Sometimes a first date goes so well that you know there and then that you want to have a second date. The date is duly arranged for a week or so in the future, and one of you – we’ll say for the sake of this example that it is you – promises to call the other at some point in between the dates. This could be to firm up details, to chat with one another or for any number of other reasons. The age in which we live dictates that we must leave a certain amount of time before calling. But how soon is too soon, and how long is too long?
It is received wisdom that anything less than 24 hours comes across as being “too keen”. If the previous date went spectacularly well, however, this rule can be waived in most cases. It simply makes sense to take advantage of the positive impression you will have of one another in the wake of a successful date. Otherwise, it is permissible to have a single day in between – if your date was on the Thursday, you can mandate Friday for a night of DVDs with a friend, then call on the Saturday. Leaving it any longer may be seen as stringing someone along – which should be avoided.
The above rules are, of course, not binding, and you can make your own decisions depending on the situation. However, it should always be remembered that after the first date, “playing hard to get” becomes less endearing and more like a method of torture.
As much hope as we sometimes invest in a date, there is rarely any guarantee that it will go as we had hoped. The very reason that you go on a date is to find out if you like the other person enough to spend more time with them – and if they feel the same way about you. Sometimes, however, a date can go so badly that you want to end it prematurely. If both parties can agree civilly to do this, then it’s better for all concerned. If, however, the decision to call a halt is unilateral, it is worth having an exit strategy in place. This does not need to be planned like a military operation – but it is worth having back-up in case things go very badly.
Taking a cell phone with you is always wise. Planning with a friend that they call you at a pre-ordained time to make sure all is well allows a possible exit strategy. When the phone goes, look at the display and say “Sorry, I have to take this”, and answer in such a way as to make the escape easier. If you could do with back-up, a code word is an idea. For example, the code word is “fish”. You answer the phone, say “Hello?”, allow your friend to speak and then say “Oh no! Are the fish OK?”. They can then come to your rescue – in case the date turns nasty. If, however, you just want an excuse to leave without being too cruel to the person you are with, you can use the phone call as an excuse to leave. It may not be a nice thing to do, but sometimes you need to look out for yourself.