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 Second Date and Beyond: Where to Go and What to Do

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Second Date and Beyond: Where to Go and What to Do

Where you go on subsequent dates, and what you do, should all be a natural evolution of the basic principle of dating: getting a sense of each other and how you both approach life. After all, if this relationship really develops into a long-term one -- or even marriage -- you will be spending a lot of time, doing many things, and taking care of many responsibilities together. Therefore, think of various situations that would reveal how you are. For example, consider the following:

  • Vary who you're with. You will want to spend time alone, one-on-one, to see how well you can relate to just each other, but also with other types of people (friends, co-workers, family), to see how you each relate and get along with others.

  • Vary what you do. You will want to plan some activities, but you will also want to spend unstructured time together, to see how you can entertain yourselves without any specific activities to occupy or distract you, and also to see how you make decisions together.
  • Vary the places you go together. Spend time together at home, to see how you can adapt to a homey situation together, but also plan some outside social activities, such as at a bowling alley or putting green.

  • Vary the times you are together. Meet in the morning, afternoon, and evening to get a sense of which is the best time for each of you. All of us have preferences for the time we are most awake or alert.

  • Be indoors (at museum or concert) as well as outdoors (a picnic or beach).

  • Include social activities, but also some activities that are mundane. As a relationship develops, people have to take care of simple daily tasks, such as shopping and chores. See how well you adapt to doing these together. Drop off a deposit in the bank machine, or stop into an all-night drug store for that shampoo you ran out of. Ask her to help you buy new sheets. Ask him to help you fix a leaky faucet.

  • Come up with ideas on your own, but ask for the other person's suggestions. In addition, welcome some disagreements (for example, he wants to go for Italian food but you prefer Japanese that night) so that you can see how you negotiate and resolve differences.
  • Remember the two cardinal principles of where to go: a setting you feel comfortable in, and something that plays to both of you interests. Now that you've been through your first date, you have an even better idea of what you feel interested in and comfortable with, so it should be easier to come up with something to do together. She may have already told you how much she enjoys art, so it would be easy for you to check the newspaper and find out about exhibits or openings that are coming up. He may have already told you his favorite sport, so you can check the newspapers and call up to see if you can get tickets. Review the idea list of the first dates mention previously.. Here are some additional suggestions that may not have been appropriate for the first time:

  • Cook dinner. If either of you enjoys cooking, make a meal for the other.

  • Take a drive together (to view the fall foliage, to explore a new country road, or even to cruise the strip one evening).

  • Take a walk together (in a new part of town, on your own streets, or in a park).
  • Take a tourist tour of your own city. Few people really do the fun things that out-of-towners would do if they visited you. Call your city visitors' bureau, or get the folders and flyers from a local hotel lobby. Take a walking, bus, or boat tour of the city, visit the tallest buildings and historic parts of town, and take a peek at other tourist attractions. Consider the afternoon as well as the evening trips (to nightspots and evening attractions). This will give you a fun sense of being explorers together; you might even get the thrill that comes with traveling to new places together, where you feel it is the two of you in the world.

  • Take your nieces to a park or zoo. Children often make people feel relaxed and friendly.

  • Spend the day at a street fair or expo (at your city's exhibition hall).

  • Go to a fund-raiser.


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