Second-Date Conversations To Hold Their Interest
The first few dates can be the trickiest part of a new relationship. You’re still learning about each other, and a deeper connection is only in its earliest stages for most people. The spark of potential is there for both of you, and all that’s left is to discover whether you’re compatible beyond the surface.
The best way to do that is through conversation on your first few dates. Read on to learn about topics you can use on your second date to hold their interest and discover more about your potential partner and how therapy can teach you communication skills to make expressing your needs and emotions easier.
The Importance Of Conversation On The First Few Dates
The first few dates give you a glimpse into who someone is and what it would be like to have them in your life. You’re both learning about each other and deciding whether you want to spend more time together. First dates are usually about first impressions and choosing to pursue a shared interest. The second date generally offers a chance to learn more about each other in a lighthearted way while experimenting if the mutual attraction grows. You can start initiating deeper conversations on the third date to begin building an emotional intimacy connection.
“Cohen's findings indicated that women were more likely than men to use early behavior and verbal communication to gauge the level of perceived attraction from their date. Men, on the other hand, did not view these behaviors as indicating that their date was less attracted to them.” — Research about early dating conversation habits, Psychology Today
Going Beyond A First Impression
Whether you met through a dating app or in person, the second date is your chance to go beyond a first impression and create a pleasant memory with your companion. Focus on back-and-forth conversations that allow both people to feel heard and understood. Show that you're listening by asking relevant questions that help facilitate the conversational flow while allowing you to learn about your date.
How To Keep The Conversation Flowing On The Second Date
You made enough of an impression on your first encounter to secure a second date, but what do you talk about now? Try some of these topics and strategies to keep a lighthearted conversational flow that helps you learn about your date and makes them feel like the focus of your attention.
Show An Interest In Their Passions And Personality
The second date is a perfect opportunity to learn more about your companion and discover facts about their personality that draw you in further. Ask them to tell you about something they love passionately, and watch them light up with excitement as they talk. Learn their favorite personality trait or what habits are instant dealbreakers for them.
Ask About Their Future Hopes And Dreams
Discussing future goals, ambitions, and dreams can be a fun, lighthearted way to learn more about their desires. You can ask what they would do if they could make any life change with no financial concerns or the first thing they would buy after winning the lottery.
Keep The Conversation Going With Open-Ended Questions
Remember that you’re responsible for half the conversation, and questions that only require yes or no answers don’t give your date much room to respond. Help keep the conversation going by asking open-ended questions that give your date something to respond to and often lead the discussion in new directions.
Questions To Ask On A Second Date
Remember that the conversation goes both ways, so don’t just interrogate your date. Share your answers, too.
- What did you like most about me on our first date? Is there anything that causes concern you’d like to ask about?
- Who in your personal life do you admire most and why?
- What’s one mistake you’d never make again?
- How do you feel about your work? Do you enjoy what you do?
- What is one of your greatest fears?
- What is your most relaxing self-care strategy?
- What are your biggest dreams?
- What’s your most humorous first-date experience?
- What is your favorite thing about this city?
- Do you have any pets, and can I see pictures?
- What would you grab if your house was on fire and no living creature was in danger?
- Can you describe your personality in three words?
- Do you have unique or quirky habits or hobbies?
- What role would you play in an apocalypse?
- What traits do you find most attractive in a partner?
- What did you want to be when you were ten, and how does it compare to what you do now?
Leave Your Phone Put Away And Focus On Them
Unless you're likely to be needed for an emergency or on call for work, keep your phone put away during your date and direct that attention toward your companion. You’re far more likely to get a third date if they feel like you focused your energy and attention on them during your time together.
Learn About Each Other’s Favorites, But Make It Fun
Bypass the mundane “What’s your favorite…” questions and turn them into a game. The goal is to guess things you may have in common, and the first person to make the other say, "Oh, me too!" five times chooses the next date. You’ll learn fun facts about each other, and it provides the perfect opportunity to negotiate a third outing.
Discuss Your Childhood Experiences
Childhood experiences can lead to mixed responses, so you may want to save this conversation for when you're more comfortable with each other because everyone didn't have positive early years. Try bringing up a childhood experience and gauging their response to the topic before proceeding.
Don’t Just Wait for Your Turn To Talk—Actively Listen
Some dates can feel like your companion only wants to talk about themselves and is just waiting for you to finish speaking so they can talk again. Show your date that you’re actively listening. Respond to how they answer your questions with their words and body language. Steer away from topics that make them uncomfortable and focus on uncomplicated ways to learn more about each other. You may earn bonus points if they mentioned something during the first date that you can ask about when you meet up again.
Helpful Tips For Your Second Date
Try some of these tips to help your second date go smoothly as you work to build an emotional connection and show them the spark of potential can become something more.
Get Moving And Do Something Fun…
Doing something physical and fun together, such as hiking, having a picnic, exploring an event side by side, or even taking your pets to the dog park, can provide a way to create exciting memories of your second date.
…But Leave Space For Conversation
However, you want to ensure you allow opportunities for conversation. If you’re too busy to talk, you may both have fun, but you won’t make much progress getting to know each other.
Should You Kiss Them?
If you didn't end the first date with a kiss, you might want to consider kissing them goodnight if things seem to be going well and you get the sense that the mutual attraction is continuing to grow. Pay attention to your date’s body language, and if they back away when you lean in for a kiss, respect their wishes.
How Therapy Can Help You Build Communication Skills
Many people struggle to effectively communicate their needs and emotions to their partners and people close to them. Consider working with a licensed therapist online through a virtual therapy platform focused on relationship issues like Regain. Therapy can help you find healthy ways to set and explain boundaries, manage conflicts, and express feelings to your dates and eventual partners. Parents or guardians seeking online treatment for children ages 12 to 19 can contact TeenCounseling for assistance in supporting their children through the turbulent teen dating years.
“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”
“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”
The past several years have inspired a colossal interest in versatile treatment options. Recent studies show that online therapy is as effective as traditional in-person treatments—often at lower costs with shorter wait times. Teletherapy platforms offer the added benefit of access to a much more comprehensive network of licensed mental healthcare professionals, making it far more likely that you’ll connect with a therapist who makes you feel comfortable and works well with your personality and therapeutic needs.
The conversation can be one of the most crucial aspects of a second date, and it can help to prepare a few subjects before you get together. This article offers insight into helpful communication methods to help you through the second date and beyond, topics you can use to keep the conversation going, and how therapy can teach you valuable communication skills.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should happen on the second date?
On the second date, you should focus on getting to know more about each other. The first date may have been short, and of course, it only gave each of you a chance to make a first impression. Even a great first date or the best first date generally includes some small talk, and you probably had nerves or butterflies in your stomach to some extent. Now, you can relax a little bit more. Often, a second date will be a little bit longer. Especially since a lot of people stick to a coffee date or getting drinks for the first date just in case it doesn't go well. You will be able to gauge how you feel about this person as a potential partner a little bit more, but you don't need to put too much pressure on that quite yet. The second date should be fun, and it should serve as an opportunity to ask questions that move beyond small talk or the very first "get to know you" questions one asks on a first date. For example, on a first date, you might ask, "what do you do for work?" Now, you know the answer to that question, and you can spend the second date getting a better sense of their personality and aspirations.
What to talk about on second dates?
As stated in the article above, trying to retain some of the information that you learned about this person on the first date is beneficial. A follow-up question about that information will serve as an excellent conversation starter. You can ask about something they told you last time, or something that you talked about in between dates. You may have texted briefly in between the first and second date, and during that text conversation, your date may have told you something about their life. The same is true for those who met through online dating and knew a bit about each other prior to both the first and second date. For example, they might have mentioned visiting their parents or working on a project with a friend. This is an easy way to find something to talk about!
Should you kiss on the second date?
It's definitely not unheard of to kiss on the second date. If you do exchange a kiss on the second date, it's best to wait until the end of the date, both to avoid any awkwardness and to make your goodbye special. That said, don't force a first kiss. If it feels natural and both of you want to kiss, go for it.
How should I prepare for a second date?
It's a good idea to think of some good questions to ask when you're on a date. Make a mental list of questions to use to keep the conversation going, fill any silences, and to learn about anything you want to know about your date. Some second date questions might be a follow-up question like, "how has work been?" or "how is that art project going?" Other good questions to ask on a second date are slightly more personal questions. Don't go super deep or ask them to talk about something traumatic, but ask about some of the big stuff. Use this opportunity to ask vital questions like "What are your goals in life?" and "Do you see yourself staying here, or do you want to move somewhere else in the future?"
How many dates before you sleep together?
The answer to this question varies dramatically from person to person, so it all comes down to personal choice. On average, people prefer to wait until the eighth date, but there are people who sleep together before the eighth date or years after. Some people prefer not to sleep together until marriage. No matter what the answer is, the important component is that both people consent to sex.
What is the 3 date rule?
The three-date rule is a personal dating rule held by some people who prefer to wait until they go on three or more dates to sleep with someone. A lot of people like to use the three date rule for themselves so that they're able to get to know the other person before sleeping with them, and so that they can gauge the other person's intentions. A lot of people also simply want to know that the emotional connection is there. Again, someone might wait much longer than three dates or decide to sleep with someone before the three date mark, and both of those choices are absolutely okay. If you and the person you are seeing have different views on sex, or if one person is ready before the other, it is crucial to talk it out. You should never feel bad for saying no to sex.
How many dates before you become exclusive?
The number of dates you go on does not define the exclusivity of a relationship. Some people become exclusive after six dates, whereas other people take it slow and see each other for many months before ever becoming exclusive. If you want to be exclusive or if you want to define a relationship in general, you must have a conversation about it. This is not something that can go unspoken. You want to avoid any misunderstandings about the state of the relationship and make sure that you're on the same page.
How many dates should you go on before kissing?
Most people prefer to go on two or three dates prior to the first kiss. The most important thing, however, is that you're both ready and that the moment is right. There's nothing more magical than a first kiss at the right moment, so let it happen when it comes naturally. If you feel the sensation that you want to kiss someone coming on and you're in a place where it feels comfortable to do so, look into their eyes, and say, "can I kiss you?" softly. It's a sweet and sexy way to initiate a first kiss while making sure that the other person is on board.
Do's and don'ts second date?
Though there's the potential for some nuance, there are some general do's and don'ts to keep in mind on your second date. Here are some things to consider:
- Do learn more about their goals and lifestyle.
- Don't have a date night in or head to each other's house after the date.
- Do go somewhere where you have the opportunity to talk. When going over date ideas, pick a restaurant or the boardwalk over a loud movie theater or bar. You want to be able to hear them!
- Don't try to define the relationship yet. Get to know them better first!
- Do listen to your intuition. If the time feels right for a kiss, ask for a peck on the lips. If it doesn't, wait for the next date.
- Don't give your date gifts yet. If it's anything more than the classic rose or flower bouquet, hold off.
If you have any concerns related to dating, relationships, or anything else going on in your life, a counselor or therapist like the ones at ReGain can help. Get started with ReGain today, or look for a mental health provider in your local area who you feel comfortable talking to.
What does a second date mean to a guy?
What are questions you should not ask on second dates?
How does one make an interesting second date?
Are second dates really a turning point to something more significant?
Should the man (or woman) initiate date two?
How does a woman assure a second date to a man?
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