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How to turn a first date into a second one

DATE
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Tips for how to make dating successful when you’re looking for someone to share your life with.

Asking someone out on a date is often nerve wracking and uncomfortable. What if you say the wrong thing and end up looking dumb? What if they say no? If they say no, is it because they don’t find you attractive or interesting enough?

Let’s be honest, though. Any relationship you will ever be in will be scary at some point — because commitment requires risk. Relationships involve vulnerability and trust and sacrifice. And when relationships work — both people giving and taking — what a beautiful experience! But, if you’re too nervous to take the first step and ask someone out (or if you’re not willing to agree to a date when someone asks you), you won’t have the opportunity to experience any of the joys of being in a romantic relationship.

So, my first tip for all daters out there who want to turn a first date into a second one is this; start with step one. Set up a first date. Ask someone out. Even if you’re uncomfortable.

And if you are on the other side, and you’re the person being asked out, say yes. Even if you’re not 100 percent sure you like the person. The more first dates you go on, the better you get at going on them.

Once you’re on that date, here are a few tips to make it go smoothly …

Put your date at ease. Are you nervous? Chances are, so is your date. Open up a little bit to get the conversation rolling. Funny story from work today? Weird thing you heard on the radio on the way over? Interesting artwork on the wall?

As the date progresses, make sure the conversation is balanced. Notice how much you are talking. Are you monopolizing the conversation? If so, take a step back and give them a chance to open up. Ask open-ended questions like what do you think of x? What is your favorite part of your job? How would you spend a day if you didn’t have any obligations?

Or, if you aren’t talking enough, pipe up. Jump in. If your date truly wants to get to know you, but is just talking out of nervousness, or to fill the silence, they’ll appreciate you pushing in your two cents.

At the end of the date, if you had a nice time, say so! There’s no reason to leave your date guessing as to how it went for you. If they had a nice time too, it will be easy and natural to set up a next date right then or soon after.

If you had a mediocre time — not amazing but not horrible — then suggest or agree to a second date. Two dates does not a relationship make, and sometimes it takes a little longer to gauge compatibility.

If it was truly horrible, then just say thank you for the date but do not propose another one. If the feeling is mutual you should be able to leave it at that. But, if need be, a simple “I don’t see this going anywhere” will end things directly and promptly.

If things went well and it’s time for date two, switch it up. Don’t do the same thing you did for date one. If you went out for coffee or dinner for a first date, try doing an activity for a second date, like bowling or walking in the park. Sometimes being active helps people loosen up and leads to a better date.

At the end of the day, nothing ventured nothing gained. Ask that person out. Say yes to that second date, even though the first date was so-so. Take a chance with someone. A date is the first baby step towards a relationship. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t start.

Read more: 5 Successful dating tips for shy girls

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