How To Finesse A Second Date Without Coming Across Desperate

Have you ever been on a first date that was also a last date? I know you have, don’t even try denying it. It is my personal opinion that all first dates, no matter who they are with, are horrible. Because you’ve never met, there is so much to talk about, yet you’ve been on the subject of his family’s dog for a full 20 minutes. (And don’t even get me started on the whole “what do you do for work?” topic.) But every once in a while, the stars align and you end up on a first date with someone who doesn’t make you want to rip your throat out. Now, if you’ve ever been on a truly amazing first date (before you share your cute first date stories in the comments, don’t), you know that you’re about to be stressed af about securing that second date.

Because I am normal human being (and a woman), I am a feminist in every way, but that doesn’t mean I will be the first to text after a good first date, and it sure as sh*t doesn’t mean I’m going to be the one suggesting the second date. Why, you ask? Because dating—at least in the beginning—is a game, and if you want to win, you need to figure out who you’re dealing with and play at their level. And winning, my loves, is what women do best. For those of you rolling your eyes because you “don’t play games,” everybody plays games. I’m not talking about taking three hours to respond to a text or pretending you have plans to make yourself seem like a ~hot commodity.~ No, I’m talking about human psychology: if you are fully yourself with all of your “I want a relationship” intentions too early, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the dude to either fold or raise right then and there. 

One more poker reference, then I’ll speak English. In life, putting it all out there is considered a bad thing, because doing so implies you have no more tricks up your sleeve, but in poker, laying all your cards on the table means you won the game. Dating is like poker: in order to get to a place where you show your hand, you have to play the game. If you want to score a second date, play to win. 

How Much To Text Between Dates

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first: This is a personal preference that doesn’t have a huge bearing on whether or not there will be a second date. You can usually tell right off the bat if guy is a texter or not. If he isn’t, don’t go out of your way to text him, because you will likely spend the majority of your downtime imagining the ways in which he mysteriously died and therefore, is not texting you back. Don’t get me wrong (I am a texter), texting is great and can be a good way to knock the stupid topics out of the way so you can get to the good stuff on the date, but if one or both of you are the kind of people who don’t like to text all day, just don’t do it. Tbh, I love when the guy I’m into texts me a lot because it gives me a little sense of security that he’s into me. But some people don’t like it because, I guess, they have jobs where they can’t be on their phones making small talk all day. Texting is all good and fine, but take the temperature of your situation in person because anyone can say anything behind the comfort of a screen. 

However, if he takes like, days to respond, it’s probably safe to assume he’s not into you. Even if they’re “bad texters,” millennials f*cking live on their phones, so are these assholes really out here trying to convince us that they didn’t see our text until four days after we sent it? Bye!

When To Go On The Second Date

This depends on schedules. If you’re into finance bros (condolences), your first date could be on a Tuesday and the second date could be three months later. Those dudes are never free, but don’t worry, they’ll tell you all about how busy they are while they elusively avoid picking a date to see you again. However, if you like people with non-soul-sucking jobs, any time within a week is acceptable. 

This may just be a me thing, but I think a first date should be during the week and the second date should be on a weekend. First dates during the week are clutch because if it sucks, you have an easy out (“oh man, it’s late on a school night!”) and if it’s fun, you both leave wanting a little more, which pretty much makes for a guaranteed second date. 

How To Bring It Up

Honestly, acting like a second date hasn’t even crossed your mind is like the waiter putting warm bread on the table and no one reaching for it. In other words, it’s stupid. You both had a good time on the first date and are doing the whole back and forth of witty repartee, so why waste time skirting around setting a date for round two? If it seems like he needs a little nudge to get the courage to ask, guide the conversation there, but I wouldn’t be the one to straight-up say, “When are we hanging out again?” If you do that, it’s obviously fine, but just know that you’re basically taking on the role of date instigator for the rest of time. That’s a lot of work to give yourself early on.

But! That’s not to say you shouldn’t bring up the second date in some way. Women are nothing if not determined go-getters, so unless you and your date are texting about like, death, you can figure out a way to steer the conversation towards a second date. In my opinion, the easiest way to do that is to lightly reminisce about something you both like or talked about doing on the first date. If he’s not a complete f*cking idiot, he’ll pick up on what you’re doing and say something along the lines of, “Let’s do that. What are you up to Saturday?” To go back to my poker analogy, that is called winning the first hand. 

When To Have Sex

This one is easy: whenever the f*ck you want. If you’re a woman circa the 1950s or Mike Pence circa now, I’d say to wait until marriage, but even then, probably just don’t do it because sex is dirty!! But honestly, it’s almost 2020 and we have bigger things to think about than f*cking before the fifth date. If you have sex with a guy on the first date and he decides he’s not into you because you’re a ~slut,~ then he’s a piece of sh*t and it’s good that your relationship ended before it even started. At the end of the day, if you have spent a few hours with someone and he thinks you’re cool, he’s not going to stop thinking that because you had sex with him. If anything, he’ll be pretty happy about it. I’ve never heard a guy whining to his friends about how disappointed he is because the really cool girl he just went on a date with put out. I mean, right?

Despite the Andie Anderson title of this story, there’s no way to micromanage your way into a second date. The only thing we can control is the sh*t we do and say, but no matter how charming, funny and/or smart you are on date #1, that doesn’t mean date #2 is a done deal. After all, science has already proven that men’s romantic preferences are confusing as f*ck, so don’t waste your time trying to be someone you think the guy you’re with may find more attractive than the person you actually are. At the end of the day, we can’t control how people we’re interested in respond to our vibe, so your best bet is to watch Clueless for tips! Just kidding. I hate to say it, but just be the most normal version of yourself and hope for the best.

Images: Wiktor Karkocha / Unsplash; Giphy (4)

3 Ways You’re Scaring Guys Off Without Realizing

The annoying thing about dating advice, generally speaking, is that it tends to be 100% based on other peoples’ opinions. And if you’ve ever engaged in polite conversation, you’ll know that most peoples’ opinions fucking suck. I’ve read countless times that showing up late and mentioning horoscopes is a guaranteed dealbreaker, but my Scorpio boyfriend (tragic, I know) was kind enough to overlook all that, and we’ve been thriving ever since. So, I’m not here to give advice on dating specifically, an activity at which everyone unabashedly sucks. Instead, I’m here to make sure you actually make it to the point where you can decide whether or not you want a second date, rather than taking yourself out of the running with a too-soon friend request or some other amateur bullshit. Here are three ways you’re scaring guys off before you get a chance to reject them yourself. Take notes.

Overusing Social Media

Social media is tricky. You need a distraction from the all-consuming task of not triple-texting, so you decide to post an Instagram story that happens to highlight your breasts and/or totally raging social life. And which you then go on to update every 30 minutes. Totally harmless right? Wrong. If triple-texting is unattractive because it looks like you’re too into him, non-stop social media is unattractive because it looks like you’re way too into your phone/yourself. (Which like, you are, but let him find that out on his own.)

Social media stories typically fall into two acceptable categories. If they’re actually interesting/entertaining (what the kids refer to as “quality content”), post away. Keep in mind that this typically requires you having an interesting job or life, such as interacting with celebrities. Just my two cents. If your stories fall more into the “day in the life but my hair looks good” category, you’re going to really want to limit it to the highlights. ONE selfie er day. ONE meal pic every three days, and the sunlight better be hitting your avocado toast JUST right. You get the idea.

Guys watching a story you updated every two minutes aren’t admiring your fun, cool life. They’re picturing you standing in the middle of that scene with your eyeballs glued to your phone. More importantly, they’re picturing dating you as an unpaid photographer gig with a side of watching you scroll through filters. (Again, this is accurate, but it’s also a reality that men need to be phased into slowly. If they’re aware of what’s happening before it’s too late to stop it, you’re doing it wrong.)

You’re not Kim K. You can’t get away with this.

Planning Out Every Last Detail

On average, it takes me and my boyfriend maybe 60 texts to nail down a dinner date. I reject the first 15 restaurant suggestions, he suggests between seven and 12 different meeting points, I get preemptively snarky about his outfit, and the fun rolls on. Fine and good when you’ve tricked someone into you’re in a committed relationship. Early on, though, anything above a single-digit number of texts to make a plan is going to be off-putting. This includes everything from the first “when should we get together” text to when you’re actually, physically speaking. Which means you should leave room for one “I’m here” text when you arrive, and should absolutely not be texting “do you want me to get a table or meet at the bar? LMK!” once you do arrive.

Texting back and forth over every detail makes you seem like you can’t make a decision without outside input, and runs the risk of exhausting him so much that the idea of meeting you in person no longer seems fun. This includes texts moving around the meet-up time, suggesting more than two locations (or including more than a five-word description of either one), or in any way reiterating the plans you’ve literally just made. (The boy can both scroll up and read, right? If not, get higher standards.) If you’re taking the initiative to make the plan, actually make the plan. And if he’s taking charge, either agree to something quickly or decide his suggestions all suck and just cancel altogether. Anything else will just breed irritation when your name pops up on their phone.

Your crush if you don’t ease TF up:

Taking The “Cool Girl” Thing Too Literally

Congratulations, you are a grown-ass woman. Everything in your life falls perfectly into place, seemingly without effort. You don’t need this man’s validation, and you won’t be crushed if this date doesn’t go well. You’re down for anything that comes up, but you’re just as down to walk away. You are the perfect embodiment of everything men are supposed to want women to be. Well—SURPRISE, BITCH! This is 2018, and perfect is no longer good enough. While I maintain that the above is a great attitude to hold internally, there are two glaring issues. One, this is true for exactly no one; you likely try very hard for everything you’ve achieved, and care at least a little, and hiding that is dumb. Two, it leaves very little room for you to make a meaningful connection. If someone’s going to get to know you, you have to show some vulnerability.

That means you can’t just be “fine with whatever” when it comes to spending the night, going out again, or picking your first vacation spot. You have to be honest about what you want, even if that means maybe not getting it. While being the Cool Girl might keep a guy interested in chasing you for a decently long time, maintaining the Cool Girl virtually guarantees that he’ll never be actually interested in dating you. In fact, he has no idea who the fuck you are beyond a girl who answers his texts less quickly than his other matches, and is therefore intriguing. Somewhere, some bitch who probably has an adorable Southern accent will outplay you by answering his texts just as slowly but then confessing that she’s getting attached on date three with a giggle that makes him feel like a Big Special Man. It’s all about balance.

This is where being a Cool Girl gets you. Covered in blood and hugging Ben “I specialize in on- and off-screen adultery” Affleck. Don’t be the Cool Girl, ladies!

Once you’re on the actual date, everyone has a million highly specific preferences for what person they want you to be. (You do too, don’t lie.) But with these tips, you’ll hopefully at least make it on the date before you fuck it up. Good luck out there!

Images: Giphy (3)