Whew, you’ve nailed the first date and they want to see you again. That’s exciting—and terrifying! Between getting to know them on the first date, and all your messages since, you probably are starting to like this person quite a bit which means the stakes are a little higher for your second date. Personally, I’ve always found second dates to be even more nerve-wracking than the first date because it’s when things start to get real. Your date is no longer some random stranger—they’re starting to take shape in your mind as a real human who you may (or may not) spend the rest of your life with.
The internet is saturated with tips for your first date, but what happens next? How can you ensure that you have an even better second date than the first?
9 Tips for a Second Date
1. Don’t stress—you won’t run out of things to talk about
If you’re worried the conversation flowed a little too well on the first date and you’ve exhausted your list of conversation topics, don’t stress. Sit back and allow your date to lead the conversation for a while if you’re not sure what to say next. Chances are, you won’t run out of things to talk about, and if you do… Well… That’s a pretty clear sign that this person isn’t the right one for you. If you run out of things to talk about on a date, what do you expect to be talking about after 50 years together?
2. Pick a different activity than your first date
If you went out to dinner or drinks for your first date, consider something different like a pottery class, rock climbing or mini golf for your second date so you can see a different side of your date and they can get to know a different side of you. I love an activity for the second date, as it allows both of you to relax, enjoy yourselves and let your guard down a little, which means you can get to know each other even better.
3. Remember it’s a learning process
Yes, you want to put your best foot forward, but it’s not about impressing your date at all costs. If I could give you just one most important tip for your second date, it’s this: Dating is about figuring out if they’re a good fit for you too. Not everyone will be the right person for you, and that’s okay. There are plenty of fish in the sea and the right person is out there. The quicker you can eliminate all the wrong people (and there sure are a lot of them), the sooner you will find the person who is a perfect match for you.
4. Get out of your head and into the present moment
If you’re too busy worrying about whether he’s going to kiss you, or whether she’s having fun on the date, you won’t enjoy yourself and your date will notice it in your energy. It might sound lame but have FUN! People who are present and enjoying themselves are naturally more attractive than someone who is in their head, ruminating about the date.
If you tend to get stuck in your head a little too often, pause for a minute and notice the various sensations in your body. Notice the weight of your feet on the ground. Notice the different textures and smells around you. It’s hard to be in your head when you’re fully immersed in the present moment.
5. Discuss any dealbreakers
If you’re 100% dead set on having kids, a second date is a great time to bring it up, and if they’re scared off by this conversation then they’re not your person. Likewise, if you’re certain you don’t want to have kids, ever, then make sure to tell your date early on, before they catch feelings for you in a big way. Even if the chemistry is perfect and you think you’re a match made in heaven, a misalignment in future goals and values is a sign of impending relationship doom.
6. Get a little touchy-feely, if you’re both comfortable with it
Don’t be afraid to hold your date’s hand or touch their knee if you want to and you get the feeling that they’re okay with it. Yes, it might feel scary in the moment, but once the touch barrier is broken it’ll lead to better chemistry between you and it’ll make it easier to progress the relationship physically (if you want to, of course).
7. Don’t stress if you’re not sexually attracted to them yet
Attraction can take a while to build in healthy relationships. If I reflect back on my dating history, the ones who I was attracted to instantly were people who weren’t healthy for me—they were the fuckboys, the emotionally unavailable men, and the ones who had a “take it or leave it” attitude towards me. Whereas the healthy relationships I’ve been in have always been a slow burn. The attraction wasn’t there immediately but it grew slowly over time.
8. Share your honest opinions
While discussing religion or politics on a date might be a controversial second date tip, I believe in getting these things out of the way if they’re important to you. Rather than going along with your date’s opinions, share your truth. If they can’t accept your beliefs without changing them, this is a big red flag and a sign that the person you’re on a second date with isn’t the right one for you.
9. Don’t take it personally if they don’t want a third date
It’s one thing to face rejection after a first date, but being turned down after a second date feels personal—as if you did or said something wrong, and they decided they don’t like you anymore. Remember that dating isn’t just about how attractive someone finds you, but also about how well you align with their life, values, and future goals. Just because someone doesn’t want a third date with you doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to singledom forever, it simply means this person didn’t feel aligned with you. It’s not your job to convince them otherwise—it’s your job to move on and find the right person, rather than waste your time dwelling on the wrong one.
Now, go on and have an epic time, armed with these tips for your second date!