Why Your Next First Date Should Be Two First Dates
The buildup of anxiety before a first date can be intense. There’s the fear of rejection running through your mind, the stress from expectations and the apprehension about the unknown.
But there’s another aspect to first dates that’s equally as stressful, yet entirely ignored: the space between the first date and a possible second one. For “relationship-minded” individuals, this ambiguous dead air is unbearable. It is where all of the over-analyzing, questioning, angst, and possible dread reside. Should I call? Should they call me? How many days before I contact them? Is a Facebook message more or less intimate than texting? Did they like me? Do I like them? Will my mother like them? And on and on. The period of time after the first date is critical in determining whether or not things will develop into something more, or fizzle out into the void of false starts.
Benji Lovitt is somewhat of a household name in my little town of Tel Aviv. He is a successful writer, a brilliant comic, and an educator. He is also single and in his late 30s. Like many single men and women in urban centers, Lovitt is surrounded by attractive, intelligent, and capable single people. He is “relationship-minded” and primed for a serious commitment; one that could lead to marriage, children, and joint income tax filings. Yet for the all of the countless first dates he has gone on, nothing has seemed to stick.
Instead of maintaining the frustrating status quo, Lovitt decided to take fate into his own hands and try something unprecedented. Instead of asking out a woman for one date, he asked someone out for two. Instead of committing to one evening of dinner or drinks, he committed himself, and his potential partner, to two meetings.
According to Lovitt, people who are looking for serious relationships put too much weight on the first date, and typically fall into the trap of over-thinking. This creates anxiety from stressing over mixed interpretations and wanting immediate answers for cryptic signals or signs that you have no control over. Only after two dates can either side make a judgment on whether or not to continue.
A guaranteed second date alleviates all of this worry and forces both sides to give each other a second chance. As I have written about before, “relationship-minded” single people are burdened both by an overabundance of choice and a sense of privilege, which makes it easy to avoid commitments in general. By forming a “mini commitment” over two meetings, some of the rampant flightiness in dating today can be mitigated.
So next time you are poised to ask out a special someone, instead of going on one date for a couple of drinks, try going out for one drink on a couple of dates. You might just be pleasantly surprised by the difference it makes.