under Date Night
When you’re interested in someone — whether it’s a new prospect on JDate or after a first date or after a few months — making plans is the way to let them know you’re still interested!
People can carry on conversations with lots of prospects online, but it’s only you’ve made plans that you know this one is different. And then after the first date, having plans made immediately for a second date is how you know that there’s enough mutual interest to continue getting to know each other. And once you’ve been dating for awhile, then making plans is assumed.
Whenever a plan isn’t made — regardless of the scenario — is when people begin feeling insecure about where the relationship (or the possibility of one) is going. So if you like someone, make plans to see them again, otherwise you’re just playing games.
under Date Night
It’s considered quite chivalrous to make plans for a first date ahead of time, but it’s also risky since you don’t necessarily know the other person’s likes and dislikes (or allergies and aversions). On the other hand, it is fun to be spontaneous on a date, but can seem like you didn’t make any effort, or put any thought into it, and therefore aren’t very interested.
So what’s the best route to take? A combination of the two. Ask your date what their favorite food is (or check their JDate profile!) and make reservations for dinner, but then leave the time afterwards open to decide where to go together for a drink. Or, conversely, have a plan in mind to start the night at a trendy bar for drinks, but then ask your date what to do next if you hit it off and want to continue spending time together.
You can also make reservations at two or three different locations and ask your date to pick one (just be sure to quickly call and cancel the other reservations as a courtesy), that way you show you made an effort, but are also thoughtful and willing to be flexible.