Second Dates are the New First Dates

Sunday, May 30, 2010
People are always stressing out about first dates, wanting to make a great first impression and feel those new crush butterflies. Until recently I have been one of those people, but my focus was all wrong. It’s not the first date you should be worrying about; especially if you don’t spend weeks building someone up with emails or phone calls (don’t do that, either). You’ve got nothing to lose on a first date. No, no, if you’re going to get nervous it’s the second date you should focus on.

Assuming you liked someone enough to go past the first date only means there’s more pressure on that next date. You could get lucky on a first date and have a great time with someone but your luck won’t hold out for two dates in a row. No, on the second date you have to see whether you still like them, whether that first date was a fluke or not. And if you had a great first date, you’re in even more trouble. You have to at least match the success of Date #1 otherwise you’ll be left deciding whether one great and one not-great date equal moving on to the all important Date #3.

The physical interaction stakes rise on the second date as well. If your first date had a physical aspect, then, again, you at least want to match that. If it didn’t, then you probably should be prepared to at least kiss. If you haven’t had any physical interaction throughout two dates maybe there isn’t any chemistry between you. This can get tricky the other way as well. Let’s say you definitely had chemistry on the first date, but don’t want to go too far on the second date. Where do you draw the line?

I’m not advocating panicking about your dates, mind you. In an ideal world you wouldn’t get nervous at all, you’d just “be yourself”. I write about real life, though, and I’ve been realizing that as I make it past the first date, which has been a primary focus of my dating, that there’s a lot more to worry about around the bend.

The Bowler and I are going to the movies on Friday for Date #2. Fingers crossed!


Lifebeginsat30ty said...

I find dates 1 and 2 the fun one's. It's still just a stranger and still just fun. It's the 3rd or 4th that gets me! Cause then it's like, okay is this going anywhere or not?

But good luck on the 2nd date with Bowler! Just think...if you weren't nervous about it, then what would be the point? ;)

Plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Again, very insightful. I've had that great/lucky first date thing that led to a disappointing second. So disheartening.
*Plentymorefishoutofwater - One Man's Dating Diary*

Rapunzel said...

You are soooo right! Though reading this made me realise that not only have I been on a lack of second dates recently, but I've also not been on many first ones!!

You've inspired me, I'm going to get back out there!! Good luck on yours.

Rapunzel x

jo said...

i totally agree that the second date is more stressful than the first. though i think third dates are even more stressful. there's just all these expectations floating around... but the bowler sounds interesting and i'm glad you've found yourself a new man to date.

Dater at Large said...

LBa30ty: You're right that being nervous/excited is sort of the point!

Rapunzel: Hope you find some good ones... seems it takes a lot of weeding through to find a match.

jo: Third dates are super stressful - for some reason that number 3 is a milestone in my head. Not sure why, exactly!