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21 Must-Know Fourth Date Tips, What to Expect & Things You MUST Avoid

You’ve already gotten through the first three dates. Now what? If you’re not quite sure where to go from here, we’ve got you covered for the fourth date.

fourth date tips and must-knows

The elusive fourth date. Aka., the Cinderella of the dating world, always in the shadows of its more celebrated siblings—the first, second, and third dates. But don’t be fooled; the fourth date might just be the secret ingredient to finding love’s true flavor.

While the first three dates are the get-to-know-you waltz, the fourth date is where things often get real. It’s the bridge between casual chit-chat and the whispering of sweet dreams and long-term hopes. It’s also the infamous “maybe-we-can-talk-about-sex-now” date.

But how does one dance through this intricate ball without tripping over their own feet?

[Read: 22 second date tips and rules to get to know each other and fall harder]

What’s With the Fourth Date?

Why is the fourth date so important, you ask? Well, our love-struck friends, it’s when you step into the comfort zone.

Gone are the days of rehearsed smiles and butterflies in the stomach *okay, maybe just a few remain!*. By the fourth date, you’ve gotten to know each other’s quirks, and a feeling of predictability starts to bloom. It’s like finally finding that perfect spot on the couch. Ah, comfort!

But wait, there’s more! This is where Erik Erikson’s “Intimacy vs. Isolation” stage waltzes in. The fourth date is often a time for establishing deeper emotional connections.

You might share secrets or fears, discuss dreams, or even discover shared memories of cartoon shows. It’s a journey from “You too? I thought I was the only one!” to “Where have you been all my life?”

And then comes the pièce de résistance—the long-term potential. Remember when you were just casually dating? Well, that was yesterday’s news!

The fourth date is often seen as a shift from playing the field to playing the future. Sternberg’s “Triangular Theory of Love” might call this an evolution from passion and intimacy toward commitment. It’s like building a sandcastle; you’re now thinking about moats, not just towers.

In short, the fourth date is a subtle dance, a fascinating blend of comfort, connection, and a hint of commitment. It’s like tasting a new dish and discovering it has all your favorite flavors. Delicious, isn’t it?

Fourth Date Tips to Play it Right

The fourth date is a beautiful balance between knowing someone and still having plenty to explore. It’s the moment where you need to be real but not overbearing; fun but not frivolous.

So, how do you play it right? Here are some tips, served with a side of psychological wisdom:

1. Open up, but not too wide

The fourth date is a great opportunity to reveal more about yourself, but there’s an art to finding the right balance. Johari’s Window, a psychological concept, suggests that we have different layers of ourselves that we reveal over time.

On this fourth date, share something new, something real, but pace yourself. Building trust takes time, and you want to keep some mystery alive. [Read: How to be mysterious and leave everyone smitten and craving for more]

2. Plan something new

Trying new activities together can be an exciting way to grow your relationship. It’s supported by the Self-expansion theory, which emphasizes that shared novel experiences can enhance personal growth and relationship satisfaction.

Think of an activity neither of you has done before, like a cooking class or a hiking trail. The novelty will spark joy and excitement, leading to a unique bonding experience. [Read: 65 couples activities and fun things to do that’ll make you feel closer than ever]

3. Gauge mutual interests

The fourth date is a great time to explore shared interests.

Whether it’s a love for jazz music or a passion for painting, finding common hobbies creates a connection that can be the foundation for many more dates to come. It’s a beautiful way to grow together, and it naturally leads to plans for future dates.

4. Preparation is still key

Even though you’re past the initial stages, preparation still matters. From choosing the venue to having a backup plan, your efforts show that you care about making the date special. It’s not about impressing but showing that you’re thoughtful.

[Read: Perfect date – 36 secrets to be a good date, plan an ideal one, and impress them]

5. Maintain your manners

Being more comfortable with each other doesn’t mean forgetting your manners.

Continue to show respect and courtesy; it solidifies a positive impression and lays the groundwork for a respectful relationship. [Read: Proper social etiquette – 19 signs and traits that make you classy and likable]

6. No need to hurry

The fourth date is significant, but it’s not the endgame. Enjoy the journey. Keep getting to know each other, and allow the relationship to unfold naturally. You don’t need to rush into labeling yourselves or clearing out a draw for them in your bedroom just yet.

7. Don’t pressure for sex

Pressure is never attractive, especially when it comes to matters of physical intimacy. Let things flow naturally, and make sure that both parties are comfortable with the pace.

Forcing or rushing this part of the relationship can create discomfort and resentment. [Read: Turn offs for women – 25 things guys do that girls absolutely hate]

By respecting each other’s boundaries and communicating openly, you pave the way for a genuine and healthy connection where intimacy can blossom at a comfortable and mutually satisfying pace.

If you happen to have sex, that’s great! But don’t enter this fourth date with the expectation that it will happen. Sex will happen when both parties are ready, whenever that may be. [Read: Relationship milestones – 15 dating highlights you should be proud of]

8. Try to go for the lips this time

If you feel a connection and the moment is right, a gentle kiss can be a wonderful way to show affection. It’s a natural progression that can add a touch of romance to the date. [Read: First kiss tips – 29 secrets to make the first smooch sexy and irresistible]

Just keep an eye out for her body language with this one. If they seem closed off, distant, and they aren’t looking at your eyes or your lips, they might be signaling that they don’t want to be kissed. And when you do go in for that lip-lock, move slowly so that they have time to react and respond.

9. Be sensitive and respectful

Being attentive to your date’s feelings, opinions, and comfort level is paramount. It’s more than just good manners; it’s about building a connection that’s grounded in empathy and understanding.

10. Show genuine interest in their life

Ask about their family, friends, and what they do for fun. When you hit the fourth date, you enter a stage where you can go beyond surface-level conversations and show that you truly care about understanding them as a person. [Read: 60 deep, fun questions to get to know someone romantically as a match]

11. Talk about goals and aspirations

The fourth date can be an excellent time to discuss what you both want from life. Whether it’s career goals or personal growth, this conversation can provide insight into compatibility and future alignment.

12. Reinforce positive feelings and experiences

Take a moment to reflect on the fun you’ve had together so far.

By verbally acknowledging the enjoyable times, you’re reinforcing positive feelings and setting the stage for more good times ahead. [Read: Positive vibes – 17 ways to welcome positive energy into your life]

13. Be clear about your intentions

If things are going well, you might want to express your interest in continuing to see each other. Conversely, if you feel like it’s not a match, it’s kind to be honest *but gentle* about your feelings.

14. Check in about communication preferences

As you move from casual dating into potentially something more serious, it’s a good time to discuss how you both like to communicate.

Do you prefer texts, calls, and daily check-ins? It can prevent misunderstandings later if you clear this up now. [Read: 48 rules and texting etiquette for guys and girls in the early stages of dating]

15. Avoid talking about exes

While the fourth date might seem like a stage where you’re more open, diving into ex-relationship talk can bring unnecessary comparisons or insecurities. Best to keep that for later when you have a more stable foundation.

15. Be yourself

It might sound cliché, but being genuine is key. By the fourth date, it’s time to let your true self shine. Pretending to be something you’re not is like building a house on sand; eventually, it’ll collapse. [Read: 33 secrets to be true to yourself and 15 signs you need to unfake your life]

What Should You Expect on a Fourth Date?

So what should you really expect on a fourth date? Let’s explore together, without the rose-tinted glasses, but with a healthy dose of curiosity and anticipation.

1. Emotional availability

By the fourth date, you should be able to gauge if both parties are on the same emotional wavelength. Does Attachment theory ring any bells? It’s the idea that how we connect with others is influenced by our early relationships.

Now, we’re not saying you need to analyze childhood photos together, but do pay attention to how open and connected you both feel. It’s like tuning into a radio station; you want to find the frequency where the reception is clear and without static interference.

[Read: How to be emotionally available – 17 ways to open up to love and life]

2. Future talks

Discussing long-term goals can be a delicate dance. You want to get a glimpse of the future without building castles in the air.

Whether it’s career aspirations or the desire for a family, these conversations can give you a sense of compatibility without turning the date into a business meeting.

3. Possibility of finding out you’re not a match

Ah, the plot twist! Sometimes, despite the best-laid plans, you discover that the connection just isn’t there. Maybe it’s a clash of values or a lack of chemistry, but that’s okay. Not every date has to lead to a fairy tale. [Read: Relationship compatibility – what it is, 40 signs you have it, and ways to improve it]

In the world of dating, finding the people that you aren’t compatible with is just as important as finding those that you instantly click with.

Sure, it’s not as fun as discovering buried treasure, but it’s just as valuable. Knowing what doesn’t work for you is a vital step in finding what does.

Things to Avoid on the Fourth Date

While the fourth date is filled with opportunities to connect and impress, there are also pitfalls that can trip up even the smoothest dating aficionado.

As you glide into this new stage of dating, here are some key missteps to watch out for. Keep your eyes on the prize, but mind where you step; this isn’t a tango you want to tangle!

1. Overbearing behavior

Avoiding controlling or overly eager attitudes is key. While it’s natural to be excited, overbearing behavior can feel oppressive and stifle the blossoming connection.

It’s like putting a plant under a magnifying glass; too much focus and intensity can burn the delicate leaves.

Balance enthusiasm with respect for your date’s space and pace, and you’ll nurture something truly beautiful. [Read: Controlling relationship – 42 signs and ways to love without bullying]

2. Ghosting after intimacy

Ghosting, especially after intimacy, can leave lasting scars. Akin to vanishing without a trace, ghosting feels truly baffling and painful.

If things aren’t working out, a respectful conversation is worth a thousand disappearing acts. Honesty may not always be easy, but it’s the cornerstone of emotional maturity. [Read: Why do guys distance themselves after intimacy?]

3. Repeating old patterns

Recognize your recurring dating patterns and learn to avoid them. Here’s looking at you, Classical Conditioning! Just like Pavlov’s dogs salivated at the ring of a bell, you might find yourself falling into the same dating habits without even realizing it.

Understanding these patterns can free you from the endless loop, opening doors to healthier connections.

It’s a Chance to Learn, Laugh, and Leap Into the Unknown

The fourth date is less about proving yourself and more about discovering together. It’s not a pop quiz; it’s an open book.

And guess what? You both are the authors!

Whether you find a poetic romance or realize it’s time to close this chapter, embrace the fourth date as a chance to learn, laugh, and leap into the unknown.

[Read: Exclusive relationship – 36 signs you’re ready for it or in one already]

Whether you’re wondering why the fourth date is so important, seeking fourth date tips to play it right, or curious about what to expect and what to avoid on a fourth date, embracing this stage with open-mindedness and care can transform it from a mere date into a significant milestone on your journey of love and connection.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...