In the past decade and a half, I’ve been on enough “one and done” dates to leave me feeling more than qualified—a pro, if you will—when it comes to writing about how to get a second date.
I could list a lot of reasons a guy won’t call you for a second date, but a new study breaks down the science behind it. There really are some bizarre findings that I think you’ll find extremely insightful.
Ladies, if you’ve found yourself not getting called back for Round Two, you might want to take some notes:
How you handle your food
Eat too much and we get a little concerned; eat too little and we get offended. The science: A recent study showed that a girl should eat 85% of her plate and her ideal finish time should be 1.5 minutes ahead of the guy. This leaves the guy feeling he provided for her adequately.
As a guy, I was surprised when I first read that guys are driven 70% by smell. If on the first date, you wear a perfume that is similar to someone the guy is related to (his mother, sister, etc.) then the chances for a second date go down a whopping 63%! Wear a scent that reminds us of a crush we had in our developmental years (ages 13-16) and the data reverses slightly in your favor (67%).
Choose your drink wisely
Dates that ordered a soda had a 32% less chance of being asked out on a second date, while dates that ordered water rose to a 43% chance of being asked out again. Why? Studies show that if a girl drinks water, the guy subconsciously believes she’s low maintenance.
What’s on your ring finger?
Guys are notorious for being commitment phobes, right? The study shows that 71% of girls who wore any type of ring on their ring finger actually received a call back for a second date. Why? Again, it goes back to the subconscious. Subconsciously guys see that there is already something on “the finger” so they don’t feel as pressured to “put a ring on it.”
Hand check, please.
Have you ever thought about where you put your hands while seated next to a guy in the car? Well, you should start—especially while you’re on the final drive home. If your right arm is resting on the passenger door, it sends the signal you’re not interested. Both hands in the lap signify you’d be up for a second date. However, the study shows that putting your left arm on the middle console actually increases your chance of a second date by 12 percentage points.
So where did I get this data behind getting a second date? If you haven’t figured it out by now, I completely made it all up. Why? To make a point.
I got married 10 months ago at the age of 31. To be honest, I was terrible at dating—especially first dates. I have some of the worst first date stories ever.
Two years ago, I picked up my future bride at her townhouse for our first date. As always, I was planning for it to be a disaster. To my surprise, my miscues, stumblings, and quirks fit right in with her miscues, stumblings, and quirks.
I don’t remember what she ate, how she ate it, what she drank, how she smelled, her jewelry, or any specific aspect of her body language. I don’t remember worrying about how to get a second date.
All I know is that night I took my future wife out on our first date and both of us made dating mistakes but none of it mattered and none of it was remembered. It was just two imperfect daters who finally found their helpmate.
I used to stress myself out on doing things right on the first date so I could get a second. I screwed up so many first dates and, honestly, I’m glad I did. It kept me out of relationships that would have otherwise been a waste of my time.
Be encouraged: Being bad at the dating game just makes it easy to know when you find the real thing.
Photo credit: The Library of Congress