So you’ve had the first date, and you both decided you wanted a second date. What do you do? Just go back to the same coffee shop, or hike the same trail? Since you are consciously dating, it’s a good thing to consider carefully how you do the first few dates.
Remember, at the earliest stages, the purposed of each date is simply to find out whether you want another one. And when you are dating at the beginning, mixing it up is a great idea. Don’t go back to the same cafe, or do a hike if that’s what you did for the first date. Suggest something different. Maybe a meal, or a movie, or a different kind of activity. Why? Because the more different situations you can see your dating partner in, the better. The more opportunities to observe how she relates to other people (like the people serving food, for instance,) or how she relates to different settings, the better. Also, the more opportunity there is for you to negotiate what kind of activity to do, or, perhaps, deal with a misunderstanding, the better.
You might ask her first what she might want to do for the second date. Or, you might make a suggestion, then ask if that works for her, or if she has a different suggestion.
The second date is probably is not time to have an activity that includes your friends, unless the two of you already have mutual friends. It is true that having her meet your friends is an important step, but probably something you might wait for at least the third or fourth date to do. Meeting friends has a way of escalating the process, and you don’t want anything that will do that too soon – conscious dating means slow dating!