The Playboy's Playbook: Second Date Slump

by Date Master Dan

So you had a pretty good time on your first date, congratulations.  She showed up on time, you were totally on your game navigating the conversation and got a good spot at the bar, you worked smooth transitions and a nailed the non-awkward make out to cap off the evening.  She even did the check dance and sent a thank you text the next day!  Really, my hats off to you.

I’m glad that you’re excited you think you’ve made a genuine connection with this person, but try to tone it down a bit. Our imagination can get a little ahead of itself after a good first date, so it’s best to keep that cap on the fire hose.

Already thinking about bringing him as your date to your friend’s wedding in a few months? Mentally blocking off summer weekends at her Hamptons house? Thinking about switching that Facebook status over? One step at a time here, gang. It’s best to be realistic and not get overly excited -- you don’t want to come on too strong and it’s always a safer option to keep your thoughts founded in reality. Whether you realize or not, having high expectations is going to put some serious pressure on you and your date going forward.

Are we venturing into second date territory? Buyer beware, first dates are easy. Presumably, you don’t know much about the person you’re out with, so you’re basically doing laps around get-to-know-you topics. The bar is set very low on first dates and you’re just happy to find a few things in common.  You like going to movies and concerts, too?? No way!!! We have so much in common!!!

Second dates are a different story altogether. The stakes are raised as you let someone into your world a little further and learn more about them. After a great first date, it’s quite natural to expect to roll that chemistry into another magical evening with your potential soul mate. But here in the real world, it unfortunately doesn’t always work like that.

This is where the second date slump comes into play. You know what I’m talking about; we’ve all been there.  The conversation is somehow just not flowing, too many awkward silences and pauses and you’re grasping for anything at all to talk about. Your cocktail becomes your best friend, picking it up, taking a sip, putting it down, picking it back up -- you use it as a prop to buy yourself more time. You might even find yourself commenting on the weather and the wallpaper in the bathroom (ugh, get me the f*ck out of here!).

Is it me? Is it you? What happened? Are we really re-hashing everything we talked about on date one? The first date went so well... Am I even out with the same person?

The second date slump has claimed a lot of potential relationship causalities, but arm yourself with the following second date slump tricks to ensure you’re new love affair doesn’t end prematurely.

Concert: Taking your date to a concert is the absolute go-to move for a second date. You get to move around a bit and the atmosphere creates the opportunity to get a little physical with your date, hopefully increasing each other’s comfort levels. Live music is awesome, so even if your date is subpar, you’re being entertained. Also, both people get to see one another in a new light instead of a bar environment. The concert also creates a shared experience between the two of you and gives you something to talk about on a later date (if there is one).

Activity: Girls like guys who have hobbies and are into fun activities. Take your date to play ping pong, take her rock climbing, go to trivia night at a bar, go check out a new art exhibit- mix it up a bit. Have passions and interests you can share with your date; let them into your world. Keep it light, fun and always interesting.

When planning a second date, you typically want to do something low pressure and non-traditional. Don’t be predictable. So if you went to a wine bar or a restaurant on the first date, check out a more casual dive bar for Date Two or maybe meet for happy hour.

Disagree if you will, but I adamantly advise against going to dinner on a second date. What’s somewhat humorous is that the better the first date, the more I’m inclined to take a girl out to dinner on the second date and move things along, but I know it’s not a good idea and I should pump the brakes.

The irony here is if I want a girl to like me, I have to pretend like I’m really not that into her. Girls want what they can’t have, and don’t want some guy acting like he’s trying to put a ring on it after the first date. Yes, this is counterintuitive and ridiculous, but it’s the world we live in.

Final tip: you are not above the second date slump, remember that. I don’t care how amazing your first date was and how excited you are to see this person again, you don't actually know this person yet. It’s still new and you still have plenty of room for error, so show a little humility to the dating gods and be on your way.

Until next time (if you’re lucky enough to get one),

Date Master Dan

Top Photo Courtesy: Columbia Pictures