Here’s how to get the second date of your dreams.
By Melissa Noble — Last updated on Jun 23, 2023
Photo: iona didishvili / Shutterstock
OK. Let’s get this disclaimer out of the way. We hate rules.
We hate them, we hate, we hate them. And when it comes to dating rules? We loathe them. Who are we to tell you how to act when sitting face-to-face with someone you’d like to see naked? This is your ballgame, sweetheart. Throw your first pitch as you see fit.
Besides, people are way too unpredictable to round up and throw in the same pile. What works on Date Y may send Date X running for the hills. Literally. We’ve had dates fake an impromptu marathon jog after we told them about our intense husband search.
All jokes aside, be yourself. Warts and all. Well, maybe cover those warts with concealer but don’t try to pretend they don’t exist. They’re your warts after all. Own them.
That said (you knew there was a “but”) in our wise, vast history of bad first dates, we have a few low-maintenance and basic tips to help you get to the next level. At least we think so.
Here are 5 ways to practically ensure he asks you out for a second date:
1. Don’t sleep with him
A no-brainer here, but this one’s tricky because we like to kid ourselves into thinking the human race has evolved to the point where first-date sex won’t tarnish a relationship’s longevity. WRONG! “But, I’m modern” you’ll slur to yourself after downing your sixth beer and second shooter.
No. You aren’t modern — just drunk. Or bored. Or depraved. And about to make a big mistake. Kiss if you must, but leave the clothes on. Now, if you’re just looking for a one-night stand, fine, cut your losses. But if you’d like to see him again, it’s best to withhold.
2. Offer to pay for something
If he asked you out, sure, let him flash the plastic and pay for dinner. And, please, order what you want, and don’t be shy about dessert or wine. But if the date extends past dinner it’s time to flex some of your own dollar bills.
Offer to buy a nightcap. Or say you know a great coffee/tea place and pick up the check. Sure, it may not equal out that first time but don’t think this thought-that-counts gesture goes unnoticed.
3. Don’t trash-talk other women
OK, maybe the waitress is a bit curt. Or cute. Or a mixture of both, and this wakens the instinctual catty monster aching to veer its hissy, female head. Stop. Ignore. Think about the weather. Talk about how you wish cold weather would end already.
Leave your friend’s mean text, and the C U Next Tuesday co-worker stories for your girlfriends. The ladies in your life will listen with wide-eyed amusement, your first date will listen with wide-eyed amusement and internally roll his eyes.
4. Don’t pretend your date is a therapist
Did you have a wacky childhood? Have phobias involving certain types of chairs? Hand-washing rituals that require a sanitizer tube in your pocket at all times? Yeah. Great. Keep it to yourself.
While your friends may encourage and accept all of this, don’t overindulge with someone who may not be ready for this type of discretion. This is the case even if you’re even on a date with a psychiatrist. Even therapists are off the clock when forking tiramisu and mixing cream into their coffee.
5. Tell him you have to “get up early tomorrow”
This is the best way to end a first date. Trust us. Don’t be rude or give an air of disinterest, but make it seem as if you have a commitment of some sort to rise and shine for early tomorrow. Even if it’s a Friday or Saturday night, call it quits before you get into the a.m. If you can, of course.
Movie tickets or whatnot may prevent a strict timetable, but it’s best to take control of the situation earlier rather than later. A predestined end-time will also cut down on the chances of violating #1, too. Keep it classy, ladies. If he’s meant to be, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get in trouble late at night.
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Melissa Noble is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about love, relationships, and trending news stories.