Saying yes to a second date is a simple, sanctifying way of allowing yourself another chance to get to know someone you initially showed interest in, since first dates are nerve-wracking to say the least. As both you and your date test the waters, you are learning the basic, ins and outs about each other. The conversation is rich with fundamental first date questions about family life, where you work, favorite hobbies, and other dating profile-esque topics of discussion that seem to incessantly flow throughout dinner. There is a certain comfort in knowing there is a lot of unfamiliar ground to cover.
Although you are out to get to know each other better, the first few dates are paradoxically anything but accurate representations of who you really are. This is true for a number of reasons. You’re not completely being yourself on a first date, as you are essentially nervous about dealing with awkward silences during dinner, making a good first impression, and coming off as incredibly interesting. If he really knew you, he would love you. But until then, you have to present your very best self.
This can be paralleled to the lengths we go to impress our potential employers during a job interview when asked, ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ The true answer is simple, eating nachos and watching yet another Ryan Gosling/ Emma Stone Golden Globe nominated blockbuster. However, you simply cannot bare your soul to someone you just met because it is way too soon for that. You’re still pulling the cool girl act. So you tell them you see yourself at a corporate law office, fighting against prejudice and aspiring to change the world. You want to say yes to everything he asks (Have you seen that movie? Do you like IPA beer?) and better foster a connection between you and your date through bonding over “shared” interests, goals, and aspirations. As Holden Caulfield often expresses in Catcher in the Rye, “Phony.” This is where the almighty second date comes in:
Following a fantastic first date, the second date determines whether or not the connection fostered previously over hors d’oeuvres and opalescent cocktails is in fact, worth exploring. For some, the second date is a standard procedure— yet, there is nothing standard about it. A great deal of the “getting to know you” talk has already been explored, leaving more organic, substantive conversation. Although you may not be initially interested after the first encounter, overseeing the little faults and quirks of a first date allows you a second chance to explore something great.
You may not be 100 percent sure about how you feel about the person, making you hesitant to say yes to meeting again. While you do not get a second chance at making first impressions, keep in mind that first dates are not accurate representations of what a person is like. Embrace imperfection, check your expectations at the door, and go into it with an open mind— the only opportunity missed is the one not taken.