Top 15 Tips And Advice For The Fourth Date
Date four: an underrated but great date. This is potentially one of the most fun dates you’ll go on — the fourth date is relaxed, friendly, familiar, all with less anxiety because, it’s the fourth date, you’ve done this three times already. Expectations are lower now. You might not be trying to find the meaning into each and every little thing he does on the date. You know the drill. But the fourth date is also an important one. This is the date that may make or break this thing that you’ve started. By now, you’re probably wondering where this thing is going. The fourth date means the two of you sincerely like one another, which is great. It’s more than just trying on a pair of shoes, it’s walking around in them. Do you want to keep them? That’s the question. And at this point, you’re going to need to make that decision pretty darn soon. And so while the fourth date is a comfortable date (hopefully), you’ll still need to assess the evening, and the guy. What’s the etiquette with a date at this point? It can be tricky, but if you play your cards right, you’ll come out on top. Here’s advice and for both what to expect on the fourth date, and how to enjoy it at the same time.
1. The Fourth Date is a Fun Date
This may seem obvious, but if you’re not having a great time on your fourth date, whatever it is you’re doing, this probably isn’t going to work in the long run. Having a good time should be the easiest part of a date, after all. By now, you and your date have a certain level of understanding about what fun actually is, and if it’s not the same for the both of you, then that’s not good for a relationship.
2. Don't Let the Fourth Date Let You Lose Your Charm
At this point, you know one another pretty well. You’ve had three good dates, you’ve texted, you’re attracted to one another, and so it’s only natural that you relax around this person. By the fourth date, you aren't texting your bestie for advice about how he acts, and you don't have irrational expectations about who this guy is. This is great, but remember that this is still a date. Don’t get lazy. Look nice. Be polite. Put in some effort. Don't be fake, of course, but this isn’t the time to break out the smelly sneakers and fraying T-shirt. Take a shower for goodness sakes. Date etiquette still applies.
3. Being Comfortable
All this said, there shouldn’t be too much effort involved now. Do you feel awkward? Nervous? Still unsure if this person likes you or not? Are you looking for meaning behind every hand gesture, even if he’s just scratching his chin? If so, by the fourth date, that’s a bad sign. On the other hand, if this person almost feels like an old friend, then things are going well. By now, you shouldn’t be nervous at all. There should be no asking friends for tips about how to handle this guy. Expectations should be normal, and etiquette should be casual, but present.
4. Your Date Should Have Good Conversation
Essentially all first dates include a lot of the standard get-to-know-you questions. Where you grew up, what your families are like, where you went to school, if you had pets, what you do for work, and on. By the fourth date, you’re well beyond the baseline dialogue. This date has matured out of interview and into friendly, so there should be effortless, easy conversation. No searching for topics, and no prodding for additional information that should just naturally come out as he talks. There's meaning to everything you talk about. If you argue, of course, this is not good. The two of you should be happily chattering away without any trouble at all.
5. The Fourth Date is Personal
This doesn’t mean sexually (more on that later), it means the evening should be more personalized, more authentic and geared around what you’ve been talking about for the last three dates. A concert by a band you both like, or a movie you both said you want to see, a restaurant one of you said you’d like to try. Your dates should start to feel less planned and more organic now. The evening should give you butterflies – it’s a date for just the two of you, not something manufactured for a stranger. And that should feel good. If you’re doing something you aren’t excited about, that means either your date doesn’t know you very well, or he hasn’t been listening, or maybe it’s about him more than you. Whatever it is, it isn’t good.
6. What’s In Common
It’s fine enough that you can talk about yourselves, but can you talk about things outside of your world? Big picture and small picture. Do you both like tennis, or the same TV shows, or skateboarding? Whatever these things are, you should feel in line with one another. Do you find the same things funny or interesting or strange? It should be as if you're with a great friend, and maybe you're sharing tips on how to score cheap tickets to a killer show, or searching for the meaning behind a bizarre movie you both saw. Generally, the fourth date is too soon to talk about big-ticket items like religion and politics, but pay attention to what your date is saying — these things lend themselves to a bigger picture of his world. If your guy makes a comment about a religious holiday that you don’t celebrate, that’s something to note, and follow up on later when the time is right.
7. Pay Attention
When we like someone, we get stars in our eyes and everything we hear is pure sugar. That’s a good sign for sure, but don’t lose your critical ear. What's the meaning behind his actions? If your date says he enjoys kicking puppies, maybe you need to follow up on that one instead of saying everyone has their faults. Keep grounded, listen to what he’s saying — he’s telling you who he is. It’s way too early to give anyone a free pass on imperfections. Keep those starry eyes dim!
8. The Fourth Date: Get Intimate, Maybe
The legendary third date has come and gone and you’ve survived. And by that I mean the cliché third date, ie. the sex date. While it’s a common expectation, for a lot of people, sex doesn’t happen yet on the third date. That’s okay. Actually, that’s kind of a good thing, because look, date four is still happening. The etiquette here is to let the relationship find its way into sex, don't force it. By the fourth date you're definitely into each other, so there’s no need to rush the sex. A lot happens after that, and you need to make sure you guys are ready for all of the complexity. It’s much better to have a solid foundation than to give into social norms. Case in point, don’t get intimate if it doesn’t feel right, yet. There’s always date five, after all.
9. The Fourth Date: Get Intimate, Again
If you did have sex, well congratulations, you’ve successfully made it through the “will he call” phase. A date after sex means this thing might have some legs to it after all. It also means the sex wasn’t bad, maybe even great. Sexual chemistry is important to any relationship, and it’s a relief to know that it’s there. Just remember this is still new and you two aren’t ready to get too casual yet. Remember this is only the fourth time you’ve hung out. There may be a high expectation to go home together again, but you’re still dating, it’s not a relationship. Make sure you stay up on your toes, and keep your head clear.
10. The Big Picture
What’s happening right now in one another’s lives? Are you in the same place? Did one of you just get out of something serious? Is a relationship on tap, or is this a rebound? You should be in the same mindset. Maybe one of you wants something very serious and the other doesn’t. If that’s the case, disappointment may be on the horizon. Remember what you’re looking for, and be honest about whether this guy fulfills your needs. If he doesn’t, it won’t work out, no matter how great he may seem. The fourth date is the time to assess the situation.
Is one of you a workaholic, and the other a big believer in work-life balance, out the door with the five o’clock whistle? Is one of you a cosmopolitan and the other aching to move to the country one day? Couples need to want their lives to look the same way. Active athletes who want to hike, ski, swim, and rock climb every weekend might not match well with artists who enjoy museums, music shows, and art films. It matters that you’ll be able to spend the right time together.
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12. Don’t Come on Too Strong
So, you like your date. A lot. You really want to take it to the next level. That’s great — but don’t. If you push too hard too soon, it could scare off your date, which is exactly what you don’t want to do. The fourth date is time spent together with barriers down, true, but that doesn't mean go too hard. It's only the fourth date; remember that. Take a deep breath, smile, and go. You still have a lot to learn about this person. Use the fourth date for just that intention.
13. Being Open
Do you feel like barriers have come down a little bit? If so, that’s good! If not, think about why, and on this date, try to keep it lighter, less formal. By now you’re comfortable with this person, so this shouldn’t be too hard. If it is, then maybe this isn’t going to work in the long run.
14. Ask Harder Questions
Beyond birthdays and job titles, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper. In early dates we can intuit traumatic instances that are better left unsaid. Now’s the time to ask — if appropriate (don’t force your hand, though). If you’re wondering, it’s okay to ask about past relationships now. A person’s romantic history can open up a world of information about them. But don’t push that too much. Take note if that’s a sore subject, it may come back to haunt you later on.
15. Chill Out
Listen, this is the fourth date. It isn’t an engagement, or anything. It’s just another opportunity to learn more about your date, and get a little deeper insight. So relax, enjoy yourself. Above all else, you should treat this as a fun adventure.