08/04/2014 09:36 am ET Updated Oct 04, 2014

How to Get That Second Date

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When you have strong feelings for someone and you get the first date, you want to do everything in your power to get the second.

Getting a first date with someone you're interested in is challenging enough, but the pressure of performing well on a first date -- in order to get a second date -- can be excruciating. Men and women both find first dates to be nerve-wracking, stressful and downright scary in some cases.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

If you know you're interested in your date and you're already eager to land a second opportunity to spend time with him/her, there are a few things you can do to help your chances:

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. This isn't a competition. It's just an outing. Imagine yourself going out to dinner with a friend or a family member -- you wouldn't be so nervous, right? So why should you be so nervous here?

Don't pretend you're something you aren't. It's tempting to put on your "best face" for a first date, but make sure that "best face" is actually yours. Be true to yourself -- otherwise, even if you do keep dating, you'll be setting yourself and your date up for disappointment.

Express enjoyment, but not desperation. At the end of the date, be honest with your date. Tell him/her that you had fun, and you're interested in meeting again. But don't go so over the top with your expression that you intimidate him/her. One gentle, well-worded statement is plenty.

Follow up -- but not right away. It's a cliché tactic, but it's an important one. Don't ignore your date, but do leave some time for reflection. Texting him/her an hour after the date may come off as needy, so instead, wait a day or two and follow up with a compliment or an invitation to meet again.

If you follow these tips and be your natural self, you'll be far more likely to get to that second date.