12 Ways To Make Up For An Awful First Date

What happens when you’re so into a guy that you totally blow it all on the first date? If things were disastrous, there’s still some time to recover and prove to him that you’re actually worth another shot. Here are a few ways to get back on his good side.

  1. Acknowledge that you weren’t your best self. Maybe you had an awful day at work before the date or something awful happened that caused you to project onto him. He might see you as being kind of an angry person, but in your heart, you know you screwed up. Take all the blame if it’s your fault and let him know how apologetic you are for the way things started out. Then forgive yourself.
  2. Don’t think too hard about it. If it was an embarrassing time — like you got a little too rambly or spilled a glass of red wine on yourself — don’t keep replaying it in your head. If you do, it might make you think that you’re not worth dating when you absolutely are. Give yourself some closure on the situation and let your date know that you acknowledge it was a bad time, but forgive yourself and start fresh.
  3. Give him space before you plan a second date. Don’t send him 90 billion apology texts, since that comes across as being a bit needy. If the date was really awful based on things you did and said, he might need some time to get over it.
  4. Let him know that you understand if he wants to end things. He makes up 50% of this relationship so he has a right not to give you that second chance. It’s his choice to make. If he agrees to go out again, try to make light of it but don’t keep bringing it up.
  5. Analyze your relationship with alcohol. A lot of first dates go badly since one person gets a little too drunk. If that was the case here, you may need to evaluate how and why you drink. Maybe you pregamed before the date because you were nervous, or maybe you just had a bartender with a really strong pour. Whatever the reason, if things got weird since you weren’t all there, try to see if you’d be living a happier life sober. As a bonus, you’ll feel a lot more present and in the moment.
  6. Plan something he’d like to do. Is he an outdoorsy guy? Maybe it’d be nice to go on a hike or even a long walk around the park. Think up a fun date that’s incredibly different from that first one. If it’s a nice day, there’s another reason to take advantage of the weather.
  7. Don’t talk about the news. The news is really depressing. Hopefully the two of you share similar political beliefs, but if not, you might end up having a worse date than the first. Try to keep it light.
  8. If the first date was awful due to things out of your control, try to joke about it. Sometimes it’s just not your night. If you did everything right but picked a place that gave you both food poisoning and then got stuck in traffic during a thunderstorm on the way back, it’s OK to joke about it. Say something like, “If we overcame that, we can probably overcome anything.”
  9. Have a back-up plan just in case. It’s never a bad thing to be extra prepared. Put a lot of thought into what you want to do and what to do in case it all goes sour. Try not to waste too much time thinking up alternate suggestions because that’s always a little frustrating for everyone involved. Show your date that you’re prepared and determined to make sure this date goes perfectly.
  10. Don’t try hard to find chemistry if it’s not actually there. Maybe the date was bad because, at the heart of it, you just aren’t as compatible as you hoped. Or, maybe your online interactions are just way better than your in-person actions. It doesn’t mean you still can’t be friends and have a fun time. It also doesn’t mean that chemistry won’t grow with time. Just be realistic about what’s actually happening between the two of you.
  11. Stay positive. Positivity is one of the most attractive characteristics you can have. Nobody likes dating someone who’s down all the time. Make sure to radiate happiness on your second date, especially if you weren’t your best self on that first date.
  12. Leave judgment at the door. Maybe your first date was awful because you judged him before actually getting to know him. If you’ve been dating a lot of duds recently, it’s possible that you made the assumption that he’d be just like the rest. If you get a second chance, try hard to see him for who he is. He deserves a fair chance.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.