Yeah, But How Do I Get The Second Date?

Every Wednesday, I do a few free consultations with clients. What I like about doing these consultations are that they bring up issues that are pretty much universal. “I called and she didn’t call back.” “Had a great first date but couldn’t get a second one.” “My relationships don’t last.”
Well, in this article, we’re going to talk about a challenge which many of you have experienced.
By now, a lot of you have gotten good at approaching women and getting numbers, which is fantastic. Many of you have also been able to get a first date to happen, which is huge.
The challenge comes after that first date—namely, how to make sure the second date happens. This article is a comprehensive troubleshooting guide to make sure you set up everything right to optimize your chances of having that second date.
Now, if you set up everything just right, will it be a guarantee that there will be second date? Ah, no. As a wise man once said, you’re entitled to your actions, not your results. You do what you can, and let the rest take care of itself. Detachment from results is what gets you results. Then let the Tao flow.
So, let’s begin from the beginning:
1) Where are you meeting these women?
As I’ve said before, in physics, initial conditions determine the course of an event. In poker, your starting hand largely determines the outcome of your play, and in dating, how everything is set up in the beginning largely determines how far the courtship progresses.
So, let me ask you this: let’s say you meet a fabulous woman on the sidewalk and somehow get her number. Let’s say you meet an equally fabulous woman through your best friend Nancy from college on the same day. Let’s say you set up first dates with both of these woman (not Nancy, silly—the new women).
Question: based on only the information given here and nothing else, which first date is more likely to progress to a second date—the lady from the sidewalk or the lady introduced through Nancy your best friend?
Chances are that the lady Nancy introduced is more likely to go somewhere, for myriad reasons—the biggest of which is that she’s ‘networked in’. That means that there’s a back connection to both of you, and an implied trust between you by nature of having an acquaintance in common.
Since safety and comfort are two overwhelming unconscious drives for a woman in a dating context, this pre-existing implied trust is HUGE—and will accelerate the courtship tremendously, assuming that there’s a good fit.
We cover the whole safety and comfort factor in Chapter 9, ‘Advanced Techniques for Attraction.’
Coming back to our hypothetical scenario, with the second woman, you’re starting at square zero, and you have to PROVE that you’re a safe and trustworthy guy who’s no psycho. This takes effort and serious time.
As the author Margaret Attwood once pointed out (from the results of a poll she took), the biggest thing a guy fears on a date is getting laughed at. Pretty legitimate. The biggest thing a woman fears is getting killed. A whole different kind of legitimate. Addressing her safety and comfort is paramount.
For better or for worse, the only way a woman can establish your trustworthiness is by observing your behavior, and that requires time—three encounters at the very least, many more than that for most women. So if that first encounter is even slightly off-kilter, then the second one probably won’t happen.
To summarize, the venue and context where you meet a woman has great bearing upon future course of events. Those you meet at a bar or club are the lowest-percentage shots—the least likely ones to progress to a second date.
Those you meet at a spot which is high on the Community aspect of the Three C’s of Optimal Venues (to wit: Conversation-friendliness, Community and Continuity—from Chapter 6 of The Tao of Dating) are better.
And those you meet through a mutual acquaintance have the highest likelihood of progression.
So if you’re getting lots of flakiness, or lots of ‘great’ first dates and nothing coming of them afterwards, ask yourself: Where am I meeting these women? Are they high-percentage shots or low-percentage shots (to use a tennis metaphor)? Because a low-percentage shot, by definition, only works a small percentage of the time.
As a general rubric, expect only about 1 in 5 club/bar girls you meet to become a first date, and of those only 1 in 5 (or less) to progress to a second date. That means you could be getting 25 numbers from club/bar girls before you get a second date with one of them.
If you don’t know that beforehand, that could be a lot of heartache and disappointment. But forewarned is forearmed, and with this knowledge at least you know what to expect. Hey man—evolution has picked you as the suitor, the pursuer, and dealing with volumes of turn-downs is the name of the game. It’s all good.
Of course, there are ways of improving the chances of progress, which brings us to…
2) What kind of first date are you having?
I remember when I first started my corporate job, I had this guy as a colleague who was mega-cocky, and utterly clueless when it came to the dating realm.
One Monday morning, he was recounting ‘this great date’ he had with a woman he was interested in. “Man, it went awesomely.” Oh really, I thought. So I asked him when it ended.
“Around midnight.” Strike one. And what did you do until then?
“Oh, we talked and talked. It just went so smoothly.” Strike two.
Well, that’s nice. Didja get her in bed? “Nope.” Didja make out with her at least? “Nope—but she did give me a kiss on the cheek when I dropped her off.”
Oh. One of THOSE great dates.
Let me tell you, my friend: a truly great date doesn’t end before 10am. And it never involves a chaste peck on the cheek as its coda.
In The Tao of Dating, I talk a lot about how to set up the first date so it’s different, it’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s impossible to forget. You do this by making it romantic, and you make it romantic by applying my secret formula for romance, namely:
Romance = Predictability + Safety + Cheesy lines from Harlequin novels
Ha! Just kidding. The Secret Formula for Romance, as discussed in Chapter 9, is
I’m not going to go into a whole discussion of each of those elements, since it’s beyond the scope of this article (maybe in a future one). Just think about all those elements, then ask yourself how well they apply to the kind of date you’re planning. Let’s do the exercise together and apply it to some hypothetical dates:
— Dinner date: plenty of consideration, but little mystery or excitement. Same could be said about a doctor’s visit or a meeting with your parish priest. Avoid dinner dates as first dates! I’m willing to bet that the dinner date is primarily responsible for the failures and frustrations in American dating (warning: minor rant about to follow).
First off, you’re sitting face-to-face for a prolonged period with someone you barely know. The only other times this happens is in a criminal interrogation (not comfortable) or a job interview (even less comfortable). Is this any way to start a loving relationship between two human beings—an evening-long job interview that you pay for?
Also, you’re trying to eat a meal, but it’s getting interrupted by a conversation. And you’re trying to have a conversation, but it’s getting interrupted by a meal. If a relationship has ever started this way, it’s in SPITE of a dinner date, not because of it. Add to that the concern about your table manners and who’s going to pay, and it’s just a bad idea all around.
Dinner dates are great—for people you’re already friends with. Terrible as a way to get to know a romantic prospect. Chuck ‘em entirely. And don’t even get me started on ‘dinner and a movie’. As likely to perpetuate your genes to the next generation as sterilization.
— Brief coffee date: some excitement (brevity and novelty do that), little mystery, some consideration (safer than a bungee jump, I guess). Good as a screening device for you, especially if you have the REAL date planned for after she passes your test…
— Wine & cheese tasting: high on mystery, excitement and consideration, especially if you don’t give her too many details. Mystery = missing information. Resist the temptation to be ‘helpful’ and spill all the beans about everything. That just makes you a compliant wuss, which is the opposite of challenging, which is the opposite of what she wants. She wants the challenge—be that guy.
— Going hiking, kayaking, rollerblading, hang-gliding, or any other kind of vigorous physical activity: especially if it’s her first time doing these things, they all rate favorably on novelty and excitement. And if you pack a nice lunch for both of you, then you score huge on the consideration scale.
— Flight lesson: sky-high (ha) on excitement and mystery (especially if you don’t tell her where you’re taking her) and a primo opportunity to display your consideration for her safety and comfort. Here in LA, a 2-hr introductory flight lesson for two will run you under 80 bucks at Hawthorne Airport. That’s cheaper than most dinner-and-drinks dates.
The point is this: novelty, excitement, and physical engagement get the neurological juices of romance pumping. I’m not going to cite the studies that prove this, but it’s true. Blah date leads to blah results. Exciting date leads to exciting results. Put in the effort to design a damn good date.
So, if your first dates aren’t turning into second dates, ask yourself, “How well do my dates rate on the romance scale?”. Then re-read this segment, and also ask yourself…
3) Am I pushing the physical interaction forward during the date?
On one of the recent consultations I had with a reader, he was telling me how he was deliberately holding back on the physical interaction, and then wondering why nothing was happening and why the girls weren’t returning phone calls.
It goes something like this: if a girl is into you during the date, she’s DYING for you to make some kind of move. Because, culturally, she’s not allowed to make that move. It’s on you, buddy. You initiate the dance.
So, basically, when you don’t make a physical move of some sort, you’re shirking your duty as a gentleman. You’ve done so well up to this point, so don’t wimp out on me (or her): FULFILL YOUR PROMISE.
Touch her early and often—first in the safe zones (hands, arms, shoulder) then to the more intimate zones (neck, face, hair, torso). If you get green lights, proceed. If not, back off. We talk about the green lights in Chapter 9, so read up.
Take risk and initiative in kissing her (without going too fast). Physical interaction between a man and a woman VALIDATES for both of you that the interaction was meaningful. It also unconsciously activates the Commitment & Consistency principle in the woman—”I’ve kissed him, therefore I must like him, therefore I will want to see him again.”
And if you don’t kiss her? She goes back to her friends who ask her, “Well, how did it go?” And she’ll say, “Oh, I had a good time. But NOTHING HAPPENED.”
In fact, that ‘nothing happened’ phrase is often applied to any interaction short of intercourse. And when ‘nothing happens’, it’s easy for a woman to relegate that interaction to the trash bin of her mind and move top eleven hack online on.
So escalate the physical interaction early and often. And if there’s an opportunity to get intimate, take it (without being pushy about it). If she’s interested and you don’t capitalize on that interest, she’ll think you’re either a wimp or that you find her unattractive. Which brings us to…
4) When am I following up?
Another consultation student was having problems getting second dates after the first ones were going seemingly well. He was even calling them afterwards to follow up, just as outlined in ‘The Tao of Dating’.
So I asked him, “When are you following up?” Oh, 4-5 days after the date.
That means that if you met her on a Saturday, you’re calling her up on a Tuesday or Wednesday to signal your appreciation.
Guys—just put yourself in the shoes of the woman here. You just met up on Saturday night with a guy you barely knew—he could be a player, he could be nice, he could be interesting, oh what the hell, let’s give it a shot.
Turns out you had a dreamy time together. He was witty, bantering, teasing you in just the right way. You even made out with him a little bit.
It’s Sunday. He’s on your mind. You’re dying to talk to him, but he doesn’t call. Well, maybe he’s busy. He’ll probably call tomorrow. But you can’t hide the fact that you’re a little disappointed. And this is exactly what happened with that last loser player guy who broke your heart. But he’s not the same guy, so you’re going to be patient.
Monday comes. Nothing. Your worst fears are starting to be realized, in spite of yourself. Maybe he’s not that into me anyway, like the title of that book.
Tuesday comes. Still nothing. Now you’re feeling a little silly for having wasted your time and energy thinking about this guy. Either he’s just a player, and I’m one of many so he doesn’t really care. Or he’s just got bad manners. Or he’s just a wimp and can’t get himself to call me. None of those situations endear him to you. Time to move on.
Wednesday, he calls. You are clearly not in the mood to speak to him anymore, so you let it go to voicemail. You listen to it later. Sounds nice, but whatever—too little too late. Hard to re-kindle the interest now.
My point is this: follow up the NEXT DAY after you have had any kind of meaningful interaction with a woman. This is particularly important if you ended up making out, and absolutely IMPERATIVE if you had intercourse (IF you intend to repeat the experience—if you don’t, that’s a different article). 48hrs is the maximum allowable delay. Beyond that, you’re risking turning her yearning into resentment, which would be a terrible waste.
And finally…
5) Am I clear with what *I* want?
Let’s get honest here—there’s a reason that book ‘He’s Not That Into You’ sold zillions of copies. Because it’s often TRUE.
We ask out a woman because she’s kinda cute and kinda interesting, and you’re kinda lonely, and you could kinda use some company. And you know what? She kinda senses that, and if she’s not totally desperate, she’ll kinda get the heck outta there fast.
Women, like most human beings, like to be valued. So if she’s not really what you want (“But she’s hot!”), your heart won’t be in it, and she’ll sense that. Women are good at intuiting that kind of thing—at least ten times better than us lunkhead guys.
So get clear with yourself and make sure you’re really into a woman before courting her. And if you really are into her, sure, practice the detachment without overdoing the hard-to-get protocol. Appreciation of the right person begets appreciation.
That’s all for now, folks. If you have a friend who would benefit from this article, do him a favor and forward it to him. I’m interested in your questions about dating, persuasion and networking, so please feel free to email me.
The power is within you,
Dr Alex

Compártelo con tus amigos

Deja un comentario

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos necesarios están marcados *

Puedes usar las siguientes etiquetas y atributos HTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>