How Much Time Between First And Second Dates Is Too Much?

You've been on a first date but how much time between first and second dates is too much? We outline some ways to figure that out and how to smoothly slide into that second date.

You’ve just had your first date and things seemed to go well. The question is, how long should you wait until date number two?

First things first - avoid overthinking it. I’m going to cover some things to be mindful of here but don’t go setting an arbitrary time limit. Every situation is different and the best thing you can do is learn to "feel" for the right time. This comes with time and practice so let’s get you pointed in the right direction.

The Ideal Time Between First And Second Dates

How long you wait between dates will be determined by a few factors you need to be aware of. There’s no single answer that applies to every situation which is why these tips are so important.

The better you can be at "reading the room", the more effective you’ll be at getting that second date. This is something that developed for me with practice. I experimented in various ways when I first got back to dating and it was an interesting time. 

Hopefully, I can speed up that learning curve for you right now.

Forget about arbitrary rules

I’ve touched on this already but it deserves to have its own section in this article. You might have heard about things like the “three day rule”, for example. This is an antiquated notion that you should make no contact with her for three days after the first date.

This came from a time before cell phones and the Internet. Where you had to pick up a land line and call her if you wanted to communicate. Crazy, huh?

Perhaps back then, talking to her 24 hours later was seen as desperate. Now, we’ve become accustomed to having everything immediately. We can summon a meal, a driver or nearly any item from anywhere in the world from a single device. Anywhere.

Everything happens at a faster pace so ignoring her for three days after a date now is a bad idea. After a day or two, she’s going to think you had a bad time. After the third day, she’s thinking she’ll never hear from you again and has moved on.

This is even worse if you met on a dating app. She may have even been on a couple more dates while you “played it cool” 90’s style.

There is no magic timeframe; you have to read every situation differently. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that go into this decision.

Does she keep a busy schedule?

If she’s the type with a demanding job or hectic social calendar, try to plan ahead. If you’re trying to lock something in two days out, she may be busy. This’ll mean she’ll have to decline which isn’t the best start.

It’s not a total disaster by any means. But if this cycle repeats too much, it starts to take the fun out of the situation. Instead, look for a date about a week out. There’s a better chance she’ll be available but it’s still soon enough that things haven’t gone stale.

I tend to have a stacked calendar myself so I can definitely relate to this scenario. I prefer to use humor here to keep it from feeling like I’m scheduling a work meeting too.

However you go about it, make sure you don’t come across as begging. No need for caveman antics. Bur asking, “Can you please make some time for me next week?” isn't the way you want to portray yourself.

Most of my invitations start with either “why don’t we” or “let’s go to.” They’re more casual and set the right tone. This is infinitely better than begging for it or demanding that she does something with you.

For example:

“Why don’t we head to the beach next Saturday? The weather is meant to be great!”

Or

“I love that place. Let’s go there next Friday night and make it up as we go from there”

Casual, relaxed and putting no pressure on either party.

Does she prefer structure or spontaneity?

In my experience, spontaneity usually keeps things more fun. Having said that, some women don’t appreciate it and get anxious with insufficient planning.

Similar to the previous point, take this into account when you plan things out. If she’s the spontaneous type with a normal calendar, last-second plans can be a lot of fun. Just been given tickets to a live event tonight? Go for it. Even if that first date was last night, last-second fun is still perfectly okay in my experience.

However, if she’s the type who appreciates notice and structure, it may not be the best idea. In this instance, try to make it somewhere around the one-week mark. This gives her time to settle and be comfortable with the idea.

As a very broad generalization, this is going to apply to high-maintenance women more so. They may not feel comfortable seeing you again without ample time to properly prepare themselves. While you may not care too much about her hair and makeup, that isn’t the point here. You want her to be comfortable for date number two so be sure to factor this in.

What about you?

Accommodating her schedule and preferences is important but don’t forget to consider your own. Flexibility is great but you shouldn’t be moving your life around for the sake of a second date.

If you have a busy schedule this week, maybe see what she’s doing next week instead. The truth is, being busy is going to work in your favor to some extent anyway.

If you always seem to be available, it can give the impression you don’t have a social life at all. Perhaps even worse, it might start to look desperate. As though you’re willing to drop everything if it means seeing her again.

Stage five clinger alert!

Is this a casual thing or more long term?

If you’re talking about a casual Tinder hookup, then my suggestion is to take things a bit slower. You should both be on the same page already and nobody wants to be bombarded with messages from a hookup.

Personally, in this scenari, I’ll look to set something up about a week later. Once-per-week seems to be a good balance. It keeps things casual and low maintenance without letting it go stale.

Other Factors To Consider

Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, you'll have a pretty good feel for how long you should wait. Before you pick up the phone, there are a few other factors for you to consider as well.

Don’t be dependent on the outcome

This is a very common trap that can have an impact on the rest of your decision-making. You’ve only been on one date. No matter how into her you might be, never allow yourself to “need” a second date.

The reason this is dangerous is because it starts to actually feel needy. For example, if the first date was "okay" and you’re interested in a second, you’re going to be laid back.

You aren’t all that fussed if she declines and so your whole demeanor will be chill. This comes across as relaxed and confident which is exactly how you want to be.

On the other hand, if you’re really into her and “need” to see her again, you’ll treat it differently. You’ll respond faster to her texts, cancel other plans and do whatever it takes for that second date.

Hollywood RomComs tell us this is "romantic" and hot but I assure you that’s not true. If anything, it can feel clingy and off-putting.

Approach every second date casually. You’ve met once; there’s absolutely no way you can know that she’s "the one".

There is no "too soon" but there is "clingy"

I’ve had several situations where date number two was the next day and things went very well. Admittedly it’s rare to do this again so soon but the point is, there’s no such thing as too quickly.

What you do want to avoid though is coming across as clingy. Maintain your own social life and continue to do what you do. If she messages you, reply when you’re free. If you’ve already sent a couple of messages without a reply, cool your jets.

Clingy people are exhausting and frustrating to deal with and you don’t want to paint yourself as one.

Send the invite whenever it makes sense

People tend to put rules around how long to wait before you contact her again. Or before you initiate date number two. Just like my previous point, there is no "too soon" here. If it feels right to discuss a second date toward the end of the first, then go for it.

On the other hand, if it doesn’t feel right, maybe wait until the next day or two. There’s no perfect time to do it so go with whatever feels most natural.

For me, it’s about a 50-50 split between the end of the first date and waiting a day or two. If you are going to do it on the first date you just need to keep it casual. Don’t use the word date or change your demeanor. It usually looks something like this for me:

“Oh you’re a whiskey fan too, huh? I never would have guessed. Apparently that bar on third has a good selection; we should go check it out Friday night”.

Think of it more like inviting a friend to go somewhere you’d both enjoy. With this mindset, the whole concept of asking her out again becomes that much easier. Chances are it’ll make your delivery a bit more relaxed too.

Don’t let things go cold

This is something I’ve already touched on above but it’s important enough to cover in more detail too. No matter how exciting something may be, we’re going to get bored with it after a while. This is just human nature and it applies to the dating world too.

Trying to set up a date for a month from now will rarely go well. Particularly in today’s society where everything is on demand, a month feels like an eternity. The idea of a second date is to be a continuation of the first. The sooner it happens (within reason) the easier this will be to achieve.

Don’t become a hazy memory of that guy she had coffee with weeks ago.

Reschedules aren’t always a sign of disinterest

No matter how keen she might be to see you again, sometimes life just happens. Don’t make her feel bad for having to reschedule your date. Instead, be willing to offer some flexibility, either offering a different time or day and trying again.

This is one thing I can’t stand from the “pickup artist” community. The idea that you have to "punis" her for rescheduling. Acting like you’re so confident and amazing that nobody should dare to reschedule on you. Please ignore this garbage.

Fun and excitement are what you’re looking for here instead. It’s difficult to maintain these if you’re forcing her to decide between you and something else that came up. She’s sure to appreciate you accommodating, which works in your favor too.

If it happens a number of times in a row then it may be time to move on. But don’t assume every reschedule is disinterest.

Use These Tips To Decide How Much Time Between First And Second Dates

These tips should give you some guidance and help you better decide the right time. Knowing how much time between the first and second date is more of an art than a science.

Whenever you’re in this situation, take note of how things pan out for you. Because we’re all different, you should always pay attention to how she responds and adjust.

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