Should I Go on a Second Date?

(Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash)

Danielle Selber is our in-house matchmaker and she wants to be in your corner. As the only “non-profit matchmaker” in the country, Danielle blends traditional Jewish matchmaking with modern sensibilities. To meet up with her for coffee, email


Sometimes, a first date is pure rom-com magic, and sometimes, it’s a bit more like the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan. But the tricky dates are the ones that are entirely so-so. What happens next — do you give the person another try because the date wasn’t entirely a barn fire, or do you move on?

Alain de Botton wrote that compatibility should be an achievement of love, not a precondition. Things like interests, hobbies, lifestyle choices — these things are malleable and likely to shift throughout your life. Someone who is a vegetarian today could be housing a cheeseburger tomorrow; someone who’s lying on the couch eating Cheetos today might become obsessed with Crossfit next week. So any of the how-do-you-spend-your-day questions are unlikely to help you decide if this person is worth a second look.

Chemistry, however, is something that won’t grow — it’s either there from day one or it’s just not. So chemistry is reeeally important, but it’s also important to define. Chemistry can mean so many things, and if you don’t make a definition for yourself, you might end up looking for ALL the things chemistry could be — an endlessly frustrating pitfall that most of us fall into.

For one of my matchmaking folks, chemistry was arriving to a first date and seeing the girl hastily put away a book as he approached. He asked what she was reading and that conversation led them into enjoyable conversations throughout the night. It wasn’t necessarily that they had the same interests — the book was about European history, a topic he didn’t know much about — but rather that he enjoyed the dynamic of being taught something new, and teaching her things along the way. That spark was worth a second date.

So, is chemistry for you that you want to rip the person’s clothes off? Is it that they challenge you intellectually? Is it that they make you crack up laughing? It is something else entirely? No one person can hit on all these things, so honing in on the one thing chemistry looks like for you mean you means you now have a one-item checklist to determine if someone is worth another date.

Enjoy those fewer — but better! — second dates!



Tribe 12’s Matchmaking is an easy, in-person alternative to dating apps for anyone looking to date in Philly’s Jewish community. Danielle will learn about you and the kind of person you’re looking for to start keeping an eye out for you — and hopefully set you up with someone great! To meet up with her for coffee, email


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