One of the trickier aspects of improving your dating life is that there’s always another level to master. And that’s where new and different problems come sneaking in.

It’s easy to assume that once you’ve made it past that initial hump – building a cool wardrobe, getting over your approach anxiety and generally learning how to connect with potential dates – that it’s all smooth sailing from there. One of the things I hear about regularly from my readers – both here and over at my column at Kotaku – are people who keep experiencing what’s known as “the fade away” or “ghosting”.

They make the mistake of trying to trade on the ambiguousness of the situation – a Schrödinger’s Date, where it is both platonic and sexual at the same time, so long as nobody actually tries to put a label on things and collapses the waveform.

The only problem with this approach is that It doesn’t take very long for the other person to recognize that you’re trying to leverage a date out of a friendly get-together and they’re more likely to peace-out than have a long and uncomfortable “Let’s Just Be Friends” talk.

One of the reasons why people pull the fade is that they don’t feel any chemistry.

The situation becomes too ambiguous and hard to read and your date is left wondering whether you’re into her or not.

Do you have similar personal values and long-term goals for your life?

Are you able to respect their interests and their desire to participate in them, even if you don’t share them? Another common issue is that you’re simply not looking for the same things or aren’t in the same place in life.

You may not like the same TV shows – you’re all about reality competition shows and she’s mainlining the CW line-up – but if you’re both “stay in with Netflix and a pizza” types, you have far more long-term compatibility than two Game of Thrones fans who constantly argue because one of them loves to go backpacking in the Adirondacks and the other believes that “roughing it” means having to pay for the wifi at the resort.

Do you the two of you share the same sense of humor?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that the answer to avoiding getting ghosted is to have a defining-the-relationship talk by the third date.