A Psychologist Offers Advice On How To Beat Your Second-Date Anxiety

Many people come to therapy nervous about an upcoming second date. You ask questions like:

  • “We texted less often. Should I be concerned?”
  • “What if I run out of things to talk about?”
  • “What if there is no third date?”
  • “Are you expecting me to sit out?”

These are all valid questions, but pondering them can cause you to miss the bigger picture.

You’ve already cleared the first hurdle – getting through the first date is a clear sign that romantic potential is there. A second date is a great opportunity to turn a spark into a flame.

Here are three ways to keep second date anxiety at bay and look your best.

#1. Understand that nerves go both ways

You could make a second date that Is correct first date.

Yes, you may have learned her last name and what her favorite food is. But a drink and a few hours with a person doesn’t mean you know them. You just assessed them and see signs of potential.

There is more at stake on a second date because there are genuine romantic intentions this time. The superficial introductory questions have probably dried up. Now you’re trying to figure out how they might fit into the framework of your life. You will want to know things like:

  • Does this person understand and respect my values?
  • Does this person stand by what they said on our first date?
  • Does this person seem to fit into my social circle?

Because these are deep, difficult questions, it’s likely that the other person is nervous about showing up as well.

The best thing you can do is take the focus away from your own fear and help your date feel comfortable expressing who they really are. Hopefully they’ll reciprocate.

It’s a two-bird, one-stone situation — control your own fear to create an atmosphere in which you can more fully appreciate the romantic potential.

#2. Go for experiences instead of expectations

The activity you choose for your first date doesn’t necessarily speak volumes about who you are. Most people have their first dates in a neutral place like a local bar or coffee shop.

Now that you’ve bonded with your date about mutual interests, pick an activity for the second date that would make you both feel right at home.

Do you both like being in the great outdoors? Go hiking. Did your common passion for dancing connect you? Take a bachata class together.

Sure, a second date is a chance to seriously pursue someone romantically. But that doesn’t mean you have to start with a list of deep questions and high romance expectations. Don’t forget to enjoy the little moments and have fun together. Focus on how they make you feel. You learn a lot more about someone from what they do compared to what they say.

#3. Know that you are the catch

There’s no getting around the fact that romantic rejection hurts. But don’t let negative feelings from past rejections overwhelm the love you have for yourself.

Ultimately, the outcome of the second date (whatever it may be) doesn’t define you.

None of your accomplishments, strengths, or experiences will be negated if someone you find attractive doesn’t make their mark. Likewise, a successful second date doesn’t mean you’ve found “the right guy” and can now retire from the dating pool.

If you’re feeling uncomfortable going on a second date, list all the things you like about yourself. Read it out loud and understand that all of these things will still be true no matter what happens after the date. This gives you a boost of confidence and drowns out any anxiety you may be feeling.

As an added benefit, self-confidence is a trait that your date will find attractive.


You’re not the only one nervous about a second date. Most people feel this way, including your date. When you have a fun activity planned and you understand that your self-worth doesn’t depend on the romantic validation you may or may not get from someone else, you can overcome second date anxiety. Of course, if second date anxiety is keeping you from functioning normally, there may be underlying issues that a psychotherapist can help you manage.

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