What To Do After First Date – Planning Your Next Steps

Updated April 6, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

So you've had your first date and you're feeling pretty excited about what might happen next. This new person in your life has you feeling positive and you want to figure out how to further this relationship. Knowing what to do or when to text after a first date is not always simple, though. It’s normal to feel a bit anxious when planning out your next steps, but having an idea of what to do, what to say, and where to go on a date can be helpful. 

Keep getting to know each other

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After the first date, you're going to want to keep getting to know this new individual. There is no specific set of after first date rules. You don't have to set up a formal date to keep connecting. Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to stay in touch with people. You can start talking on the phone and sending texts to each other when you have free time. This is an easy way to learn more about your new love interest. In fact, it can help a lot when you're trying to set up a new date.

When you learn what to text after the first date, you'll be able to talk about your interests while also learning bits and pieces about each other's lives. Putting some effort into talking to your potential new partner is good for your relationship. Some people have more time than others, though. If you're a busy professional, then you might not have long blocks of time to spend texting and talking. Just know that you should try to communicate to keep the first date sparks going. If you don't fan a flame, then it may eventually die out. That is why, no matter how busy you are, texting after first date is helpful if you want that special connection to progress.

Your relationship is in its infancy. It needs to be nourished, and communication is the best food. It is usually fun to get to know each other. Don't be afraid to get a bit flirty and enjoy learning more about your date. You'll feel significantly more connected to this person over time, and when you do meet up face to face again, it will be more comfortable.

Spending time together doesn't necessarily mean that you must go on a formal date either. You could casually hang out too. This could be as simple as popping by to walk your date home from work. Or it could be a small, planned lunch that you don't consider to be a formal date. Just try to keep connecting, and you might find that your relationship will grow exponentially.

Decide whether to go on a second date

After you have gotten to know your date a bit more, it will be time to figure out whether you're going to go on a second date. If you have been talking since the first date and have been working on your bond, then you're probably ready to move forward. If things have stalled out some, then you might not be that interested in this person. You should only go on a second date if you feel drawn to the person or if you want to see if there could be a connection there. If you aren't feeling it, it's likely best to move on before anyone gets hurt.

Assuming you do like this person and want to start dating them seriously, it's going to be time to start working on your second date ideas. Try to remember the things that you learned about your date while talking to them. Pick a fun date that they will enjoy and that will also allow you to keep getting to know each other. There are tons of options to pick from, and it might be good to pick something outside the box. Going on a hike or having a picnic in the park might be more interesting than just dinner and a movie.

The most important thing is to pick a date that you feel comfortable with. Ensure that your second date idea matches your interests and that your date will have a good time. Once you have checked all those boxes, it'll be easy to plan things out. Ask your love interest on a second date, and they will most likely say yes. 

Be honest about your feelings and expectations


Being honest about your feelings is imperative. This is among the signs a first date went well. When you can't be honest with the person you're dating, it will be difficult for them to get to know the real you. Putting up a wall might feel natural when you're nervous about things. You might not be a very open person, which could cause you to hold back a bit. If you can, then it'd be good to try to let your guard down and connect with your date.

People who can communicate their feelings will have an easier time building a strong bond with a new romantic partner – but don’t overdo it. If you're enjoying your time together, then there should be no shame in you letting your date now. Being real with your date is both sensible and helpful. You don't need to confess your burning love before or during the second date, but acknowledging that you're feeling a spark is good. Let your date know how you feel, and then you can see if they feel the same way. 

It's also best to be upfront about your expectations. Some people go into a relationship expecting one thing and then find out that their date wants to take things in a completely different direction. Your date could have plans to move to a different state or country after finishing college. That might mean that your relationship is expected to be short-term. If you are looking for a long-term love connection, then this person might not be right for you.

Talking about your expectations in a relationship isn't always easy. It can feel especially daunting when you're still getting to know someone. The early stages of a relationship are important, and you shouldn't take things too seriously. Even so, it's good to acknowledge your basic expectations so that you don't accidentally hurt one another.

Don’t forget to work on your personal goals

A relationship is going to be stronger when someone has a healthy life of their own beforehand. Also, focusing on other things can help you to avoid getting too jittery about that second date. Dating jitters are strong emotional and mental distractions. Nerves are normal, but it's smart to take a step back sometimes so that you don't get too stressed. Hang out with your friends and don't forget to eat healthy and go to the gym. You can keep getting to know your love interest during your free time, too. Finding the right balance is appropriate.

Don’t try to force a sexual relationship

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Another big step for your budding relationship is going to be having sex. Depending on your personal beliefs and sexual urges, you might be ready to have sex after a successful first date. Not everyone thinks this way, though. Many people are against the idea of having sex too early in a relationship (especially for the first relationship). For this reason, you should be cautious when taking steps toward having a sexual relationship with the person that you're seeing.

Ask your date about how comfortable they are before even thinking about taking things to a sexual level. If your date mentions wanting to take things slow, then that's a sign that they would prefer to wait to have sex. You might even find a date who has religious beliefs that prevent them from having sex until marriage. There aren't specific dating rules that you need to follow, but it is good to be mindful of what you want out of this relationship.

Online couples counseling can help as well

Whether you're a student who needs college dating advice or an adult who is facing some relationship challenges, online couples counseling can help you out as well. If you enter a committed relationship with the person you have been dating, you might encounter some relationship issues. Many couples experience problems they have difficulty solving on their own. Professional counselors can work with you to help you get through even the most tumultuous times. Whether you're having trouble communicating with each other or if you don't know how to strengthen your bond, it's going to be helpful to have online counselors as your allies.

Should your relationship significantly progress to thoughts of marriage or living together, you may want to seek out premarital counseling. Among other things, pre-marital counseling can help couples learn to improve communication and conflict resolution skills. A classic study found that couples who completed premarital counseling of some form had a 30% higher rating in marital satisfaction. A systematic review study of premarital counseling studies found that such programs improved interpersonal skills and overall relationship quality.

You can reach out to an online couples counselor if you're ready to get help. Regain’s online relationship counselors make it simple for you to get the counseling that you need. You can talk to your therapist at a time that’s convenient for you and from the comfort of your home. They'll work with you as a couple, and individual counseling is also available. Take the time to discuss your issues with these counselors if you're going through a difficult time in life. You can come through feeling better about things, and your relationship can grow stronger than ever before.


Dating should be a fun, exciting experience – especially in the early stages. While it’s common to be nervous after a first date goes well, a little thought and planning can help smooth out those jitters. If you need some extra guidance, the relationship counselors at Regain are ready to help. 

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