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second date

Best Activities for a Second Date

Dating advice  Mainstream

So you’ve made it through the first date, and you’ve both been cleared for another date: what do you plan next? The first date tends to be easier to plan because it generally consists of a simple dinner or light activity with the main goal to get to know each other.

The second date is more crucial because it gives you both the opportunity to expose more of your personalities and to explore your potential relationship further. What you decide to do for your second date will be highly dependent on the nature of your first date and the characteristics of your relationship thus far.

If your first date was…

…full of lively conversation and great connections:
Sometimes you just have that spark right off the bat and you find it hard to even end the date because you’re so intrigued by getting to know more about each other. For a budding relationship of this nature, plan a second date that begins earlier in the day–maybe the afternoon or early evening–and spend it walking around parks, visiting a coffee shop, and maybe ending the date with dinner. Choose places that allow for your conversation to be able to flow with little interruption. Sometimes addictive conversation can make it hard to focus on your surroundings, which is why a park–which can provide a nice ambiance without too much distraction–is perfect for a second date.

…slightly awkward with difficult conversation, but there is still promise:
Not all first dates afford you an instant connection. But if the conversation you did manage to have was solid, and you sense promise of a potential relationship, give the second date your all.  People are nervous on a first date and may be less able to open up right off the bat. In this sense, just consider your first date and the ice breaker, and now use the second date as a chance to really be yourselves. To take the pressure off forced conversation, attend an event that requires less talking during, and can give you something to talk about after. A concert can be great for this because it gives you the opportunity to explore a connection with each other’s body language. Concerts are also a stimulating and fun experiences that can give you both a chance to let loose and be less uninhibited. Any experience that can bring you together in an involved way (without completely taking the effort out of your hands) is an excellent way to create better communication between you both. Sporting events or comedy shows will also do well with this; but movies are less of a good idea for the beginning of a relationship because you aren’t able to communicate while in the theater.

…low pressure, but maybe slightly awkward because you know the person very well:
Maybe you’ve been good friends for months or years and you’ve only recently taken the romantic leap. This is a case where the first date has served as an icebreaker to open you both to a romantic experience with each other. The second date can be much more exciting and open-ended because this is a great opportunity to do something you both already love doing together. Maybe you’ve been dying to learn to ski, and the other is a snow bunny–get them to spend a day teaching you their ways. Being outside and doing high adrenaline activities is a great way to build trust and strong connections. You should also consider trying something new together and avoid places that remind you of only being friends. Another advantage to this situation is that you already know the person well and can trust them– so taking trips or being alone in remote locations early on is less of a risk.

…good but a little bland and lacking a fiery connection
Suppose the connection was alive and overwhelming when you met, but the first date was a little disappointing and lacking energy. Maybe the low-key-ness of the first date stifled your initial connection. For your second date, do something relevant to what you’ve learned about each other. Take the opportunity to have the other teach you about their interests and hobbies and reciprocate with the same. Maybe they are a really good ice skater and can take you to their favorite skating rink, and then you can take them to your favorite bar for karaoke afterwards. This can be another situation in which an adrenaline-pumping second date is appropriate as well. If you met in a social or group setting and the pressure of being one-on-one is stifling your advancement, it’s okay to do something in a group context like going to a social event for the second date to have friends in your peripherals. Just be sure to eventually wean yourselves away from the social scene in order to verify you are able spend time alone. Good communication is also important here in order to be sure you are both ready to continue dating. It is possible one or both of you may be a bit intimidated by the decision to start dating. Addressing these concerns early can save you both time and heartache.

General guidelines to follow

Regardless of what type of first date you’ve had or what your budding relationship is like, you should have a general understanding as to how you should conduct yourself on a second date.

Don’t throw it all up
This person is not writing your memoir– they do not need to know every nitty-gritty detail about your life on the second date. While it is important to open up and try to communicate on a deeper level, there is no need to discuss past relationships, extremely personal issues or other heavy topics in great length right off the bat. This can be hard to avoid if you’re struggling to create conversation and you are weighed down by one of these topics. Instead, if you find yourself talking too much or going down this rabbit hole, steer the conversation back to the other person by asking questions that will lead to lighter topics.

Build yourself up– without knocking them down
It is important to present yourself as a confident and successful person, and one way of doing this is to shed some light on your achievements. However, this must be done gracefully– avoiding over sharing or bragging. In order to do this, pose your conversation in the light that you are passionate and happy in the work you do. For example, explain what you do for a living and why you’re passionate about it. If it feels appropriate to throw in a small brag, phrase it in an excited and passionate way that matches the way you explained you feel about your job. This allows you to come across passionate instead of brag-y. When it is their turn to share about themselves, listen and thoughtfully ask questions to ensure them you are interested in their accomplishments too.

Keep it cool
Although the second date is an opportunity for you both to be less inhibited than you were on the first date, you are still in the early stages of exploring your relationship romantically, and you should therefore retain decorum. As comfortable as you may feel with this person already, you shouldn’t assume they feel as comfortable with you just yet, and you should therefore avoid any physical advances that don’t feel mutual.

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