Ideas, Information & Inspiration

Ready For Your Second Date? We Are!

10 mins
What You Will Learn
  • Why Dates are Important
  • How Seconds Dates Differ From First Dates
  • Tips For a Good Second Date
by Marcus Life Learning Team

It’s obvious that first dates come with all sorts of pitfalls–you’re anxious, you’re trying to relax, you’re trying to focus, you’re trying to be funny. It’s all so…exhausting. But, if you impressed your date and have another rendezvous set up, then all the pressure is off, right? Well, maybe. The first date should have proved that you would like to spend more time with someone, and maybe there was a little spark, but the second date is where new couples build chemistry. If you’re curious how to turn a spark into a flame, we’ve got second date tips that are sure to impress.

Image of an older couple on date at the beach.

There’s No Cheat Code To The Dating Game

Dating allows you to meet new people. It opens up your eyes to the world around you, one beyond the social group you have built with friends. Physical dating, rather than online dating or DMing until you’re Facebook official, has some clear advantages. First, you can find out right away if you have physical romantic chemistry. It also gives you an opportunity to brush up on your social skills. For example, you can break your habit of chewing your nails or making groan-worthy dad jokes every chance you get.

Lastly, it removes ambiguity. When you ask someone on a real, official date, there’s no confusion about what you want. Finally, it shows that the person you like is willing to make time for you. If you ask your date to meet you at the bowling alley at 6 PM and they flake on you, then good riddance to them.

Image of a couple having a dinner date with pizza and wine by candlelight.

Your second date is bound to feel different than your first date. For starters, you already know about some of your date’s interests because you asked about them the last time. There are also different pressures you’ll feel. The stakes are a tad higher this time around. The good news is that if you score a second opportunity to impress your date, then it means that both people are interested. Now, you can relax a little and act a bit more casual. You can let your guard down to show your date your normal, everyday you. Our second date tips will help you exceed the high bar you set on your first date while still being yourself.

Second Dates Are So Much Better Than The First

After a successful first date, it may feel like you’ve just run a marathon. It’s exhausting and exhilarating. Well, the race isn’t over. You have to do it again. But, your second date isn’t the same race. In fact, it’s almost an entirely different sport! Getting together for a second time gives you and your date a chance to get past the artificial stuff usually mentioned on first dates. You can start sharing how you feel about issues more personal to you. It’s about loading up the kindling on that spark you felt. The more you share and learn, the more likely it is to turn into a flame. If you aren’t feeling the heat, per se, after your second date, don’t worry. Second dates are still just the beginning. Most people will go on a third date even if they haven’t felt a love-at-first-sight moment, if their partner is exciting and enjoyable to be around. Our second date tips below will help you.

Image of two people on a date taking a hike.

5 Second Date Tips That Could Set You Up For A Third

1. It’s not just version 2.0 of your last date.
You wouldn’t eat the same meal morning, noon, and night, would you? Okay, maybe if it was pizza. But, even that would get boring after, say, a couple of weeks. One of our second date tips is that it should be brand new and exciting, not just a repeat of what you did last time. Your conversations will change depending on the setting, and you don’t want to feel like you’re repeating the same things you already said.

For example, going for a long hike will lead to different conversations than if you go to an art gallery. If you already read our first-date guide, then you know that going to the movies for a first date is a big no-no. But, it’s great for second dates when it’s followed up with a casual meal or drink. The main goal is to do something together that feels fresh and completely different.

Image of a woman on a date.

2. Call-backs and deep dives.
These conversational second date tips will show that you were listening, and they’ll show that you are inquisitive. You’re going to impress your date if you bring up the things they talked about on your first date. It’s not hard to remember what people care about, but they will always appreciate the effort. It’s also an opportunity to expand on those points and start asking questions that may have felt too personal to ask on the first date. For example, if your date mentioned their siblings on the first date, you could ask if they have a close relationship. Or, you could ask which sibling they feel closer with.

The idea is to show that you were listening, that you remembered, and to go deeper than surface-level conversations you had on the first date. Also, avoid talking about your (or their) exes. It’s way too early for that.

Image of an older couple on a date walking with ice cream.

3. Check out that body…language.
You can tell when someone is interested in you by checking out his or her body language. On the first date, getting handsy is a wrong move, but slight touching is encouraged on the second. Try some of these second date tips, and try to read your date’s reaction. When you’re sharing a laugh, try touching their shoulder or hand for a second. If you’re entering a restaurant, feel free to put a hand on the other person’s back as you walk to your table. If you’re sitting face-to-face and having a conversation, feel free to touch the other person’s knee or just above the knee during jokey moments. Don’t go too high, though! That could turn flirty touches into groping territory fast.

4. Keep it low-key.
You might think that you should be the perfect gentleman or lady on the second date, but you’re better off just being yourself. You’re showing a prospective partner what you will be like in a relationship. Sure, you should be generous and courteous because you should always be both of those things, but don’t go overboard unless that’s your normal personality. Keeping it low-key means not sweating the small stuff. If you want to pay for dinner and your date wants to split it, don’t put your foot down and insist. Just say, “Okay, maybe I can get the next one.” Keeping it low-key also extends to your first kiss, which can happen on second dates.

Image of a couple on a date in a field.

If you’ve been reading your date’s body language and think they’d 100% be open to a goodnight smooch, then give it a shot. If you’re still on the fence, then don’t sweat it. The key is being open to new experiences and not getting too bogged down with what you should or shouldn’t do.

5. Post-date rundown.
In our first-date guide, we gave you a list of questions to ask yourself after your date. Our second date tips for your post-date rundown are the same, but with a twist. Ask yourself the following questions, then assess whether your second date was better than the first.

Did you improve in areas that you could?
  1. Was the conversation better on the second date?
  2. Did they make you smile as much as on the first date?
  3. Did you make them laugh again? If not, were you trying too hard?
  4. Did you show them empathy and respect their time?
  5. Could you feel the chemistry building?

Once you have your answers, you can assess whether you would like to go on a third date. If you’re on the fence, another date couldn’t hurt. As we said before, sometimes it takes a while to turn a small spark into a fire. As long as you take some time to measure what you’re getting out of your blossoming relationship, you’ll be able to make the right decision.

List of tips for a second date.
List of tips for a second date.

Ready For Date Three?

Second dates are weird. You’ve already made a connection with a person, one strong enough to get you another encounter, but you still don’t know them very well. Yet, you could have an inkling of an idea that you’d like to see more of them in the future. At this point, give yourself a moment to think about what that means. Could you see yourself hanging out on the weekends, meeting each other’s friends or parents, or riding a tandem bicycle with them? You don’t have to have answers to those questions at the moment, but it’s helpful to keep them in mind. If you want to go further, check out our useful third date tips.

  1. What are some things you currently do on second dates that work?
  2. What tips from above do you think will benefit your second date?
Photo of Marcus Lemonis