When Elana met Mike, his good looks took her breath away.
He looked so handsome in his black pants, white shirt and sport coat. She couldn't believe how nice he had dressed for a date with her. She loved that he so wanted to impress her.
A mutual friend had introduced them so she felt comfortable with Mike's suggestion that he pick her up.
They headed to a local restaurant and sat outside enjoying the final warm days of the year, a good bottle of wine and a leisurely dinner.
Elana couldn't believe it. As she sat across from Mike, she felt like she had met the man of her dreams. He was amazing; openly talking about anything and everything, including exploring the possibility of a relationship with her.
He made her feel so feminine and attractive, which felt really good. On top of that, he loved doing the same things she loved doing. She was truly in awe of this man.
The next time they met, Mike came back to her home and as they talked and laughed, he offered to rub her feet. She felt like she had died and gone to heaven. No man had ever done this before.
His touch was perfect and she found herself just melting into his blue eyes and gentle hands as they talked more and more about the possibilities of being in a relationship together.
As the third date approached, Elana found herself totally infatuated with this man, feeling like she'd finally met her Mr. Right.
The morning of their date, however, Mike texted that he couldn't make their date and he thought they should just be friends.
Elana was stunned.
Until now, everything Mike had said and done had screamed of relationship. Thinking she had met the man of her dreams, she couldn't understand why he backed away.
What happened to Elana is actually very common. There are three main reasons why a date disappears.
1. You've painted a picture in your head of who you think your date is.
When it feels like your dream girl or prince charming has shown up on the first date, it's normal to get really excited.
Even before you've finished your cup of coffee, it's not uncommon to start imagining yourself in a long term relationship, or even in a wedding dress or tux, walking down the aisle with this person.
As normal as it might be, I want you to pay close attention to the next few sentences.
First dates are meet and greets.
Second dates are for getting to know them better.
Third dates are for getting to know them better.
Fourth dates are for getting to know them even better.
Do you get my drift? Go on a date expecting nothing more than to meet a new and interesting person. That's it.
Don't paint pictures of who your date is until you've known him or her a while.
Those pictures you paint are a set up for getting hurt once you discover he or she isn't who appeared in a dating site profile or on your first date.
2. Men, especially, talk out loud about what they are thinking.
This is where men and women get their signals crossed. A man might verbally explore a relationship with a woman because he wants it, but that doesn't mean he is ready for it. A woman is likely to interpret that as if he wants it and is ready for it.
It's possible Mike really liked Elana. Then he got scared and backed off until he could sort out his feelings.
The best thing you can do when you really like a date is to continue dating that person and others until the two of you decide to create a committed, exclusive relationship together.
3. It's really not about you.
Let me repeat that. It's really not about you. It's about something going on inside of the other person, whether it's fear, confusion or signals just getting crossed.
So try to not blame yourself when a date disappears.
The best thing you can do is to go slow while observing whether or not this person walks the talk. Looking for clues about whether or not your date is who he or she appears to be can keep you from falling head over heals too early.
Remember, someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.
Lisa Copeland is the Dating Coach who empowers strong women over 50 to attract quality men. Learn more about Lisa, including her new, bestselling book, The Winning Dating Formula For Women Over 50, at www.FindAQualityMan.com.