Dating

How to Find Love: 3 Reasons to Go on More Second Dates

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If you’re in the dating game right now you’ve landed at one of the worst times in history to get involved. The world has turned. No more stolen glances across coffee shops. Or sitting a little closer than is proper in a public library. Romance is done. We want our dating fast, we want it simple and we want it before our UBER arrives.

How to Find Love: 3 Reasons to Go on More Second Dates

The problem with the glut of apps that now influence our dating behaviour is they make everyone disposable. Crooked smile? Swipe left. Hint of a belly? Swipe left. We scrutinize potential love interests as purchases, cold and calculating. The outcome? Quick fire decision making is flooding into the date itself and killing our relationships before they begin.

Maybe we all need to hit slow-mo on our dating behaviour. Take a breath and give someone more than one chance to steal our hearts. Two dates may be the key to overcoming the sweaty palms and bad jokes of the first.

Still not convinced? Here are three great reasons to invest in more second dates:

1) FAMILIARITY BREEDS AFFECTION

Ok, so remember way back before we controlled our love lives on our phones? Where did we all go to meet a potential mate? WORK! Work was the key. You sat next to some guy in an awful office and he started off annoying as hell. Then slowly, slowly those things that drove you crazy became cute. That bad habits turned adorable. And hey presto, you’re kissing at the Christmas party and skipping into the sunset.

Perhaps life didn’t always work out like that and perhaps two dates isn’t enough to turn a frog into a prince, but it gives him a fighting chance. It also lets you both take a breath and evaluate the other in the best possible way.

2) ENVIRONMENT MATTERS

Sometimes the setting alone will determine the date’s success. If you’re in an empty restaurant listening to your cutlery squeak you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a shoddy time. In a buzzing bar where it feels like the world is having fun? Much more likely to equal a successful date. Plus, it becomes even more complicated when you add in people’s comfort zones and preferences.

If you want to know if you really like a guy it makes sense to see him against different backdrops and determine if you really are a good match.

3) NERVES CHANGE PEOPLE

Ever go to a job interview and be completely yourself? No, of course not. Dating can be job interview nerves squared. If you are feeling sweaty palmed and struggling for witty conversation, it’s likely he is too. Nerves can make us someone else.

How to Find Love: 3 Reasons to Go on More Second Dates

That’s why it can be worth a couple of dates to allow that knotty feeling to disappear and discover the person underneath. Sometimes a little time can transform an awkward or over confident guy into a genuinely great one.

…BUT… a second date won’t always be the answer to our dating dilemmas.

For the creepy, the aggressive or the dates that just give you a gut no it’s always right to walk away. But perhaps investing a little more time in the maybes might uncover a few surprises.

Sam is UK based freelance writer with a semi-serious addiction to vintage clothing. Powered mainly by chocolate and tea she spends her days creating articles, blogs and content for fashion and lifestyle brands. Mum to one and nearly wife to another. She thinks she may have a novel in her, she just hasn’t found it yet.

55 Comments

  1. Christina Brown

    You are right. I really truly loved this part:
    Maybe we all need to hit slow-mo on our dating behaviour. Take a breath and give someone more than one chance to steal our hearts. Sparks rarely fly after a 1-hour coffee date. You didn’t fall in love at first sight right? that’s we should give them a second chance anyway.

    • Thank you for your lovely comments Christina – I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Helen Dark

    Completely and utterly true. And well written. I’m usually open to meeting a second time even if I’m not feeling a great attraction. I think that so many people are nervous when they meet for a first date, that neither one are being themselves. Another reason a lot of people do not move from 1st date to 2nd date is because they put too much pressure on themselves or their date.

    xoxo
    Helen

    • Thanks Helen – I agree – our expectations of what a date ‘should’ be sometimes stop us enjoying what’s there!

  3. Great article Sam! For me attraction does usually take time to develop. It seems though that many men want to know right away how a woman feels. I really appreciate when a man pays my Valet/drink/dinner mostly because it shows that they care about my needs — it’s a sign of respect. I can certainly afford to pay, but chivalrous actions show a woman that a man is tuned in to something other than himself… So even if I don’t like him, I’ll give a man like that a second chance. 🙂

    • Thanks Keisha! I agree how a person conducts themselves on a date is really important. We might have called it chivalry but what it boils down to is them being polite and considerate and that’s generally a sign of a good one 🙂

  4. Daisy Clarke

    Everything you said is absolutely 100% true! You owe it to yourself and to him to give it another chance so you can have the experience of getting past the initial awkwardness. On a second date you will get to know him better and begin to see his true colors and the qualities that make him a real person.

  5. A second date really can help you really confirm your vibes. I went out on a date and she seemed fine, didn’t really click, but she had two interesting jobs. I just didn’t get much of a good connection with her. Then we went on a second date, and ever since we have been seeing each other exclusively – 5 months now. 🙂

  6. Christina Norelli

    I believe that people are a lot more comfortable and more themselves on second dates. I have never met someone and instantly hit it off. I blame it on being a completely different person than I appear in the beginning.

    • I think we all have a bit of a barrier up on date no.1. My fiancé says I came across pretty scary on the first few dates….Apparently I’m still quite scary but he got used to it…

  7. Elin Hanks

    Lovely advice! I just got home from a date with someone else who is just as bad at small talk as me. I just picked up on a previous conversation we had over messenger and conversation seemed to flow pretty well! I guess a lot of it depends on the rapport you establish with a person. I have a feeling our second date will be a success!

  8. Ariana Rhyder

    I had the biggest, goofiest grin reading this description/piece of advice. Reading it just really did something for me, and I appreciate that. You seem like an awesome person, and the world would be better if more people had mindsets like yours.

    • Thanks Ariana – that’s such a lovely thing to say. Gosh *blushing writer*..

  9. Can confirm. My husband now, was about to dump me for being boring on our first date, where I’d been advised by friends to “tone it down”. I realized I was probably not going to see him again so I decided to have fun and let the real me out. Result – been together 14 years, married 10 years so far and two adorable kids. 🙂

  10. Carol Warren

    For me, in the past I gave chances. It never develop ever unless it was someone I had a great time with but didn’t feel attracted to. Only then did it develop. So now I know to give chances only to those that I had fun with not just a pleasant time with.

    As for spark. Just because they didn’t work out doesn’t mean they can’t. I only date those I spark with and I had one last two yrs. It just takes work to find a good one.

  11. Kaitlyn Barrett

    If he is a a smart, decent, and attractive guy I normally give it until date #3 to see if there is any spark. If by then I am still not feeling it, then I “it’s not you it’s me… friends?”. (Normally by then I’ve made up a number of reasons not to like him)

  12. Take the second date. If that one doesn’t do it for you, move on. At least you’ll know you made an informed decision before you gave up on the person.

  13. Gerry Carlton

    Some people grow into love and take awhile to fall for someone. And some of us know “yes or no” right off the bat. I never used to believe in this kind of thing, but I went on a third date with someone I wasn’t attracted to – I went simply because he was sooo into me, and so polite and smart and (insert other “good on paper” qualities) and on the third date I ended up falling for him like a ton of bricks and was madly in love with him after that. So now I always tell my friends to go on a second, or even a third, date with a guy if everything but the spark is in place.

    • I had a very similar story with my partner – I think sometimes when it takes a little time to hit – it hits hard! Politeness is always such a good sign too.

  14. Julia MacLean

    I whole heartedly agree that a second date is a must. The nerves do play a big role in messing up on a first date. I’ve had both guy and girl friends tell me how they’ve done the silliest of things just because they got too nervous on their date!

  15. One thing i can say is even if the first date wasn’t perfect, and he was trying his hardest, give him another chance. Maybe he will feel more relaxed and comfortable the second time around. I know in my experience some guys are really shy in the beginning and I kind of got bored and didn’t give them another shot. I know better now (: but only if they treat me with respect. If the guy is a douche, he will be a douche again.

  16. Molly Twain

    Amazing piece with some great advice. I agree two dates. If there is nothing after the second date then there probably never will be.

    • Thank You 🙂 I think you definitely need strike a balance between giving someone a chance and banging your head against a brick wall!

  17. Nancy Musselman

    First impressions are just that… FIRST impressions, but that doesn’t mean they are the RIGHT impressions. How many women on the internet have horror stories of men they’ve dated after a great first impression? Some people aren’t as comfortable getting to know new people, but warm up nicely after a date or two.

    • Sabrina Grattidge

      Idk… First impressions may be hasty at times, but when it comes to dating: the spark, zah zah zoo, oomph… Whatever you want to call it. It is important. Attraction is essential.

  18. Roberta Bennett

    Two dates is the rule! If you`re not feeling it by the second date, then you probably won`t ever feel it. But try not to let the judgment weigh too heavily on the second date – don`t go into it expecting failure. If you went out for a casual dinner, do something different so you get the opportunity to see them in another light. Go to a museum or more interactive place instead. Let them show different parts of their personality to you through different environments.

  19. Pearl Nguyen

    I went on a date with a man who planned everything to the book. While it was the best date I’d ever been on, I didn’t feel an initial spark. We met up again for date number two. And ended up dating him exclusively. I fell head over heels then got my heart ran through a food processor.

  20. Monica Conover

    I’m going on 8 months with my current boyfriend and honestly, on the first date I was on the fence about him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and went on a second date with him and I’m so happy I did….the sparks were just extra delayed because they went a-flyin’ on date #2! Now, I can’t believe I almost passed on him…he’s pretty much everything I said I wanted on my list 🙂

  21. Carolyn Robertson

    I couldn’t agree more. Why not give him a second chance, right? I think if the sparks don’t fly then, then it isn’t worth it. But going on a third date would just lead him on IMHO, while a second date is completely acceptable.

  22. I hear you, but personally I have to feel that spark and/or butterflies. If not the second date is over before it starts.

  23. Gina Mehari

    Spot on! 🙌 If you like the dude, you owe it to yourself to find out if there is an appeal there. Not every nice guy will be your type but everything appealing about a person will not be revealed in an initial meeting. You may have been nervous, he may have been nervous or you both may have been too nervous to connect very well. My advice for my fellow girls is: get the stars out your eyes and realize that relationships can be complex and sometimes we have to take the bull by the horn and make things happen.

  24. Andrea Beasley

    I would definitely give a decent first date another chance. Sometimes sparks start to fly on the 2nd or 3rd date…Sometimes, love takes time.

  25. Claudia Nainggolan

    I had a date the other week. I make it plain that I’m a sporty person and my photos show me nice and clear. The man had photos that weren’t that good and described her body shape as ‘average’. When we met he was a good 30lbs overweight. Did he think I wouldn’t notice? He didn’t get a second date. Perhaps people dating might try a bit more honesty and less self-delusion. But I don’t see that happening any day soon.

  26. Grace Hart Tomlison

    I don’t believe in finding true love through online dating apps. All these swiping right and left nonsense is all based on looks or how visually appealing you’re as a person. I believe in personality and beauty from within. Unfortunately long term relationships are hard to attract. Everyone’s looking for a casual fling these days and in this century.

    • Ingrid Winston

      I tend to agree really. Modern life has us all expecting instant gratification and we don’t really give people a chance when we only spend a few hours in their company. Add to that the potential candy store nature of internet dating and people are psychologically primed to move on quickly to the next great thing rather than invest any time in cultivating a relationship (including “mere” friendship) with someone who didn’t somehow meet expectations on a single meeting. Disclaimer – I have never tried internet dating, I’m going off of the experiences of my male and female friends in their late twenties who are all in the thick of this. As an ancient 34 year old I somehow feel like a 70 year old with my views on dating…

      • I’m 30 Ingrid so probably fall on the elderly side of the dating views pool too! Cultivating relationships is (I think) really important in all areas of our lives.

    • It depends how you use them and if you apply yourself to it. I’m ok looking but not exactly Ryan Gosling either and I do ok on Tinder (which is more difficult for gays to find real dates rather hookups) It shouldn’t matter until you meet them anyway, that’s gonna be where it gets settled either way. 🙂

  27. I have friends who have met through dating sites and ended up marrying, my husband and I always laugh as we know that we would never have made it beyond a first date had we met through a dating site. We are very different personalities and my husband spent our first two dates talking about himself and not asking me anything about myself. I already knew we got along as we were in the same social circle and of course I knew I fancied him, so I hung in there and gave him a chance which I’m extremely glad I did as he is a wonderful partner and friend. Internet dating is not the same as meeting people the old fashioned way. You are exposed to many more people with whom you may quickly find you have little in common with. Just like some terrible employees look great on paper and interview well, an online profile is is only a basic hint of the person you’re going on a date with.

  28. These days lots of first dates are happening that go nowhere. I think this is partly due to the nature of internet dating. I don’t know anything about Tinder but the thing about internet dating in general is that it makes people more picky and less compromising than they would otherwise be if they had met someone through friends or some other real life medium.

    • I think there is a lot of truth in that Callie, internet dating becomes more internet shopping!

  29. Lucy Ferrel

    I’ve refused second dates a lot in the past. I’ve almost ignored whether I really like the other person and have straight away been asking myself whether I am attractive, do they like/want me. It’s completely the wrong approach for a number of reasons. I’d suggest that going into the dates just hoping for and trying to make a nice evening with someone should be the goal. Then think about how you feel about the person later on in the evening. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go anywhere or if they don’t want to continue with things. 🙂

  30. Phillippe Salvatore

    I’ve refused second dates a lot in the past. I’ve almost ignored whether I really like the other person and have straight away been asking myself whether I am attractive, do they like/want me. It’s completely the wrong approach for a number of reasons. I’d suggest that going into the dates just hoping for and trying to make a nice evening with someone should be the goal. Then think about how you feel about the person later on in the evening. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go anywhere or if they don’t want to continue with things. 🙂

  31. Phillippe Salvatore

    The amount of people you meet in a lifetime that you would consider as an actual partner, regardless of whether they are interested in you (which is even more unlikely) is frighteningly small. It’s normal that you don’t hit it off on a blind date, always give it a second chance!

  32. Very true! If you like your date, try offering your number. It may be a bit out of your comfort zone to do that, but from experience I know that sometimes men aren’t sure if there have been enough positive signals coming their way so don’t quite manage to ask for it. Nothing ventured….

    • Good Advice Kylie, I think it can be hard to get a read especially when first dates are very brief. Offering your number is just a friendly way of leaving the door open.

  33. Nice one! According to Match.com survey which I read, 59 percent of men and women who participated in the poll said they would go on a second date with someone they had no romantic chemistry with on the first date.

    Well, I personally think that chemistry IS important in moving forward but it DOESN’T NEED to happen on the first date, as long as you don’t have that “negative” feeling about the person, it’s always worth it to go on and have your second date.

  34. Miriam Dzeko

    I agree. If you genuinely enjoyed the other person’s company and find yourself yearning to spend time with them as a friend, give them a second date. All you’ve got to lose is a couple of hours of your time to the company of someone delightful.

  35. In my opinion, for a relationship to succeed, there needs to be positive chemistry. The two need to feel drawn to touch, be closer to and eventually intimate with one another. That is one of the glues of a relationship. Otherwise you are just platonic, right?

  36. I didn’t feel chemistry on the first date with a man I went on to have incredible chemistry with, it struck during the second date. You don’t know til you kiss them!

    • I agree – A kiss can change everything! I don’t think you get a true sense of the chemistry unless there has been some lip action…

  37. I have had several “one and done” dates, I just don’t feel like wasting time. But I’m definitely not closing my doors to a possibility of second dates.

    • Thanks Patricia there are definitely those definite ‘NO’s’ out there! Sometimes the maybe’s turn into keepers though 🙂

    • I’m with you, Pat! I don’t like wasting time too. I mean if at first date, I didn’t find connection or chemistry between us, then that’s it. Harsh?! Mmmmm… Just being true to myself and my date.

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