The Subtle Art of Pulling Off a Successful Second Date
Second Date Tips for Success
There’s a script of sorts for pulling off a good first date, but once that one’s over, you’re sort of on your own. In some cases, you might be confident and suave enough to handle things from there, but for many guys, it’s like being a deer in headlights when it comes to proceeding to date number two.
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Let’s face it – second dates are a slightly different beast than first dates. They might be a little bit less anxiety-inducing because you’ve spent some time getting to know the person already, and they decided they wanted to see you again. Unfortunately, that can come with a bit more pressure, particularly if you’re feeling a bit of chemistry.
And a good first date followed by an underwhelming second date? Well, that can be confusing, frustrating and a little bit maddening. Where did those vibes go? What happened? Is there even a point in asking for a third date now?
To help you avoid that sense of helplessness, we spoke to some dating experts to give you the second date playbook you need to ensure a positive experience — and to help you land a third date, too.
1. Should You Ask for a Second Date?
Before diving into the whats, wheres and hows of second dates, it’s fair to first ask yourself if you even want to go on one. Depending on how the first date goes, you might be on the fence. Maybe you’re attracted to the person but don’t sense much chemistry, or vice versa; maybe there’s a mismatch in terms of your interests or political leanings. According to dating coach Connell Barrett, you shouldn’t overthink the question.
“All you’re looking for in the first date is an answer to this question: ‘Do we have pretty good chemistry?’” he says. “It doesn’t have to be amazing, through-the-roof chemistry; it’s totally OK if the first date is a little bit awkward at times. You’re both going to have butterflies. It doesn’t have to be like a rom-com, but you just want to say, ‘Hey, is there [some] reasonable chemistry here? Is there some potential?’”
It’s also worth checking in to see if you feel your wants and needs have been met.
“If you feel turned on, interested, intrigued, had a ‘nice’ time, were a little bored but they seem good for you, feel like they were nervous and talking too much or overcompensating in some other way… go out again,” says Laurel House, dating and relationship coach and host of the “Man Whisperer” podcast. “If you feel revolted, you saw that their values and/or lifestyle are not something that works for you, or if you are on different dating purposes … don’t go out again.”
Whatever you do, don’t just blindly ask them out on an autopilot setting. Instead, House says, it’s important to be real with yourself.
“After each date, check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling before making the next decision as to if you want to go out again. If, after three dates, you feel like just friends with zero spark of attraction as opposed to chemistry, it’s probably a good idea to end it then.”
2. When Do You Ask for a Second Date?
If you do want to go on a second date, when should you pop that question? It’s possible to seem too eager if you ask too soon, or too blasé if you wait too long.
If you want to do it perfectly, says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of “Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today,” you should ask the day after the first date. Or in some cases, you can do it even sooner. “When you say goodnight after the first date, ask if they’d like to go out with you again,” she says. “Then follow up with a text or a call inviting them to something specific.”
Barrett agrees that asking for a second date near the end of the first is a good move.
“There’s no time like the present,” he says. “It’s very attractive to people when you’re vulnerable, honest and when you go after what you want. I recommend that a guy, if he’s feeling it, set up the second date on the first date. Talk about what you might do and how much fun it’s going to be the second time you see each other.”
If you’re not sure how to approach that, well, it doesn’t need to be perfect. If the other person’s enjoying your company, it’s a good bet that they’ll be excited to hear that you want to see them again, and how suave in your approach shouldn’t matter.
“Just speak from a true, honest place and say, ‘Hey, this was fun! Let’s do this again,’” suggests Barret. “‘What does your schedule look like? Let’s figure it out.’”
3. How Is the Second Date Different From the First?
You’re probably wondering what exactly changes from the first date to the second. Of course, it’ll be slightly different for every couple, but there are a few specific things you can probably expect to see. For instance, the impact that knowing a bit more about each other can have on your dynamic.
“The first date might be the first time you meet in person (if you met online), or the first time you have been alone together, so there are a lot of unknowns,” says Tessina. “You spend the first date getting acquainted, sharing the most obvious things about yourselves and trying to figure out who this new person is. The second date, you’re hopefully going in with some info. You’re starting to build the very beginnings of an actual relationship here, so it becomes more personal.”
Essentially, you’ve established that there’s some chemistry, and now, it’s about learning if there’s more than just a sexual attraction.
“On the second date, you’re learning how the two of you might be compatible as a couple,” says Barrett. “So the first date is, ‘Hey, do we have chemistry?’ Hopefully, yes. The second date is, ‘Hey, do our big life things align? Are we both in the same ballpark age? Are we looking for the same things as a couple, potentially?’ So the second date is the beginning of looking beyond [that].”
4. How Should You Prepare for the Second Date?
First things first — you shouldn’t be worrying too much about hooking up. While having sex on the first or second date is nice, if it’s the focus on your approach, you’re not going to have a very good time.
“Get your mind on other things than the possibility of sex,” says Tessina. “It’s more likely to happen if you aren’t too focused on it.”
Apart from that, it’s not a bad idea to go in with a few topics of conversation on hand — things you’re curious about that didn’t get covered on the first date.
“Consider what you still would like to know about your date, and what you would like them to know about you,” she suggests. “Practice some questions to ask them: Have they traveled? What is their family like? How do they feel about their work, or school? What are their hopes and dreams for the future? If they ask questions about you, answer as honestly as you can, but be careful of over-sharing or talking too much at one time. Nerves tend to make some of us babble on.”
A good way to mentally prepare for the date is to focus on being in the moment, too. Don’t allow for any distractions.
“You want to be very present with your date, listening to them, hanging on their every word,” says Barrett. “When you become present in the moment, a lot of the fears and anxieties you have on a date disappear. You’re not worrying about how it goes, you’re just being present with them.”
5. What Are Some Good Second Date Ideas?
Since a good date is such a fluid concept, varying from person to person, the most important factor in choosing a second date is coming up with something your date wants to try.
“Hopefully, you discussed what they like to do on a first date, and something from that list is a really good bet,” says Tessina. “If you have a very favorite place in the town or city you’re in, consider taking them there. Take them to your favorite food truck or some other unusual place — they’ll enjoy doing something different.”
And when in doubt, opt for an activity.
“Maybe [it’s] bowling, or you’re going to do pub trivia, or karaoke nights or seeing a stand-up comedy show,” suggests Barrett. “Just going out and doing an activity together, something that involves more than just the two of you talking because when you’re a couple, potentially, you’re going to be out in the world living a life together. Think of it as a dress rehearsal.”
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Source : Alex Manley Link