When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Say Yes to a Second DatePicture this. You’re out with a friend. She’s shoe shopping, and you’ve agreed to lend your fashion advice.

You walk into a store with no intention of buying anything for yourself, but the moment you enter it washes over you. The scent of leather. Suddenly, you’re thinking a new pair of pumps might not be a bad idea.

The smell alone can suck you right in. And businesses know it.

In fact, there are marketing firms that specialize specifically in scents that create sales![1] It’s called “sensory marketing.”

But the effect goes further than your nose. For example, wine stores that play classical music sell more champagne.[2] That’s because all your senses have the potential to produce a powerful emotional response.

As one article on sensory marketing put it, “we feel faster than we think.”[3]

The same thing can happen in your love life. When you go out for the first time with a man, the entire date is a collision of sensory input.

There’s the cologne he’s wearing. The visual impact of his clothes. The taste of the food you share over dinner, the touch of his skin when he takes your hand, even the sounds of others talking and laughing at the restaurant.

And because we feel faster than we think, it can be tough to tell if he’s really a good match for you.

You need a way to navigate through all that unintended “sensory marketing.” After all, you don’t want to go on multiple dates with the wrong guy just because everything felt right on the first.

Here’s how you bypass the hype and decide if a second date is a good idea.


While you’re out that first time, your senses are going to do their thing. And that’s just fine. Enjoy his company and focus on the experience.

Save the analysis for later.


When the date’s over, that’s the time to reflect on it and consider how you really feel.

It’s kind of like finding a pair of shoes you LOVE in the store, but telling yourself you won’t buy them for a couple of days. When you leave the shop (and the alluring scent of leather), you’ll have an easier time deciding if you really want those shoes, or if you were just caught up in the moment.

After the evening ends, you’ll be able to see things with greater clarity.

Maybe dinner was amazing. Maybe the atmosphere was romantic. Maybe it was a perfectly scripted date in terms of all those details.

But if he never asked about you, or his values just don’t match yours, does it really matter that his cologne was intoxicating or that the lighting in the restaurant was just right?

Sure, it’s nice when a date feels magical. But real romance is built on something more than just good vibes. It’s built on connection.

So it all comes down to one question. Did you feel a genuine connection with this guy? Is this someone you truly want to know better?

Or, was this date like walking past a cookie store in the mall? A thoroughly pleasant experience, but not something you want to invest real time in.

A big part of romance is the emotional side of things. That’s the way dating is supposed to be.

But before you go on a second (or third…or forth…) date, make sure there’s a foundation of connection underneath those warm fuzzies.

That’s how you set yourself up for true romantic bliss.

[1] Sifferlin, Alexandra. “My Nose Made Me Buy It: How Retailers Use Smell (and Other Tricks) to Get You to Spend, Spend, Spend” Time. Time Inc., 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.

[2] “90 Percent Of All Purchasing Decisions Are Made Subconsciously.” ISPO News Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.

[3] Margalit, Liraz, Ph.D. “Sensory Marketing; The Smell of Cinnamon That Made Me Buy.” Psychology Today. HealthProfs.com, 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.

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