Creative Ideas For The Second Date

Updated November 7, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

You’ve passed the hurdle of the first date with a potential new partner, but the second one may bring a new set of challenges. Many people experience some anxiety over dating, especially if they live with social anxiety, and selecting the ideal location and activity for a second date may feel challenging. 

It may be helpful to think outside the box, choose an activity that will provide for easy conversation, and consider getting to know your date on a slightly more profound level. Date ideas such as going to an amusement park, movie theater, local tourist attraction, zoo, or even cooking dinner at home can make for an ideal second date.

If you’re experiencing quite a bit of anxiety around dating and relationships, online therapy can be a valuable tool that may alleviate your anxiety and provide you with helpful guidance.

Second Date Tips And Advice

Consider the following tips and advice before your second date.

Think Outside The Box

No rule says that dates must occur between 6 pm and 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. A Sunday brunch may be far more relaxed and leaves the rest of the day free to extend the date if things are going well. Dates on weekdays can also be fun; just check to see if you and your date’s schedules align.

Find An Activity That Keeps You Busy

Often, keeping the conversation flowing at the start of a relationship can be difficult. You may feel too nervous to talk or have difficulty finding things to connect over. Choosing a date that includes an activity can give you something to discuss and focus on during those low moments in the conversation.

Think About What The Other Person Said They Enjoy

If you want to score a few extra points on the second date, try planning a date around things the other person mentioned they enjoyed when you were on your first date. It could be a favorite restaurant, a hobby they’ve always wanted to try, or a museum they went to as a child. Your date may appreciate that you paid close attention to what they said.

It may ease some of the pressure you feel if you remember that your date is most likely interested in you romantically. If they didn’t think there was a chance for a relationship to develop after the first date, they might not have agreed to go on a second date. However, asking for clarity on your date’s goals while dating may help clarify this.

Don’t Be Afraid To Extend The Date

Often, individuals may opt for a shorter first date, just in case the two of you don’t hit it off. However, extending the second date may be a good idea if you enjoy your time together. You can spend more time getting to know each other and enjoying each other’s company.

Take The Conversation A Little Deeper

First dates often cover many surface-level questions, such as what you do for a living, where you’re from, and what hobbies you enjoy. However, when you go on a second date, you may wish to delve deeper and get to know your date better.

Unique Second Date Ideas

An Endorphin-Stimulating Activity

Rollercoasters, stand-up comedy clubs, and scary movies may all be good second-date ideas since they release feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Similarly, spending time with your date in a pleasant and stimulating environment may positively affect their perception of the date and of you.

If you decide to do something that causes an adrenaline rush, such as a theme park or scary movie, consider asking your date their opinion beforehand. Some individuals may not enjoy intense sensory stimulation or feeling scared.

Going Outdoors

You may wish to find a beautiful nature spot where you will both be able to relax and take your time getting to know each other, perhaps over a picnic. Fresh air can be calming, and you may be able to focus on the other person without distractions.

You can also try hiking, where you can take in beautiful landscapes, or even go over rougher paths where you may have the opportunity to walk close together for support. If you go hiking in a secluded area, consider sending your location and date’s information to someone you trust for safety reasons.

Something You Wouldn’t Normally Do

You may choose to expand your comfort zone by going to a jazz club, a food festival, or an ice-skating rink. The goal can be for both of you to have fun while being a little adventurous. Try something that you’re not normally interested in; it may be useful if the activity is something your date enjoys that you’ve never done before.

Stay At Home And Order Take-Out

Many restaurants provide carry-out meals that you can eat at home. Moreover, you won’t have to contend with bad music, loud diners, or indifferent servers at your own place. Alternatively, try putting your kitchen skills to the test. Cooking at home may feel more personal and could show that you care enough to put in the effort to cook a meal for your date.

Keep An Eye Out For Events

If you live close to a college or university, keep an eye out for events hosted there. These can include everything from sporting events and movie nights to music concerts and lectures on archaeology. Admission is often cheap or free to these events, making them a great affordable option.

Pretend To Be Tourists

People living by the sea may not take advantage of the beach, and you might live ten minutes from a famous museum you’ve never visited. Research the hot spots people like to see in your community and enjoy being tourists in your local area. Consider taking photos together to commemorate the experience.

Go To The Farmer’s Market

Walking through a market can be fun, as you might get a feel for what draws the other person’s attention. There could be plenty of foods to sample, and you can surprise your date with a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers or a fun trinket.

Go To The Zoo

Going to the zoo may make you feel more playful and connect with your inner child. The animals may provide plenty of conversation topics as well. If you or your date enjoy biology, animal care, or nature, consider making a full day of it. You can get lunch at many zoos, and you might be able to buy a souvenir from the gift shop afterward.

Have A Friendly Competition

Friendly competition may bond the two of you and give you plenty to laugh over. If you both enjoy a specific sport, you could go to your local park or gym to play a game one-on-one. Other options could be shooting pool at the local bar or spending time at a miniature golf course.

If you’d rather do something less intense, you could play board games or video games together. All of these choices may provide opportunities to laugh, flirt, and connect as you compete to best each other. It may also clue you in on how your date acts when challenged. Are they defensive and angry? Or do they enjoy the activity and lightly play along? 

Take A Class Together

Taking a class together doesn’t necessarily mean committing to a long-term course. Instead, you could go to a paint and pour class, a cooking class, a dance class, or any other local offerings that sound fun to the two of you.

Consider Online Therapy For Dating Anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about dating, you may wish to consider online therapy with a licensed mental health professional. Sometimes, expressing yourself openly and honestly to friends can be intimidating. It may be easier to open up with a neutral, nonjudgmental therapist who has experience helping others work through dating and relationship issues.

This review article compiled the results of numerous studies on online therapy, showing that this type of therapy is effective in treating various psychiatric disorders, including anxiety. The article also mentioned that online therapy is a more cost-effective and accessible option in comparison to traditional face-to-face therapy.

Online counseling platforms such as BetterHelp offer a large database of licensed counselors who specialize in a large variety of topics. Relationship anxiety is just one of the topics you may discuss with your therapist.

Below are counselor reviews from BetterHelp users who have found support through an online therapist.

Counselor Reviews

“Ever since I have started working with LaShica, I feel more confident in decisions making , having self discipline and confidence and she is making me more aware of my feelings , wants and needs. Something I had problems with prior to therapy. I plan on doing weekly sessions with her because I feels as though she completely understands me and gets where I come from. She is the best honestly.”

“I am grateful for the sessions I had with Johnson. I was looking for a therapist that would hold me accountable and provide me with practical tools to help with my anxious thoughts. Not only was I able to express myself but it was a hands on approach where I made significant progress. I highly recommend Johnson; and appreciate his flexibility with his schedule.”


It can be normal to feel nervous about a second date with someone but selecting a fun location or activity to do together can make for easy conversation and opportunities to connect. Looking for activities that will keep you busy and remembering any of your date’s preferences from your first date can help you choose the right venue.

You might consider taking a class together, enjoying friendly competition such as bowling or miniature golf, going to university-hosted events, or enjoying the outdoors on your second date. If you’re feeling unsure, online therapy can be an excellent way to work through any anxiety or worry and learn new coping methods.

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