The Worst First Date Mistakes and How to Bounce Back

At best, having a terrible dating experience can make you feel less excited for the next date. At worst, it can make you want to swear off dating altogether. But rest assured, most bad dates just mean the two of you weren’t a good fit for each other.

After all, meeting someone new can have unpredictable outcomes. If you had a great time, it’s disappointing to not hear back after a date. If you had a terrible time, you might be the one doing the disappointing.

If you’ve had a bad date (or a string of bad dates) you’re having a hard time bouncing back from, here are a few tips to get over it and move on stronger

You’re Late, You’re Late, for a Very Important Date

If you’re running late because something really bad happened (your car broke down, you’ve been asked to work late, family emergency, etc.), just cancel and reschedule. You don’t want to make them wait for more than 15 or 20 minutes max, and you certainly don’t want to meet them while you’re in a bad mood because work got a hold of you, or dirty because you had to change a tire. Just be sure to let them know as soon as the problem pops up so they can still make plans to do something else. Courtesy goes a long way here.

You’re Not Sure If It’s a Date or Not

If the opposite is happening, and you can’t seem to shut up, it’s okay. Once you recognize it, Marin suggests you acknowledge it and brush it off quickly with something like “Wow, well that’s more than enough about me. I’m way more interested in learning about you.” Then you can segue into a question. In the same vein, if you start revealing a bit too much about your personal life or dating exploits than you think you really should reveal on a first date, stop yourself and say something like “That’s probably a little more information than you need at this point!” A laugh or smile will help ease the tension, then ask them something about themselves. Odds are, you actually want to learn about them, and getting them talking takes the pressure off of you to perform, so to speak

You Run Out of Things to Say, or You’ve Been Talking Nonstop

If the opposite is happening, and you can’t seem to shut up, it’s okay. Once you recognize it, Marin suggests you acknowledge it and brush it off quickly with something like “Wow, well that’s more than enough about me. I’m way more interested in learning about you.” Then you can segue into a question. In the same vein, if you start revealing a bit too much about your personal life or dating exploits than you think you really should reveal on a first date, stop yourself and say something like “That’s probably a little more information than you need at this point!” A laugh or smile will help ease the tension, then ask them something about themselves. Odds are, you actually want to learn about them, and getting them talking takes the pressure off of you to perform, so to speak

There’s Just No Chemistry

You meet up, you have a nice chat, and…nothing. It’s okay, it’s bound to happen, especially when meeting people for the first time.

You might think you’re being nice by powering through the rest the of the date, but you’re really just wasting everyone’s time, and worse, you might make the other person think you’re actually enjoying their company when you really don’t. If you want to spare their feelings as much as possible, Marin suggests you keep things vague and say something like, “I think you’re a great person, and I want to be honest with you. It feels more like a friendship type of connection between us. Thanks for spending time with me tonight.”

This is one reason why going for drinks or coffee makes for a better first date than dinner – it’s less of a time investment and it’s easier to make your apologies and leave when you aren’t in the middle of an entree. Just realize that everybody and their dog knows about the “emergency call” trick. It’s less insulting to say “Hey, it’s been nice meeting you, but I’ve got to go.”

You Pick a Bad Venue

If you can’t leave the venue you’ve chosen (maybe it’s a show or you paid a cover and you don’t want to waste the money), Marin says it’s the perfect opportunity to bond over how bad the experience is. Make up stories about the other people around you, or joke about the bizarre atmosphere. A bad experience can also be a chance to secure a second date. Say something like, “I owe you a really awesome second date,” and make sure you do a little more recon for next time.

You Forget Your Purse or Wallet

If you want to avoid something like this from ever happening again, Nerdlove suggests you put together an emergency date kit that you can keep in your car. Keep a stash of cash (for times like this), as well as other helpful items like antihistamines, decongestants, mouthwash, indigestion medicine, and a travel-sized deodorant. Basically, you want a dating utility belt so you’re always ready for anything.

You Start Talking About Your Ex

Try as you might to block them out, exes leave a mark, and it’s only natural for them to come up at some point. Odds are you spent a lot of time with them, so you have shareable stories that involve them. Even so, talking about your ex is a quick way to end a date. In fact, it’s one of the biggest red flags people look out for on a date.

If you catch yourself talking about your ex, the only thing you can do is acknowledge it and change the subject.

You Go for the Kiss at the Wrong Time (or Don’t When You Should Have)

If you’re getting those kinds of signals, it’s probably a safe time to try for the kiss—especially if you’re at what feels like a high-point of the date. Be sure to move in slowly, however. Doing so will be more romantic and exciting, and as Nerdlove explains, it gives them time to wave you off or give you their cheek. If the date is winding down and you think you missed an opportunity to go for the kiss, Marin says you can play it off coolly by saying something like, “I feel like I just missed my moment there. Can I try again?”

Source: lifehacker