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Eleven Surefire Ways to Get a Second Date

by Grant Langston, Senior Director, Content

You are having a great time, and it only takes about 20 minutes before you think, "Oh, I’d like to see this person again." If you’ve had a first date where you knew right away that you’d like a second date, this guide will help you steer in the direction of date number two.


If you and your date aren’t attracted to each other, have nothing in common, argue within the first five minutes of your time together, can’t quit yawning, have wandering eyes, or keep saying, “un-hun, un-hun, un-hun,” you don’t want a second date. This is a guide for people who think “WOW,” and are curious how they can increase the odds of getting a second evening out.

Play It Cool

We asked two dozen women what they would think of a man who kept saying, “You’re so beautiful,” during a first date and everyone single one of them said, “Run for the hills.” It’s hard to be attracted to a person who keeps frothing at the mouth about you. Perhaps that seems strange, and in a way it is flattering, but it reveals an odd lack of maturity. A random, “You look great tonight” is fine, but play it cool.

You Have Been Googled. Be Ready

Oh yes. You’ve been Googled prior to your first date. It’s almost guaranteed. If there’s a problem, be ready to address it. If you have a doppelganger who robs banks, be prepared to explain. It’s the modern age. Having a ready explanation is the best way to say to your dates, “I’m normal” and “I play it cool.”

Let Your Date Know You’ve Having a Good Time

This is not a contradiction to “play it cool”. Life is an exercise in subtle behavior. If you’re having a good time, let it show. Smile. Laugh. A well placed, “I’m having a great time” is good. We all want to be with people that we can make happy. Let him/her know.

Ask Questions

What’s your date’s favorite topic of conversation? The answer is easy, we all love to talk about ourselves. We also love to feel important and interesting. If you can make your date feel these things, the chances that he/she will be attracted to you soar. This isn’t a job interview and you want a sense of conversation to the evening, but don’t be scared to ask questions that give your date a chance to elaborate, “Why do you think happened?” and “How did you feel when that happened?”

Be Warm, But Not Grabby

When you walk in to meet your date, chances are you’ll have no idea where they stand on questions of physical affection. Does he/she like to hold hands? Does he/she like to kiss on a first date? You can’t ask these questions, and so you’re advancing with little sense of what this person likes. It’s funny, you can talk about politics, religion, and past loves, (although you probably shouldn’t) but you can’t ask about kissing. Our advice, if you like the person, is to be a little warm. Touch their arm when you tell a story, as a passing gesture. Establish that you’re not two work colleagues having dinner. This is about romance, even if you’re being slow and respectful. During the evening lean in a little and see what your date does. Does he/she lean away from you? Bad sign. Lean in? Very nice.

Keep It Light

Oh please banish talk of medical conditions, fringe politics, and religious ideas, unless you are 100% sure that your date is well aligned with you. Even if they are, talk about your travels, your passions, your favorite books or anything else that is light and fun. You’re trying each other on. Very few people want to sit through a detailed explanation of your diverticulitis.

Be Very Normal

I saw a post on the eHarmony Facebook page the other day that said, “First date is always make sure you're not a psycho' drinks/happy hour type date.” Exactly. We’re not suggesting that you lie to a date, but a first date is about being normal. The person is trying to determine if you are, and if it is possible for you to be so, you should be. No wacky ties. No gross-out jokes. No bizarre habits. You’re putting your best foot forward here, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

What Makes You Interesting?

People get testy when you talk about dating like a market. It tends to reduce love to a transaction, and that’s not good. But anywhere that people have choices there exists a kind of market. If you want someone to choose to spend time with you, you need to think about what makes you interesting. There is probably something about you that is interesting, but so many people misidentify what it is. Is it your job? Probably not, but maybe. Is it your hobby? Most likely, but not always. Is it your unique take on Seinfeld? Probably not, but maybe. The point is, you need to take yourself out for coffee with a yellow legal pad and think about what makes you interesting. THAT’s the stuff you need to bring up on a date. Don’t assume that your date is going to see what makes you brilliant, subtly bring it up!

Have a (Life) Plan

One of the things your date is going to want to know about you is, “Where in the heck is this person going in life?” They want to know because there is some small chance that they will be going with you. It’s hard to come out and ask, “What’s your plan, Stan?” and so people dance around it, but they really want to know where you’re headed. You’ve GOT to have an answer to this question. You’re answer may be, “I’m in grad school right now. I’m going to graduate and look around and see what my opportunities are.” That’s fair. Your answer might be, “I have it made. I’m not changing anything. I want to do exactly what I’m doing until I keel over.” That’s good, a very direct answer, but people get in trouble with hemming and hawing. If you seem like you’re aimlessly floating, why do I want to hitch my wagon to your pony?

Conduct Yourself With Dignity

I started to write, “Conduct Yourself Like a Pro” but that has an entirely different meaning. I mean maintain a sense of decorum. I once went out with a woman, and we had a great time. We did, unfortunately, have too much to drink. We both acted quite foolish, and things never recovered. She was too embarrassed to see me again. When you’re attracted to a person you can get carried away. If you want to talk for six hours, go for it, but otherwise be aware that a first date is a thing. It’s a time to be the best version of yourself. Don’t get silly and screw it up.

Watch What You Say in Cyberspace

You’d be surprised how transparent social media is. So when you tweet, “OMG, my date tonight was so hot!” It can be pretty darn easy for your date to find that tweet. If he was that hot and he does find your tweet he may be flattered or he may not want to be with someone who tweets her every thought. You won’t know until it’s too late. You may not care if your date sees you ragging on about how boring and small-minded he was, but it’s never a good idea to air your dirty laundry for the planet to read.

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