Making the Best First Impression on the Second Date
You Don't Have to Stress to Impress
You had a terrific first date, and it went so well you were comfortable asking for a second your offer was accepted—great! Now…what to do? Where to go? Understandably you want to impress your date with something fun, hopefully memorable, maybe a little creative or unique, special but not too much or too fussy for a second date. Easy enough, right? Hardly! But embrace the challenge and the opportunity to think creatively, perhaps research a little, and enjoy some adventure.
Don’t necessarily equate “impressive” with “costly.” A thoughtful and well-advised selection of food items for a picnic lunch (or one you prepare yourself) can be just as impressive, maybe more so, than dinner at a five-star restaurant. Hopefully, you were a good listener on your first date and you know some things about him/her—interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try a new activity, new surroundings, or new food. If you decide any aspect of your date will be new territory for you, do your homework. Knowing what to expect will not only make you more comfortable as the host, but it will also make your date more comfortable. In addition to all these things, doing your homework intrinsically exemplifies your respect for and your extra consideration of your date.
On an entirely different note, maybe during your first date you found out he/she has never tried sushi or he/she likes wine well enough but isn’t very knowledgeable about it, but you are. Hosting your date in an experience with which you are more the expert can be equally or more impressive. There are two major things to consider in this case. First, you need to be sure that your guest is open to the experience. You may prefer the date be more of a surprise, but it’s far better to present suggestions and get feedback to help you decide than to surprise and disappointment. If you decide it’s safe to proceed, strive to be a most gracious and sensitive host. Share any pertinent information such as appropriate dress. In regard to this new or unfamiliar experience in which your guest is experiencing with you, advise/inform casually. Remember that the goal of the date is to have fun getting to know each other. Teaching about sushi or wine isn’t a priority, rather it’s a means of recreation and communication. You may find that your date turns out to not like sushi at all or he/she can’t quite distinguish the oaky flavor of the cabernet.
If you bring your date into a situation where you are more the expert, be sure not to make him/her feel inferior or out of place. Even if you find you haven’t acquired a new sushi dining companion or a wine connoisseur, that doesn’t mean it was any less impressive or enjoyable. If the food were to turn out not to be a big hit, insist he/she choose dessert or a different place entirely for dessert or drinks. Anytime dinner is involved in a date, it’s always good to have something planned or at least an idea or two to suggest for afterward. You never know when a bad meal can happen or some unforeseen circumstance could dampen dinner, so having a salvage plan is never a bad idea.
Some suggestions in addition to or instead of dining could be taking in a play or catching a band at a club or smaller venue. Going to a movie or a full-blown concert may not be the best options since they don’t provide as much opportunity to have a conversation. Maybe there’s something special going on at a nearby park on a Saturday afternoon—an art show or a festival. Is there a vineyard or winery that offers wine tastings and maybe a tour? Or how about catching a show at a comedy club? You may find it easier and perhaps more fun to peruse the weekend section of your local paper or a website of listings of community happenings with your date and make plans together.
An impressive date is so because of your thoughtfulness, consideration, and attentiveness in regard to your date. Thinking through all the details of what the date may entail, and anticipating them (e.g. parking, inclement weather, reservations, Uber vs. driving) is essential. If you are the one who has requested the date and are hosting, without question, you pick up the tab. Regardless of whoever is the host, if this is a male/female date and you are the male, traditional gentlemanly etiquette applies, always. Open doors and pull out chairs for her, if on a sidewalk be sure that you are nearest the street, help her put on/take off her coat, and only take or make urgent calls or texts. And have fun! Laugh and enjoy yourself, because if you’re not having fun, it’s most likely that your date isn’t either.