Asking a girl out on a second date?
November 10, 2006 7:27 AM   Subscribe

What is the usual protocol for asking a girl out on a second date? Do you do it while you're on the first date, or is that too much pressure?

I ask because I once asked a girl out for a second date while we were on the first — she said "yes," but never returned any of my calls later. If you don't ask someone out on a second date, how do you end the first date on a positive note? Simply saying "I'll call you" or something?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You don't ask someone out on a date while you're on the first. That strikes me as a little desperate. At the end of the date, you say, "That was fun, thanks for going/hanging out with me". If you're going to call, say, I'll Call. If you're not, don't (although saying you'll call when you don't want to strikes me as one of those forgiveable little white lies).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:38 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

I think the protocol is to say, "I'd really like to see you again sometime," but not to pick a date or anything, then call a few days later. She probably just said yes to avoid a messy in-person conversation about why she doesn't like you.
posted by muddgirl at 7:40 AM on November 10, 2006

It's best to wait, unless you've clicked like magic and are headed towards spending the next three days straight together in any case. It's asking someone to judge the success of something that is not yet finished, or that they've not had the time to reflect on.
posted by voidcontext at 7:40 AM on November 10, 2006

You don't ask on the first date. Any allusions to future events together are just that, allusions. They're not set in stone.

At the end of the date, if you want to see her again, just say you had a good time and that you'd like to do it again sometime. And then call her a few days later and see what happens. Some people hate confrontation and will always say "Yes" when they really mean no. They don't want to hurt your feelings but then they won't response to your phone calls.
posted by Stynxno at 7:48 AM on November 10, 2006

I think muddgirl has the right idea. Bring up the fact you want to see her again, and then settle the matter later. That is unless she's all, "Ugh... yeah... I gotta run." And then she sprints away.
posted by chunking express at 8:05 AM on November 10, 2006

At the end of my first dates, I often say something like "let's touch base in a couple of days to see what we think". That gives both of us a chance to reflect on how the date went without pressure (or the influence of hormones).

That structure also gives an easy way to get through those first dates that aren't going too well for one party or another: you (or she) know that as long as you get to the end of your coffee/drink/whatever, you can get out of there politely and have the ability to say "sorry, I don't think it would work" from a distance in a couple of days, which is potentially less embarrassing.
posted by flipper at 8:07 AM on November 10, 2006

Depends on circumstances. If you're really clicking with someone, go ahead and ask. I've had it happen naturally during the date when we'll start talking about a common interest ("I was planning on going to that exhibition too...") but it's not that common.

If you aren't getting clear go signals, muddgirl has the right response.

(Let me add my standard plea to women to really say "No, but thanks" to a guy. A man would rather know where he stands than look like an idiot while he's figuring out that he's been "let down easy".)
posted by Ookseer at 8:08 AM on November 10, 2006

For me, I've finally almost accepted that if a girl doesnt call me back, theres very little i could have done differently on the date/meeting to change that outcome. When it *clicks* it *clicks*, when it doesnt, they dont call you back.

I have definitely been shocked by the number of women who i thought I clicked with who never returned either of my two friendly calls.
posted by ZackTM at 8:30 AM on November 10, 2006

Ookseer speaks the truth. I'll drive myself batshitinsane trying to figure out if she's just trying to "let me down easy" but can go on my merry way if she's upfront about it.
posted by jmd82 at 8:42 AM on November 10, 2006

Well, you don't have to say anything at all. A little suspense of this kind can be quite fun. Let her be the one to make the overtures, and say "Maybe". Then call her after a day or two with something fun to do.

There are absolutely no rules until you decide between yourselves that there should be, and having that conversation before knowing each other for a least a month is premature, IMO. What's the rush? Take it slow, focus on enjoying your time together, and when the right time comes, you'll both know.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:48 AM on November 10, 2006

I'll second Mr. Gunn. Never ask a girl out on a second date.

Don't say 'I'll call', don't say "Let's do it again", don't give her your phone number and definitely don't propose a second date on the spot. Don't make any statements about the future. If she asks you to call her or offers to call you just smile. Be a little mysterious. At the end of the date thank her for the pleasant company and then disappear into the night. Remember: the key to a successful first date is to make the experience as pressure-free and as fun as possible. You can't do this if you're already worrying about the second date. Vanishing is the only proper way to end the first date. If you end the date with some set of expectations (like a phone call) it really detracts from the experience. Instead of reflecting on what happened people worry about what will happen next. It's just no fun to be thinking about the second date or what's next before you've had time to properly digest the first date.

Once the date is over let some time pass and let the tension build up. Then, if you find you can't stop thinking about the girl and you want to see her again then call her up, out of the blue, and tell her you've been thinking about her and you'd like to see her again. Would that be ok? Put her on the spot and make her make a decision. At this point she'll either say yes or no but it doesn't really matter. You'll still have the pleasant memory of the first date and you won't feel like a fool either way.
posted by nixerman at 9:27 AM on November 10, 2006 [2 favorites]

Mr. Gunn's advice is pretty good. One piece of advice I have: Don't give out your number or get the girl's number before the first date. Get an e-mail address, or just make plans or whatever. (I turn it into a bit of a game by telling her I'm afraid she'll stalk me if I give her my number.) Then, if the first date has gone well, you can ask for her number before you say goodbye. There's very little pressure in asking for a number, she'll know by your request that you're interested in a second date, and if she's not then she just won't return your calls.
posted by Happydaz at 10:31 AM on November 10, 2006

I wouldn't ask during the first date (unless it's over breakfast the next day.) If you really like her, send her flowers the next day saying what a good time you had and ask "when do I get to see you again?"
posted by sixdifferentways at 1:00 PM on November 10, 2006

Don't say 'I'll call', don't say "Let's do it again", don't give her your phone number and definitely don't propose a second date on the spot. Don't make any statements about the future. If she asks you to call her or offers to call you just smile. Be a little mysterious. At the end of the date thank her for the pleasant company and then disappear into the night.

Just be aware that this sort of behavior can put you into the "weirdo" or "asshole" category with some girls pretty quickly. Aside from the women who actually enjoy playing games, the sensible ones might find such behavior annoying at best. Besides the fact, if I give you my phone number, then I'm going to be a little weirded out if you don't give me yours. Just sayin'.

As for when you should ask, I believe that you should save it for a phone call or email sometime later (say two-three days), assuming that she doesn't mind email for that sort of thing. I mean, I wouldn't but I'm not unnaturally attached to the telephone.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:25 PM on November 10, 2006

Yes I learned this lesson the first time I tried it. I thought the first date was great, so asked if she wanted to go out again, she said "yes", then canceled by e-mail and didn't return subsequent calls. I was confused, but in retrospect I was the dumb one. If you've only known someone for an hour, then you shouldn't put them through the embarrassment of having to "break up" with you in person. Just call in a couple of days, most likely you'll leave a message, and if she doesn't return it, that's it, it's over, no big deal, she wasn't that into you. If she does, woo hoo!
posted by tabulem at 1:32 PM on November 10, 2006

[from swingers - not exactly the right contex but fairly relevant]

Mike: So how long do I wait to call?
Trent: A day.
Mike: Tomorrow.
Sue: Tomorrow, then a day.
Trent: Yeah.
Mike: So two days?
Trent: Yeah, I guess you could call it that, two days.
Sue: Definitely, two days is like industry standard.
Trent: You know I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it's like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money. What do you think?
Sue: Yeah, but two's enough not to look anxious.
Trent: But I think three days is kind of money. You know because you...
Mike: Yeah, but you know what, mabey I'll wait 3 weeks. How's that? And tell her I was cleaning out my wallet and I just happened to run into her number.
Charles: Then ask her where you met her.
Mike: Yeah, I'll ask her where I met her. I don't remember. What does she look like? And then I'll asked if we fucked. Is that... would that be... T, would that be the money?
Trent: You know what. Ha ha ha Mike, laugh all you want but if you call too soon you might scare off a nice baby who's ready to party.
Mike: Well how long are you guys gonna wait to call your babies?
Trent, Sue: Six days.
posted by Stynxno at 2:11 PM on November 10, 2006

Call her in the next few days after a good first date. It seems to be acceptable for younger folks to text or email, but I think it's kind of lame (and lazy). I used to have the same problem as you because I thought it was proper protocol to ask for a second date at the end of a first date.

It's been my experience that when you put a girl on the spot at the end of a first date she'll often say yes and then call\email you next day with a really lame excuse to cancel. I would much prefer a polite no but I don't think we get a vote. I think it's the same thing as some guys saying "I'll call you sometime" and then tossing her number. You tell yourself you're sparing her feelings but you're really just being a wimp and avoiding a potential confrontation.
posted by bda1972 at 2:59 PM on November 10, 2006

I'm just putting in my comment - because I have a different perception of this. Many guys have asked me out again at the end of the first date. I actually have liked that because usually - I really like the guy, and it helps to have that confirmation (although there was one exception - but for me it just wasn't there - had he asked me out several days later the response would have been the same).

A call within a few days is also fine (although weeks later - forget it).

I am also going to strongly second Miedevil Maven's comment - if someone acted like that at the end of the date by not saying anything, etc., forget that I am of of there. I guess I don't have the patience for that.
posted by Wolfster at 5:30 PM on November 10, 2006

If she wants to see you again, she'll let you know at the end of the first date. Girls are often subtle and indirect by guy standards, but this is one area where they tend to be quite clear. If she doesn't end the date by saying something like 'I had a really good time, let's do this again,' then she's probably not interested.
posted by bingo at 6:18 PM on November 10, 2006

I would not ask during date #1--Always call the next day. Whether you met her in a bar, or have just gone on a first date. Most of my friends are women, and they tell me they love it. Don't keep them waiting.

Flip side: Don't call early. Don't call too often. Don't be pushy or impatient (duh)
posted by vaportrail at 6:27 PM on November 10, 2006

When I first read Nixerman's advice I liked it and thought it would work. I definitely prefer men to be more like cats than dogs as a general thing. But then I reflected that someone played essentially the Nixerman tactic on me a while ago, and in practice it was contrived and irritated me.

But there is another important point there, I think -- whatever you do with someone on a given outing needs to be the end in itself, not the set-up for something else. And are you even sure you want to see her again? Is it automatic that if you win a date with Anon you get a second one too? Evaluate her. Reserve judgement. I'd rather think that you decided to see me again because you had been thinking about something I said, or a relevant cultural event made you think of me, or something -- rather than that, you know, the date is ending and you haven't slept with me yet.
posted by Methylviolet at 10:45 PM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

This is mindboggling to me. All these games and silliness.

Whatever happened to being straightforward with each other? If you feel like asking her out again at the end of the date, ask her out again. She'll either say yes or no.

This is going to sound harsher than hell, but after I got married I realized just how much of my life I'd wasted screwing around with social signalling, the sole purpose of which was to fulfill some deeply fucked-up societal expectation of obfuscation.

At some deep level, we have all been indoctrinated to believe that dating is hard, and that it should be some sort of Sisyphean quest full of despair and disappointment and, just maybe, if we read the right books, watch the right shows, wear the right clothes, drink the right wines, eat the right foods, go to the right clubs, know the right people, go to the right schools, say the right things and absolutely positively NEVER, EVER let our actual personalities out of the box...we'll find someone okay.

Well, fuck that noise for a joke. When we were kids we didn't do that shit: if we didn't like someone, we said so. If we did like them, we played with them for hours, and said "wanna play again tomorrow?" with no worries.

So, ask yourself: look at how much fun kids have. Look at how much fun you have. Which one would you rather emulate?

For the record, both my wife and I loathed dating because of coded crap like this, because we're both very very direct, and straightforward, and just couldn't stand all the dancing around. To us, the point was to have fun together, not to do numbers on each others' heads.

All the stupid bullshitting around did was get in the way of the fun.

posted by scrump at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

So, ask yourself: look at how much fun kids have. Look at how much fun you have. Which one would you rather emulate?

And the I-didn’t-read-the-question prize of the day goes to Scrump!
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 9:06 AM on November 18, 2006

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