4 Things to Consider Before Going on the Second Date

confused man

Sometimes, making plans for that second date is an easy move. Maybe the chemistry on your first date was obvious and apparent immediately. The two of you just clicked, and it’s clear that the other person feels the same way.

But it doesn’t always work like that.

Sometimes, things on a first date feel awkward and forced. You’re left wondering whether moving forward to a second date is the right choice or not.

Perhaps you’re wishing that the first date would have gone with such obvious smoothness that you have no doubts. But just because you’re not sure about moving forward doesn’t mean that the possibility of a relationship is non-existent.

Here are four things to consider when that first date ends up being anything but conclusive about where things should go from here.

What were your expectations for the first date?

It’s important to be realistic when it comes to dating someone new, especially if it’s someone you didn’t know well (or really at all!) before the date.

Maybe you went into that first date expecting sparks and fireworks. If things just never seemed to ignite, it might be possible that your expectations were too high.

First dates can really be synonymous with the word “awkwardness.” It’s not unusual at all. You’re both nervous, you’re not entirely sure what to expect from the other person, and you’re not used to interacting with them.

It’s natural to hope that there’s a spark of obvious connection. But to expect it immediately might not be realistic.

If that obvious chemistry did happen immediately, that’s great! But if it didn’t, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to give up on the person without a second try.

Did your date seem to be enjoying themselves?

If you think it’s possible that your confusion is coming from unrealistic expectations on your part for that first date, try looking at things from your date’s point of view.

Did it seem like he or she was having a good time and enjoying themselves? Or did they seem like they felt even more awkward than you?

Your date’s enjoyment level might be able to help clue you in on whether your own feelings are totally accurate here.

If you came away from the date feeling disappointed and it was obvious that the other person did too, it might be a good clue that the two of you really aren’t a good match.

But if they did seem to be having an enjoyable time, even though it didn’t seem as fantastic to you as you’d hoped, it might be a good idea to give a second date a try and see if things improve.

Were there obvious red flags on the first date?

If you have any kind of gut feeling that a second date isn’t a great idea, perhaps even despite some level of chemistry between you, try thinking through whether there were any obvious signs that the two of you aren’t a good fit.

Maybe it’s a strong opinion of theirs that you can’t get on board with. Or perhaps they hinted that they’re not very serious about their faith.

Read more: Five Times You Should Say ‘No’ to a Second Date

There are any number of possible deal-breakers that can sneak in when you’re least expecting them, leaving you with a feeling of uncertainty despite liking the person quite a bit.

It’s great if you can pinpoint just what it was about them that has you wavering, especially if you’re seeing a specific red flag and not just a general lack of chemistry. Take a good look at whatever that red flag is and decide how strongly you feel on the matter.

Maybe, after a good look at the issue, you decide that you don’t actually feel as strongly about it as you first suspected you would, in light of how great this person is otherwise. If that’s the case, time for a second date!

Or, you might realize that this red flag is quite the big deal and would certainly get in the way of a healthy long-term relationship with them.

Are you over-thinking things?

It can happen to the best of us. Maybe it’s because of past hurts or missteps you’ve made in other relationships. Or maybe you’re just the type of person who tends to analyze things to death (guilty of this myself!).

No matter the cause, it’s always possible that your confusion over whether to move forward to a second date is coming from simply thinking too much about it.

The reality is that there might not be a perfect, straightforward answer.

You might not be able to pinpoint precisely what it is about the person that makes you think there’s something there, or what it is that makes you suspect there really isn’t.

If you think you might be falling into the overthinking-things category, try talking the matter out with a trusted friend.

Sometimes just recapping the situation out loud can be enough to make you realize what you should do. And sometimes we all just have the need to hear something like, “Don’t make it harder than it is!”

At the end of the day, a second date is still a casual prospect, not something that signifies a lifetime commitment.

Commit the matter to prayer, and try not to stress out too heavily over making the perfect decision.