What to Say, Do & Text After a First Date
You’re in second-date territory!
You met, she looked like her pictures, the conversation was great, and you definitely felt the chemistry on your end. It’s a wonderful world!
Now, how to get a second date...
Let’s assume the date ended without a kiss, but with a solid hug and a “It was really great to meet you.” Maybe even a “We should do this again...”
Here’s what to do next:
1) Wait a little bit.
No, not the “three-day rule.” (Which is defunct anyway, now that texting has replaced talking on the phone.)
Did you meet at night? Then wait to message her until sometime between 8am and 2pm the next day.
Did you meet in the afternoon, with the date ending sometime before 5pm? Wait to message her until later that evening (before 10pm), or even the next morning.
Why? This may seem like game-playing but it’s actually basic flirting.
Give her time to get excited to hear from you.
Instead of immediately telling her you like her and want to see her again, you’re giving her time to realize she wants to hear from you. She wants you to like her.
This lets her get a little crush on you.
It also protects a guy from the chopping block. Maybe she had a good time, but she just isn’t sure about him... If that guy waits a little bit before contacting her, he won’t come on too strong and scare her off.
That buffer lets her realize she wants to give him another shot, without feeling pressured. She might even text you first!
2) Send a short, sweet message.
If your first date was a quick meeting (like the how-to in this article), then your follow up should be, too.
What to text:
Something simple, like: “It was great to meet you today. Would definitely like to see you again. Want to see X movie sometime?”
“I had a great time yesterday. Would love to hang out again sometime soon. Interested in going to that Thai place you mentioned?”
Keep the timeframe and your language casual. You don’t have to list the things you liked about her, or the dates and times you’re available to see her again.
Why? If she’s still deciding what she thought of you, your low-pressure message won’t put her on edge. You don’t want her to feel like she has to say no, just because her enthusiasm doesn’t fully match yours.
But if she is definitely interested too, then your quick text (or message on your chosen online dating site/app) will confirm everything she wants to know: she likes you, and you like her back. Trust me, she is definitely smiling down at her phone.
3) Suggest plans.
This comes with a caveat: I’ve heard from both guys and girls that they feel like they get stuck being “the planners” early on in a relationship. I see how this happens on both sides. And on your end, as a guy who’s interested in a girl, you’re pretty happy to do whatever she wants, and you want her to feel comfortable, so you let her make the decisions. But she can end up feeling pressured to always think ahead to plan the next date.
I once met a guy on OKCupid who seemed cool, but a little immature. He suggested the first date; I suggested the second. But instead of asking me out for a third date, he texted me this:
“I got my work schedule. I’m free next Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Didn’t suggest a place…an activity…even a time. Just handed over his schedule, so I could do the dirty work. It wasn't a deal-breaker, but it was a red flag that ended up ringing true when it came to making other decisions in our (very brief) courtship.
So, I get that you don’t want to get stuck as “the planner” throughout the whole course of your relationship any more than we do!
But early on, girls think it’s impressive when you take the initiative.
It shows us you’re confident and competent – like you could fix a tire or plan your stock portfolio on your own, too.
And the good news is that you don't need to put too much work into thinking of great second date ideas.
Suggest classic date ideas for your second date, unless a really unique plan popped up naturally in the course of your conversation.
Why? Drinks, dinner, a movie, a sporting event, a walk/hike, live music, lunch, a comedy show – these are all classically great dates because they take place in mostly public places and are situations that will enable you to learn about the other person – either in conversation or by seeing what their interests and tastes are, or what their sense of humor is like.
Like the texts suggest above, offer an idea that came up in your conversation on your first date. It's a natural suggestion! Foods you both like or want to try, movies you want to see, activities you both enjoy or want to check out together – all solid choices.
4) Take what comes next.
If she replies “yes”…
Great! Lock in a day and time for that second date and have fun! Here's where it helps for you to get specific with dates and times to make the planning easier for both of you.
What to text:
"Sounds great. I'm free for dinner Thursday or Friday this week, or Monday next week. What's good for you?"
"Awesome! Looks like X movie is playing at 6:45, 7, or 8:30pm on Saturday. Or we could catch a matinee on Sunday?"
If she replies “no”…
It’s OK to be disappointed. But try not to be angry. After all, it was your first time meeting and there are no guarantees for chemistry. Hopefully, she’ll write you a nice message that explains her feelings. Even if you thought the date went great, respect what she has to say. She’s entitled to her own opinions; it’s just a shame they didn’t match yours this time!
If she gives you any constructive criticism, this is gold. Maybe she points out that you didn’t seem interested in her or you didn’t really look like your photos. Take these notes into consideration. They could be the key to acing your next first date!
Then, get back out there! Revise your profile or change up your pics, send some messages, and find someone who is excited to meet you!
Locked in the second date?
Yassss! It's just as important to prepare for this one as it was for the first. Check out this article on what to talk about on dates for easy ways to continue to get to know each other, and build momentum together, on your second date!
Date didn’t go so well?
I offer in-person date coaching!
(Mainly in the US & UK, but I travel elsewhere often!) Increase your confidence with in-person date practice, honest, actionable feedback, and strategic coaching. Learn more here!