The first date was a success, what with the witty banter, meaningful glances, and not-wholly awkward silences. It went so well, in fact, that you've made plans for a second outing. So will date number two be better than the first? Will he relax and show his "true self?" Will you eat something resembling food, rather than order another side salad as your dinner? These mysteries—and more!—to be revealed as we plot a typically good second date.
He arrives at your door to pick you up—on time!—but doesn't bring you flowers. It’s OK. You don’t expect gifts on EVERY date. Really. It’s fine. Yep. You’re not upset about it. At all. Still, the third date should be gift-ladened. Right? Hmm. Moving on.
Race out to his car, thereby avoiding embarrassing questions from your dad. (E.g., "How many miles per gallon does that Toyota Avalon get?" and “You’re not that guy who egged the O’Malley’s house, are you?”)
Laugh together at an inside joke about something that occurred on the first date. Good sign! And unlike your first date, the laughter is real and not forced and unnatural and sweaty. Bad sign is if you're nervously laughing because the joke was about how he hit a raccoon with his car on the first date.
Arrive at a restaurant for a pre-movie meal. He gives his name to the host; the host says there's a ten-minute wait for a table. Use this time to make silly comments about the other restaurant patrons. It's rude, so whisper. This will also allow you to get close to his face. This is the second date, after all, so face proximity is encouraged. Remind yourself to say your date's name more often in conversation, since it's nice to hear one's own name. Nicknames are cute and acceptable for second dates—though it may be too soon for "Snugglebunny." And calling him “Sport” makes you sound like a gym teacher or stepdad.
Get seated at a booth. Sit across from each other, reserving sitting next to each other for date #3. (a.k.a. Hand Holdsy Date Extreme.)
Your waiter brings your sodas then asks if you'd like to share an "app." Realizing he's referring to appetizers, your date orders "mozz sticks." This is likely a subtle dig at the waiter who loves to "appreviate." Hold off on laughter until the waiter is out of earshot. Then laugh and fall deeper in love. Go ahead and touch his arm when you laugh. Arm touching is one of the perks of the second date.
Order a pasta dish. Because who doesn't like pasta?
Excuse yourself to use the ladies' room. While there, check yourself into the restaurant on Facebook, making sure to Tag your date to inform the world where he's taken you. Unless he's taken you to an Applebee's—in which case you should never have gotten out of the car in the first place.
Your food arrives. Eat cute, dainty bites of dinner to avoid talking with your mouth full. Do not make mention of the fact that your date has both his elbows on the table. Nobody’s perfect.
Finish your food. Your date asks the waiter for the check, which he offers to pay. Counter-offer to split it. This is the only acceptable response to, "Let me get it." He may respond, "No, I've got this." Or he may respond, "OK, let's split it." Either way, be prepared to accept his answer. Keep this adorable mini-fight short and sweet. Dragging it out only makes you fall less in love.
Leave the restaurant, and drive to movie theater. Enjoy the quiet. You don’t need to talk, so don’t fill the silence with random nervous gabbing by saying things like, “When I was seven, I ate so much white chocolate that I puked all over the couch. That’s why I don’t eat white chocolate anymore. My sister is reading The Great Gatsby! Corn isn’t a vegetable; it’s a grain.”
Arrive at movie theater. He asked you out (right?), so let him buy the tickets. If it's sold out, make a last-minute decision together to see a movie neither of you will hate, hopefully. Steer clear of rom-coms and anything sad. Safe bet: Something animated.
Alternate between continuing the conversation from dinner and staring blankly at the theater screen's ads. Depending on the theater, you may have to shout over commercials. No matter how deep the silence, avoid checking your phone for texts—likely from your friends asking you how it's going or suggesting you "jump his bones."
Enjoy the film. Project welcoming thoughts to his arm such that your date might feign a yawn and reach around you. If he does, lean into him slightly so as to reward him for his successful picking up of your signal.
Depart the theater discussing the movie, avoiding negative statements like, "I hated it," or, "That was worse than a 5-year-old's funeral," because your date may have enjoyed the movie. But if the movie was really terrible and you both agree, it could become the basis for another inside joke to be made during Date #3, Date #4, and then on your wedding day.
Arrive at your house. He walks you to your door.
Through the window, notice your parents sneaking away from TV room and into kitchen.
Thank your date for a nice time and wish him a good night in the appropriate fashion, something between a handshake and make-out session.
Check Facebook, Twitter, email, regular mail, your phone, your fridge...everywhere, to see if he said anything about the date yet. Also tell your friends what happened, but don't brag, because all of your single friends secretly hate you right now.
You still can't fall asleep as you relive every minute of the date and worry that you said something stupid and will thus die alone. Stop worrying. Date 2 is over and it was wonderful. You should be worrying about Date 3...
What are your tips for a successful second date?