What To Expect On A Second Date

What To Expect On A Second Date

So, you survived the dreaded first date. Everyone was who they said they were, and the pictures you exchanged weren’t ten years. You clearly liked each other enough to want a second round. Bravo!

But now what?

Maybe it’s been a while since you reached this stage in your dating life; maybe you’ve had a string of firsts that failed to progress, and you’ve forgotten what that all-important second date should look like, or what to expect from it.

The good news is, the worst is over. You should have gotten most of your nerves out of your system in the first rendezvous, so your stomach should hold out. Your date already knows what you look like in the flesh – your overbite or whatever feature you’re insecure about didn’t scare them off. Now it’s time for the real fun.

It’s customary to be excited, because this is where you really get to know them. Really dig into who they are and assess if you’re truly compatible. Will the pitch of her voice drive you mad in a year’s time? Is the fact that he chews like a donkey something you’ll be able to overlook in the future? This is where you decide.

Thus, it’s safe to say there’s a lot riding on this second encounter. With that in mind, you should go into it prepared.

5 Things to Expect on a Second Date

1. Getting to Know Each Other Better

This is where you ask all the burning questions you had from the first date but were too afraid to ask, for fear of overstepping the mark. You need to strike the balance between personal and not too personal.

Here you’ll discover the things they like and dislike, their wishes and plans for the future, and how they see you in them.

You should also be listening attentively to everything your date is saying, and paying attention for any red flags. As they’re a little more comfortable with you, they’ll share things they held back in the first date, so listen carefully. You don’t want to miss the part where they mention burglary as one of their hobbies.

Your date will be doing exactly the same – sizing you and your little quirks up, determining if you’re someone they can bring home to meet the parents.

2. Silly Jokes and Forced Commonalities

Expect to tell and hear silly jokes/one-liners. You know the kind, the ones that no one else would find funny, but you laugh because everything’s new and you’re trying to make a good impression by showing how “hip and fun” you are. You’ll be reusing jokes that got you laughs in the past. Your new audience of one will appreciate them.

Then there’s the bit where, because you like each other and want things to work out (God knows you’re tired of doing this dating thing, and anyone would do at this point), you both agree with everything the other is saying. You try to force shared interests, though you might not be aware you’re doing it.

For example, you might think the wine is too sweet, while your date thinks it’s perfect. Well, in a forced commonalty situation, whoever voices their opinion first is right. Suddenly the wine becomes too sweet for both of you, and you both agree to change it.

Acquiescing can be a positive sign, as it shows each party that the other is invested enough to “lie” to appease them. However, this could also be a trap that comes back to bite you in the butt. Remember she said she loved dogs, because she found out you have one? Six months into the relationship she’ll be asking you to get rid of Rover.

3. Relaxed, Intimate Setting

Ideally you’ll have settled on a quiet yet public place where you can talk, gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes, and let your hair down with few disturbances. If the first date was coffee, the second might include a meal, paid for by the man, of course (hey, I didn’t make up the rules).

Choose a place that’s not too far from where either of you live. It shouldn’t be too familiar, though; stay away from establishments that you visit every weekend, where the staff know your name and social security number. Somewhere new, somewhere you can experience together for the first time – a place that, if things work out, will become your place.

Theaters of any kind are a no-no, because you can’t get much bonding done there. Save that for when you’re married.

4. More Fun

Although the second date is a bit of a fishing expedition, no one said it couldn’t be fun. You don’t have to approach it like an exam; you’re not there to get a marks out of 100 or a certificate of completion. You’re there to enjoy yourself.

Activity dates, like ice-skating and bowling, are good because they show you both in a different light. Being free, being competitive, winning, losing, toppling over and embarrassing yourselves… when you see each other doing this, you’ll learn so much about how you both handle different situations.

Don’t be afraid to loosen up, either. Have a bit of alcohol (but don’t overdo it. No one likes a drunk).

5. Physical Affection

What to expect on a second date

Expect some hand-holding, or hand-touching, if you’re both into that sort of thing. It’s an innocent way of getting a teeny bit closer, leaving no room for doubt that you’re interested in each other.

Men are usually the initiators of this, and if you’re a woman, don’t expect to be asked. It’s a (currently) safe, inoffensive thing to do, so try not to be too alarmed. You can always draw your hand away if his hand feels grubby, or you think it’s too soon for any type of physical contact.

As for kissing, this is something that will likely come towards the end of the date, if at all. If that’s something that you’re both open to, you’ll sense when it’s right. Maybe you’ve been eyeing each other’s lips the whole date and can’t wait to smack those bad boys together. You’ll just know. Do what feels right and comfortable.

The first kiss is always a test, so it’s natural to be nervous. It should be enjoyable, but that’s not its purpose. You’re trying to figure out if they use too much teeth, try to eat your face, that sort of thing. Bad kissers are the worst, and you never want to get stuck with one. So take notes.

Different people like different things, so this isn’t a one size fits all list. In general, the purpose of the second date is to learn more in a more relaxed environment.

So those are some things you might expect on your second date, but how should you conduct yourself?

Second Date Etiquette

We all know that true first impressions start on the second date. So, you still need to be on your best behavior; treat it as you did the first. If you were auditioning for a movie, this would be the callback.

Here are some tips that may add bonus points to your overall score sheet:

Be enthusiastic

Act like you actually want to see them and be there.

Choose a cool setting

If you’re in charge of that, be sure to choose a completely different place from the first date. Shake things up.

Be talkative, but also attentive

If your date can’t get a word in edgewise, they won’t want to see you again.

Ask questions

They want you to know about them, so ask away.

Use what you know

Remember everything they told you from the first date, and bring that into the second one, showing that you were listening and actually gave a damn.

Make them laugh

It will ease them and you, making the date more memorable.

Let them in

Expose a little bit more of yourself (no, not in that way. You’re not trying to get arrested here!). Let them know what you’re about.

Flirt more

By virtue of being on the second date, you know they’re interested, so it’s perfectly fine to turn up the flirtometer a little.

End the date with a kiss

Nothing too raunchy, just a sweet one. Peck on the cheek or on the lips, depending on how the date has progressed.

Now that you know some common second date etiquette, let’s cover all bases and take a final look at some of the dos and don’ts.

What to Do

Dress to impress
Make eye contact
Be honest
Smile a lot (but not in a creepy clown sort of way)
Be polite to the people around you (waiters etc.). Your date will be watching


What Not to Do

Get too friendly – no sex. That’s usually not a good look
Be fake
Get too lovey-dovey – it’s way too early for that
Pressure anyone, or give in to pressure
Ask intimidating, very personal questions (how many people they’ve slept with is none of your business at this early stage)

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what to expect, and what’s expected of you, you should ace that second date.

The importance of being yourself can’t be emphasized enough. Sooner or later, the real you will show itself, so it’s best to get that out of the way at the beginning of the relationship, so your date knows what they’re getting.

Just try to have fun, no matter where you think things will go in the future. Even if it’s not to be, you can still enjoy your meal and their company. It beats sitting at home watching reruns of bad TV shows.