I'm a serial dater. I go on a bunch of first dates but rarely ever make it to the second.
These dates haven't worked out for two reasons: a) the chemistry wasn't off the charts, but also b) the guy didn't give us a chance to develop any chemistry. (Yes, I realize I'm blaming my dates in these instances).
There was this one guy I met while day drinking at a bar on a snowy New York day. The chemistry was there, so we went on a first date.
The date went well (in my eyes, anyway). On that Friday, we went to an expensive dinner, had a lot to talk about and drank like fish.
I anticipated hearing from him again, but guess what? I texted him to make another plan, and that fucker ghosted me. Yup.
Little did I know, all of the elements of our first date, which I considered to be fun, may have actually hindered our chances of seeing each other again.
Popular dating site Coffee Meets Bagel recently surveyed over 1,000 couples to figure out just how they progressed into that super crucial second date that moved their relationships forward.
As it turns out, couples who found love did certain things a little differently on their first dates. Given the survey's findings, here are eight ways to guarantee you'll snag a second date with the next dude you hit it off with:
1. Talk to your date extensively before meeting him IRL.
37 percent of couples spoke with each other for more than a week before first meeting up with each other, Coffee Meets Bagel's survey found.
It can be tempting to just meet up with someone, especially if they look really cute in their dating app picture or were strikingly handsome when you bumped into them in person. But the majority of couples got to know each other over the phone, before the first date.
Text or call the person. That way, you get to know them as best you can before meeting up with them, which helps guarantee the first date will be a home run.
2. Plan the first date on a weekday.
Couples didn't discriminate against weekdays to see each other.
It's hard to plan anything on weeknights, plain and simple. Between laundry, the gym and wind-down time, dating can be impossible. But weekday dates might actually be the secret to finding a relationship that lasts.
Maybe the reason for this is that people are less likely to drink heavily on weekdays, and thus, they're less likely to skew their perception of each other. Which segues nicely into the next finding...
3. Meet for dinner, not drinks.
33 percent of couples went to dinner on the first date, while 29 percent went to drinks and 16 percent went for coffee.
I once wrote a PSA about why I'm done grabbing drinks on the first date.
Why? Well, not only is "Let's grab drinks!" way more casual-sounding than "Let's get to know each other over dinner," but getting hammered with someone the first time you meet them is also not the smartest way to get to know them.
Once you have beer goggles, you may or may not do something you regret, only to wake up the next day wondering if you actually really liked them... or if it was just the alcohol talking.
Dinner may be a more boring date, but it at least it's more honest. Opt for that.
4. Don't spend like a Rockefeller.
73 percent of couples spent less than $50 on the first date.
It might be tempting to drop a ton of money on a first date, especially if you want to impress the person. But keeping it affordable here seems to be the better answer.
Spending within a reasonable budget on the first date foreshadows a fiscally realistic relationship. For example, if you know you both can have fun over a cheap dinner rather than a bougie candlelit one, it makes it easier to visualize getting into this habit for the long-term.
5. Let the guy pick up the tab.
80 percent of couples said the man paid for the first date.
I once went on a Tinder date, and while the dude and I had chemistry, after dinner, he decided he wanted to go dutch. (He paid for dinner, while I paid for the drinks and tip.)
I decided to see him again, which was a HUGE mistake, because I found myself paying for my own $4 drink the second time around. That's when I decided to break it off. Ugh, cheapskate.
Moral of the story: If he's super into you, he shouldn't mind covering you for things like dinner or drinks, especially if you're dealing with a freakin' happy hour special.
6. Don't be so quick to lock lips.
Just 29 percent of couples kissed on the first date.
I rarely ever kiss on the first date. I don't know why, but I find it a bit odd to kiss someone I've only known for a couple of hours.
Maybe next time, leave a little suspense in the mix by keeping the guy wondering what it's like to make out with you.
There's also something really magical about letting emotional chemistry match the level of physical chemistry. Build up to a slow, sensual, we-won't-forget-this kiss — which can leave him itching for that second date.
7. Follow up right after the date.
56 percent of couples either texted or talked in some way after meeting.
Remember my snow day story? Yeah, don't do what that guy did.
Pay attention to your phone. Make time to formulate a quick, simple text, no matter how busy you are at work or how much you like to play the waiting game.
And don't just make it any old text. Articulate your enthusiasm about the person! Thank them for such a great time. Tone can be lost in text, so you have to go the extra mile to make your desire known.
Oh, and here's an added tip: If you're uninterested in seeing the person again, maybe tell them that. Directly. Ghosting is just rude.
8. Immediately make a plan to see each other again.
77 percent of couples planned when they'd see each other again, either on the first date or right after it.
I can't tell you how many times I've been trying to meet up with this one guy, but we always seem to miss each other.
We're both always busy, and making plans to see each other always fall through because he doesn't plan with me in advance. We'll probably never get it right, and I'll be left sitting here fantasizing about what we could have been.
Make it a priority to make plans with the person you want to explore further, because hey, life gets hectic, and people's schedules fill up quickly.
If you want to make sure you can see that girl next weekend before she fills her weekend plans, set shit up. And same goes for women, too.
Whether you meet someone you're interested in on a dating app or IRL, go forth with these tips in mind. You might just find the love of your life.