First Date Tips to Help You Land A Second Date

By Angela W. McShan

Updated November 15, 2019

Reviewer Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

The art of dating is nothing new to society. People have been dating for years and many with great success. The dynamic of dating has changed over the years, largely due to the advancements in technology. Online dating, speed dating, and dating apps make it easy to meet people these days. It's easy to meet them and not too difficult to approach someone to ask them out. But, how do you ensure that the first date goes well enough to land you a second date? That's a question almost everyone ponders at one point or another. It helps to know and understand the first date rules.


Once you've asked them out and gone on the first date, the hard part is over, right? Not exactly. If you enjoyed the first date, you are likely looking forward to the second one. What can be done to ensure that everything goes well on that first date? It's best to just be yourself and try to make plans that both people will enjoy. Consider the likes, dislikes, hobbies, favorite places to eat, and other favorites of your date and try to arrange for the first date to include some of those things. This presents a better chance for them to enjoy themselves and possibly look forward to a second date. Once you've mastered the first date, the second date shouldn't be too difficult to approach.

Here are a few first date tips to help you land a second date.

1. Make the First Date Unique and Memorable. It's common to try to keep the first date simple, but simple doesn't have to be boring. Try arranging a first date that includes anticipation and surprise. Make your date wonder where you'll be going by dropping subtle hints. This increases their anticipation. They'll likely try to think of all the possible restaurants or movies they possibly can to determine where the date will be. Surprise them by taking them to neither a restaurant nor a movie. Instead, have a meal for two catered or plan to visit a local attraction that's not always a first-date type venue. They'll like the effort and be surprised at your choice.

The fact that you made the first date so enjoyable and different will make them look forward to the second date with you.

2. Make Sure Your Date Is Prepared. Preparation is key when preparing your date for the date. Even if you want to surprise them with the location, let them know what attire is most appropriate for the occasion. Wearing the wrong clothing can ruin an otherwise great experience. If it's cold at the venue or location, you have scheduled the date for, make sure your date dresses for the occasion. Let them know just enough about where you're going to dress the way they should.


If you've planned for a wonderful experience, she'll enjoy it more if they're comfortable in the attire they're wearing.

3. Who Picks Up the Tab? Who pays for dinner during the date is a long-running debate that often makes its way to the first-date table during dinner. It's fine for the guy to plan and pay for the date, but it's also okay for the woman to pay. Some approach the tab by allowing whoever initiated the date to pay the tab. If you want to increase the chances of landing a second date, try to be courteous and pick up the tab. If your date insists on paying, suggest they allow you to pay and perhaps they can leave a tip or pay for dessert.

Don't stress over who is or isn't responsible for the tab. Most importantly, don't allow it to destroy the date altogether. Make sure it's a memorable experience and don't worry about the check until it comes.

4. Be Yourself. It's important to always be yourself, especially when dating. If you want the person you're dating to value you as a person and see you for who you are, you must show them the real you on the first date. That's the only way to ensure that you will make it to the next date. Face it, if a person doesn't like or value you for who you are then you shouldn't be dating anyway.

Some people have difficulty being themselves. If you face challenges in expressing yourself or if your self-confidence lacks what it needs to allow you to trust that you're enough, you should consider seeing a therapist.

6. Give the Conversation a Try. Don't spend time on the first date listening to your date talk about themselves. It's important to open up and share things about yourself too. It creates interest and possibly makes your date want to learn more about you. Talk about non-confrontational topics to keep the mood light. Avoid political conversations if at all possible. Consider discussing your hobbies, past travel experiences and hint on the goals you have in life.


This creates a sense of transparency that allows your date to form a quality opinion of you. They'll likely appreciate you being forthcoming about your interests and hobbies and look forward to learning more about you.

6. Ditch The device. One of the worse things you can do on a first date is to stay glued to your mobile device. Your date will think that you don't have time for a second date or that you're too consumed with social media to pursue a dating life. Hold their interest by turning off your device or putting it on silent. Be attentive during the date and stay away from social media.

Showing your date that you're dedicated to the moment is a great way to ensure a second date. Your date will appreciate how attentive you were on the first date and may strongly consider reliving that experience with a second date.

7. Be Present in The Moment. Make sure that you have a clear mind before the date. Don't allow the hassles from work, school, family, or life in general to consume your thoughts. It will show on your face and can likely take you away from the moment. Work through any lingering issues before arriving on your date.

Many people can pick up on any issues or concerns you may have. If your date is perceptive, they will likely want to end the first date early and probably want you to work out the details of what's going on before considering a second date.

8. Be Confident Going In. Confidence is king, and it's a relatively big turn-on also. Your date will notice and appreciate your confidence. Make sure you don't confuse confidence with cockiness because the latter isn't appealing at all. But go into the first date believing that there is a chance for a second date. Often, if you don't believe in yourself, it shows.


There are ways to display confidence on a date, but you can keep it simple by expressing little things about yourself, your goals, and your eagerness to grow as a person. Remember that you're aiming to show your date that you're working on being the best person you can be for them and yourself.

9. Tell Your Date What You're Thinking and You'd Like To See Them Again. Don't be afraid to let your date know that you're already planning the second date in your mind. This helps you to read their reaction and find out if a second date is on their radar.

10. Don't Allow Too Much Time to Pass by Before You Reach Out. It's okay to give your date time to settle in and think about how much they enjoyed their date with you. However, don't allow too much time to pass before you.

Of course, not all first dates will lead to a second date and sometimes, that's for the best. But if a second date is what you want, there's an opportunity to get just that when you follow the first date tips listed above. You should consider that a second date is only an option when both parties are interested. That's why you must make an effort to ensure that you get things right on the first date.

First dates have their share of ups and downs, but they can be fun if you plan properly and both of you have a good connection. If you get a good feel from the first date and are interested in seeing them again, that's wonderful. Follow the first date rules that apply to every relationship and start making plans to see them again! Don't become discouraged if the first date doesn't go as planned. Sometimes, a bad first date is no one's fault at all, and second date may still be possible. When things go wrong, discuss them and offer explanations if you can, but always encourage your date to look on the bright side and consider seeing you again.

When You Never Make It Passed the First Date

If you've found that you're always going on first dates and rarely, if ever make it to the second date, talking to a professional counselor may help you process feelings about that and look for patterns and skills to help you. They can help you understand what's going on and discover any personal issues that may be preventing you from progressing in the world of dating.

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