There are so many different ways to meet people today that landing a first date is fairly easy. Getting a second date, on the other hand, isn't. To be fair, people have their reasons for not wanting to go out again. But if you've gone on your fair share of first dates and you haven't been asked out for another, experts say there are certain things people who always get second dates tend to do more often.
As relationship coach Steve Yang tells Bustle, one of the biggest mistakes people make on a first date is overthinking the entire time. Instead of staying present and being in the moment, they "strategize." They do or say things that they think can help them land another date. This tends to happen more when you really like someone.
But as Yang says, "It's not a game. People who are more successful and less stressed about dating tend to see it more as a discovery. Who is this other person? Do we have conversational, emotional, or intellectual compatibility? They don't approach it like an interview, with a checklist to go through. Nobody wants to go on a date like that, and nobody wants a second date with someone like that."
Being "good" at dating may take some time and practice. Here are some things people who always land second dates do, according to experts.
1. They're Willing To Try Again
“The people who always land second dates are those who are open and willing to try again, even if there’s no immediate chemistry," Annie Mayo, dating expert and elite matchmaker from It's Just Lunch Denver, tells Bustle. First dates can be really stressful, especially if you're meeting someone in person for the very first time. When your nerves get the best of you, it's hard to show up as your best self. "As long as you haven’t encountered any big deal-breakers during that first date, and the date went pretty well, then you should be willing to go on a second date even if the proverbial ‘sparks’ didn’t fly," Mayo says. So don't make judgements too fast. Some people may just need one or two more dates to warm up to you.
2. They Exude Positivity
Happy people are infectious. People who go into first dates with a positive attitude, tend to get asked out on second dates. "My clients tell me one of the things they’re most attracted to in a potential partner is positivity," Mayo says. "Don’t be a ‘Debbie Downer’ during the date and complain about previous dates, an ex, or your job." Being around someone who complains a lot or is really negative about everything can be emotionally exhausting. Even if things aren't going as planned, take that opportunity to laugh and make a joke out of it. After all, a shared sense of humor can really bond people together.
3. They're Authentic
"There's a lot of pressure from society to have a 'perfect' life, and have it seem like you've got it all together," Yang says. "So the most attractive thing anyone can do on a date is to just be authentic." This goes beyond just "being yourself" on a date. According to Yang, some people try to hide their interest and try to play it cool. But this will only lead to awkwardness and mixed signals. So if you like someone and you're interested in getting to know them, don't be afraid to show that. There's no good reason to act like you don't.
4. They Make Their Dates Feel Comfortable
People who get second dates more often know how to make their dates feel comfortable. They know how to read their cues and stay away from topics that can make someone else feel anxious. "In the beginning of the date, stay clear of overly personal or nosy questions," Christine Scott-Hudson, marriage and family therapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells Bustle. "You are still building rapport and getting to know each other. You want to stick with general well-being questions initially, to help your date feel comfortable." Asking them about their day, what they like to do for fun, the last movie they went to, and if they have any pets are all safe bets. As you get to know them better, Scott-Hudson says you can ask more about their hopes and dreams, bucket list items, and family.
5. They're Present And Actually Listen
"So many people wait to talk rather than really listen to their date," Scott-Hudson says. "Instead of focusing on impressing your date, slow down, pay attention, and really absorb what your date is saying." People who get second dates make their dates feel like they're important. Nobody wants to go out with someone who'll just be on their phone the entire time or keep the conversation all on them. When you're present and in the moment, you can also assess the person to see if they're really someone you want to go out with again.
6. They Find Ways To Connect
People who stay present find it easier to connect with their dates. When you have things in common and can dive into all kinds of topics together, you can really start to form a bond with your date. That's a surefire way to get them to want to see you again. According to Mayo, you can even pay attention to your date's likes in order to offer up another date.
"If you hear that they love music, why not suggest that you two attend an upcoming concert together," she says. "Confidence is sexy. It’s fine to say at the end of the date, ‘I really enjoyed getting to know you more and would like to see you again.’"
7. They Immediately Ask For A Second Date
"If you’re open and willing to go on a second date, ask for it and don’t wait," Mayo says. "It may seem obvious, but so many daters have this outdated notion that they should wait a certain number of days or play hard to get. But momentum is so important."
This goes back to being yourself and not playing it so cool. People have so many options these days. When you're into someone, why would you give them a chance to find someone else? If you're too nervous, Mayo suggests texting them immediately after the date to let them know you had a good time.
"But don’t be afraid to actually call the other person the next day to ask them out again," she says. "Sometimes, going that extra step to make the call can make a big impression on the other person.”
So these are some things people who always get second dates do. When it comes to dating in general, it's important to be yourself, have fun, and not take it so personally early on. If you keep those things in mind, you're sure to land second dates more often.