When the first date goes well, it's natural to want a second one. But how do you make sure a second one happens? Having a good first date sets the stage for a second one, and in some instances, all you have to do is ask.
Setting the Stage
A fun first date where the other person feels cared for and cared about is the perfect start toward getting subsequent dates. In other words, if the other person doesn't have a good time on the first date it's going to be more difficult to get a second date than it would be if they had enjoyed themselves. Essentially, the question is this: Did you have an experience on the first date that the other person would want to have again?
A Great First Date
If your date goes well and you're hoping for a second date, make sure you're clear in your intentions. Don't just assume that a second date will happen naturally without some concrete plans being made. In fact, if you leave the date so sure of yourself that you neglect to actually ask for a second date, the other person may leave the date wondering what they did "wrong." Here are some ideas for wording to make sure you clearly state your intentions in wanting a second date:
- "I'd love a second date with you. What do you think?"
- "This place is great, but have you tried the location out west? May I take you there next Friday?"
- "If you're free on Saturday I'd like to take you on a second date."
- "This is the best conversation I've had in a long time. Should we continue it tomorrow night over coffee?"
Improve the Odds
There are things you can do to increase your odds of getting a second date beyond simply making sure the other person enjoys your time together:
- Don't force the romance (kissing, holding hands, etc.); if you try too hard on the first date, the other person may apprehensively wonder what's in store for them on a second date.
- Be yourself; you want the other person to want to spend time with the real you as opposed to a character you play on the first date.
- Really listen to the other person and respond accordingly; people like spending time with those who truly listen.
- Be fun; if you're the type of person who is fun to be around, the other person will want to spend more time with you.
Asking After the Date
Perhaps you had so much fun on the first date that you accidentally forgot to ask for a second date - or maybe you were too nervous to ask. It's appropriate to ask for a second date after the fact, especially if you do it within 24 hours or so after the first date. The old rule of waiting three days after a date to reach out isn't reasonable in the Digital Age where it is far too easy to get in touch with someone and rapid communication is expected. A phone call, text, or message asking for a second date should include a suggestion as to the when and where in order to avoid confusion or plans that are so vague they never happen.
A Rough Beginning
When the date doesn't go very smoothly, you may be less inclined to ask for a second date. Before you make that decision, though, consider what made the date less-than stellar? Was it simply the awkwardness of a first date or did a series of events ruin your best-laid plans? When asking for a second date after a rough one, you can approach it as a redemption of sorts, stating that you want to show them how you originally intended the first date to go. A word of caution on this tactic: if the first date went poorly in your mind, but not in the mind of the other person, asking for a "do-over" date may make it clear you're both on different wavelengths.
Bowing Out Gracefully
If you ask for a second date and the other person declines, it's not your job to cajole them into accepting a second date. It's your job to respect their wishes and not try to hassle them into saying yes. This doesn't mean you should turn and run away at the first declination, and while there's nothing wrong with asking again, you don't want to fall into the realm of hassling.
Consider Their Experience
The desire for a second date shouldn't solely be about how you felt about the first - you also need to consider if the other person had an enjoyable time. If you can help the other person enjoy the experience, they are far more likely to want to spend more time with you, perhaps leading to a second date.