Psychiatrist gives advice on how to beat second date anxiety

Psychiatrist gives advice on how to beat second date anxiety

Many people come in for therapy nervous about an upcoming second appointment. They ask questions like:

  • “We’ve been texting less. Should I be worried?”
  • “What if I run out of the things I’m talking about?”
  • “What if there is no third date?”
  • “Do they expect me to put down?”

These are all valid questions, but ruminating on them can make you ignore the big picture.

You’ve already crossed the first hurdle – Skipping the first date is a clear sign that there are some romantic possibilities. The second date is a great opportunity to turn a spark into a flame.

Here are three ways to de-stress from a second date and put your best foot forward.

#1. Understand that nerves go both ways

You can prove that the second date is TRUE First date.

Yes, you may have learned his family name and what his favorite food is. But having a drink and two hours with someone doesn’t mean you know them. I simply scaled it up and noticed the potential signs.

The stakes are higher on a second date because there is a real romantic intent this time around. The superficial questions to get to know you will likely have dried up. Now, you are trying to determine how it might fit into your life framework. You’ll 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?

Since these are deep and difficult questions, the other person will likely be nervous about asking themselves there, too.

The best thing you can do is shift the focus away from your anxiety and help your partner feel comfortable expressing their true identity. We hope they will return the favour.

It’s two birds and one stone – keep checking your anxiety to create an atmosphere in which you can judge romantic potential more accurately.

#2. Choose experiences over expectations

The activity you choose for the first date doesn’t necessarily say much 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 connected your date via shared interests, choose a second date activity that both of you feel right at home.

You both enjoy being outdoors? Go for a walk. Did you relate to your shared passion for dancing? Take a bachata class together.

Sure, a second date is an opportunity to get serious about pursuing someone romantically. But that doesn’t mean you have to go through a list of deep questions and high expectations for romance. Don’t forget to enjoy the little moments and have fun together. Focus on how you feel. You learn a lot about a person from what they do versus what they say.

#3. Know that you are the catch

The fact that romantic rejection is painful can’t be beat. But don’t let the negative feelings from the previous rejection get in the way of the love you have for yourself.

In the end, the result of the second date (whatever it is) does not identify you.

None of your accomplishments, strengths, and experiences will be nullified if someone you find attractive fails to follow through. Likewise, a successful second date doesn’t mean you’ve found the “date” and can now retire from the dating group.

If you’re feeling anxious before another date, list all the things you love about yourself. Read it out loud, and understand that no matter what happens after the date, all of these things will still be true. This will give you a boost of confidence and banish any anxiety you may be feeling.

As an added bonus, confidence is a trait that your date will find attractive.


You’re not alone in feeling nervous before a second date. Most people feel this way, including your date. If you’ve planned a fun activity and understand that your self-esteem doesn’t depend on the romantic endorsements you may or may not receive from someone else, you can overcome second-date anxiety. Of course, if you are unable to function normally due to second date anxiety, there may be underlying issues that a mental health practitioner can help you work through.

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