First dates can be easy breezy, or they can be a total source of anxiety. Ideally, you'll see if you connect with this perfect stranger, you'll get to know them a bit, and let them get to know you, too. It can be stressful to sit across from another human and try to ascertain if you both want to continue being around each other and live happily ever after. And while this is happening, you're also probably wondering if there will be a second date! Personally, I have a theory that second dates are better than first dates simply because there's less pressure.
Once you find yourself on date number two, there's a certain amount of relief because — ta da! You're on your second date. You've already done the awkward dance of a first date, maybe you've even connected physically, and you both have communicated to each other that you want to see each other again. Even if you're supremely confident and feel like you nailed your first date, the second date is an opportunity to be yourself and let your date get to know you even further. You've covered the basics on your first date, so now you can dive a little deeper. Since both of you are likely to be a bit more relaxed than you both were on your first date, chances are you'll connect even more meaningfully than you did initially.
Dayna Troisi, managing editor at Go Magazine, also subscribes to the theory that second dates are better. She says, "The second date has way less pressure, but way more possibility — you don't have to have the sheer panic of meeting a stranger, you can make fun of yourself if you were anxious on the first date, and you have way more real conversations. Plus, you know someone is interested and attracted if they ask you out again." Troisi also has experience to back up this theory, and shares, "On the second date with my current girlfriend, she took me to a bar that was hosting a RuPaul's Drag Race Night, unbeknownst to her. The bar was packed and so loud, with no room for us. It was easier to laugh it off — if it was a first date, it might've been more embarrassing. I'm always more confident and comfortable on a second date — more myself and more willing to make the next moves. We ditched RuPaul's Drag Race and I went home with her."
Just because second dates might have less pressure than first dates doesn't mean they're a total walk in the park. You still might feel nervous or jittery around your date, and unsure of how things will turn out. Hannah Orenstein, author of Playing With Matches and my delightful editor here at Elite Daily, says, "I had zero expectations and zero nerves walking into my first date with my boyfriend, but we wound up having an amazing conversation for five hours and tons of chemistry. So, going into our second date, I was so nervous. I worried that whatever spark I felt earlier could vanish."
And while you might have made the perfect plan for date number two, things could always go wrong. Orenstein continues, "I took him to my favorite restaurant that serves amazing frozen margaritas... except the margarita machine was down, so we were totally sober. Instead of panicking, we just talked, and I was relieved to find that the spark was still there. As great as our first date was, our second date was the night that cemented how much fun we could have together."
So much of dating is figuring out what you're looking for in a partner, what kind of relationship you want, and if the person you're on a date with is your person. That's no small task, and it's completely normal to have anxiety about first and second dates. And although first dates are a necessary evil, if I could, I'd skip a first date and go straight to the second one.