WANT A SECOND DATE? HERE’S HOW TO LAND IT
We’ve all been there: You go on a first date, walk away thinking you really hit it off, then never hear from the person again.
Meeting someone new can provide a wave of excitement. From setting up the first date to anticipating a second date and wanting to know more about them. First dates can make or break your relationship with that person.
Even if you feel like the date went well, it’s hard to know if they feel it too.
Unfortunately, the problem might be you. Fortunately, that’s actually a good thing. Changing someone else’s dating behavior is impossible, but changing your own dating behavior is easy.
Check out this list of bad behaviors and worse choices that are definite turnoffs. Be honest: Are you guilty of any of them? There’s a lot of little changes you can make in your approach to land the second (and third, and fourth, and fifth) date.
1. Your Date Didn’t Feel The Same Chemistry.
You may have felt sparks right away but that doesn’t necessarily mean the feeling was mutual.
It really isn’t something you “know” analytically. It’s something you just feel. You want to keep talking to them. Hanging out with them is comfortable, and conversation and mutually fun activities flow naturally in a relaxed way. You just get the way they phrase things. Your sense of humor lines up with theirs… Etc.
2. The Venue
It shouldn’t be so loud in there that no one can talk without screaming, or the place is always packed and you have to awkwardly stand, you’re not setting yourself up to make a good connection. Instead, choose a venue that’s lively but encourages conversation. Try to get there before your date and save them a seat at the bar. It shows you care.
3. They Are Easily Distracted
If you’re on a first date, having someone constantly check their phone is not a good sign that this is going to last.
Regardless of if you’ve been dating someone for one year or one day, you always want to feel as if the person you’re with is paying attention to you.
Though the more time you spend with someone, the more comfortable you may become with being on your phone while together, if you’re on a first date, having someone constantly check their phone is not a good sign that this is going to last.
“When your date is easily distracted and finding more interest in what’s going on around them, that should be a clear sign that they’re not that interested in you or a second date,” Andrew Hanson, president of Love Architects and son of celebrity love architect Kailen Rosenberg said. “And though it may seem common to do in almost all settings, this includes checking their phone repeatedly.”
4. You brought up your ex.
Don’t go to the dark side by discussing your ex or past relationships on a first date, even fleetingly, said Fay Goldman, a matchmaker based in New York City.
“No one wants to hear you wallowing or expressing anger,” she said. “Your date might start to picture themselves as the recipient of your anger one day and that will send her heading for the hills fast.”
Exes can be mentioned, briefly, one time on a first date. Full stop.
5. You’ve gone a full day without a follow-up
In the past, one of the biggest stressors after a first date was trying to figure out who was calling who first. Now, however, it’s common to get a text thanking the person for a great time right after you leave or first thing the next morning. And if you’re lucky, you’ll even get a call.
If you haven’t experienced either one of these over the course of the next day post date, however, you may not be getting one at all.
If your new date hasn’t reached out within 24 hours, you may want to let go of the thought that there will be a second date. When they’re into you, there’s always a sense of excitement and urgency to let you know.
6. Not Offering To Pay
If you ask someone out on a date, or even if there is no clear asker, you should at least sincerely attempt to pay the bill. If you can’t afford to splash out on an expensive dinner, then don’t invite your date to a restaurant. Getting ice cream, taking a hike, grabbing a coffee or juice, or attending a book store event are all affordable and acceptable first date ideas. Not offering to pay the bill, or — and not everyone will agree with this — even splitting it with someone you are trying to woo looks cheap and indicates you’re not invested in a second date. Not cool.
7. Treating It Like An Interview/The date felt more like an interview
This can happen to anyone who has been on a few too many first dates. You have a laundry list of questions to ask so you can get straight to the point. And while that’s fine for a job interview, it’s terrible for a date. No one wants to feel like you’re looking for information that counts for or against them. Let the conversation unfold naturally.
We all get worked up and antsy about first dates. There’s a lot on the line: This could be your person, the man or woman you go on to spend your whole life with. That may be true, but you’ll do more damage than good if you fire off a series of questions meant to suss out if they’re “the one,” said Neely Steinberg, a dating coach and the author of Skin In the Game: Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur to Find Love.
“Nobody wants to feel like they’re on a job interview when trying to make a romantic connection with someone,” she said. “Sometimes singles think they need to know everything up front about their date, but it puts the other person on defense and makes the flow of conversation feel a lot less organic. Keep it light!”
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8. Your conversation has grown dull
When you’re meeting someone for a first date, you usually have plenty of ground to cover for conversation. Though short bouts of quiet moments are totally normal, if you’ve spent more time staring down at your plate or phone than talking to the person sitting across from you, this potential relationship is going nowhere — fast.
When the conversation is no longer intriguing on any level, and — sadly — almost exhaustive, this is the end of an almost-love story. Intrigue from conversation derives from a nice state of curiosity and attention. These two pieces, however, will no longer be there due to indifference and a lack of true compatibility.
Conversation is a skill that needs to be practiced. Remember, you have one mouth and two ears. Listen more than you talk. Also, no “small talks”. Ask leading questions that show genuine interest and aren’t just a clever way for you to talk about yourself. Por ejemplo, if you ask your date if they went to Burning Man because you want to tell them a 10-minute tale about biking through an art installation, you’re bad at conversation. Also, you’re not getting a second date.
9. Your date is just a rude person.
How do you treat waitstaff, bouncers, and bartenders? If your date hears you speaking sharply and impatiently to strangers, they know it’s only a matter of time until they get the same treatment. Second date, denied.
The simplest reason your date didn’t text you back, according to Apple? They’re simply a rude, inconsiderate person.
Most people who ghost are most likely either not ready to be a responsible and accountable partner or they have other priorities ― maybe they reconnected with their ex or decided they are going to play the field.
“In any case, those are all reasons to be grateful you didn’t end up together.”
10. There is no enthusiasm on the first date
If you’ve met your date with a welcoming sense of anxiousness and anticipation only to have them supply you with disinterest, you might want to prepare yourself for this being your one-and-only date with them.
Maybe you were on your phone all night, texting your BFF about plans for later in the evening. Maybe you didn’t make eye contact or spent the whole dinner looking like you had better things to do. Those examples are just the sort of disengaged behavior that turns people off on first dates.
Someone who doesn’t make eye contact especially can come off as aloof or uninterested and it makes your date uncomfortable. “Your date probably thought you were rude.”
11. The vibe isn’t sincere
When your vibe with someone is real, flirtation — on both parts — will come easy and will be welcomed with open arms. On the other hand, if flirting feels as if it’s being forced or if you become grossed out when your date tries to flirt with you, that’s a good sign that this should be your first and last date together.
Any vibe that shows a lack of sincere flirtation or excitement to connect again is a telltale sign that a second date isn’t in the cards.
It’s quite plausible to create an indirect game plan for what a woman or man wants to do on the next date with phrases like ‘we should do that on the next date’ or ‘I would love to do that soon.’ It can even come off more simple to put your hand on their hand or laugh while leaning in. Simplicity in flirtation goes a long way on its own.
Sure, sometimes the subway is a mess and your boss asked you to stay late at the last minute. But. You should definitely send a message to your date with an apology and honest ETA. Leaving someone wondering where you are is a surefire way to lose out on a second chance. And don’t be the person who texts, “be there in five,” when you know it’s going to be more like 15. Being late to a date is never a good look.
Everyone deals with traffic, getting stuck on work projects and second-guessing their outfit choices, but showing up late, especially without a call or text, suggests you’re not considerate of other people’s time. Would you show up late to a job interview and expect to be invited to a second round? Leave yourself a buffer and be respectful of your date’s schedule.
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Rushing through a date is a bad idea, but do you know what’s even worse? Lingering too long after the bill is paid. It’s hard to keep the momentum and excitement of a first date going for more than an hour or so. Save some enthusiasm for date two, which you’re definitely getting if you follow this advice.
14. Their body language says it all
Paying attention to someone’s body language can tell you a lot about them. From the way that they stand to the way that they fold their arms, you can tell whether or not a person is comfortable around you. And, in the case of first dates, body language can be a subtle indicator on whether you two will see one another again for a second date.
If the person is physically turning away, leaning back, or has lack of eye contact, this may imply they are not interested in meeting up again.
They are too kind to cut the date short, but will probably do it later when you are trying to make plans for another time. There is also withdraw from obvious affection; dodging a kiss, pulling their hand away if you try to hold it, or moving away if you try to embrace them.
15. Bad Smells
It’s a simple step, but are you popping a breath mint and giving yourself a light (emphasis on light) spritz of perfume or cologne before you meet your date? Be sure you showered recently and follow these sweat-proof tips. Smelling good and having fresh breath are key to a good first impression that will lead to a second date.
16. There’s no talk about long-term dating you or anyone else in their future plans
During the first date, one common question is “what are you looking for?”
When your date gives their answer and there’s no mention of you or a partner at all, however, this could be because they don’t anticipate dating you after your first date.
It may seem obvious, but paying attention to the way someone is laying their future groundwork can indicate that they don’t want a second date. It can be an obvious sign that your ‘love lists’ — what you are looking for in a potential partner — are a mismatch.
17. Getting Handsy
Sure, there are dates where both people have an insane initial sexual connection. But it’s safer to assume your date needs time and space to get to know you before they’re comfortable taking things to the next level. Pressuring your date for sex, demanding sex, or bartering for sex is creepy, rude, and wrong. And we hope you’re already well aware that touching someone without their consent is illegal. Keep your sexual ideas and advances to yourself until there’s consent from both parties.
18. They simply don’t mention a second date
One of the easiest and often ignored ways to know if someone wants to see you after your first date together is if they mention it. If someone is interested in you, they won’t beat around the bush or try to confuse you.
Celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert Bonnie Winston said; “The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The third rule of Fight Club is … you get it, right? In the same way, the most revealing sign that your date does not want a second date is that they do not talk about it. Most people that like one another mention that they want to see each other again or even ask their date out before the date is over.”
19. Their response to your follow-up is very dry
If you’ve gotten past the initial “who’s going to reach out to who first?” issue and decided to just go for it, the way that your date responds can say a lot about their level of interest in you.
If you follow up after a date saying you had a great time, most people hope to be met with the same enthusiasm. If you get a monosyllabic answer such as ‘thanks’ or a thumbs up emoji sign instead of a heart or kiss emoji, however, you just may have been the only person that enjoyed the night before.
20. Kiss, Kiss
A first date is an excellent opportunity for a (consensual, go ahead and ask) first kiss to test out your chemistry. But if you’re nervous and bad at it, well then…make it know in a jovial way to your partner that you “bad at kissing”. You might have to do some research on the internet on how to kiss. The perfect amount of lip pressure guarantees a second date. And remember what we said about breath mints.
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