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I've met someone online, and after a few very pleasant exchanges we decided to go on a casual date, which I also quite enjoyed. Ever since that moment, our online exchanges started dying down.

As of now I'm uncertain whether that other person did not enjoy our time together as much as I did and wants to severe ties, or we both did enjoy it, but are afraid the other party didn't like it.

I'm very bad at reading social cues, so if there was some nonverbal communication, I've completely missed it.

I've been thinking of just asking something along the lines of "Hey I liked that time we spend together, wanna hang out some more?", but I'm afraid that would be putting too much pressure on the other person in case they don't want to do that.

Is there a gentler/better way to ask for feedback than with this straightforward question?

P.S. Ideally, though perhaps unrealistically, I'd like to pitch the question in a way that would allow me to ask for details if the answer is "no". "You've been texting someone all the time", "You've been interrupting me while picking your nose" or "I don't trust people who eat potato chips with chopsticks" would be some invaluable feedback upon which I could improve in the future.

  • How long has it been since that date? – A J 9 May 1 '18 at 9:32
  • The 'online exchanges have been dying down' you say. Have both of you been messaging each other less, or are your own messages seemingly going unanswered more? – user8671 May 1 '18 at 10:12
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You say that you want feedback, without a straightforward question. You enjoyed the date, but don't know if the other person did. You have to go back to them then.

Why would I recommend doing something like explained below? Because I used to be like you, and discovered, as time goes by, that you can't always have to know everything, especially from other people. Sometimes, it's better to just let go, and let people tell you.

That's why I would go with an "open-ended draw", that gives you a chance to know about what they think, but also gives them a chance to (not) tell you what they feel / think.

Don't ask everytime, let people just tell you what they want you to know. And live with that :)

What is a subtle and nice way of doing that? I would just let them know all the positive things I recall from the date, and talk about some of their personal issues.

What I mean is along those lines:

  1. I really enjoyed the meal/fun/music while talking to you (all positive stuff).
  2. I hope you did too (whether they say something or not, you'll have some feedback)
  3. I hope everything is good for you now, and that you don't have too much [ insert any personal / professional obligations of theirs that you are aware of ] (you show concern about them)
  4. [ Maybe / I hope ] we can do [ insert any activity you both enjoy here ] (show some hope for a possible outcome in the future)

About point #2 (whether they say something or not, you'll have some feedback):

  • They say something -> great, you have some positive feedback.
  • They say nothing -> (not so) great, you have a lack of positive feedback (see below why I don't say "negative feedback").

I'd like to pitch the question in a way that would allow me to ask for details if the answer is "no"

I would not do that if I were you... Most people don't like to give negative feedback because they think they might be rude / hurt you when doing that.

You can give feedback about practical / technical issues, but human "issues" (interactions) are far less open to "constructive criticism" in this case, because there's no friendship / relationship yet.

People won't like telling "still strangers" what they really think, because they don't want to go any further, so there's no need to look for improvement (which is feedback is all about).

You may open the door, but don't force people to come in... Let them decide.

  • 1
    Thank you for the thoughts, I was exactly looking for a way to let the other person know you're open for more time together in the future without making it sound like an ultimatum, your answer quite nails it. – fullerene May 1 '18 at 15:57
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The traditional way to find out if someone enjoyed a first date is to ask them out on a second date.

I've never heard of the ultra conservative approach producing desired results, mostly I hear stories like "I asked him for a second date and he was evasive so I backed off" and "the date must have gone well, she asked me out again for this weekend.". In short, my experience and that of most of my friends.

Is there some reason you are hesitant to do that? Fear of putting them on the spot?

  • Hi! Can you please explain exactly why you think that this is a good idea? Why do you say to take this course of action? What’s the thought process behind this answer? As this currently stands, this is essentially a “Try this!” answer. We require that answers provide some sort of explanation for why they are suggesting this solution, and unfortunately, at the moment this answer doesn't appear to do that. – A J 9 May 3 '18 at 6:18
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You describe the meeting up as a casual thing, and it went well. It sounds like though you got on well it was not enough to light a fire.

It sounds like you could be friends, and hang out, but not on a dating basis. On this basis, inviting the other party to a social setting where they could meet other people, not as going out, but just hanging out might work.

This is just a way of learning more about each other, and nothing more. This plays it safe and has no commitments or implications by either party, and is a good way of socially introducing people to your group. Put simply, many relationships grow over time, and there is a lot to get through to know if it is going to work, and you need a safe setting for this to happen or not. Hope this helps

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You might wanna avoid asking "Hey I liked that time we spend together, wanna hang out some more?" since this will imply that you liked the time both of you spent together and you don't care about whether she liked it or not.

Instead of this, do this in steps. First ask whether she enjoyed that date or not. Though, this should have been done at the end of the evening, but you can get back to them and ask. You can phrase the question like,

What do you think about our last date? Did you enjoy it?

If she says yes, then it's all good and you can ask whether she wanna hang out again. However, check for subtle hints like she hesitates to say yes for second date. If it is, then it means the date didn't go well. If you get no reply or any reply other than yes, then this date wasn't great.

If it is the latter case, you can ask for feedback now. You can ask if there is something wrong you did or it is something else. She might not tell what exactly was wrong or perhaps she might lie just because she wouldn't wanna sound rude. At this point, she may or may not choose to respond, so you must respect that.

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Ideally, though perhaps unrealistically, I'd like to pitch the question in a way that would allow me to ask for details if the answer is "no".

I'm sorry, but virtually no one is going to do this for you. Virtually no one is going to want to give you such personal criticism to your face. Especially if this other person is a woman, and you are a man.

Your best chance would be to have a mutual friend who is close enough that s/he would tell the friend their honest opinion, then the friend would tell you.

An open-ended invitation, like "I'm thinking of seeing the new Avengers movie this weekend, text me if you want to go with" is fine, and not pushy, because it frees her to give a face-saving "Sorry, not this weekend, maybe another time".

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Don't assume that because you are here on IPS worrying about how to ask if the date went that she is elsewhere worrying about how to tell you she doesn't want another date. Neither of you have talked about it since and your communications are "dying down". The way you have described it all sounds pretty even from both sides, so there's a good chance she could be in the same position you are right now - wondering how the date went.

Also, I wouldn't worry about being bad at reading social cues. You both met online, you've communicated through messages okay, you enjoyed the date so communication must have continued in the same way on that occasion.

I think you should ask her straight out:

How did you feel our date went?

and

Would you want to go on another date?

I think this is best for two reasons:

  1. You're currently in a position where you feel the date went well, yet still you're left wondering about it. You need some certainty, and so does she. If you use uncertain terms like "hanging out" instead of "date" then you could be left still wondering.
  2. If you don't call it a "date" then if she doesn't feel right about a relationship then you have nowhere to back down to. Be direct and then at least you can say "okay, that's fine, we can still be friends" and maybe without that pressure she might even want to still hang out as friends. Whereas if she doesn't want another "date", asking her to casually "hang out" is going to make her wonder if you mean a date.
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Unfortunately, dating feedback is almost 100% indirect and/or nonverbal. If I know a girl really likes being with me, but I don't like being with her, I'm not going to verbalize it, because it's cruelty.

You say you're not adept at picking up social cues. I think you're better at it than you are willing to admit. You just don't like what the social cues mean. No one ever needs to wonder after a date whether the other person wants to continue dating.

A simple, "I really enjoyed our time together the other night. I'd like to see you again. How about tomorrow. We can do such and such."

If the girl is interested in the guy she will say 'yes'. If she has previous plans, she will break them to be with the new guy. If she puts you off, doesn't answer IMs, or is less than enthusiastic, the message is: "I don't want to hurt you. But ..."

Just picture how you would respond if she said, "I really like you! Would you like to go out again?" She wouldn't feel any different hearing that from you, if she likes you. Picture what you would be willing to do given that comment.

Would you be willing to cancel your plans to be with her? Would anything stand between you and being with her? If she sent you an IM, would you answer it? She would feel the same as you do if she likes you.

People make a decision about others within five minutes of meeting them. So, learn from experience. Your not going to get a line-item feedback list on any date. If you have to ask her, "It won't hurt me if you don't, but could you please tell me if you like me or not, and if you don't, could you please provide useful feedback to help me on future dates?" You've blown any possible hope.

That's just not the way it works. By being honest with yourself, and making an honest assessment of your appearance, personal hygiene and body language; you can discover areas that might need work. But no date is going to tell you that stuff.

Trust me! I have more experience with dating and women than anyone I've ever met, or even heard of. Each date is either the beginning of a lifelong relationship, or it isn't. Those are the only two things that can happen.

Before a girl will accept a romantic date (just the guy and the girl) she must entertain the possibility that there is at least some bridegroom potential. Otherwise, she's wasting her time!

The guy in order to ask a girl out must also entertain that there is some bride potential. Otherwise, he wouldn't ask her out! A date is a mutual job interview for the position of spouse.

Some people might not like that, but it remains the case.

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