24 Tips For Having A Great Second Date (And Getting A Third)

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The best thing about second dates is that you already know this person likes you, a little bit at the very least.

While a first date comes with no promises, the second one means this person is interested enough to go out with you again.

That’s great! However, a second date doesn’t come with any promises either.

So how can you make sure that you get the third date, and potentially more?

Well, the first date obviously went well, so this one needs to be equally good or even better! To make sure that happens, use the following tips to have a great second date!

You’ve already gotten your foot in the door, now you just need to keep this person interested in you and let your love blossom. If you’re both looking for a serious relationship, you’ll have a much better idea whether that’s a possibility after your second date.

So keep reading and come prepared!

1. Plan an entirely different date.

Since your first date went well, you might be tempted to just stage a rerun. Don’t. You should do something entirely different for your second date.

While choosing a different restaurant might be a good idea, it’s even better to choose a totally different location and activity. If you already had dinner on your first date, maybe this time you could go wine tasting. Doing something different will keep things interesting and help you gain a fresh perspective on each other.

If you repeat the same activities, you might end up repeating the same words you have already spoken. Talk about something new and let your environment inspire fun and interesting conversations.

Don’t forget that the second date shouldn’t be as formal as the first one. Until now, you were just two strangers, but now you’ve made a step toward being something more. Don’t take a step back; keep moving forward instead.

2. Pick a place where you can talk.

Going to the movies is a bad idea for any date early on when getting to know someone. You will lose valuable time sitting silently next to each other instead of using that time to discover more about one another.

It’s just as important to talk on the second date as it is on the first, so don’t choose a date idea that would prevent you from doing that. Once you get to know each other enough to hang out more often and feel comfortable in each other’s company you can have your movie marathon. But for now, pick a place and an activity that will allow you to talk to each other for a good proportion of the date.

Don’t forget that you’re still getting to know this person, and learning more about each other is currently the number one goal of your date. To achieve that goal, you’ll need to be able to communicate without too many distractions.

This is important to remember because there are some amazing date options that would guarantee a great time but wouldn’t allow you to talk as much as you should. Leave these ideas for when you’re already in a relationship and make this date all about talking and bonding.

3. Choose something that you can bond over.

Speaking of bonding, maybe you talked about how you both like bowling or horse riding during your first date. Now’s your opportunity to use that fact to your advantage! Why don’t you take your date bowling or horse riding so that you can bond over that shared interest?

Think about the things you’ve talked about on your first date and see if any of the common interests you have could be turned into a date.

People generally go to restaurants, bars, or coffee shops for the first date, so a second date should be less generic and more personal. Incorporating something that your date mentioned they like will earn you some brownie points.

Even if you just know the genre of music that they like, take them somewhere where they’ll be able to hear that type of music. When they notice that you’ve paid attention to their likes and dislikes and went through the trouble of planning the date accordingly, they’ll be suitably impressed.

4. Dress more casually.

While you were trying to look your best for your first date, you should try to look more like you normally do for your second. This means that you should dress more casually. Jeans and a t-shirt could be a great outfit for a second date!

Your date has already seen how great you can look when you bring your A-game; now they’d like to see how you’d look if they were in a relationship with you and saw you every day. You can always highlight your good parts and hide your bad parts, but maintain a normal, casual, and natural look.

Everything about the second date should be less formal than the first one, including the clothes. If you don’t normally wear high heels or a tie, don’t wear them now either. Let your date get to know the real you and get a feel for what things would be like if you were a couple.

You certainly wouldn’t go through all the trouble you went through for your first date every other time you’d need to see them, so let them see you the way you are.

5. Greet them with a hug.

What better way to start your date than with a smile and a hug? You and your date already know and like each other, so show it as soon as you see one another again. You can even give them a cute little kiss on the cheek.

By starting your date with a little intimacy, you will break the ice and make you both feel more relaxed and comfortable around each other. A hug and a kiss on the cheek could remind your date that you like them and help ease the tension.

Of course, if you already had a real kiss on the first date, a kiss on the cheek would seem like just a friendly one. So maybe you could kiss at the beginning of the second one!

If you don’t want to risk it though, you can’t go wrong with a smile and a hug.

6. Bring up something from the first date.

One of the best tips to impress on a second date is to remind your date of the first one and the fact that you were genuinely listening to what they had to say. By bringing up something from the first date, they’ll feel good about your potential future together!

Maybe there was something they mentioned that was too personal to discuss further during the first date, but now might be the right time for it. For instance, if they’ve mentioned that they don’t have a good relationship with their family, now could be the time to ask them why. Try not to spend a lot of time on topics that could make them feel bad though. Try to choose something more positive that could turn into a long, meaningful conversation.

You can even use this opportunity to schedule the third date right away! For example, if they said on the first date that they spend a lot of time in the gym, mention it and ask for some tips. Hear them out, and ask if maybe you could go to the gym together so that they could show you their favorite exercises and help you get in shape.

Whatever you do, make sure to mention something from the first date because it will show them that you were paying attention and reassure them of your interest in them.

7. Ask a lot of questions.

What if they go on and on about how much they enjoy working out? Even if you’re not that interested in the story, make sure to ask your date questions and keep them talking about themselves. It feels good when you’re talking to a person who shows an interest in what you’re saying.

Let them know that you’re interested by asking questions, but don’t sound like a detective. Just be curious about the things that matter to them and ask about things that matter to you too.

What is important to you that could help you know for sure that you want a third date with this person? While you might not want to talk about marriage and children, there’s nothing wrong with asking them about the kind of relationship they’d like to have. It’s good to know that you’re on the same page.

8. Open up more.

As you ask your date questions, they’ll open up to you more and more. This is a good thing, but it means that you need to open up a little too. A bad date is one where you don’t do much of the talking, so even if your date enjoys talking about themselves, you should give them some information about you too.

Don’t open up too much because it’s still only a second date, but open up more than you did on the first one. Talking about your childhood or your hopes and dreams can be a good way to let them in a little. Tell stories – they are a great way to keep your date interested and to share parts of your life so far.

You probably covered the main things on the first date, so you should now dig a little deeper and reveal some things about yourself that you wouldn’t say on a first date. It will help you bond and develop a deeper connection.

9. Don’t get too comfortable.

Opening up can sound great, but you might open up a bit more than you should, so don’t get too comfortable. This person is not yet your partner, just someone who might become your partner after a while, and they’re paying close attention to you to see whether that’s something they might want.

It might feel like you have known each other way longer than you actually have, so keep in mind that you shouldn’t yet be opening your heart and soul to them.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol during your date. A few drinks is fine, but it could ruin your date if you get too drunk. While your date is at least a little interested in you, a third date is not guaranteed, so don’t forget that and don’t act like you’re best friends already.

10. Don’t talk about your ex.

Your date might want to know about your past, and might ask about other relationships you’ve had. Avoid talking specifically about your ex because you don’t want your date to think that you’re still hung up on them. You especially don’t want to talk badly about your ex or you might give your date a more negative opinion of you. Give them the facts and move on.

For instance, if they ask you about your last relationship, saying how long ago it ended and how long it lasted is pretty much all the info they’re looking for.

A second date is a great time to learn about each other’s romantic history. So, starting a conversation about your past relationships is okay, but stick to what could be relevant to your potential partner and keep it short. You should learn about each other’s past, but your potential future is much more important, and there’ll be time for the details once you’re in a committed relationship.

11. Flirt with your date.

We assume that there’s a lot of flirting on the first date, but that isn’t always the case. On the first date, you still aren’t sure that you like each other that much. And while you’re so focused on figuring that out, you forget to just relax and seduce each other.

So, use this chance to flirt and really show your interest. Make eye contact, smile often, make them laugh, actively listen while they talk, and ask questions to keep them talking. The point is to make them feel like they’re the only one who matters in the world right now.

You can even tease them a little, but make sure not to offend them. Make them happy and put the moves on them so that they know you’re serious. It might be a cliché, but moving a lock of hair from their face or cleaning the coffee cream from their mouth with your finger might just get those sparks flying.

12. Make physical contact.

Don’t forget to touch your date because this is a big part of flirting. Of course, you shouldn’t make them feel uncomfortable by touching them in an inappropriate way, but touching their shoulder while they talk or holding their hand at some point is a good idea.

Or lean in while they talk and touch their arm when they make you laugh. Put your hand on their back as you enter the place where you’ll have your date.

If you end up having a really good time, you might even put your hand on their knee or just a little above it. This will certainly let them know that you’re interested, and if they don’t flinch, they are probably glad that you are because they like you back.

But even if they like you, they might not enjoy being touched, so if you notice that they’re not comfortable with it, don’t touch them anymore. Some people are not into public displays of affection, and you need to respect that.

13. Don’t let them get bored.

Asking questions like “Am I boring you?” or “Are you having a good time?” could make you sound needy or even annoying. Still, you need to make sure that your date doesn’t get bored, so try to read the signs.

If you notice that they’re getting a little bored, suggest that you continue your date somewhere else. For instance, if you were at a restaurant, head to a bar where you can get drinks and enjoy the change of scenery.

If they refuse to go somewhere else and decide to cut your date short, you probably aren’t going to get a third date with them. In that case, you’ll just have to accept their decision and move on, because convincing them to stick around could just make you seem desperate.

14. Don’t make assumptions.

No matter what feelings you might be developing for this person after your first date and subsequent messages or calls, don’t assume they’re not dating anyone else. They could be seeing other people as far as you know. And until you agree to be exclusive, you can’t really blame them for seeing what’s out there and considering their options.

So, before you change your relationship status and assume that the deed is done, ask yourself whether they have given you any reason to think that.

Unless you already agreed that you’re a couple (which is unlikely, let’s face it), don’t assume that you are or that you will be. This will save you from unnecessary pain if this person doesn’t feel the same way about you.

You are only on your second date, so things could go anywhere from here. Don’t come with too many expectations and let things develop naturally.

15. Read their body language.

Your date probably won’t tell you how they feel about you just yet, and it’s not a great idea to ask, so you’ll need to read the signs.

Pay attention to their body language and try to make them feel relaxed if they seem closed off or uncomfortable. Making them laugh is a good idea anyway, so tell a joke or gently tease them, but make sure to change the subject either way.

You could also help them realize that you’re paying attention by mirroring their body language. People don’t usually do this on purpose, but it naturally happens when you’re engaged in the conversation or attracted to someone, so make sure to notice it.

Or they might mirror your body language, which is a good sign! As long as their arms and legs aren’t crossed, and they’re open to your gentle touches, your date is going well. If they seem comfortable and relaxed around you, they’re probably having a good time, but they might be nervous because they want to impress you too. 

16. Don’t stay in one place.

As you already learned, you shouldn’t stay in the same place the entire date, even if your date doesn’t seem bored.

Keep this in mind when you’re planning the date because you should choose different locations and activities. Dinner and a movie are played out, so try to think outside of the box. Maybe you could start your date by going to a bar and take a walk in the park after a few drinks.

Where you go and what you do doesn’t really matter, just that you change locations and do different things, even if it means trying out two different meals in two separate restaurants.

Taking a walk between spending time at two different locations is always good because it will give you some alone time, while you’ll probably be surrounded by people at the locations you choose. As long as your date seems to be having a good time, don’t rush anywhere, and even sit on a bench for a while. It might give your date the privacy they needed to open up to you.

17. Let it last longer.

While your first date might not have lasted long, this one should definitely last longer. People often make the first date short because they just need a little time to see whether they’d be interested in the person, and they don’t want to be stuck on a date if they aren’t.

The second date, on the other hand, means that you are already at least a little interested and have an idea of what you can expect. So, it should last longer, and you should take that into consideration when you plan the date.

Maybe you could make your date last longer by planning some outdoor activities. For instance, you could see some famous sights, go to an amusement park, or go on a hike. A change of scenery, and combining indoor and outdoor activities will make your date seem longer and more fun.

18. Give them compliments.

The second date is a great time to give the other person a few compliments. People like those who make them feel good about themselves, so you shouldn’t forget to say some nice things about them.

Make sure that your compliments are genuine though, because you don’t want your date to think that you’re just trying to seduce them with lies. Let them know what you like about their appearance, but compliment them on their personality much more than on their looks.

If your date is looking for a serious relationship, they’ll want to know that you like them for who they are inwardly, not for how they look. So make sure to tell them that they’re funny, intelligent, hardworking, or whatever it is that applies to your situation.

Mentioning their physical appearance is good, too, but focusing solely on that will just make you come across as a bit one dimensional.

19. Be a good listener.

Being a good listener is important on dates, and you can show that you’re listening by mentioning something that your date has said. You already know that you should bring up something from the first date, but if you’ve known your date for even longer, think back on the things they’ve told you in the past.

Maybe they canceled your first date because their brother had a birthday party, so you could ask how the party went. Asking follow-up questions also proves that you were listening, so if they say that the party went great, ask whether there’s any cake left!

Showing your date that you’re a good listener will help you make a good impression.

20. Make plans for the next date.

The only guaranteed way to get a third date on the second one is to schedule it right then and there. Mentioning something that you can do next time and making plans for the third date right away is a surefire way to find out whether your date is interested in seeing you again.

Don’t start with this conversation at the beginning of the date, but if the opportunity occurs and something that you could do together comes up in conversation, try to schedule the third date.

You can also bring this up if your date mentions that they’re having a great time or that they’d like to see you again. If they hesitate to make plans with you, don’t push them on the subject. They may or may not want to go on another date. It might be that they want to take things slowly or that they aren’t sure of their availability and would prefer to arrange something later on.

21. Kiss (if you’d both like to).

There’s no rule for when two people should kiss during dating, but it most often happens during the first three dates. So, if you didn’t kiss on your first date, you might want to go for it at the end of the second date if it seemed to go well. Maybe you felt some chemistry during your conversations, but a kiss could help you determine whether you’re really attracted to each other.

You might be imagining the guy on the date leaning in for a kiss, but don’t hesitate to initiate it if you are a girl! If you’re on a date with a guy who seems to like you but doesn’t initiate anything, he might just be shy or unsure how you’d react. Make it easy for him and kiss him!

22. Send a text afterward.

If you follow these tips, you should hopefully have a great second date, so don’t let it end without letting your date know that you had a good time. Send a text after the date to reassure them that you’re interested and hope to see them again. Simply say that you enjoyed the date and that you’re looking forward to seeing them again. Mention the third date if you’ve scheduled it, and wish them good night!

You might get a response right away, and it will reassure you that they enjoyed your date as much as you did. While these two texts should be enough communication for now, you might end up texting each other all night, and if you’re both enjoying the conversation, there’s nothing wrong with that!

23. Come prepared.

If you have read all the tips so far, you’ll probably be quite prepared already, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. You need to prepare for a second date if you want to increase your odds of getting a third date. If you decide to just go with the flow and see what happens, you might not have such an amazing date as you can have if you follow these tips.

24. Try some of these second date ideas.

So, you’re as ready as you can be for your second date, but what should you do on it? Here are some ideas.

Is there a club or a class that could help you bond? Maybe you could go to a jazz club or take a pottery class. It would certainly create a romantic atmosphere, especially if your date likes jazz or pottery.

What if they love dogs instead? You could visit the dog park even if neither of you has a dog! You can even volunteer at the animal shelter.

If you can’t think of anything your date would like to do, it’s never a bad idea to try something new, like archery. Or maybe you could go to an escape room or take your dream car for a test drive. Dancing is never a bad choice for a second date, so why not look up a salsa class? And where there’s dancing there’s singing, too, so you might want to consider going to a karaoke bar as well.

Are there any good outdoor concerts nearby? Maybe you don’t even have to stick to your location. You could try taking the train to a historical site or a beach that’s an hour away from where you live and learn more about each other during the ride.

Visiting a fortune teller, seeing a comedy show, playing board games, or cooking together are also fun second date ideas, so choose something you think your date will like and have an amazing time!

Still got questions or anxieties about your second date? If you’re not confident about dating or haven’t got a lot of experience, you can improve your chances of making a good impression by talking to an experienced relationship and dating coach. So why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you prepare the very best you can. Simply click here to chat.

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About Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.