September 30, 2011 at 12:14 am EDT | by Meghann Novinskie and Kim Rosenberg
On to round two

Second dates can often be do-or-die time for early romance. (iStock photo)

First dates are always exciting.

Questions swirl around in your mind prior to meeting him/her: Is (s)he going to be nervous? Is (s)he going to be attractive and attracted to me? Is the conversation going to flow naturally or is it going to feel more like a scripted interview? Will (s)he offer to pay for dinner or should I? What am I going to wear?

After the hype and nervousness subsides, you feel your date went great. There was a little chemistry and flirting by the end and you both expressed interest in seeing each other again after a hug or a small kiss. You successfully survived the first date hurdle.

So what’s the problem? Many don’t realize the second date is usually a tougher hurdle. More is on the line than you may think.

Unfortunately, many drop the ball after the first date and this can appear in many different forms. Both clients and friends ask our advice when they are subjected to a complete lack of follow up after a great first date. If you both said you had a great time and, “Let’s do it again,” and meant it, then why no follow up?

It’s rare that (s)he met someone new that replaces you right after the two of you had a stellar date, so you can forget that idea.

By all means pick up the phone. Don’t be afraid to initiate. Call her/him and ask her/him out on the second date. Maybe (s)he was uncertain you truly wanted to get together again. Regardless, don’t overthink it. It’s best to call than e-mail or text where it’s easier to leave things hanging. If you have no intention of following up, then don’t exchange contact information. And go ahead and make arrangements for a second date shortly after the first. Hesitation is a sign of disinterest.

Sometimes clients chalk up the lack of follow-up to busy schedules. But everyone is busy. If you made a good impression, (s)he’ll make time for you despite a busy schedule. The “too busy” excuse is usually a red herring. You have to be proactive when dating and not afraid to initiate follow up and make time to explore the possibilities of a relationship. Your single status isn’t going to change unless you make time to date.

Another reason many people don’t get to the second date is by putting too much pressure on either themselves or their date. Sure, everyone craves chemistry but sparks rarely fly after one hour-long coffee date. If you didn’t fall in love at first sight, give it another chance. The second date usually provides a better chance to relax and let your true personality shine. You’re less worried about the little things and more focused on your date’s demeanor, smile, sex appeal, etc.

Second dates and the planning of them can be confusing if both parties aren’t on the same page. Mixed messages shouldn’t be an issue here if you are up front with each other. Many single people will overcompensate on a first date, which again, is natural. But the second date is even more important because that’s where we’re more inclined to be more naturally ourselves. Don’t get too discouraged by lame excuses or neither party being willing to be the initiator. It could blossom into a great partnership if you’re willing to be proactive.

For more dating tips, follow us on Twitter @KimRosenbergDC , @MegNovinskie or


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