Seven Steps to Acing Your Second Date - Self magazine

Step 1: Banish your nerves

So you fell head over heels on the first date? That giddy feeling is awesome, but it can make you overthink. Lauren Frances (@LaurensLoveRx), love coach and founder of The Institute of Romantic Research, has a solution: Concentrate on him during date No. 2. “If you’re really nervous, you tend to worry about how you come across so much that it seems self-involved,” Frances says. So instead, “compliment what he’s wearing, mirror his body language, ask him what he loves to do most. Just get into what he’s saying so much that you’ll forget your own fear,” she says.

Step 2: Take your time

“Brandon Aki (@BrandonAki), the “real Hitch” and author of He Said: A Crash Course in Dating for Women, says you should make like a boy scout and be prepared. “Really take your time with everything, from picking out clothes to thinking about questions you want answers to,” he says. “People spend more time looking for homes and cars or preparing for a job interview than they do when trying to find the right person. This person can make your life amazing, so put some time into it!”

Step 3: Get in the right headspace

April Beyer (@AprilBeyer), president and founder of personal matchmaking and relationship consulting firm Beyer & Company LLC and host of VH1’s Making Mr. Right says that getting in the right mindset is key to having a good time. “When you’re getting ready, remind yourself that you’re going in there to learn about him AND share about yourself,” she says. Decide what you’ll reveal to help you both figure out if this match is right.

Step 4: Size this guy up

Don’t obsess over whether you’re good enough for him. Aki says the second date is “all about making sure that this guy is awesome enough for you, not the other way around.” But be patient. “Don’t think you’ll get all the answers at the beginning of the second date. But by the end, you should have a good idea of if this guy is worth it.”

Step 5: Ask some killer questions

“It’s not even so much about what you ask, it’s how you ask it,” says Beyer. So don’t do that rapid-fire bad-cop routine. “Ask because you’re genuinely curious and interested,” she says. And after he answers a question, take a second to see if you can go deeper. “Don’t change topics or jump around. Drill down like you’re drilling for oil,” she recommends.

Step 6: Make him feel special

What person doesn’t love to talk about themselves? Remember this on date night. “If he says he wants to open a gelato stand, find out what sparked that dream,” Frances says. “Men partner with women who support their dreams. If you don’t, he won’t be able to envision a real future with you.”