First-date you is the performer, second-date you is the gatekeeper.
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So you?ve met this person, and you like them. You made it through that dreaded first date and things went pretty well.
Now you?re ready for another.
First-date you is the performer, you?re on baby! Putting out your best material. The performer sees the audience, not the faces, sees the big picture, but misses the details. Second-date, you is more detail-oriented, ready to dig a little deeper. Ready to focus outward. A little less flash, more substance. More vigilant as well.
The first date is tricky. It can be tense. It can go so badly that you never want to see the person again, that?s the simplest outcome. But what about when there are little hints of problems but nothing overt? What about when it goes okay or even better? If it goes amazingly, you might be left wondering if you imagined it.
That?s what the second dates are for.
I created a set of guidelines for myself when I was on the market. These guidelines helped me navigate the world of online dating filled with first dates. It was these guidelines that helped me make the most of the experiences that eventually led me to my husband. I?ve focused a lot on first dates and the overall attitude of dating in general, but I also think it is worth taking a look at the second date a little more thoughtfully.
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In many ways, the second date is even more important than the first.
Photo by Irena Carpaccio on Unsplash
That first date sweeps you up in emotion. You might be a bit awkward or say something silly because you?re nervous.
You or your date might put up a slight facade trying to impress. You might do a little stress drinking. There are lots of random things that can happen on a first date when everyone?s stressed out, so it?s the second date that tells you what you want to know.
When I was dating, I tried to focus on what I could control. Instead of judging what the other person was doing, I concentrated on how it made me feel. Something I?ve noticed is that you can usually get most of the information you need about a relationship by reading your own feelings.
Ultimately, when you?re with someone, your happiness boils down to how you feel when you are with them, not the things they do. There is a subtle but powerful difference there. The first way expects them to fit a mold to make you happy the second way lets them be themselves and allows you to decide whether or not they?re right.
On that second date, you?re not as focused on putting yourself out there so, you can be a little more objective and turn inwards for your answers.
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The best way to tell if it?s really working out is to see if your relationship is reciprocal.
Here are some things to be aware of on that second date that will let you know if the person is a good match.
Are you cringing?
If the person makes you cringe, that?s probably not a good sign. When someone makes you cringe, you are embarrassed. It could be anything from bad jokes to body odor, but if that person has something that rubs you that wrong on the second date, it?s probably not going to get any better.
Cringing is a strong sign in a budding relationship. The direct antonym for cringe is to advance, so if you?re cringing on this second date, maybe your subconscious is telling you that you don?t really want it to proceed.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Are you laughing freely?
Laughter is an excellent sign for a couple of reasons. The first being that if you are laughing spontaneously, you?ve been able to let your guard down a bit. You?re comfortable. It?s important to feel comfortable in a relationship. It also means that the other person makes you laugh.
Having shared humor is one of those things that can get a long term relationship through hard times and keep things interesting. Laughter is an indication of bonding. It?s science! If you can laugh with someone you are in the process of bonding, that?s a good sign. If you are laughing freely and a lot, you are on the right track as long as it?s not the cringy kind.
Does the conversation flow easily?
This is along the same lines as laughter. When the conversation sweeps you away, you?ve entered that magical flow state with the other person. Time seems to fly by, you look at your watch, and somehow it?s two hours later.
My husband and I had a seven-hour first date. It flew by in a heartbeat.
We read a lot about flow concerning work and creativity, and it is a highly creative state of mind, but you can get into a flow when you are on a date. That is the creative side of the experience, you and your potential mate are creating something: a possible relationship. Getting into a flow on a date is a great sign.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Are you physically comfortable?
Why not read your body language. Are you leaning into or away from the other person? You may be trying to make yourself like this person, but if you?re really not feeling it and you don?t even know why you might be trying to force it.
If you are doing that, your body is probably telling you something important. So don?t deny what your body is trying to say to you. If you?re not sure, it can make the final decision for you.
Are you feeling awkward?
If you feel awkward around your date, it could mean that there?s a power imbalance, or it could mean you are just you are so into them you are nervous. On the second date, though, if you are not able to loosen up around them at all, it could be a bad sign.
Do you feel like you?re out of your league? It?s okay to think the other person is a great score, but if you really feel like you?re not good enough for them, that is going to play on your self-esteem eventually. Being awkward can be endearing, but if you always feel this way around them, it?s going to wear thin after a while.
Photo by Milly Vueti on Unsplash
Are quiet alarm bells going off in your head?
This is an important one. If you feel very uncomfortable around this person, don?t blow that feeling off.
Even if you can?t put your finger on it, if they seem perfectly fine, if you are picking up something that is making you nervous, don?t ignore it. Your brain might be sensing something subtle or some subconscious danger you can?t place.
I once dated a guy that gave me those subtle creeps. I made myself ignore it because he was good looking, had a great job, and seemed nice. When I got to know him better, he had some weird habits and was into some pretty creepy stuff. By the time he revealed himself to me, we were already dating and breaking up with him was scary.
I?m not saying every person that makes you feel uneasy is that weird, but sometimes people rub you the wrong way for a reason, so don?t ignore this feeling.
8 Green flag predictors for lasting love
These green flags tell you that it is more than just a passing fancy.
Second dates don?t get the props they deserve. Sandwiched between the excitement of the first date and the settled in feeling of the third, their importance often goes unnoticed. But the second date is the gateway that your potential mate either gets through or not.
Use your feelings to determine if that person is worthy of going to the next level by really being present during that second date. You?ll be glad you did.
I hope you found this helpful, if you did, here are a couple more articles you may want to take a peek at:
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You?re going to get home at the same time anyway, what path will you take.
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Sometimes it?s just that easy to get unstuck.
Thanks so much for reading!