Everyone stresses the importance of the first date. It’s understandable since that’s where you make and get your first impressions and figure out if there’s any chemistry between you. However, the second date is even more important than the first. Here’s why the follow-up says much more about your potential relationship.
You’re not strangers now.
While the awkwardness of the first date can be attributed to nervous jitters, now is your chance to really take stock of the person in front of you. Maybe in a different outfit or with their hair styled differently, you can reassess them in the warm light of a restaurant candle. However, the opposite is also true. Maybe they were charmingly buzzed last week but this week they look uninspiring and the magic is gone. Either way, the second date makes the average of the two and you have to survive that.
You can correct things.
We all say that we welcome constructive feedback on our resumes, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the dating world, you have to be adaptable. Maybe a sexist joke you told last week didn’t go down well at all. Well, this is the time to apologize. Or, maybe your long rant about the value of TikTok doesn’t need to see the light of day again, but at least you know now. You can tailor your personality in these initial stages while bringing out your true passions and quirks.
You see each other’s personalities.
Now that there’s a little more depth to your relationship, you can stop filtering parts of yourself. You can bring up your hobbies and how your week was, or ask a follow-up question to something you brought up the last time you spoke. This shows that you were listening and makes the other person feel valued. This level of intimacy breaks through the shallow waters of the second date. Check no one is playing you for a fool pretending they’re James Bond – you can’t sustain that for long.
You can laugh properly.
Maybe on a nervous first date, you’re a little too loosened by the drink, or a little too rigid to laugh properly. Now that you know what your partner is like, you can unwind a little. Throw your head back and maybe even bring out your ugly laugh – if he’s lucky.
Small talk can stay in the first date.
You can only ask a person how many siblings they have and what their major was so many times. It’s a necessary but painful stage of any relationship, but once you’ve powered through it’s much more relaxed. It has been confirmed that no one is a mass murderer, or has 10 siblings that actually merits a discussion, so the topic of conversation can flow much more smoothly.
You can experiment more.
No one should be taking huge risks on a first date, if we’re honest. They don’t really mean much, you just need to not screw it up. However, by the second date, you need to start impressing your partner. Dress up, do your hair – bring an accessory that can be part of a topic of conversation, and have fun with it. If you are reading the room well, maybe go in for a handhold or a gentlemanly gesture like holding the door or a chair. This way it won’t come across as presumptuous or old-fashioned as it might have on a first date.
You’re more comfortable.
This means that you’re more like yourself. The second date means that you have to pass each other’s internal tests. No matter how we all like to think we don’t have a type, the truth is that we do. You will slow down and see that he has only got eyes for you once you stop the first date stress.
Step outside the friend zone.
Now, while I roll my eyes at most articles written by men discussing the feared ‘friend zone’, we must first remind everyone present that there’s nothing wrong with being friends with really cool people. That said, if you feel a real connection with this person, then it’s reasonable to want to take things further. On the second date, establish whether you feel attraction. Sometimes the idea of someone is enough to get a second date. That illusion is soon dispelled if it’s not really there.
You have confirmed interest.
By definition, having a second date is evidence of at least a surface level, basic level of interest. It might not set the world alight, but you have confirmation. It means you can relax and focus on building a relationship with this person, rather than worrying.
The second date is the reckoning because anyone can have a second date without much commitment. It’s the third date that means business and this is the dress rehearsal for that. But that’s another article altogether…
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