While rarely as nerve-racking as first dates, second dates still bring with them their share of stress. On a second date, the stakes are higher, but so is your level of comfort with your man.
There aren’t quite as many opportunities to mess up in little ways, but there are more opportunities to commit serious faux pas.
To help guide you through this tricky stage, keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind the next time you have a second date on the horizon.
1. Do remember what you talked about on your first date.
At the end of your first date, it’s a good idea to write down what you discussed and what you learned about each other.
It sounds a little mechanical and silly, but it’s better to know for sure what’s been covered than to try and muddle through your faulty memory 30 minutes before round two.
2. Don’t act like you’ve been studying up on him.
Yes, it’s a good idea to jot down the details of your first date so you don’t ask the same questions and repeat the same stories the second time around.
No, it’s not a good idea to be able to recall his life story with a level of specificity and fixation generally reserved for best friends, close family members and stalkers.
3. Do something different.
If you went out for coffee on your first date, go for drinks on the second. If you went to a music show on your first date, go to the park for your second. If you went out on a Tuesday the first time, go out on a Thursday the second time.
“You have all the faculties you
need to figure out what you want.”
4. Don’t rush into a routine.
Sure, there’s a certain level of comfort offered by knowing that every Wednesday of every week you’re going to go out to dinner and a movie with this man, but nothing will kill your chances of developing a real relationship faster than trying to grow your connection within the context of a small and restrictive range of behaviors and experiences.
5. Do remain open to the possibility.
If there’s a real spark between you and this man, then you should pursue that interest, even if your first date didn’t totally convince you of his value.
6. Don’t think a lack of spark will grow into attraction.
If you’re not interested in a man, then you shouldn’t bother going on a second date. Too many women end up in long-term relationships with men they don’t feel much of anything for.
Trying to convince yourself you “should” like a dud of a man by going on repeated dates with him is the first step on the slippery slope leading to an undesirable outcome.
7. Do get to know this man better.
Build on the topics you discussed on your first date and explore alternative tangents and new lines of interest as they pop up.
8. Don’t think you’re going to have him figured out.
Second dates aren’t your chance to learn everything there is to know about your man. Second dates are just the opportunity to peel back one more layer, that’s all.
9. Do get what you want out of the date.
10. Don’t conform to outside opinions.
If you want to sleep with this man, sleep with him. If you don’t want to sleep with him, don’t. If you want to stay out for hours just talking and listening, chat away. If you only want to go dancing, hit the floor.
As an adult woman, you have all the faculties you need to figure out what you want and how to acquire it. Following some common-sense guidelines is a good idea, but aligning your dating life with someone else’s checklist of what’s “proper” or “improper” is utter nonsense.