Nick the Nice Guy: Part 1, or When Do You Know You're Not Interested?

If a guy's really nice, and not awful looking, and clearly really likes you, it's a good thing, right?

What if you've gone out with him a few times, and never felt that "spark"? How long do you give it before you figure out if you are ever going to be interested, or if it's a lost cause? 

I write about date night horror stories a lot, because they're way funnier than the stories about guys who just sort of fizzled out. But in the spirit of balanced reporting, I submit to you the story of Nick the Nice Guy. I'm kind of experiencing a similar situation with someone else right now... so I'm looking for a little clarity on this type of experience.

Nick the Nice Guy: Part 1

ASS Profile

Dating site: JDate

Fake name: Nick (the Nice Guy)
Age: 23
Job: Counselor, works with kids and teens.
Time frame: January and February of 2010

When I started chatting with Nick, I was very excited. Based on the pictures, he was cute, and had a similar sense of humor as I do, and we had tons to talk about. He was a gentleman. And an NJB (Nice Jewish Boy). I had high hopes. And then we had our first phone call.

To say I was slightly disappointed would be an understatement. His voice was completely the opposite of what I was hoping it would be. (See The Importance of the Voice.) It was not masculine. It was not sexy. And to top it off, it reminded me of a guy I'd liked in high school, who played games with my head. Not a connection I wanted to make with Nick.

Still, he'd called. We'd had a good conversation. He was still the same guy I'd been talking to online. So I went out with him for coffee.

Yes, he looked like his pictures. No deception. But, as anyone who has tried online dating knows, the discrepancy between a picture and a person can be enormous. The voice, the mannerisms, the facial expressions, all contribute to an overall person who may be a completely different person than you have been conjuring in your mind. And though I was attracted to online Nick, I wasn't attracted to in-person Nick.

Here's where my neuroses inner monologue kicks in.

Okay, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't feel an instant swoon. But he's a nice guy. A gentleman, even. He works with kids. He lives near me. He's my age. He's... well, I guess he's cute. There's no such thing as love at first sight, right? I gotta give him another chance.

So, when he calls me (or rather, texts me) and says he has tickets to a comedy show downtown, I give him another chance. Maybe the second time I'll be more about him.

In between the invitation and the show, he texts me. A lot. He is clearly very interested in me. Which kind of pushes me away a little more, since I am really unsure about my feelings at this point.

He drives. Driving downtown at night makes me nervous. We park about 2 blocks from the theater and start to walk. And then he makes the mistake of holding my hand.

You might be thinking, what?! Geez, give the guy a break! What's so bad about holding hands? It's about the tamest thing a guy can do! It shows he likes you! Respects you!

Hand-holding, to me, is one of the most intimate things two people can do. Yes, more intimate than a hug, than a kiss, than a blow job. Holding hands implies something. Not that those other acts don't imply something, but holding hands implies... ownership. This is MY girl. We are TOGETHER. We are holding hands in PUBLIC because we are in a RELATIONSHIP. 

In other words, holding hands is not meant for two people who have been on 1.5 dates, not even kissed yet. Especially not when one party has not felt the va-va-voom.

So we are walking around, I'm limply holding his hand, desperately wanting to take it back but not wanting him to be crushed or think I'm rude.

We go inside. We're early. I buy a glass (more like a clear plastic cup) of wine. Maybe I'll like him better when I'm tipsy. It is cheap wine. I don't get tipsy.

The show is hilarious. I freakin' laugh my ass off. Not literally; I still had an ass when the night was over. (As an English major, you will never hear me use the word "literally" if something is not literal. Yeah, the previous sentence has a misplaced modifier. Sometimes I choose to use improper grammar. But never will I use the word "literally" when something's figurative. Know the rules before you break them. Okay, I'm done now.)

He drives me home. Nothing eventful happens. He walks me to my door, and we hug, and he gives me a peck on the cheek, and I go inside, and I am still unsure.

After TWO dates, feeling no spark, just a lot of guilt for not feeling the spark when Nick so clearly feels a spark. How long does it take for the spark to develop? When do you know you're not interested?

Stay tuned for the THRILLING conclusion of Nick the Nice Guy, for my plea for advice about my current situation, and my justification as to why this bothers me so much.


  1. What you're going through is similar to what I just went through. I went on two dates with a guy but didn't really feel any sparks either. Part of me wished that I had, because he was a nice guy. But I was afraid that if I kept dating him, it'd get even more complicated if I still wasn't feeling anything. I blogged about my situation and some people said that sometimes you don't feel the sparks right away. But if you think that you'd like to get to know this guy better, maybe you could go out with him at least one more time. But you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

  2. Yeah, I ended up going on 4 dates with this particular guy (the Nick story took place last year), and never felt anything. The situation I'm in now, I've been out with the guy twice, and have another date with him this weekend, but have felt no desire to kiss, be physical, etc. It's more complicated since he clearly likes me, but I feel nothing for him more than friendship.

    I'd be interested in seeing your post. What's the link?

  3. Oops, I didn't realize that this post was the most recent one on your blog! Sounds similar to my situation. Sometimes I think online dating's not going to work for me because there's too much pressure to "figure out" if you want to date the person.

  4. If I go on a first date and don't feel an attraction, but am still interested in the guy, I usually give it one more shot. If the next time I still don't feel the attraction, I move on to the next guy. In my experience, the men I have liked the most I knew within the first date. Then we date for a few weeks and things... still fizzle out. So apparently I am not expert either...

  5. I met my last 5 boyfriends (short lived, except the current one) through online dating, a process that took nearly 3 years. I had spark with two, but they ended as fire-y as they began. The man I am currently with loves me, and I love him, and I only felt half a spark. But some spark in the first two dates is absolutely essential, I have tested this out. If you feel nothing it will inevitably fizzle, and/or you will end up breaking his poor nice-guy heart. I went through my fair share of horror stories (a guy trying to eat my hair, intentionally, for example) and I found the most success on OkCupid (which is odd, as it is a free site). That said, I did find the first two boyfriends on Match. Moral of the story: persistence will pay off. Good luck!


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