I recently heard from readers Merz R. and Nicole M. about best strategies for securing that elusive second date. This got me thinking... perhaps Merz and Nicole aren't alone in this struggle. Have you recently been out on a fantastic first date and heard nothing but crickets afterwards?
To provide the best possible solutions for Merz and Nicole, I did quite a bit of research — Industry experts have a lot to say on this topic (side-note: check out Tawkify's study on the best day/time to date).
Though, amidst all of the advice on what to wear, what to say, what not to say — there were 3 main points that surfaced as the most essential.
1. First Date = Activity-based
The most successful type of 1st and 2nd date (increasing the likelihood of future dates) is an activity-based date.
Anything that gets people on their feet, experiencing something out-of-the-ordinary is preferred. That is not to say dinner dates are not successful, but an activity-based date is better suited for the initial introduction. Whereas, dinner dates are better suited for 3rd dates and onwards.
So, why are activity-based dates so effective? They...
- ...break people out of their comfort zones — forcing dialogue into more interesting places.
- ...allow for more movement. Thus, granting the opportunity to see how someone holds themselves and engages in social situations.
- ...are FUN. First and second dates should be light, casual and full of laughs.
Save the candle-lit dinner for 3+ dates in, when you actually know you like this rando. Your dinner will be much more meaningful, much more romantic (and much less awkward).
Go to a museum, the botanical gardens, an outdoor jazz show...play a game of chess in the park (if you both like chess), hit up a food truck event, a wine tasting, etc. Here are some more fun ideas.
In a nutshell —
If you're wanting to maximize your chances for a second date, do something original with your first date.
If you're working with a dating service and would like to give this strategy a try — let your matchmaker know you'd like an activity planned on your next first date.
2. Texting Trap, Beware!
Avoid communication-in-limbo mode like the plague!
You might have experienced this... two people are in communication for weeks, months, years (haha), but don't actually plan an in-person date. This is 100% an unfortunate bi-product of contemporary dating culture. There's always another attractive, funny, amazing single around the next swipe — boo!
This "trap" occurs in the stage between first and second date quite frequently. You have a great first date, you talk and text casually for a couple weeks... and no real plans ever transpire for that second date.
My advice? Do not spend your time talking/texting until you've been on at least 3 dates. From dates 1-3, only use forms of communication to plan the next date and cover very preliminary topics — not in-depth personal conversations that are better had in-person.
Make a plan, stick to the plan and don't waste your time on pre-date conversations. You're too busy for that! You have a life and talking to strangers on your free time is a time-suck.
The goal is to get to know someone IRL (in real life), so stick to that end-game and cut out the clutter in between.
3. No sex.
Almost every industry expert agrees on this point. Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, Alyssa Bunn, gives her reasoning:
"She's hot. You're hot. Why not? Well, not so fast. Sex clouds your thinking. When you have sex with someone, the relationship shifts focus and becomes about doing it again — the sex, not the date. Any clarity about this person being a future partner goes out the window, in most cases. If the initial chemistry is that great, see if it's still there on a second or third date."
Have tips of your own to share? Comment below with any of your go-to strategies for securing that second date!
Valerie Presley Ackler