You found someone you were attracted to and you have had that first date. And now that the first date was a success, you are ready to pursue this relationship further. It's time to set up that second date. You want things to go perfectly, but how to do it? What would be the perfect second date?
If you did your due diligence on that first date, and it wasn't "all about you," you should have an idea of your date's lifestyle, interests, and what they might enjoy for a second date. If you didn't, you will have to come up with second-date ideas that may or may not be great. Either way, it's time to throw all of those great date ideas against the wall and see which of the potential second dates might be good ideas.
Here are a bunch of second-date ideas you might think about.
If you want to plan a date at night, think about the atmosphere and the environment that you want to create first, and move on from there.
You have lots of second-date ideas that might work.
Weather permitting, try a rooftop bar overlooking a great skyline to enjoy each other's company
Go to a local restaurant that is known for its cozy and romantic atmosphere for an intimate dinner
Consider an invite to dinner at your place and set up a romantic environment, especially if your cooking skills are great. If not, get an amazing takeout.
If the season permits, have dinner at a beach restaurant and take a long walk afterward - a perfect atmosphere for more intimate conversation
If, based on that first date, you don't feel ready for a romantic second date, then take a look at all of the options you have for a more casual environment.
There are probably far more good second date ideas that are casual, both day and night, than romantic ones. In fact, the possibilities are almost endless:
A large amusement park can be a fun idea, weather permitting. The large ones have adult-appropriate shows, as well as great rides and food.
If you are both outdoors and athletically inclined people, a second date idea might be going to a rock-climbing gym or outdoors hiking, even a bike ride. - lots of fresh air and casual conversation
How about a picnic by a lake with some fishing or a boat ride thrown in? This can be a great second date that will allow you both to have casual conversations and learn much more about each other. If you are near a large local park, this one is pretty easy.
There's always mini-golf or the real thing, if both of you are into either one of these things, here's a second date that will keep things casual and unromantic.
If it's Halloween time, try a corn maze - top it off with a casual late lunch or dinner for a fun event
If it's the Christmas season, how about a drive around to see the holiday lights. Be sure to check out neighborhoods and other places where there are lots of them. Many parks have drive-through options.
How about a new art gallery or museum that is having an open house? For a ticket fee, you can enjoy hors d'ouerves and drinks too. This is rather in-between a casual and a more formal date.
If you live in a large urban area, or close, you might want to think about a film festival, if both of you are into such events. You can pick and choose the films you want to view and attend lots of the other events that feature food and drinks.
One super fun best second date idea is going to an "escape room." You might want to wait until the third date or beyond because more than two people should be involved in this. Maybe the third date could be a double date with another couple or two - it's fun and will give both of you an idea of how you might relate to one another's friends.
If both of you seem to be outgoing and a bit extroverted, go to a karaoke bar with an open mic night. Most also have a dance and play people's favorite music in between the amateur "stars." If you're brave, sing a few of your favorite songs.
Here's a nostalgic second or third date option. Years ago, a drive-in movie theater was a place for teens to go "make-out." Very few kids ever watched the movie. Drive-ins are making a bit of a comeback now. They are upgraded, nicer, and kind of a fun time now. Of course, if this is the third date or later, you might try a bit of cuddling and making out too.
If you are not near a large city, travel to one. And if you don't know what activities are around, here is a rather fun thing to do, if you both are a bit "crazy." Go to an upscale hotel and be fake tourists who are staying there. Walk on up to the concierge and ask about great ideas of things to do. You'll get some free advice and have some sneaky fun too.
Do you each have a favorite recipe? Second dates involving cooking together can give a really relaxed environment - for extra casual fun, go shopping together for all of the ingredients.
If a zoo is close by, that is one of the best second-date ideas possible. You can go early in the day, before it gets crowded, have lunch (many large zoos have amazing restaurants right on the grounds), and continue long into the afternoon if you want. In fact, if you want something different than the typical first date of going out to eat, to a nightclub, and such, then this is a great alternative. It lets you have lots of casual conversations about any number of things and decide if you enjoy each other's company enough to take that second date step.
Try a flea or farmer's market. These are great second-date ideas if both of you enjoy picking up fresh produce or just browsing for old junk. And a farmer's market usually has many other booths with cool stuff - a flea market too.
How about a wine tasting trip as a great second-date idea? This may involve a road trip, but they are beautiful settings, and most serve food too. You could make a whole day of it if the chemistry is there because they will also offer tours of the vineyards and cellars. And the great thing about wine tasting is that you can find a bottle or two that you both like and take it home for a future date.
Have you thought about visiting a botanical garden as one of your second date ideas? This is a great afternoon date if you have learned that both of you are kind of into nature. Most will let you experience every possible climate and the stuff that grows there. You'll go from dripping humidity of rain forests to desert dry - this isn't a day to worry about your hair. Lots of gardens have shows, demonstrations, and restaurants too.
How's your flair for adventures? Among the best second date ideas is a hot air balloon ride. Just be certain neither of you is afraid of heights. A hot air balloon ride usually takes place in the afternoon, so you can always extend the date with a great dinner somewhere. And if you aren't afraid of heights, how about zip lining?
Do you like the same kind of music? Is there a concert venue close by? Get tickets as a surprise and make an entire night of it. Go to a bar and grill for dinner before and a late-night drink after.
Want the opposite of a relaxing setting? Try an appetizer crawl. Develop a list of places together and set out on this adventure. Enough appetizers can actually total a meal. End the evening at your place for relaxation and a great movie.
Painting. And this does not mean getting some help painting a room at your place. This is kind of a new activity, often called "paint and sip." It can happen either at a "studio" set up for this activity, complete with drinks and snacks, or it can happen at home through video live streaming. If you choose the home version, be prepared with your own drinks and food, and make sure you have all of the supplies you need - canvases, paints, brushes, and such. Either way, it is one of the most popular second-date ideas around right now. And if you do it with other couples, you'll have good company.
Go somewhere with live music. Lots of clubs have live music and a dance floor. On the other hand, if it's warm weather, there are lots of outdoor venues with music too (and dance floors). If you find places where they play the type of music you both like, you can listen, dance, and then have quiet to talk when the band takes a break. So, this is not really a new or unique date idea, but it's a standard that works for couples that share the same tastes in music. And it's a great idea for future dates too. You might find your favorite place and become regulars.
Go back to your teen days. If you did things like laser tag, trampolines, chutes and ladders, and stuff with your teenage friends, usually at a gaming place, go back there and relive your best life again.
Think board games are just for old people? Think again. There are some old standards that you probably played as a kid, but there are lots of new ones that are fun too - and they can be played with two or more players. This is one of the best second date ideas when the weather is bad - rainy or snowy and other plans have to be canceled. Or it can be a planned second or third date with other people involved. And the definition of a board game has changed too. There are lots without actual boards - Jenga, Pictionary, Left-Right-Center, etc. And here's the thing if both of you have a competitive streak. Extend that into online games that you can play with each other when you aren't even together. These are not really "dates," but they are a perfect opportunity to keep in touch between them.
Binge a series. Again, this is one of the good second date ideas when the weather is yukky or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Have plenty of snacks and then cook a meal together. And this can be pretty perfect for future dates too.
Workout together. Obviously, these are only good second date ideas if both of you have a regular workout program, whether at home or at a gym. If you belong to different gyms, take each other as a guest - that can actually be two future dates, with no additional cost. Of course, the smoothies and maybe a meal afterward will.
Sharing outside hobbies or activities. Do you volunteer at an animal shelter? Do you tutor kids? If you have some type of volunteer activity, you should think about asking your new attraction to join you. Among all of the second-date ideas, this can be one of the most important because it shows an important side of your character - one that is caring and committed to a cause that will improve your community in some way.
There's a total of 31 second-date ideas in this article. And they should give you lots to think about. And here's the thing: First dates can be awkward and stressful. But if those first dates have been pretty successful, and the other person seems happy to perhaps see you again, then go for it.
If you haven't spent time getting to know this first-date person, then you have messed up. It's a common mistake. You are so anxious to talk about yourself and make a good impression, that you come away from that first date not really knowing what that person might want to do for a second date. You have failed to learn enough about them. And so, you are stuck for a second date idea.
When you are on that first date, it's not all about you. Yes, you want to make a good impression on the other person. But making that good impression involves showing a deeper level of interest in your date. It's no fun for someone to sit through a date just listening and never being asked important questions about themselves - their backgrounds, their jobs or careers, their outside interests, and more. The chances of them accepting a second date are certainly reduced.
Dr. Henry Cloud, a self-help author, had this to say about early dating: “Dating is about finding out who you are and who others are. If you show up in a masquerade outfit, neither is going to happen.” Easy translation of this? Don't pretend to be someone you aren't. It will never work out well because the true you will ultimately come through. Be who you are in a genuine way.
Your first date may have been for dinner. It's pretty common. After all, if the venue is sort of quiet, there is plenty of time for good company and conversation. But once that dinner is over and you are ready to plan a second date, how do you go about asking and planning?
There is nothing wrong with contacting your date and asking them to plan this second date together. For one thing, it shows that you are thinking about their comfort and interests - something that always makes a good impression. The other obvious plus is that your second date will be one that both of you will enjoy.
So, now the second date is over. All has gone very well, and you are ready for that third date and beyond.
Here is the time you will want to think about other options - bringing in other couples who are friends of yours. Maybe you can plan a party at your place and have your date invite a couple or two among her friends. It's a casual way for both of you to see if your friends are compatible.
If you are ready for your new "partner" to meet family members, then you should consider some kind of an event for that third date and beyond. Is there a family wedding or reunion coming up? Does your mother have you over for dinner often? Try to think of a natural way to introduce your partner to one or more members of your family. You can do this gradually.
Maybe meet your sister or brother and their date or wife for drinks after work. Then move from there to asking your mother if you can bring a friend to Sunday dinner. Is a minor holiday coming up when your family gets together? St Patrick's Day maybe? Is there a birthday party in the works? These are smaller casual events that can be the perfect opportunities for that introduction.
At the same time, your new partner has to think about ways to introduce you to her family members. Be open to what that partner suggests, but do not put yourself into a situation that might be a bit awkward. If your partner wants to take you to Christmas dinner and you have onl9y been dating for a short time, you may want to think about that seriously. Going to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner may suggest a deeper relationship than you are ready for yet. You don't have to do this, but you do have to decline carefully. Be honest with that partner. Explain that you don't think you are ready for this and why.
As you progress in a new relationship, remember that the comfort levels of both of you are the most important factor if you want the relationship to move forward. To get to that comfort level, you have to be able to honestly communicate with each other. If that communication is open and honest from the beginning, the chances of success are high.
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