How do you build on a successful first date?


I haven’t talked about following up on good dates in a while, and this question from the dating advice subreddit seemed like the perfect launching point:

ManInCollege asks:

So I met with this girl from same college and we had a great time together. She seemed to enjoy too, based on her smiling, giggling and conversations with me. It never occurred that it was a date and nothing romantic happened. But I said that it would be nice to meet again and she agreed. Although we have no plans yet.

Are there any good tips for second meeting? What places are good options and how I escalate and make our meeting a date?

Demetrius says:

Let’s assume that she thought they were on a date, and he thought they were on a date, and just go from there. If you’re in a similar situation, remember, it’s always better to confirm that you’re on a date. That said, confirmation can occur after a hangout that may have been a date, it’s not taboo or anything. It’s always better to be on the same page, but worst case scenario, if you’re in a similar situation and actually read it wrong and it is platonic, eh, not that big of a deal. The worst that will happen is a comical misunderstanding and a bit of embarrassment.

Okay, operating on the assumption that this was a first date, and the goal is to build on that success, the major takeaway for anyone in a similar situation is going to be building on the foundations of your first date, and adding new levels of connections. It sounds simpler then it is in practice, but when it comes right down to it, building a connection, whether it’s romantic or platonic, is all about creating a common base and connection, and continuously adding layers to it. He doesn’t mention it in the body of the question, but he mentions that her enjoyment of the date is an assumption he’s making based on body language, and the conversations they had. That means that they discussed something that he feels can be built upon. My advice to him, and to anyone in the same boat, is to take those conversation points, the ones that seemed to form the basis of your connection, and build on them.

The conversation topics will differ from person to person, but whatever they are, work to build on them. If your initial date conversations were about travel, ask questions about recent trips, then build on that conversation thread by asking about future travel plans. If you spent your date talking about your love of a specific work of pop-culture, build on that by discussing similar topics i.e. If you both watched and loved Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix, you could build on that by exploring the depictions of people of color in media, or talk about all the other Marvel shows on Netflix that you love, or just talk about some of your favorite shows on Netflix unrelated to Marvel properties, or talk about the history of Luke Cage in comics, and so on. It’s all about taking what you learned and discussed on your first date, building on it, then adding another layer to keep your conversations flowing. It doesn’t have to be the same type of layer, just focus on steadily building on existing conversation threads, and adding new ones. If you talked religion on your first date, you don’t have to spend the second date only talking about religion, but you could use it as a stepping stone to get into a conversation about Western Philosophy. If you spent your first date discussing Judeo-Christian religions, René Descartes would be a great tangent topic for date #2, for example.

These are just random examples to give you a basic frame-work for conversation, but rather than laying out a dozen examples, here’s a handy chart that lays out the principle:


Start with a topic, build on that topic, and keep building on it. If you go off on a tangent, build on that. And so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

Now, as for what to do on a second date after a successful first one, here’s what I’ll tell you. Where you decide to go, and what you decide to do, doesn’t matter as much as you think. You might be inclined to want to WOW someone on the second date, but honestly the company makes the date, not so much the activities of the date. If your date is into sports, but not you, and you take them to a game, they might remember the date, but if they’re not into you, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve fallen into the trap of wanting to go all out on a second or third date, really trying to impress my date, and it almost always doesn’t work. The focus of your early dates really should be on testing chemistry, rather than giving them the date you think they want. I promise you this, if you put even a little bit of effort into planning the second date it will be appreciated. Not money, effort. As long as your first date isn’t an exact repeat of your second date (same time, place, and location) you’re already doing a good job. Plan a time and date, pick a place they’d want to go to that’s easy for both of you to get to, or about halfway between you both, and you’ll be fine.

Save the big blowout dates for when you’re actually dating. To capitalize on your good first dates, make building on your conversations your focus.

Good Luck Out There.

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