Got a second date lined up? Do these five things to nail it

It’s crunch time (Picture: Getty/

First dates get a lot of attention when it comes to dishing out advice.

That makes sense. After all, first dates are scary. There’s a reason first impressions get mentioned more than second ones – it’s because your first interaction with someone really does set the tone for your relationship, and the way you’re perceived at first glance does tend to stick.

But second dates are worthy of conversation, too, in our books.

The second date is when things really start to matter. The initial nerves have dissipated, the pressure lessens, and you’ve confirmed that the person isn’t absolutely awful (at least not enough to rule out another date, anyway).

All this means that a second date is the time to actually, properly get to know someone. It’s a time to suss out if this is really someone you like beyond that initial attraction.

So, how do you make sure your second date does what it needs to do, and is a general success?

Samantha Rowland-Jones, one of the matchmakers at Ignite Dating, shares her five key tips.

Relax and enjoy it

The first date is when you’ll have had all your nerves – now you can officially relax and actually enjoy your date.

‘It’s easier to keep the conversation flowing when you know more about each other and you can show your interest in them by bringing up some of the things you discussed the first time around,’ Samantha tells ‘Enjoy this getting-to-know you stage.’

Mix it up

If you went for the standard dinner and drinks on your first date, plan something different this time around.

‘Suggest that this second date should include doing something the other person will really enjoy based on what you’ve already learned about them,’ Samantha recommends.

‘It’s easier for you both to show your fun and laid-back side by enjoying a shared activity, whether it’s a picnic in the park, taking in a museum exhibition, or enjoying a long sunset walk.’

illustration of couple on dateTry to have fun (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Get a little deeper

Samantha says ‘You don’t need to get too deep here – grilling somebody about their exes is still firmly off the table.

‘However, this is the perfect time to find out more, whether it’s about their childhood, career plans, family, or background.

‘It’s all about knitting together a picture of who they are and feeling comfortable enough to share things with each other.’

So, a little deeper than your first date, but not all-in on the biggest issues and dealbreakers. This is still only the second date – no need to bring up marriage and having kids just yet.

Show more affection

Now’s the time to venture into getting physical. Do what feels comfortable, whether that’s a cosy touch of the arm or a kiss.

‘If you feel the time is right, you can begin to show affection rather than just curiosity if you’re more comfortable with each other,’ says Samantha. ‘Neither of you should feel rushed into anything, however – there’s no set timeline for how intimate any date should be.’

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Get real

Look, it’s only natural to be on your best behaviour on the first date – you want to make a good first impression.

But by the second date, you should be showing who you actually are. Otherwise, you’re not giving your match the chance to actually know and like you.

‘A successful second date should tell both of you whether or not there is enough there to potentially warrant a relationship,’ Samantha says. ‘So it really is important to show your true self at this stage and find out how compatible you could be as a couple.’

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