We’re playing in the big leagues now! The first date is finally out of the way, and it went about as well as anyone could expect. We’ve done some flirty text messaging, we’ve exchanged Brooklyn 99 memes, and established that, yeah, a second date would be a good idea.
And now the night is finally here.
While struggling to choose what outfit to wear might be at the top of the priority list right now, there’s actually a whole lot more we should be thinking about when it comes to a second date. Date number one is typically full of a little more nervousness, while date number two is always smooth sailing… right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Date number two is actually higher stakes than date number one, as Cosmopolitan points out. They say that the second date is actually where we decide if we want to keep seeing someone over a longer term and vice versa!
So, knowing that it could be our future partner on the line, how do we get over the anxiety that comes with a second date? We learn what our date is actually looking at, and what they’re ignoring. Trust us: it’s not what we thought.
One thing that he’s looking for is probably one of the things that we’re looking for too. “Are they having fun?” is one of the top questions we know that we’ve asked ourselves when out on dates before.
Daily Mail writes that apparently, this psychology isn’t unheard of on the flipside either.
Daily Mail says, “If you are having fun, laughing or smiling, your date will be influenced by this and end up thinking they had a good time,” which has already put a smile on our face. He’s looking to see if we’re having fun, so why not embrace this psychology and try to help him have a good time. too?
It’s always a blow to our confidence to discover a new pimple before a date, but rarely do people get that close a look at our skin to really see it. He’s not going to notice one zit; and if he does, we recommend asking about his skincare routine. If he’s so surprised by it, he must have some kind of magic product that keeps pimples clear forever, right?
All in all, we’ve noticed that the second dates which have been most successful for us are the ones where we stopped worrying about hiding our spots, and instead let him see the whole us. He’s really not going to pay attention to them anyway.
Laughter is the best medicine, as the old saying goes, but it’s also one of the best ways to connect. Cosmopolitan listed out some stats that they found regarding dating couples and laughter.
Cosmopolitan says, “Fifty-six percent of dudes will want to get to know you better if you’re funny or charismatic…”
“Research from the University of Kansas shows that if you find yourselves cracking up at the same time, it’s very indicative of romantic interest.”
So, whether he’s conscious of it or not, laughter is one of the things he’s looking for when it comes to a rocking second date.
It’s no surprise that people want an adventurous partner. After all, very few of us want to be stuck doing the same things over and over again. An adventurous partner is desirable to many, according to Bustle. The benefits to adventure aren’t just seen in how we handle ourselves in new experiences; they also come from the adventure itself.
Bustle quotes, “when you are doing an activity-based event, your brain is firing neurons during the shared activity and taking in the uniqueness of the experience,” ultimately building a bond between us and our partner. Whether he’s conscious of it or not, his adventurous second date choice definitely shows a lot about who we are.
Shape has a great article out there discussing commitment. While a second date might be a little too soon to really be thinking about long term commitment, the future is going to be in the back of everyone’s mind.
Shape says, “in a recent study, people rated potential [partners] to be more attractive for a long-term relationship if they had altruistic qualities.”
This means that a second date is the perfect time to tip our server a little higher or to help out that kid whose kite is stuck in a tree. It might just snag us a third date!
Believe it or not, times have changed. We’re no longer stuck playing that awkward dance of “will he pay or won’t he,” because we’re just as able to pay for ourselves. If he offers to pick up the cheque, by all means; let him. He’s not judging us for wanting to split the bill, though. Cosmopolitan reveals that paying for the date isn’t really on his mind. And it definitely isn’t dictating whether or not he’ll be going out with us again.
Money is something couples should talk about, but in our opinion, it can wait until long after the second date.
Shape has given us a totally comprehensive list of ways to ensure that the date will go (or is going) well. One of those ways is the suggestion of the date itself. Something that he’s going to be paying attention to are the names, places, and interests that you might be dropping during a conversation.
If a conversation about a third date starts to blossom during the second date, listen up to what he might suggest.
If it’s somewhere you enjoy (or somewhere that’s related to your interests) he’s definitely been paying attention. You can also reverse this stunt, and show him you’ve been listening to him by suggesting a place that he likes.
It’s time to move past this idea of looking or acting “cool.” Honestly, it’s just not worth the stress that it can cause. One of the things that he’s not looking at on this second date is how stylish, trendy, or “cool” we look. In fact, Psychology Today thinks that playing it cool might not be the best chance we have for success. Opening ourselves up and being a little more vulnerable, while also being openly and honestly ourselves, makes for a much more interesting date.
We are interesting, just by the virtue of being ourselves. That’s going to be noticed way more than how “cool” we try to act.
Psychology Today makes a very important distinction between sharing something we like to do and actually showing off, which turns our date into an audience. On a date, we want to get to know the person we’re with. This definitely includes all of that person’s talents, interests, and hidden skills.
We tend to be drawn to people who are passionate, which means that this guy will love getting to see your passion.
If he asks, don’t shy away from sharing your passion. Tap dance in the street or sketch a quick cartoon on a napkin. He’ll love getting to see what makes you tick, and it will definitely make you stand out in his mind.
Daily Mail consulted with an Emotional Intelligence Expert in order to debunk some of the myths and mysteries surrounding having a great date. Some of the advice might have been geared towards a first date, but some of it is applicable all the way up until date four or even date five. Daily Mail writes, “light touch can be a powerful aphrodisiac…When we get touched, we get a dose of oxytocin, a hormone that makes us feel good.”
This can be taken a step further to encompass body language as a whole. He might not be consciously reading the signs, but our body language and touch cues are definitely one thing he’s looking at.
It’s time to retire playing hard to get. All those etiquette rules of letting him call first or send the first text message (and especially making him propose the second date suggestion) are finished. We live in a fast-paced world and anytime we hesitate, it feels like we’re going to miss out. To be honest, we often do.
Sharing how interested we are in our date is one of the big things that he’s looking for.
Cosmopolitan says, “a guy who’s looking for a relationship is 71 percent more likely to want a second date if he can tell you’re into it.” The same is true for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th date as well.
On a second date, we’re past all of the get-to-know-you generic questions. He knows what we do for work, what we’re reading/watching, and our favorite mobile games. Now he’s looking at deeper stuff. That old dating-tips favorite, Cosmopolitan, quotes a Stanford professor on why second dates are important: “meeting up again allows you both to get past the generic surface stuff, and research suggests that the more you interact, the more your conversation matters.”
This means that the time is now to open up. He’s paying close attention to getting to know us, and will definitely be paying attention to any guarded or untrusting behavior like deflected questions.
Here’s one thing that surprised us when we were reading about second date mentalities. According to Elite Daily, diving into commitment right away might not be the biggest boon to those looking for a long-term relationship.
According to them, anyone who’s getting too serious on a second date “is really clingy or they think that’s what you want to hear and are attempting to manipulate you.”
It’s not that he’s ignoring the fact that you two might grow old together one day; he’s just not thinking that far in advance right now. Which, according to Elite Daily, is a very good thing. Just enjoy the moment, and try to not stress about it either.
In the same way that we notice if he’s fifteen minutes late and forgot to put on a clean shirt, he notices the same kind of stuff. We’re not saying that we need to dress to the nines for a picnic in the park or happy hour drinks. We are saying, however, that we should always be putting in the same amount of effort that we expect to receive back. That’s just common sense!
We’re willing to bet that he’ll be looking for it in the same way that we’re looking for it. Be aware if his standards seem too high, or if he’s nitpicking over things like mismatched socks or a crooked eyeliner wing.
Elite Daily says, “either that first person you met was an act or this person is. Either way, a lack of authenticity is a big red flag of some major underlying issues.”
It’s safe to say he’s definitely looking to see if we match up with that first date persona we had; nerves aside, of course. We suggest playing it safe and just being yourself every time.
Since he’s nervous too! Spoiler alert: your date is just as nervous as you are. Cosmopolitan might write that the nerves are already out of the way when it comes to going on a second date, but that’s not always the case. Second date nerves are a thing, especially for those of us who tend to get anxious about seeing people in person.
Luckily for us, this means that he’s definitely not paying attention to how nervous we are; he’s focusing on keeping his own calm, cool, and collected self together. If he does pick up on any nerves, let’s hope he just finds them endearing.
While he might not be actively watching for signs of flirtation, he’s definitely going to be receptive and respond when he picks up on your vivacious energy and “I’m interested in you” body language.
Moving closer, leaning towards him, and laughing are some of the actions Daily Mail alludes to as excellent for sending those I-like-you signals.
Yes, first date conversation can be boring. We’ve all been there: nodding gently and encouragingly while we listen to our date ramble on about his poli-sci degree or his transformative experience working data entry in a tech start-up. After all that “who are you” stuff is out of the way, the second date actually offers more of a chance for your intelligence and wit to shine. Cosmopolitanreveals “42 percent of guys will date you again if they’re impressed by your brainpower.”
It’ll also make the conversation way, way more interesting. Looks like showing off our intelligence might just be the trick to impressing our dream person! Thank goodness.
Cosmopolitan writes, “there’s such a myth of instant fireworks, but the brain system that governs romantic love can be woken up at any time. You might feel that attraction at the beginning, or it might happen after a couple of dates or even after years of being friends,” and we’re really relieved.
Those of us who are a little more guarded tend to not feel those fireworks that our friends talk about.
Does this mean that the relationship isn’t worth pursuing? Not at all. In fact, it’s kind of a relief to know that he’s not paying attention to whether or not there are fireworks appearing over our heads at the first glance.
As much as he might be focused on us, he’s also very focused on himself. While we might have spent two hours in front of the mirror trying to get ready, he probably spent at least that much time getting himself ready as well. We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: at the end of the day, it’s not just us that he’s paying attention to.
We can get away with a few mispronounced words and fly-away hairs since he’s really focused in on how he feels as well as all the other date night stuff. At least, that’s what we’ve noticed in our extensive dating history.
Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, and Elite Daily are all very clear: the goal of the second date is good conversation. We get to know people by talking with them. Movie nights are fun, yes, but they don’t necessarily provide an avenue to chat. Make the focus of the second date deeper getting-to-know-you. Not just likes/dislikes; try talking beliefs and values.
He’s interested in what we say, and he’s paying attention to the conversation more than anything else.
Yes, an attraction is important. It’s really the chatting that will make him come back for more, though. Then you two can start planning your third, fourth, and maybe even fifth dates!