The First Date Only Dilemma
Recently a young man told me that he had literally been on hundreds of first dates and only a handful of second dates. As he told me about his “First Date Dilemma,” I imagined in my mind a man jumping into a swimming pool, sinking to the bottom, climbing back out, and jumping in again only to sink to the bottom once more. I quickly surmised that his problem was not a lack of trying—he just didn’t know how to swim.
Learning to Swim in the Dating World
We often hear people speaking of horrible first dates, as if the “events” of the date were the most important factor. To the contrary, whether you go bowling, skating, or skiing won’t be as important as the interactions you have during that activity.
Many dates have started with a limousine ride to a fancy restaurant and ended with “I don’t think we’ll go out again.” On the other hand, some dates where reservations were lost, tires went flat, and plays were rained out, have ended with the couple saying “definitely going out again!”
Here in is the great secret: What happens on a date does not “create” the people, it “reveals” them.
4 Things that Reveal if You are Second Date Ready
What you say and how you say it reveals much about you. If our eyes are the windows to our souls, then our words are the products of our souls. A student once told me that he had been dating a girl for a few months, but they had only been on single dates. To add some variety, he arranged to take her on a double date. To his surprise she was very unkind to the other couple. He explained, “That was the end of our relationship. I could not be married to someone who spoke to others with such unkindness.”
Your Desire to Know Your Date
Men and women alike desire to be with someone who shows real interest in them. The best relationships are built on friendship, and friendship comes as we get to know and understand each other. A true desire to learn about your date will make the entire experience easier and more enjoyable. You will find that conversation will naturally flow as you seek to learn more about your date and their background. This is where active listening becomes a critical skill. Remember the adage, “There’s a reason why God gave us two ears and only one mouth.”
Actions are those things that you can think about and arrange before they happen. Actions reveal to our dates an important part of our personality; what will you do when there is ample time for planning. Does your planning show that you have a real interest in your date? Do your actions show that you are careful, carefree, or careless? Have you shown that this date is important to you? Actions are a chance for us to show our dates the “very best” that is in us.
The most important and the most revealing part of any date are the “reactions.” Reactions, much like words, truly reveal what is in your soul. Reactions don’t give you time to plan. As C.S. Lewis explained, you only know if there are rats in the attic by a surprise turning on of the light. Reactions do not give you time to hide your real self. Your reaction to the lost reservation or flat tire will reveal worlds about you to your date.
Becoming Second Date Ready
What gets us second dates has much more to do with what we’ve done prior to the date, than what happens on the date itself. If we want more second dates we need to focus on the skills and traits that make us second date worthy. We can begin by watching our words and controlling our tongues. Practice kind and uplifting speech, even when we would like to do otherwise. Seek to really care about others and develop good active listening skills. Before the date consider some “actions” that will show our dates that they are important to us. And most importantly, we can fill our lives and hearts with goodness to ensure that our “reactions” will reveal someone who is worth dating.
Don’t just focus on planning better dates, focus on being a better date!