You’ve probably heard this a million times: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Or as Suga Free so aptly put it, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

While both of these sentiments are often used to keep us prepared and on our toes, when it comes to dating and mating, first impressions are often times misleading.

Think about it.

When you first meet a guy, the two of you are most likely putting your best foot forward. You may be out at a mixer or lounge, hair done up just so, a bit of gloss on your lips making them look even more luscious and enticing, and your head held high with a flirty smile dancing at the corners of your mouth. Your laugh is easy and your conversation is engaging. And he is doing his best to be attentive, polite, and oh-so manly. At that moment your representatives are getting along just fine, but will it translate into a match? When you peal back the layers of frontin’, will the two of you still be able to ke-ke with ease?

The other night I went on a first date with a guy I met through an online dating site. After exchanging texts and phone calls for two weeks, I felt confident that a public outing wouldn’t leave me at the bottom of the Pacific or on the back of somebody’s milk carton, so we decided to meet up and see a movie.

After fussing over an outfit that would say, “I’m cute, but laid back,” I approached the theater a few minutes late looking for him. Just as I was walking up I spotted a brotha with a tidy ‘fro and a somewhat awkward walk. Could that be him? I asked myself, straining to see his face in spite of the darkness.

My first impression? His clothes were neat, but a bit outdated–think Sean John circa 2003–and he walked like he pulled a muscle, the left side of his body stiff and unforgiving. While I sized him up, we connected for an awkward non-hug hug and set about to get our tickets.

Although I have no problem going Dutch, I waited to see how he’d ask for the tickets. Would he buy one and then expectantly look at me to buy my own, or would he cop them both? My wallet stayed in my pocket that night. He paid for the tickets, opened the door, and let me pick the seats. While I was secretly giving him a makeover in my head, I did appreciate his old school chivalry.  Score one for the nice guy.

After the movie we talked about his job, sports, and the film. Because we met up so late, we didn’t linger too long, but our conversation was long enough to give me pause. Although he was nice (and fairly intelligent), he assumed I didn’t know about sports or action films because I’m a woman. A few times he prefaced his statement with, “You’re probably not familiar with this, but…” and was quickly caught off guard when I really did know about it. I admit, I was annoyed, but I tried to brush it off.

As we said our goodbyes, I couldn’t help but think about whether or not I wanted to see him again. He was nice enough, we had a good enough conversation, but something was missing—the spark? The attraction? The butterflies?

I know not all relationships are built on physical attraction and that delicious bit of nervousness you feel in your stomach when you think someone you’re diggin’, but I’d be lying if I said those things didn’t matter at all. They do. That little something you can’t quite put your finger on that makes you think about that person long after they’ve gone was missing, and I questioned whether or not another date (or two) was in order before relegating this guy to the friend file.

When I got home I sent him a quick “Thanks for the movie” text and we’ve exchanged a few messages and calls since then, but we haven’t made plans to hang out again and I’m not going to push the issue. Will I go out with him if he asks? Probably. But if I never see him again, I can’t say that I’ll be disappointed.

How have you handled a first date that left you feeling lukewarm? Did you go out again or did you just move on to the next one?

*Via WhoYouCallinABitch

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