Sadly, you need to accept that sometimes – no matter how much you enjoyed the first date – it’s not going to lead to another.
Some people are obsessed with looks and unless you’re a pin-up type, they are unlikely to date you again. Others are obsessed with marriage so it will spell the end when you say you don’t want to get hitched till you’re at least 40.
But in most cases, when the first date goes well there are lots of ways you can increase your chances of a second date.
One of the most important rules (and sadly, it is sexist) is that the guy should ask for the next date. I know it sounds really out-dated but according to the experts it’s the only way to go.
Next, never have or ask for sex on a first date. If you’re a woman, it gives the impression that you’re too “easy” and if you think you’re a gentleman, asking for sex when you first meet contradicts that.
(Some people say there should be no physical contact at all – and if you’re both over 25, then you might feel more comfortable following that rule – but lots of younger singles think it’s natural to at least kiss.)
Next, don’t let the first date go on for too long. Even if the evening has gone well and you seem made for each other, don’t stay out till the wee hours swapping life stories.
That way, there will still be a little mystery left for the second date and your partner will remember the night as a fun time.
You need to make sure the other person knows you have a character – so don’t go along with every suggestion they make for where to go and what to eat and drink.
If your partner raves about a band that you absolutely loathe, be polite and concede they’re really popular but don’t pretend that you love them too.
Don’t go Dutch on a first date. Again, this can seem old-fashioned but research shows that most women still prefer a man who settles the bill and most men feel much happier doing that.
If a man acts like a gentlemen and holds open a door, hands you a drink or helps with your coat, make sure to say thank you – EVERY time. In surveys of annoying things about first dates, many men say they hate it when a woman doesn’t show any manners.
Women on the other hand say one of the biggest turn-offs for them is when a man can’t resist following an attractive woman across the room with his eyes.
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So guys, give your date your undivided attention and don’t be tempted to ogle anyone else!
If you’re shy or first dates make you so nervous that you can’t make decent conversation, make sure you tell the other person.
Better to admit to nerves than have them think you’re boring. Guys can even use it to introduce a possible second date.
This could go along the lines of … “I get shy with new people – but I’m different when you get to know me.” Suggest that next time you could go ice-skating/cycling/enter a pub quiz together. (By now you should know what sort of thing she likes to do.)
If one person is too quiet, the other might panic at the thought of having to carry all the conversation next time too – but an activity date would take off the pressure.)
Of course some people over-talk when they are nervous so if that’s you, make sure you give the other person time to talk. Another problem with people who over-talk is that they often start confiding their ‘little secrets’.
You want to seem interesting – but you don’t want to seem too different or nerdy in some way.
So don’t mention that you once called The Samaritans because you were suicidal and make sure you curb your OCD desire to repeatedly polish the cutlery.
Obviously, you don’t want to be dishonest or fake – but you don’t want to risk saying something that will detract from the good first impression you’re trying to create.
In three months time, she’ll still love you even though you’re more frightened of spiders and creepy-crawlies than she is. But save confessions like that for later!
Make sure your date feels special – ask them questions and compliment them – on their hair, their tie or a pretty dress. (Girls are usually thrilled if a guy brings along a little gift like flowers or chocolates – but make sure it is a small present.)
It might be considered wrong for a woman to ask for another date but there’s nothing wrong in presenting an opportunity for it to happen.
That means if there’s a circus in town, you can drop into the conversation that you’ve never been inside a Big Top (if he’s interested, hopefully he’ll offer to take you.)
A guy can find out if the way to a second date is clear (without losing face) by mentioning he’s keen to try the new sushi place that just opened. With any luck, she’ll reply that she wants to go there too and you can fix up the next date.
If not, just let the conversation move onto something else and wait for the next opportunity. If a new art show is opening in town next week, say you’re planning to go along and if she’s free it would be great to meet up there.
If you strike out a second time then she’s probably not keen to meet up again but you’ve avoided the discomfort of asking outright for a date and being turned down.