So you had your first date and you’re excited. He said all the right words, did all the right things, and the connection was there. You slyly make a play for a second date and….GOOOOOOOOOOAL! Winning!
Think that the worst is behind you now that you’ve gotten the first date over with? Nope! Flag on the play! The first date is well known as one of the scariest moments in the dating world, but the silent killer is actually the second date. Here’s why:
The first date can be a set up. Your “campaign manager” was in full effect that evening. You got all dolled up, wore the one dress that hugged you in all the right places, went to the best spot in town, and was spared no expense. You told your funniest jokes, flirted like a pro, and told them EVERYTHING there is to know about you (the good stuff, of course.) The other person walks away thinking that was the best time they’ve ever had, but now you’ve got to top that, or at least keep it up the act for the subsequent dates.
The second date tries and in many cases, fails to live up to the first one. As your campaign manager relaxes a bit, you don’t find yourself grasping at where to go, and even worse, things to talk about. The other person starts to wonder if the shiny new car that was originally presented was more like smoke and mirrors on a used lemon.
Second date, second thoughts. Let’s face it, people are cynical. Whether it is a previous painful experience or just outright disbelief love, some people will mentally comb back through the date to find faults in the other person in order to protect themselves from being vulnerable or making the same mistake twice. You come to the next date with the perception that the great time they had on the first date must be a fluke. Setting your dial on “reality mode”, you begin to look for (and find) things that annoy you or red flags that indicate pending doom. Très romantique, eh?
If you’re a serial or casual dater, this may all be fine and good. The excitement of the first date and all that comes with it may be all that you need. But if you’re looking for something that lasts, I recommend some tips to make the second date even better than the first.
Just be you. Leave the campaign manager at home and just be yourself. There is nothing worse that primping and pumping yourself up to be someone who you THINK they would like and be totally different once you have them. You don’t want to feel like you’re a pretender and they don’t want to be “Catfished”. Know that you are cool, you are funny, and you are a catch. Make a list of all of your positive characteristics and even some positive comments you’ve received from others. Put on your favorite music, dance, and have a party of one before the date. Get your mind ready for a GREAT night. Your positivity and inner light will shine through.
Choose dates that bring out the best in you. If you’re not a big talker, don’t go to dinner. If you hate the outdoors, stay inside. If you sweat like a pig, elect for cooler events like ice-skating or indoor activities. The goal is to choose venues and activities that allow the best version of you to show up and show out. When you’re having a great time, it increases the chances that your date will have a great time as well.
Be realistic. As much as we like to believe it, we are not perfect. We should not expect our potential partners to be perfect either. If you find yourself looking for the warning signs, ask yourself if it’s because you actually see something wrong or if it’s coming from something (or someone) else? Take a moment to make sure you are setting realistic expectations about yourself and your ideal partner. What are your requirements, needs, and wants? To keep from writing off people for frivolous or unfair reasons, make it a point to write down what those requirements are. Check in with yourself after each date to make sure they continue to measure up. If that does not result in a second date, that’s OKAY! That person was just not for YOU.
Second dates can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Keeping in mind some of these tips can help you navigate through your overall dating strategy without falling in traps that keep you from a healthy successful relationship.