There are so many dating apps to choose from these days. Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, Plenty of Fish… No matter who you’re into or the kind of dating experience you prefer, you’re spoiled for choice.
But these apps aren’t perfect. They make it very easy for you to meet people and go on plenty of dates (or just have quick hook-ups, if that’s more your thing), but it’s not always easy turning a romantic encounter into an ongoing thing.
We live in a dating culture that makes it very easy to arrange sex and rack up a ‘body count’, but makes it quite hard to build long-term relationships, The Sydney Morning Herald relates. In a dating scene that prioritises commitment-free banging over actually developing meaningful connections, how do you make sure you get a second date?
What To Say Online
We spoke to Dr Nikki Goldstein, one of Australia’s acclaimed relationship experts, about how to nail that second date. She revealed that the best way of keeping someone interested both before and after a first date is to make sure your online presence reveals the depths of your personality.
“Make sure that you show the interesting parts of your life,” Goldstein explains.
“Show that there’s more to you. Use pictures that tell a story – say you’re really into a sport: make sure you’ve got a photo of you in action. It doesn’t matter what you’re in to, just show that you’ve got some depth.”Dr Nikki Goldstein
Of course, being charming and polite will go a long way. No one likes a ‘hey, u up?’ as an opening line, or being ghosted after a date.
What To Say On Your First Date
We also spoke with Heidi Gee, a Sydney-based sex therapist, who also stresses the importance of nailing that first impression.
“Be yourself and be creative with your questions and conversations,” Gee instructs.
“We tend to ask the usual, ‘how was your day,’ ‘what do you do’… Ask questions that are fun and get to know the person and their values. Don’t go too deep, especially on the first date. Keep it light and fun. This will help create a comfortable environment.”Heidi Gee
Gee suggests creative questions like ‘how would your friends describe you’ or ‘tell me about a tricky situation you had to get out of’ are far more engaging than your usual small talk.
Goldstein agrees, but relates that you need to bring your wall down enough so that you show a little more of who you are as a person beyond all the niceties.
“Show them the essence of who you are… It’s all about the connection. You need to be open and vulnerable enough to show that you’re serious, and worth getting to know.”
It’s definitely a tricky balance. At the same time, you can’t force something that’s not there. “A lot depends on chemistry… It’s not something you can fake,” Goldstein warns.
Her most valuable tip?
“Ask for a second date whilst you’re on the first date! Or maybe wait an hour after the date and message them. People these days wanna be too ‘cool’ – if you like someone enough, don’t wait. Be direct.”Dr Nikki Goldstein
If there’s a connection there, don’t leave things up to chance. Be clear with your intentions, and if they’re worth a second date, they’ll reward you in kind.
Good luck, casanovas…