If you’ve been dating for a while, you know that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince. Or more likely, you have to swipe left and right, meet someone for a drink and realize you never ever want to kiss them. The fact is, if you want to be in a relationship, you have to go on a lot of dates. And if you’re going on a lot of dates, that means you’re going to unfortunately experience a lot of bad dates. That’s just life. People always say you shouldn’t take things too seriously and just move on when you have a less than stellar first date experience, but that’s definitely easier said than done. Here’s how to actually shake of a bad date, just like our love guru (Taylor Swift) intended.
Remember your Worst Date Ever.
We all have one. That guy who insulted us for an entire two hours straight. The one who rescheduled a bunch of times and then had the nerve to be late. The one who straight-up requested a hook-up ASAP or talked about himself non-stop. Whenever you go on a bad date, just think about the fact that it’s probably not your Worst Date Ever, and you’ll instantly feel a thousand times better. It can always be worse, right? Somehow that’s super comforting.
Share your stories.
Our BFFs make our worlds go round and they can make the process of searching for love a lot more tolerable. Text your girlfriends and head to a bar to swap your worst dating tales. Or write about your less than amazing dates, whether for a website or your own personal blog (or even your own personal diary if you’re old-school). Tell one person or a million, just make sure you tell someone. You always feel better when you talk about something instead of just letting it slowly eat you alive.
Indulge in some pop culture therapy.
Whether you swear by T-Swift’s love-advice-in-song or are still mourning the end of Friends, the first thing you need to do after a bad date is take your mind off it. Watch a sitcom or a silly reality show or read a juicy mystery novel. You’ll be reminded that fun still exists in the world, no matter how dull your date was.
Take a break or jump right back in.
Sure, these two things are total opposites, but that’s kind of the point. Sometimes you need a serious break from dating and other times you want to go on another date pretty soon so you can definitely forget about your most recent one. Listen to yourself and be kind. You’re not a loser if you need a month to just chill out, focus on work and see your friends. And you’re not desperate if you want to line up a few dates because you’re so focused on finding The One. It’s all good.
Break a sweat.
Exercise gives you endorphins, and happy people don’t kill their husbands. Remember the fabulous pink world of Legally Blonde? Follow Elle’s super sage advice and check out that barre class you’ve been dying to try. You know that you don’t exactly feel your best after living on junk food and not moving from your bed or couch, so working out can only make things much better. You want to not dwell on your date so anything that can take your mind off it is a good idea.
In a good way, of course. Analyze the date and think about your performance. A date can feel like a job interview, which unfortunately can’t always be avoided, so consider it the same as if you were trying to land your dream job. Did you try too hard to be funny and it didn’t come off all that natural? Or were your jokes totally on point and he was just humorless? Did you ramble and cut him off mid-sentence or were you a perfect listener? We can always grow and learn and change, so think of your bad dates as learning experiences, and you’ll always be glad you went, no matter how bad the outcome.
Think about what qualities you want in a partner and whether this guy had any of them. Maybe he seemed pretty awesome but there were one or two things that were total turn-offs (like he’s a frequent smoker and/or has zero career motivation). This is always a good idea because then you will be way more prepared the next time you venture out to a bar in your fave date outfit (you know you have one).
Feel like the pro that you are.
You’ve gone on so many dates you should totally have a degree in it by now, so why not act like you do? You’re a pro by now and you know what makes a good date and what makes you want to run away screaming. You should be proud of all your bad dates because a.) you don’t act like a damsel in distress who will accept any behavior from the opposite sex and b.) you’re willing to hold out for the right person. Those are all huge pluses.
Fill up your calendar.
Take yourself on dates or spend time with your friends and family. The busier you are, the less you’ll worry about still being single or whether you’re ever going to meet a nice guy. Don’t save all your free evenings for dates that might be fun but might go nowhere at all. If you have a clear head about the whole thing, you’ll end up with what you want.
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