5 ways to guarantee a second date

Want to make sure you're bringing your best self to the picnic, bar or dinner table? Here's how to avoid being a one-date wonder...

Historically, landing that first date has been seen as the most difficult part of the whole love game. But when you actually think about it, securing the second is far harder. Inviting a potential partner for a coffee or dinner by text or on apps like Inner Circle is easy. The tricky part is intriguing and charming her into accepting a second, third, fourth date. Ensure you’re putting your best and most polished first date foot forward with these 5 easy rules:

Make a plan and stick to it

It’s simple, and yet so many manage to fall at the first hurdle. Forget about “playing hard to get” – being flakey, hard to pin down or even casually late will make her think you’re not that interested and the first date was more hassle than it was worth. Pick any place on neutral ground and make it easy for her to get there. And it goes without saying that a gentleman turns up in time (in fact, play it safe and be early). If you make it hard work on the first date, she’ll probably not bother with the second.

Ask. Listen. Ask some more

Again, simple but effective. It doesn’t matter how exciting your anecdotes or wild your travels are – if you want to be branded as chauvinistic and arrogant, talk about yourself all night and don’t ask her any questions about what she does or what she likes. If you want a second date, however, ask those essential questions, engage her in conversation and don’t just wait for your turn to speak. Avoid turning the date into something akin to a job interview or interrogation by creating opportunities for her to quiz you too – “You’ve been to Cairo? So have I!” – as long as you’re not interrupting her mid-flow.

Easy off the intensity

OK, so you’ve finally found someone who shares your mutual love of vintage cars, 80s music and Twitter accounts dedicated to hilariously bad 90s football – the first date is not the place to get carried away and declare your undying love. If you cave in straight away, telling her how perfect she is and asking her if she’s free tomorrow for a second date, she’s going to run a mile.

Get the balance right; compliment her, but hold back roughly half of what’s in your head. Be it through nerves or overconfidence, everyone shows a somewhat inflated version of themselves on the first date. The second will be the opportunity to find out if you really are into each other.

Pick up the bill

Just like we said earlier this week in our feature on 20 things that make a man a gentleman, a gentleman always offers to pay. “Better still, find the waiter and settle it before it even comes to the table.”

The moment that you make her go dutch or, God forbid, accept her polite gesture at offering to pay, is the moment you’ve lost any chance at a second date. Even if it’s more than you bargained for, make her feel that she’s worth it. And never, ever comment on what the bill came to…

Actually ask her on a second date

Yes, really. Through fear of looking too keen, most men wait far too long to get in touch afterwards to tell their date they enjoyed their company. And then when they do get in touch a couple of weeks later, she assumes it’s as a courtesy and not that he actually wants a second date. Don’t text her the moment you’re home – leave it a day or two and if (and only if) you get the vibe that she enjoyed herself too, take the plunge and ask her out again.

Now you have the skills, go forth and date like a gent! Sign up to Inner Circle, the unique and selective dating app that connects like-minded people.

Want more advice on self-improvement to help your dating life? Here are the 5 hobbies women find most attractive.

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