What should you do after a first date?
Meeting someone new is exciting. Preparing for it can take a lot of time, but have you prepared for what happens after a first date?
A lot of emotional energy is invested in a first date. No matter how laid back you are, or how many times you’ve been on first dates before, it’s natural to hope that this will be the last you go on if you’ve found the right match.
The hope and expectation coupled with the emotional vulnerability that comes whenever you risk rejection means that you should make provisions for after the first date. This ensures that whether your date goes well or badly, you’re not leaving yourself exposed and open to self sabotage.
It’s a good idea to arrange to call a friend after your date. This is important both in terms of personal safety and making sure you’ve got someone to talk to. That way it won’t go round and round in your head leaving you feeling anxious.
In the hours after a first date, it’s natural to replay every minute, asking yourself whether you did and said the right things.
Talking it through with your friend can help you air any insecurities or worries and also help you clarify your feelings for your date, rather than obsessing about if they liked you.
Make your choice of friend for a post-date-debrief someone that you’re close to and often talk openly with rather than just a casual acquaintance. Sharing your dating experience with them is a gift of friendship and shows that you trust them.
How do you feel?
After a date it’s common to analyse the whole thing, looking for signs to see if the other person liked you, but unless you’re a mind reader you won’t really know for sure until you attempt to make contact.
Anyway, the more important question is, how do you feel about them? Are they what you’re looking for in a partner? Do you think there was a connection between you? Did you find them physically attractive? Sometimes it’s so easy to be flattered if someone is obviously keen on you, that you forget to check your own feelings.
When you’ve had some time to process the date, make contact and let your date know where you’re at. Contacting them the same day or evening is perfect because chances are, they’re having all the same thoughts and worries that you are. The sooner you make contact, the sooner you can both establish whether or not you want to see each other again.
A short text message or email is perfectly acceptable. Firstly thank the person for coming to meet you and then be honest about if you’d like to see them again. If you just want to get to know them a little better, say so and suggest a second date. On a first date, most people are nervous and it’s not until a second date that you start to really see someone’s true personality. Despite modern gender roles, many men prefer to initiate dates but sometimes need to know from the woman that his advances would be welcome. This first contact is the time to give that encouragement, whether you’re a man or woman. Say you had a great time if that’s the truth. The worst that can happen is that they don’t feel the same way – but at least you’ll then be free to move on. If you don’t want to see them again wait until they make contact with you and then politely say thanks, but no thanks.
Not all first dates will lead to second dates, and if yours’ doesn’t then don’t be deterred. Contact with other matches and try again. Nothing pays off better than perseverance.
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