Want To Bag A Second Date? Study Reveals The Behaviors That Make Doing So More Likely

Most single people have lost count of the number of first dates they’ve been on by now, but second dates are likely much easier to count. After all, most times, meeting up with someone you met on an app or even last Saturday night at the bar isn’t going to lead to a long-term relationship. However, assuming the mutual attraction is there, a new study has shed light on some behaviors both men and women exhibit on first dates that up their chances of guaranteeing a follow-up.

  1. As it turns out, it’s more than blind luck. While it might feel like the luck of the draw as to whether your first date leads to a second one, research published in Sexuality & Culture seems to suggest that’s not really the case. Instead, there are certain things you can do to make your date want to see you again.
  2. The study authors were interested in diving deep into the topic. After all, nearly half of the adult population in the US is single, whether by choice or otherwise. So, it’s worth looking into how to up your chances of progressing things. Jimmy Moran, a behavioral scientist at Johnson & Johnson, did two studies while studying at Bucknell University and doing his postdoctorate at the University of Florida.
  3. The dynamics of relationships were always fascinating to Moran. “I became interested in this topic from observing a really bad date at a bar while I was out with my friends,” he recalled of his inspiration for the research. “The man on the date was acting so weird and aggressive toward the woman on the date that she got up and left, and he was flabbergasted. I was a master’s student at the time and studying relationship science and was curious whether anyone had investigated behaviors that are more successful on a first date.”
  4. There are a few things women love in men. The study showed that women were more likely to want a second date with a guy who is truly kind, has good matters, and practices good etiquette during the first date.
  5. What do those things look like? In essence, men who treat service workers with respect and kindness are a whole lot dreamier. (After all, we’ve all been out with a guy at least once who talks to the waiter like scum and thinks he’s god’s gift and that everyone is beneath him.) It also includes showing up on time, making polite conversation, and just being a decent human being. That really is all women are looking for!
  6. So, what makes a man want a second date with a woman? Research shows that women seem like better second date candidates when they laugh a lot, make eye contact, and are interested in the guy they’re with. In other words, it helps to feed their egos and flirt with them a bit so that they know they’re not wasting their time with a woman and that we really like them. It makes sense!
  7. As it turns out, we’ve been looking at things the wrong way the whole time. Finding out what the opposite looks for on a first date is so interesting, especially since we seem to think completely different things are important. In one of Moran’s studies, he asked men and women what they thought their own gender could do to get dates, and the answers were fascinating.
  8. Women think appearance matters more than it does. The women Moran questioned said that wearing makeup and dressing well would help them get a second date, along with being funny, asking questions, and being polite. Okay, so not totally off base!
  9. Men seem to think all women are gold diggers. After all, those surveyed believed that paying for the date would get them halfway to a second one, which women didn’t value at all. Humor, eye contact, and conversational skills were also on the list.
  10. Of course, all of Moran’s findings are in many ways hypothetical. After all, you can’t really speak for real world dating situations, but this all sounds good in theory and deserves more research. “… We would love for future research to take the nominations and behaviors out into the real world and see if they hold up on actual first dates,” Moran said. “We would also love to see how individual differences like sociosexuality or extraversion might predict engaging in more or less of these dating behaviors.”

You can read the full study, “Dating Around: Investigating Gender Differences in First Date Behavior Using Self‑Report and Content Analyses from Netflix,” by clicking on the title.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill