Men's Dating

3 Second Date Do’s and Don’ts

Lauren Hostert Lauren Hostert • 6/06/12

A good second date can be the difference between changing your Facebook status to “in a relationship” or just changing your phone number. You’ve gotten past the terror and palm sweating of the first date, so here are a few tips to avoid a sophomore slump on the second.

1. Switch up the location.

A sit-down dinner is a good location to get the basic feel of someone, but there are only so many sushi rolls you can split and only so many brothers occupations for her to list. On the second date, pick something a little outside the box. This is also a great opportunity for you to subtly show off your talents.

History buff? Be her docent at a museum and dazzle her with a good Andrew Jackson anecdote. Are you a beer enthusiast? (I mean craft beer. No one is impressed at how quickly you killed that 18 pack of PBR. Well, maybe a little impressed.) Take her to a specialty bar and find her a new favorite drink. Even something as goofy as miniature golf gives you both a chance to reveal a little more about your personality and a little less about your favorite pizza toppings.

2. Don’t get too personal.

A second date is about getting to know each other on a little deeper level. Just be cautious about how deep you go. Did you cry when “Firefly” was cancelled? Things like that are a little cheesy, but they show enough about you and your personality without making her feel like she should be charging you $80 an hour for therapy. That ex-girlfriend? The one you share custody of your cat with? It would probably be best to save that fact for later — much later.

Dating is an awkward balancing act between putting yourself out there and trying to hide your flaws. It’s tricky to navigate, but on a second date, it’s usually best to stay to the “less is more” end of the seesaw. Creeping too close to the other side sometimes pays off but you risk tipping the whole thing over.

3. Don’t feel like you have to get physical, physical.

Everyone who has ever been in high school seems to have some sort of flowchart or bonkers nursery rhyme about how many dates it should take to get to whichever level of physical affection. The truth is, it varies profoundly from person to person and changes with how they feel toward the who they are with.

If you spend the whole evening worrying about when to lean in for a kiss or how to do that fake-yawn-shoulder move, you’re ignoring the most important part of your date — the other person. Let things flow naturally, and leave the kissing chants in the locker room.