.  Then, the next time you play a game, you’re so concerned about the way you played that last game, that you run across the court to not miss that ball again…but the ball’s not even there. You’re no longer living in the moment and you’re no longer in a situation where you’ve taken the time to make yourself a better tennis player because you’re living in the past and in mistakes and in things that caused you to lose, and you’re bringing that to the current game. You have to be in the now and the only way you can be in the now is by unshackling yourself from the past and not worrying about the future. So as you’re saying, you can’t go through a date saying “Oh my gosh, this could be the guy that I marry.” And you can’t go into a date saying “I hope this guy isn’t like my last ex-boyfriend, who was a jerk.” Whether or not she’s doing that, I don’t know…but it sounds as if she truly needs to spend time on herself.

MH: Agreed.

DG: And I guarantee you this. I guarantee HER this: The moment she has done that, and the moment she has healed her wounds,  she’ll be standing there in the grocery line at the checkout, some guy will walk up behind her with a gallon of milk, she’ll look at him, he’ll look at her, and it will be like, “Oh my gosh. Who is this man and where did he come from?” Because she’s not putting the pressure on herself to get there before she’s ready for it.

MH: I do think we tend to attract what we currently are, so if she’s not ready, if she’s sort of half in and half out, she’s going to keep attracting these situations to her of men who aren’t ready and men who aren’t going to follow up. I do think if she was 100% ready for it, and really open to it, I don’t think she’d be running into the same one date, and then she never hears back from the guy. I think there’s a reason for this pattern. But I will also say this: Single life is no joke these days! Over the past six months or so  I’ve had a couple of just truly disastrous first date experiences. For example, one guy who I met for coffee, five minutes in I knew the story of why his last girlfriend dumped him, why she left him at the altar heartbroken; I mean, he literally just put his crazy on full display in the first ten minutes of our conversation!  I would just encourage this girl – you do want to put your best foot forward. Obviously you want to be yourself, but I always say, hide the crazy until at least the second date! (Laughs) As for tangible, takeway advice; I would just say, moving forward – once you do feel healthy, once you have taken care of yourself and made sure you’re in a place where you’re open to meeting someone – dress to impress and go in there with a positive, upbeat attitude, and don’t feel like you have to lay out everything about yourself in the first ten minutes of the conversation. Another example of a disastrous date I went out on: The guy told me, before we even got our table for dinner, that he had been fired from every job he’d ever had, that he had a roommate who hated him and that every girl he’s ever dated  – and yes, he actually said this to me – has been a “B@#!h”! He actually used that word!

DG: Wow.

MH: For me, it was like this man was carrying around rejection on his sleeve…you know, he was just sort of covered in this spirit of rejection, and I couldn’t really get past that to even know if I would be interested in him or not. So I’m hoping, since we don’t have all the details of this situation, that this girl is not dealing with the same kind of thing, but I just think that the way that you present yourself and the way that you carry yourself into the date plays a HUGE role in how successful the date will be. It goes back to, you don’t want to carry around that rejection and that habit of pushing people away because of the last bad breakup you went through. That’s my perspective as someone who’s been on more than one horrific first date.

DG: But at the same time, here’s the thing. How lucky are you that those guys were like that within the first ten minutes? It made it a no-brainer for you as to whether or not that person’s right for you or not.

MH: That’s so true.

DG: And that goes back to this girl. Just because some guy does not call her back, or just because she goes on a date with some guy and he doesn’t show enough interest in her, or he gets up and says he has to go to the bathroom and then he never comes back again….you should never, ever say, “Oh it’s me. It’s my fault.” The guy did you a favor. That whole “he’s just not that into you” thing – that is awesome! It’s awesome if he’s not into you. Why should he turn around and put up a façade of interest so that he doesn’t hurt your feelings, and after a while he can’t keep the façade up any more, and you’re like “He was so cool. We got on so well,” and six months down the track you’re like “I don’t get what happened. I just wasted six months of my life with someone who I thought we had this great thing.” These guys are doing this girl a favor. Any guy that after the first date, doesn’t call you back, is doing you a favor, because it lets you know that there’s someone else out there for you…and it wasn’t him.


“He Said, She Said” will give you guys the chance to submit questions and ask for advice about ANYTHING…from love to career to friendships to marriage to dating to dreams to living your best life and so on. Married or single, male or female, wherever you may be and whatever your question may be…we want to hear from YOU! Once a month we will pick the top three questions and Daniel and I will each give our advice from our own unique perspectives. 

Have a burning question for a future “He Said, She Said” column? Simply post it in the comments below…or if you you’d like to submit a question privately, please send it to [email protected].

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What do you think about “Anonymous’s” One Date Wonder problem? Do you agree with Daniel and I? Share your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #HeSaidSheSaid. We want to hear from you!

19 Responses to “ He Said, She Said: Why Am I a One Date Wonder? ”

  1. erin
    November 26, 2013

    wow .. this is awesome .. exactly what i needed to hear … so is this part of the 30 day blog or no? i am loving checking this when i can to see what is being posted 🙂

    • November 29, 2013

      I have had so many of these dates also and always blame myself for them not calling back. Or the guys who will call you every day and then stop. I blame myself all the time I must be defective, Im not good enough,Im not pretty or interesting. Its making me give up on ever meeting anyone and I have so much to give. What
      am I doing wrong????????

  2. Pam
    November 26, 2013

    Oh yes,I agree. “You attract what you are.” I also had a terrible breakup in December of last year so that when a seemingly good guy came my way february this year,I didn’t think I deserved him. He said to me one day,”u keep pushing me away and drawing me back again,” what’s all this? I haven’t got time for pranks. Then he disconnected after 6months and since then,i have been doing the calling,texting and pleading but all to no avail. Well… Being single ain’t easy these days,Mandy.
    Wish all the SH well in our quest to be loved and to love in return.

  3. Hope
    November 26, 2013

    Daniel and Mandy, you should have a talk show! Your answers are insightful and universal to everyone who has been in this situation. The only thing I would add is that she read and meditate on the bible. Once she knows who she is within Him and know that she is loved by Him, she will be OK whether she’s married, dating, or single. Respectfully, Hope:-)

  4. November 27, 2013

    Great advice from both He and She. I do think law of attraction is always at play- we get back what we put out. That’s why I keep attracting the older gents with some dental hygiene issues, hmm. I do think Anonymous is holding onto her past relationship, too. Until you are ready to move on from the past you may just keep reliving it. At times we are our own worst enemy. While waiting to be appreciated and loved by the guy of your dreams don’t forget to love you and “date yourself”. I say embrace the single.

  5. Ellie
    November 27, 2013

    I think this is great good advice and straight talk just what people want no BS

  6. November 27, 2013

    I was with a guy I’m 32 he’s 45. We was together off and on for 9 yrs. We broke up a month ago but we continued to sleep together up until a week ago. This man has ripped my heart out so many times. He had a baby on my cheating lying, and more. He was the love of my life. I loved him more than anything on this earth even more than I loved myself. Throughout our relationship he was broken it off saying I’m a good woman he loves me so much but I deserve better. He says I have been better to him than he has been to me. He said he don’t think he would ever marry me. Then a week later he’ll come back saying I miss you I love you I can’t live without you I wanna marry you. When I take him back sometime go back then he ends it again and again. Now its been 9 yrs that he’s been doing this to me. So this yr we got back together I told him this is the last time. So a month ago he ended it. I didn’t see it coming we were doing good he had been the best man to me this last time than he had been in the whole 9 yrs. I was at his house all the time & on weekends I would pack a bag & stay the whole weekend. He had even asked when my lease was up because he wanted me to move in with him cause I’m there any way. I was happy and he said he was to. Then it happened he broke up with me and said yhis was it this was the laat time and he wants me to be happy. He has kids I don’t I don’t want kids anyway but he said one day he thinks I may want a baby and he don’t want anymore. He said he loves me so much but I deserve a husband and I’m such a good woman. I mean I cathered to him. I would cook for him and his friends cause we would have functions at his house. I would clean do whatever he needed done. I had his back. The thing is we hooked my mom up with his friend and their married now. So I hear about his business and what he’s doing with who. I don’t wanna know but I can’t stop from hearing about it. I’m heartbroken. I’m so hurt. I’m loosing weight. I can’t stop thinking about him. When I go to sleep I dream about him. I’m praying that’s what keeps me sane. He has went back and forward the way he has with me in other relationships also. I be hurt but when he calls or text I can’t resist. I answer and let him come over. My family are so tired of this with me and him. Its like he has a hold on me. I need to move on itd the hardest thing I ever had to do. Why does he have me so hooked? The sex is amazing also. I need help.

  7. alice
    November 29, 2013

    Thank you so much,I feel encouraged and inspired by your reply 2 anonymous’ question.

  8. November 29, 2013

    I like your responses! “Healing” is definitely key. When a traumatic event happens we tend to make it mean something about us and create a bunch of disempowered beliefs, for example, “I’m ugly, not lovable, not good enough” or “There must be something wrong with me”. These are merely beliefs NOT the truth! These thought patterns keep attracting to us people and circumstances that match that vibration. And so we keep proving ourselves right!
    Healing helps to resolve any old pain that stops you from being truly emotionally available. It also helps you to become aware of these subconscious beliefs, see them for the lies they are and release them. AND what’s really important it helps to increase your awareness of the beautiful, lovable, magnificent woman you are! Living and creating your life from that consciousness, boy, watch out! This is how I attracted my dream man… 🙂

  9. November 29, 2013

    Love this!

  10. Still Healing
    November 30, 2013

    I was with my ex-husband for three years then married for 8. He was verbally abusive, belittling and negative. When he started doing that to our daughters and told me he didn’t love me anymore…..we got divorced. He refused to go to therapy because he has the mentality that “he does nothing wrong”. It has been a very hard 6 and half years since that divorce. I am still healing mentally and I KNOW that is what prevents me from another relationship. I have had plenty of first dates and they have been some doozies, let me tell ya! I could write a book. But I do believe God has a plan for us all, its just terribly lonely at times. Best Wishes and Love to all of us Single Ladies 🙂

  11. Rose
    November 30, 2013

    Great advice. My tag on question would be – bc this happened to me just recently – why would a guy suggest drinks (even multiple times) but not set a specific date, and then when you come back with a specific date, he’s never to be heard from again? Why suggest getting together at all in the first place? It’s weird, rude, and confusing. What am I missing?

  12. November 30, 2013

    i like

  13. Jillian
    December 1, 2013

    This was amazing to read! Keep it up! I’m excited to see what’s next!!! Along with anonymous I’ve run into the same situation a few times but it’s not the one date wonder that gets to me…it’s the one month curse I’ve found myself in. The last three guys I have talked to/dated in the last 6 months have lasted about a month and a few days. Honesty I start to look to the end once that month rolls around because I’m unfortunately getting used to it. Mandy and Daniel I’d love to hear your thoughts on this along with all the lovely single ladies who may have the same curse that I feel that I am in!

  14. cessy
    December 7, 2013

    Thank you Mandy and Daniel!I was able to relate with her story and I really appreciate your advice. Now, I know what to do! Love your page Mandy! God bless you both=)

  15. Nur
    January 4, 2014

    I am not sure if the I guy I am seeing is dating or not…he takes me out, is always there to listen, tries his best to make me happy, we have been seeing each other for 8 months now. We broke up after I was honest about myself and his response was he has lost interest. we still kept in touch as was always worried about me, recently I tried to distance myself feeling that he is just being a goood friend. after 2 weeks he got in touch again to say he loves talking to me and came over, took me out…we had a nice time. But I dont know what is going on. I feel if I back off saying that I dont want to keep dreamiong or have my hopes up and again face the realisation that its just friends, it might be true but if he feels differently, I might push him away. He doesnt like to share his feelings and is commitment shy because of 2 failed marriages. the last one being very difficult. Help! i am so confused. I dont know if I am just a standby or he is testing my loyalty.

  16. Kelly
    January 26, 2014

    Nur, I believe you don’t test trust or loyalty you earn it . So how is he earning your loyalty by playing yo-yo with your feelings? Maybe you should try telling him how all of this makes you feel and if you guys decide to continue to be friends make sure the boundaries are clear . But like Mandy said don’t settle” for “a nice time ” when you could be having a great time with someone else!

    With much love

  17. August 19, 2014

    It’s very common to go on one to a few dates and then for it not to work out. Similar to a probationary period with starting out a new job, dating is completely at will and either party can leave and back out for whatever reason, or even no reason. I learned the hard way to keep my head in the space of the date itself and to maintain emotional boundaries with whomever I go out with. I am not saying “get over it”, or “suck it up” – but I think that if you can remember the fact that dating is completely “at will” and you are able to maintain some emotional distance from new people you date, dating will be a lot more satisfying and fulfilling and you will be more resilient, should you experience rejection.

  18. August 19, 2014

    “keeping my heading in the space of the date’ – Sorry, I didn’t clarify that in my last post. This basically means just focusing on the actual time that I am spending with the other person and not on what may or may not happen afterwards. It is natural to have thoughts about the future and it is healthy, but they are ………thoughts. Basically, I just notice those thoughts and just snap myself back into the reality of what is happening in front of me. For example, I am going out for coffee on Thursday with a guy who lives in the city and doesn’t have a car. Of course, some normal thoughts were,”Will he ever move out here for me?” or “What will happen…..?” or “Will he make a good father….?”, but they are simply thoughts. So when we texted each other about our pets, I focus on the content of what we are talking about – our pets. Similarly, when we meet at the cafe on Thursday (check out Kopi Cafe in Chicago, IL!) if I find my mind wandering about the future or whatever, I will mentally focus back on the moments of having coffee and conversation with him. Easier said than done, but personally, it has improved my experience as a single woman in my 30s and as a Christian because I am now able to manage my feelings and also stand up for myself in the dating world and then I am also able to focus more on church when I am there.

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Turn Toward the Sun CoverLife doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
Preorder from Baker Book House for 40% off and free shipping!*
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*US shipping only