In a day and age where hookups have more-or-less become “on demand” through our recommended best dating sites, finding a solid first date can be difficult, and the second date almost near impossible. Finding those with similar interests is actually easy; finding someone worthwhile can be less so.

Unfortunately, narrowing who not to go out with is increasingly becoming whoever doesn’t start the online conversation with a picture of their private parts, or pickup lines that are less funny and more harassing. But if you’re lucky enough to find someone you feel is a good fit, that’s only half the battle.

Define What You Want

People think they know what they want in a date; however, more often than not, they wind up settling for something completely different. Those only looking for a one-time night of fun somehow get talked into going out on a date that doesn’t even end with a goodnight kiss.

It all comes back to communication. Be honest; if you’re only looking for a hookup, there’s plenty of fish out there looking for the same. If you’re looking to find “the one”, let them know. Otherwise, one of you, or both, will be wasting each other’s time. Draw a firm line in the sand as to what you’re looking for to avoid giving them the wrong impression.

Have Fun

Ask anyone what they hate about dating, and they will almost always answer with, “the first date”. It’s because of the awkward silence, the small talk, and having to be on your best behavior. The problem is, we put so much pressure on ourselves and the date itself. That after a while, we start treating dates as job interviews.

If you aren’t having fun, then it’s just not a good time. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous they are; if it’s too serious while sharing a meal together, it probably isn’t going to get much better. An ideal date is when two people connect and feel a sense of chemistry. It is hard to put it in definite terms but obvious when it is lacking.

They need to be able to make you laugh, and vice-versa, even if just for a few times. And you definitely shouldn’t even want to check the time around them. If you’re looking at your watch, that means you can wait for the night to end.

Take Chances

Decisions time. Do you want to invest more time getting to know this person? Even though they may be a stranger, you have to want to know them better by the end of the first date or all bets are off. If you aren’t interested in them as a person, a second date isn’t going to lead anywhere. It’s important to go beyond the usual “small talk” topics, too. Explore their interests, lives, hopes and dreams.

…And if they want the same things as you, made you laugh most of the night, and you’re aching to know more about them, then it’s time for round two.

The second date should be just like the first one, but it needs to be memorable enough to warrant another one. Consider a unique local adventure such as, going to a painting and wine class, taking a chocolate tour, or other fun experiences for new couples.

Final Thought

Dating doesn’t have to be complicated however, it does have certain facets. Initial attraction, chemistry and just enough mystery to make one crave a second helping is necessary for the next date. Of course a bit of digging and attempting to get to know them better  is a key factor in any budding relationship. By finding a fun local activity to do, you can take some of the pressure off and make it more fun, friendly, and flirty.

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  • C. Poly

    I feel that with dating apps, like Tinder, people are rushing into relationships. Whereas a relationship used to last a couple of months before failing due to lack of similar interests, they now fail within a couple of weeks because you are so connected and available online. Where people used to spend weeks getting to know one another and building something, now they play 20 questions on the 2nd day of chatting and find out all the intimate details that used to take 4 or 5 dates.

    Thanks to chatting for at least a week on Tinder, or other dating apps, I have weeded out many awkward first dates. But I’ve also rushed into relationships that are doomed to fail from the start because we didn’t take time to build a foundation. I absolutely agree with your point on being transparent about what you want.

    • Thanks for your input! Some really cool advice there. Maybe it’s that people are jumping into sex as well too fast not just relationships?

    • Starr

      I know a lot of other readers here will have a differing point of view, but the way I see it, I would rather get to know someone as quickly as possible so that I don’t waste time and energy chasing something that isn’t really there.

      That goes for the sex as well. I would hate to spend 90 days with someone before having sex only to realize that they are really bad at that…

    • AmandaZee

      This is the problem with dating apps like Tinder. I have been lucky to meet a couple of cool guys on Tinder, but we ended up becoming friends rather than lovers. The others were only interested in a one-night stand. To be honest, I don’t even know how a date should be anymore because everyone seems to be so shallow these days. It’s so hard to find someone who is truly worth it.

  • Perry L

    I think humor on a first date is important. It’s hard to have awkward silence when you’re laughing. It’s also a good way to feel out the other persons personality. Do they like corny jokes? One liners? The drawn out, in-detail joke? Political? Religious? I’m a big fan of humor.

    • Yes – humor on the first date and in dating in general is so important! Without a sense of humor, it can be a tiring date and a tiring life together and nobody wants a relationship like that 🙂