6 Dating Disasters That Actually Make You Stronger

Wouldn’t it be nice if the next guy you date ends up being “The One”? It’s a nice thought, but things rarely work out the first time around. That’s not a bad thing – it just means you have a chance to learn from your mistakes and figure out, over and over and over again, what you don’t want. After all, some of our worst dating experiences teach us the most… at least that’s the idea, anyway.

Being stood up. No girl likes wasting an hour of her life sipping an overpriced, watered down vodka cran and glancing at the door every five seconds, only to end up putting that drink on her credit card and making the trek back home. At least if the guy made an appearance, she’d have something to report back to her roommate at the end of the night. But nope, not in the cards. This may seem more like a non-experience, but the fact that even you, wonderful you, can be stood up, will remind you to stay humble. Nothing is guaranteed, and all you can do is pull up your bootstraps and trek on.

A horrible blind date. You’d think your friends (and in desperate circumstances, your family) would have some idea of what you’re looking for. But let’s face it, blind dates rarely turn into relationships. He may be as dull as dishwater, but look at you, you’re putting yourself out there! A terrible date will always be a good story later, and you can see this one as a warm-up date. Practice your one liners, hone your small talk skills, and by the time you are on a date with an actual contender for the position of Future Husband, you’ll be unstoppable.

Getting cheated on. Depending on how serious your relationship was, finding out your boyfriend’s a cheater is going to affect you in different ways. If he wasn’t taking it as seriously as you were, it’s better to know now. If you thought you guys were solid, the infidelity revelation is a hard pill to swallow. Whether you decide to stay together or not (and either choice is okay), going through something like this and coming out the other side of it fully intact is something to be proud of. How you handle it will teach you a lot about yourself, and what you can and cannot forgive. We all think we’d dump a cheater immediately, but sometimes forgiveness is just as viable an option.

Being tricked by his Tinder pic. A dating app that gives you literally nothing but appearance to go on? Big shocker that people alter their pics just to up their chances of getting a date. They probably think that once you get to know them, you won’t even notice they’re 20 pounds heavier, 10 years older, and balder than their pics. Starting a relationship out on a lie is never a good idea, but maybe this will teach you not to get sucked into the shallow abyss that online dating can sometimes be. Give everyone a chance, because it’s true – looks aren’t everything.

Running into an ex while on a date. Think about it: you probably put some level of effort into your appearance, you’re enjoying a social life, and clearly you aren’t at home pining after him, so embrace this opportunity! Stay calm, introduce your date and act like this is no big deal. Because it really isn’t… unless you’re still hopelessly in love with your ex. You may want to get on top of that if you want this whole dating thing to work out. What can you learn from this? How to roll with the punches, because this is dating, and it isn’t going to get any easier.

Embarrassing yourself. This could mean anything from the dreaded wardrobe malfunction to downing a few too many of those vodka crans to tripping over your own feet on your way out of the restaurant. A date is supposed to be about making a good impression, and if you go home thinking your really blew it, don’t worry. You still have options. A decent guy isn’t going to write you off because you did something a little dumb. Swallow your pride and send him that “thanks for the date!” text anyway. If you bury your head in the sand in shame, he’ll never have the chance to show you that he’s a keeper by never mentioning how you probably shouldn’t wear high heels before you actually learn to walk in them.

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