Oftentimes, we want to share our "time in the desert" with those around us.  A first date should be an experience of unbridled excitement of possibilities, not an opportunity to share your recent disappointments.  Save the venting and negativity for a close friend or family member, if you must share it with someone.

I know there is nothing better for men than to be happy (Ecclesiastes 3:12).

I have always approached a first date as I do a job interview, with a positive optimistic attitude, discussing and displaying the best I have to offer.  I don't share any hardships I may have experienced in the past or pessimism I may be feeling.  I want the other person to enjoy our conversation and desire to spend more time with me, not feel sorry or put up with me.

Most would rather spend time with fun, outgoing, happy people than depressed, cynical individuals, both at work and in relationships.

It Takes Two for a Conversation ... and a Relationship

Sometimes when you first talk to someone, as in a first date, it is not difficult to find things to discuss.  However, it is important to be both a good talker and a great listener.  This probably isn't something you hadn't heard before, but just a reminder to neither dominate a conversation nor be so quiet as to not share anything.

James gives us wise counsel for any relationship we enter into, whether it's a first date or a friendship.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

In a recent article by the eHarmony staff called, "First Dates: Three Things You Should Never Reveal," they recommend topics that should be left for another time - your deepest darkest secrets, your romantic history, and your money matters.

There is no formula or guideline for first dates.  Each can be as diverse and complex as each of us.  Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or your expectations of another person; it's a first date, not a serious relationship. 

Sometimes we don't even understand our own actions, let alone trying to figure out someone else's.  We can only speculate at the reason why this guy asked you out and later said he wasn't in a place to handle a dating or serious relationship. 

In any case, don't allow this experience to deter you from going out again, jade your expectations of another date, nor have ill feelings towards the guy.

Learn what you can about yourself in order to grow closer to God and be complete in Him.  The rest, including a relationship, will take care of itself.

SHE SAID:  I told Cliff that this is my first "Scripture-free zone" answer in all of the time we have been writing this column.  So, please don't hold that against me.  But know that my answer is from my heart and from a life that is committed to pursuing Christ and deepening my faith through study in God's Word.  And now, all that being said, I am ready to preach. 

First of all, this type of scenario really does chap me.  Not only have I heard it myself after a date that seemed to go well, but I have heard it plenty of times from other female friends who have had this happen to them and have probably done just as much head-scratching as you are doing right now.  What just happened?????  Or … how could I have missed the signs?????

Any way you slice it, it's a hard lesson to learn (for females) and it's just poor communication (however clueless or unintentional it was) from a man to a woman.  I can see the back-story going a few different ways that may explain what happened here (although we'd have to ask the man in question [literally, the man in the question!] to see what he was or wasn't thinking). …