It’s the first sense a baby acquires. Even before they can scream they’re already palpating the womb in search of information. Touch is the magic that waitresses conjure to coerce a few more dollars out of your pocket and the same tool that co-workers use to convince you to agree with their terrible ideas.
Before there was sight, hearing, smell, and taste, there was touch. Humans have been deploying this most ancient of senses to communicate with the world even before we evolved into the awkward species we are today. If touch plays a pivotal role in the brain development of children and has the capacity to communicate hundreds of non-verbal messages, what role does it play when applied to the dating context?
Physical contact is the great emotional accelerator. No physical contact on the second date is a missed opportunity to break down barriers and signal interest. Touch on a date can demonstrate trust, confidence, sex appeal, and cultivate a bond. But before jumping into a litany of reasons why touching is vital while dating, let’s do a deep dive into the importance of touch.
Let’s Get Visceral
There is one tried-and-true method that invariably will land you in the friend zone. No matter how many sexy looks she gives you, you can still find yourself in the dreaded wasteland that is the friend zone if you opt out of touching. As we’ve already established, touch is the oldest of senses. But just because humans are uniquely wired to understand touch doesn’t mean that every touch is the same.
Being touched by a stranger by way of a fist to the mouth is vastly different than a mother holding her child to her chest, skin-to-skin. Yet even if we sequester touch to the context of a date there is still a world of signals that can be sent with a touch.
An undesirable touch such as the stroking of the lower back or an unwanted kiss will lead to a stream of cortisol being realized in the brain. Cortisol is colloquially known as the stress-hormone. It regulates the brain’s control of mood, motivation, and fear. Naturally, if a touch is planted on a woman in a manner that makes her feel uncomfortable, cortisol will help trigger her flight-or-flight response. Should her amygdala alarm her hypothalamus that she’s in danger, the date is a failure. But this is the worst-case scenario.
The title of this article concerns itself with no physical contact on the second date. To examine the severity of what would happen should you not touch her, we need to understand what happens in the brain when a consensual romantic touch occurs.
Even when the touch is solicited via non-verbal cues, not all touches are equal. A touch on the top of the shoulder isn’t even in the same league as holding her hand. Regardless of where you touch her, the same activity is occurring within the brain. The only difference is the degree to which the brain reacts.
Just as an aggressive or unsolicited touch can produce cortisol, a flirty touch can trigger the generation of its own chemicals. Research has found that holding hands can reduce the production of cortisol. Along with decreasing the production of the stress-hormone, holding hands can generate oxytocin. Oxytocin is released en masse while having sex. To a lesser degree it’s created and released while holding hands. This hormone is responsible for fostering a social bond.
Handholding however isn’t the only way that oxytocin can be conjured up during a date. Flirty hip bumping, touches on the back, or even a playful push can all generate oxytocin. Holding hands is such a powerful channel because it’s skin-to-skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact is a much more effective way to flood the brain with oxytocin and accelerate a social bond.
While feel good chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin can be produced without contact, it’s difficult to do so. Oxytocin in particular is a finicky hormone and is only inclined to make an appearance if one of you initiates physical contact. This hormone is vital in building a lasting bond. Oxytocin or the ‘cuddle hormone’ is released in excess during pregnancy. Such a release is intended to build an unbreakable bond between mother and child. Now that you understand the influence of the hormone you should be motivated to do everything in your power to have your date generate and release the hormone.
The Power of Touch, Especially on a Second Date
We’ve covered the differences between an aggressive touch and an affectionate one; but what about a lack of touch? Studies have found that children bereft of amble physical contact during their early years are much more likely to develop emotional, behavioral, and social problems than peers who receive adequate physical contact. Not holding a child enough during their early years has the power to create negative lasting changes in the brain. So how does this translate to a second date?
The aforementioned study emphasizes the importance of touch. Touch is inextricably linked to affection. There is no better way to show one’s affection than via physical contact. If there is no physical contact on the second date she’ll infer that you don’t like her. The physical touch she’s looking for isn’t anything substantial. A warm hug hello, some flirty touching throughout the date, and either a hug or kiss to wrap up the occasion should do the trick.
When you touch someone, an invisible barrier is being traversed. The act of passing through another’s personal space is a dangerous mission. Yet if the recipient is happy to allow another into their space a bond will immediately be formed. Studies that investigate the power of touch have found that servers that touch customers get higher tips, sports teams that high five and fist bump trust one another more than non-contact teams, and that men who ask women out are more likely to receive the answer they want if they touch the women in question.
If she’s going on a second with you it probably means she’s in to you. How much, we don’t know, but enough to enjoy your presence enough to have scheduled a second date. This being the case, at the bare minimum she’s probably willing for you to touch her anywhere above the breasts. Depending on which date number you’re on and the specific woman in question -the lower back, legs, and even hands might be off limits. To discern whether such areas can be touched you’ll have to reach her non-verbal cues.
No Physical Contact On The Second Date Can Make Her Nervous
Touching is a double-edged sword. It has the ability to accelerate or decelerate a relationship. While touching her can make her feel uncomfortable not touching her can make her feel nervous.
She’ll feel nervous because her assessment of the relationship isn’t lining up with reality. Meaning that despite her belief that the two of you are having a ball, this belief isn’t being manifested through touch. Should reality not align with expectation she’ll be thrown off.
A Lack Of Confidence Is A Turnoff
Confidence is a major turn on. Perhaps even more so than intelligence or beauty, confidence fires up the loins of every woman. Confidence can present itself in many ways.
One way a man can demonstrate confidence is by taking calculated risks. To be clear, vehemently pushing back one’s chair, grabbing your date, and planting a wet one on her halfway through a date isn’t a calculated risk. Exact calculations can only be made after passing an adequate amount of time with your date. You won’t know if she’s into you or not until a certain amount of time has passed by. In this time you’ll be looking for signs that indicate her interest.
Once the calculations have been made it’s time to transcend that invisible barrier and make physical contact. Showing signs of fear is a major turnoff, especially when the person causing that fear is here. Once you do cross that barrier be sure of your actions. Make sure the first couple touches aren’t too daring. Should she reciprocate with a touch of her own consider touching her on the lower back or even holding her hand momentarily. When in doubt, take a small risk and wait to see if she reciprocates.
If initiating the contact truly terrifies you, lure her into touching you. On a second date you’re most likely going to be sitting across from each other or walking. In either situation, use your hands as your bait. Bring some levity to the conversation while being slightly demonstrative with the use of your hands. If you’re sitting down you can even lean forward a little bit. Dangling your hands like that in front of her will tempt her to touch them.
She’ll perceive it as an invitation considering you’re already leaning forward and constantly offering your hands to her. This trick also works while walking together. Despite the efficacy of this trick, it’s still advised that you be the one to initiate the touching.
Options Moving Forward If No Physical Contact Was Made on the Second Date
So let’s assume that there was no physical contact on the second date and you didn’t lock in a third date while on the second date with her (shame on you :)). Should she accept a third date, physical contact must occur moving forward. To be sure that a third date goes down, use a TDL.
TDL stands for time, date, location. If you didn’t ask her out while on the second date, you have time to prepare a third date TDL. When asking her out, call instead of texting. Keep the phone call shorter than three minutes. In-depth conversations should be saved for the date.
What Kind Of Third Date Should You Choose if You Haven’t Touched Her Yet?
Considering you haven’t touched her on the first or second date, you might need a little push to gets the sparks flying. Usually I always recommend a dinner or sit down activity for a third date. But since there was no physical contact on your first two dates, perhaps try another physical date idea as your third date. This will ultimately push the crucial third date – where sex most likely happens for the first time, to the fourth date.
While the lack of touching has stunted your bond, it has also led to the creation of a dam. That pent-up touching is bound to break on a third date. Expect things to quickly escalate physically. If they do, you could always segway into the fourth date while on the third date.
For example, you decide to take my advice and plan a hike for your third date. Things go very well and you ask her to grab dinner after the hike (which would be the fourth date). Since you slyly chose a dinner location near your home, there may be an opportunity to close the deal with her this very same evening.
No relationship can blossom or sustain without touch. Most marriages come to a premature end due to a lack of touch, children turn into delinquents if their parents abstain from touch, and dates fail if physical contact is overlooked.
Should there be no physical contact on the second date you’ve got some work to do. Luckily the hold you’ve dug can be climbed out of by planning and executing an awesome third date.
The basics have been outlined. But if you still feel as though you’re not equipped with the tools to succeed, feel free to book a 1-on-1 New Client Skype Session with me and we will break down what needs to be done for your next date to be a success. We’ll address concerns you have regarding the generation of touch, diagnose your dating history, create an action plan, and see if my 3 month Signature program could help you reach your dating goals.