04/11/2013 05:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2013

In Search of the Elusive Second Date

It started over a glass of wine with friends, the inevitable "bad first date" stories that you share when out with single friends. Anne has discovered through her dating experiences on OkCupid that for some reason, she keeps attracting men who are in their late thirties who live with their parents and haven't quite figured out what they want to do with their lives. On the last date she went on, the man said to her, "Do you want babies? I hate babies. I have twins," before they even ordered their food. Susanna said that her last date asked her to split the tab and then wanted to know if she could give him a ride home so he wouldn't have to take the bus. My own last date had started out so full of promise; he was an investment banker, but also very active and outdoorsy. We went to a nice restaurant and after we sat down, he said to me, "The very first thing I noticed about you was your amazing rack." Well, that certainly set the tone for the rest of the evening.

First dates can be brutal to get through when you are right in the moment, but they make great stories when out with your friends. The thing that I and a lot of single women that I know have a problem with is finding someone to go on a second date with. Why is it so difficult to find someone who is nice, interesting and attractive enough to merit a second date? With the advent of online dating and Facebook, it should be easier for people to connect. But I think that these sites have made it worse. I mean, we all do it; scan through countless photos without even stopping to read their bio. I mean, if he's wearing sandals in his picture or has a little dog, I find myself clicking to the next profile without even a second glance. If he's taken his profile picture in his bathroom mirror with his shirt off, next. I mean is there really no one in your life who can take a photo of you? If you want to be topless, can you at least put it in context and have your photo taken at the beach, preferably in the summer?

I know I sound like I'm complaining and I should be lucky that I go on any dates at all. But, what really surprised me about reentering the dating scene after a 10-year relationship was how difficult it is. When I was dating in my early twenties, I don't remember it being this hard. I met someone; we liked each other, and continued dating until we didn't. What seems to be some different about dating in my thirties is that I have fine-tuned my list of what I am looking for in a relationship, whereas in my twenties I was smitten with someone who liked to go snowboarding with me. I don't know if it is a good or a bad thing, but I definitely find myself going into a first date with a pre-made checklist: Are you driven? Do you like kids? Are you goal-oriented? Do you like to exercise? I have even gone so far has to create an in-depth checklist of what I'm looking for in a mate and I keep adding to it, so far the list has 34 criteria. Criteria aside, what I'm looking for these days is to find someone who I connect with enough to have a second date with. Until then, I will keep compiling stories for the next girl's night out.

I would love to hear from you too. Am I the only one who has written down what they are looking for in a partner? Have you had a bad first date that led to a great second date?