Life Advice



Yes, no or even maybe: How to react to a second date invitation

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Anyone on the dating scene knows that it can feel like an accomplishment just to get to the first date. You’ve both swiped right (or whatever the equivalent is on the app you’re using), chatted a bit, planned a meeting and now you’re grabbing cocktails or coffee—success! With a second date on the horizon, things can go in quite a few different directions, and it’s best to be prepared for all of them.

Depending on how date No. 1 went, you might be excited to spend time with this person again ASAP… or you might look forward to deleting their number when you get home. Or things can fall somewhere in between. Let’s break it down.

You both like each other.

Great! Don’t waste time playing games (who is going to text the other first?) if the first date went well. Start making plans to see each other again.

Consider a text like this: “Thanks again for a fun evening. It was a pleasure to meet you and start to get to know you a little bit! I’m definitely excited to see you again and learn more. Perhaps Wednesday or next Sunday, if either of those work for you?”

Here’s why it works: It expresses that you had a nice time on the first date and are interested in meeting again, it gives a few options for a get-together in the near future while offering flexibility and it’s all in a to-the-point message without ambiguity.

You didn’t hit it off.

It happens. The spark wasn’t there for either of you, and a second date doesn’t seem remotely likely. Before deleting this person from your phone forever, consider shooting them a short text thanking them for taking the time.

You could say something like: “It was nice to meet you yesterday, even if it wasn’t the connection I was looking for (I presume for either of us). Wishing you all the best!”


While you’re sharing that there isn’t interest in pursuing a connection further, kindness is never a bad thing—and you never know. Maybe you’ll run into each other down the line, and it’s always best to leave things on a positive note.

One person is into it, but the other isn’t.

Should you find yourself in a scenario where you’re being asked out on a second date but you aren’t interested, it can be a little tricky. No one likes rejection, so it’s best to always be nice.

You can say on the spot, “Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the romantic connection I was looking for, but thank you for the date.” On the other hand, you might be uncomfortable doing this face-to-face. In which case, it’s perfectly fine to say, “Feel free to be in touch,” then let them down gently over text. No matter what, it’s always better to be honest rather than pull a “ghosting” move.

If the shoe is on the other foot, you might ask someone on a second date and be turned down. Yes, it stings, but at least you know and can move on.

You aren’t sure.

Not all first dates are a 10 out of 10 or a 0 out of 10… many fall somewhere in the middle. In that case, I recommend going for the second date. First dates can be nerve-wracking, so it might take a person a little longer to open up. If the second date goes well, you’ll be happy you did it, and if it’s subpar… well, at least you tried and aren’t left wondering, “What if?”

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