Why Women Should Plan the Second Date

Women should plan the second date, (especially when meeting a man from online) before you even meet.

I never used to feel that way. I’m old fashioned, old school. I like when a man opens the car door, brings flowers, and calls when he says he’s going to call. And I especially like when a man plans our dates. But a lot has changed since my last relationship ended over seven years ago.

Recently, I decided it was time for me to start dating again. When my ex and I broke up unexpectedly, I was floored. He was my best friend, and I missed laughing with him all day, then spending all night and weekends together. He treated me like a princess and I had no desire to look for anyone to replace him because I needed time to heal. Then I was in grad school and struggling and needed to focus on my priorities. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue living in NYC so it didn’t seem fair to meet someone if I was going to move. And then, to top it all off, I got hit by a car while riding my moped and was temporarily bed-ridden for a time, and my self-pity and negativity caused me to drown my feelings in food causing me to gain a great deal of weight.

I had plenty of excuses to keep putting off dating.

I had a pretty amazing life in spite of the setbacks I had endured, and because I was focusing on my career instead of my love life, my travel blog started to gain plenty of readers. In over one year, I traveled to about 36 countries, and I was thrilled with my life.



Except when I found myself one night, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris taking selfies. It was my third time there, but for the first time, it hit me; I was single.

I was living an incredible life that I’d always dreamed of; traveling to exotic places like Morocco, London, and Egypt, I lived in a fantastic duplex apartment with a rooftop garden and view of Manhattan, I had plenty of friends, and I had a few seasonal jobs that I adored in addition to being a travel writer. Life was great.

But as I stood in the moonlight under the Eiffel Tower, I was surrounded by couples holding hands, kissing, and laughing, and I realized that I had absolutely no one to share this amazing life with.

Today, I sit here on my roof, looking at the flowers around me, after cooking a delicious meal of Senegalese, peanut butter curried chicken and rice, browsing through my messages from online dating sites, it hit me that the dating world has changed.

Sure, I’m older, but I assumed that since I’m seeking men my own age that we would still have similar goals, beliefs, and values. So I expected men to approach me in the same way that they always had. A man would find me attractive (on or offline), ask for my number, call me, and ask me on a date, usually for dinner or a movie, or both, or sometimes on a date to do something else that was fun, like a comedy show. But nope, this is no longer the case.

What I hadn’t considered was that many men still date younger women. They’re dating Millenials.

Ahh. Lightbulb moment.

So now, not only does it seem like the closest thing to a “date” is an invitation to come to a guy’s place to “Netflix and chill,” apparently many (most?) girls say yes!

When a man does ask a woman to meet, it isn’t for dinner or a movie; it isn’t for a date at all. It’s for a “meet and greet”. And when they do meet up, some expect to go dutch!!

Why the f are women saying yes to this??

Well, I dug a little deeper, and I found that men have a pretty good reason for no longer being the gentlemen that I grew up dating. At first when men explained to me why they no longer ask women on dates, I was offended, and actually appalled to hear about their experiences. Over and over men explained to me in their messages online that they used to invite women to dinner, but they felt taken advantage of or even used by women who had no interest in them and simply wanted a free meal.

Honestly, I found that hard to believe for a few reasons.



My Time is Valuable

  • I don’t know about other women, but my friends and I take pride in ourselves and want to look our best for a date, especially a first date. While I am far from high maintenance, for the first date I make damn sure I look, smell, and taste (haha, jk) good. I get my hair done, my nails done, and my makeup is flawless. Often, I might even buy a new dress or some sexy heels, and I’m going to be wearing some delicious smelling perfume. I may be a bit too voluptuous, but I will damn sure take plenty of time to look as beautiful as I can for this man. My point being, my time is valuable, but I will use that time to be as pretty as I can be for him and for our date. Yeah, yeah, I took Feminist classes and Women’s Studies 101, but sheet, I want my man to find me sexy and smart. But this does take time, and only if I find a man absolutely incredible will I spend my valuable time (that I could be spending on work or with friends, etc) getting ready to be with him.

I Chose Him

  • Men do not realize this, but once we females post a profile on a dating site or app, it’s a done deal. Seriously, we can be 500 pounds, 95 years old, and have no teeth, and I can assure you, we will get hundreds of messages from guys. Hundreds. Now many of them may not be quality candidates, and they may even be married or guys just looking to hook up, but we will sift through and find plenty of nice looking, fairly decent men, especially if we’re pretty. So, I’m not sure what they mean about women using them for a free $20 meal, because what men don’t realize is that I may sift through hundreds and hundreds of messages before I choose just one; him. So I am not “using” anybody. I chose him. I would never actually say that to a man because they don’t want to hear about other dudes, but it’s the truth.

I Ain’t Broke (& I Can Throw Down in the Kitchen)

  • And finally, do women really use men for a $20 meal?! No offense to men, (and I’m no Oprah) but I’ve got this. I can afford my own damn meal. I drink water only, so maybe I’m a bit of a cheap date compared to women who do drink, but I can eat so it evens out I guess! But I do not need to spend hours and hours fixing myself up to prostitute myself for a free meal with a man I may not even like. The only time I will go out with a man is if I really love talking to him on the phone and think he brings to the table the qualities I’m seeking in a potential life partner.

And ps, I’m a pretty damn good cook, so if I couldn’t afford a cheap meal out can simply whip up something that would make his mama insist he propose to me. Just sayin’.

Okay, rant over. Back to my point of why women should plan the second date, before you even meet for the first date, and I’ll tell you why.



Men Need to be Retrained

Unfortunately, men have experienced dates with chickenheads who want to use them for a few free drinks and some fried chicken. And since men often date younger, silly girls who look sexy but haven’t matured yet, they assume all women will be trying to use them when that simply is not the case. You planning the second date will let them know you actually are interested in them and not their money.

If you let a man know right away that you intend to not only see him again after he spends his little chump change on your first date, he’ll relax and hopefully be impressed with your initiative.

Men Need to be Fed & F*ed

Men are simple; they want to be respected, praised and fed. And f*ed regularly. If they think a woman is using them, they don’t feel respected, obviously.

In the same way that we want to have amazing sex with a guy we like, but we don’t want to feel used, men want to provide for us and take care of us, but they need to know we truly are into them. When we plan a second date even before the first date happens, we’re letting them know we want to take care of them, too. We can cook, or get some snacks and plan a picnic at an outdoor movie or concert and all they have to do is show up. Not many women do that until they’re in a committed relationship, and even then usually the men plan (and pay for) the dates.



Men Need to Know We’re Not High Maintenance

My ex used to call me “affordable high maintenance”. When he explained what he meant, I accepted his “compliment”. He said that most men all say that they don’t want a woman who is high maintenance, but what they really mean is that they want a woman who looks high maintenance, but she’s actually his ride or die chick who has his back no matter how much (or how little) money he has. Men are insecure about their income the way we’re insecure about our bodies. We need to know he loves us no matter how many cookies we eat, and he needs to know that if he lost his job or had an emergency, we won’t leave. He said that he loved that I looked rich and classy, but that he could take me shopping at a thrift store and I’d be thrilled. My ex was quite affluent, so he did enjoy taking me out, but he also loved when I planned dates. We went to flea markets, horseback riding, ice skating, and did all kinds of things he’d never done before, and we always had fun.



When we women plan the second date, he can see that we don’t need to always be wined and dined, but that we can have just as much fun on a picnic at a free concert or outdoor movie, which makes them see us as a potential keeper and not just a jump off. If we can cook as well, well that’s just bonus points.

You may be used to men treating you like a princess, spoiling you by taking you to fancy dinners, impressing you by picking you up in a sporty car. I get it; I admit I’ve been spoiled by the men I’ve been involved with, too. And while a man’s income is irrelevant to me (as long as he doesn’t live with his mama) I want any man who steps to me to treat me with a certain level of respect and chivalry. But I want him to know that I intend to treat him like a king, and he’s going to be pampered just as much (if not more) than he pampers me.



Sometimes a Man Needs to Grow on You

I’m not saying that you’re obligated to go on a second date with a man who is an asshole. If he’s too pushy or all over you or an arrogant mofo, then cancel the second date. But if he’s a nice guy, even if he isn’t exactly your typical type, give it another chance. Haven’t you ever met a man who was sweet but not exactly Boris Kodjoe, but the more time you spent with him, the more you liked him? We women aren’t always our best selves on a first date, either. First dates can make us nervous or weird. I talk too much when I’m nervous, and I tend to make jokes when I’m uncomfortable, but oftentimes the s* just isn’t funny. I need second dates to shine!

Try this and see what happens. If you go on a second date and there’s still no chemistry, well, you can always go back to look for more men on Tinder Terrorists, Plenty of Catfish and OK Crazies! (And stay tuned for the new podcast with the same name where you’ll hear plenty of crazy online dating stories and Catfish Confessions.)

If you’re ready to plan a second date with a new man but you’re not sure what to do on your date, click here or here for ideas. Even if you’re not located in NYC you can do a Google search for things to do in your area.

Do you think women should plan a second date with a new guy? Are you okay with going Dutch on a first date? What about Netflix and Chill, or Meet and Greets instead of dates? Leave your comments below!


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