You Really Should Try A Second Date

I don't buy the accuracy of first impressions. Well, scratch that: I don't buy the accuracy of first dates. First impressions are usually pretty solid: We can meet a total babe of a person and immediately identify them as that, which (among so many other things, naturally) is valuable information. And something about them—either the babeliness or their personality or, ideally, a combination of both—assures us a first date should even happen. But if that babe similarly agrees that a date should occur, and it does, a lot of pesky factors are sure to muck up any chance of you two being able to get a clear assessment of who each other really is.

There's are nerves and the obligatory swapping of the list of basic life facts and preferences. Arbitrary rules exist a-plenty when it comes to first dates. Plus, the fact is, a date is just one totally isolated experience—not exactly the ideal setting to gain an understanding of what a person would be like in real life. Because dates—let me be VERY clear—are not, in any perverse distortion of the word, "real life". Truly, it's a finite span of time during which extreme judgement happens. That's...a little nuts when you think about it. And it's even nuttier to think anyone is capable of actually having this very dramatically awesome first date. In most cases, they're stiff and/or lackluster.

Imagine if we were a bit more merciful when mentally evaluating each other. How great would it be if we got not one, but two shots to reveal our truly fabulous, brilliant, endearing, powerful selves? I don't know how we could ever warp dating into the job interview norm. But I do think we have some hope at convincing folks this is the only way to approach dating—agreeing to a second date in almost all scenarios. Exceptions include: racists, homophobes, people who are super rude to the service, etc.—use your judgement, bb, but don't let your judgmental tendencies dictate your decisions. Allow me to elaborate because truly, the first date is like the first pancake in a batch: Probably fine, but very likely only scratching the surface of what you can really pull off. Maybe flip a few more before you decide the batter is no good and pour it down the drain. It might be perfectly good batter.

Here why you should almost always give someone a second date:

It gives someone the benefit of the doubt

The pressure to leave someone awestruck immediately is pretty heavy. Besides that, what if they learned just hours before your date that their cat needed really expensive surgery? Or they chanced some past-expiration date cream cheese with their lunch bagel and felt secretly super unwell? (HEY, THIS HAPPENS.) It's totally possible some outside force had a hand in making them a little off during this specific first date time frame.

It also gives you another go to do better

What if YOU were the one munching on old cream cheese on that first date? Or got nervous and went on a tangent re: some secret dream you've never actually had? We all say and do things we don't mean because of how our guts feel. I know we're mostly perfect, sweet Bustle disciples, but even we have our less sparkly moments. A second date gives you a do-over to actually show your stuff.

The nerves will have dissipated somewhat

Once you've spent enough time with another human to confirm they are just that, a human (as opposed to the sparkling god/dess of babe-ly perfection you thought they were when you first met), you're a lot more likely to relax some. The social media front has cracked and started to crumble. Think about when you feel more on your game: It's when you're around people you know and feel comfortable with, right? Knocking out the first date and going for a second gets you closer to that ease and with it, your best self.

You've built some sort of foundation

True, it might be a shaky one, but it's something. Now you may know they're a long-time vegetarian with a fervent love for metal, which means you're unlikely to take them to a live blues bar specializing in BBQ again. Even that basic, dry laundry list of facts is going to be helpful moving forward.

It's just one more date—not a binding agreement to go on more dates

OK. Say you give this person a second chance and the same lack of chemistry exists. And that wasn't an illusion on the first date: They definitely wink, like, a lot. So what? A second date does not obligate you for a third, fourth one, let alone a whole relationship. If someone didn't throw up any major red flags or deal breakers the first time you went out, giving them a second date is literally only signing you on for one more evening. If the alternative is potentially missing out on someone amazing-but-didn't-show-it-on-the-first-date-for-some-reason, what's a few more hours of getting drinks or whatever?

Then you know for sure

Double-checking is the mark of being a thorough worker, yeah? The same is true for human relationships, romantic ones included. Remember that learning what doesn't work helps you learn what possibly does. And with all that knowledge, you're closer to being where you wanna be in a romantic situation or relationship. So regardless, going out with someone is very rarely a total wash. Learning about yourself, and what you want from someone else, is valuable on its own.

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