The First Date Sucked But I Gave Him Another Chance — And I’m So Glad I Did

On our first date, we got off on the wrong foot. I thought he was weird and we didn’t really gel, but I couldn’t deny I felt an attraction, so I asked him out for a second date and he accepted. I’m really glad I did — here’s why:

  1. I was cutting guys off too soon. According to my friends, I’m a tough cookie to crack when it comes to men. That sounds like a compliment but it’s not really. See, the smallest thing a guy does can put me off them — for good. Once, I refused to go on a date with a guy because he said he wasn’t creative. Since I am, I thought it was better to cut my losses right away. I was the queen of rejecting guys, but with this one, I didn’t want to be like that anymore. I wanted to broaden my horizons and see what was out there.
  2. I was too focused on my dating “shopping list.” I was way too picky for my own good. I knew what I wanted in guys down to hair color, height and even what shoes they wore. It was a little ridiculous. I know it’s good to have high standards, but being so fussy that it caused me to delete and block guys who had potential meant that I was erasing any chance of finding the right guy. I couldn’t help it: this guy made me curious, so I decided to follow my instincts instead of the “shopping list” I had in my mind about what a guy should be like.
  3. I was seriously attracted to him. He had such soulful eyes and a really gorgeous smile, but it was more than that. There was greater chemistry between us. I knew that if I didn’t give him a chance, I’d regret it — even though my friends all said he wasn’t my type.
  4. Most people deserve a second chance. I won’t say that everyone deserves a second chance — toxic psychos definitely don’t — but this guy sure did. He’d seemed quite shy on the first date and he had weird hobbies like collecting spiders (eek, major arachnophobic here) that did put me off, but I wanted to know more about who he was, not what he did. Since he didn’t give off psycho signals, I thought it would be safe to go on a second date.
  5. First dates can be nerve-wracking AF. First dates can really suck. But we had survived and he accepted my offer of a second date, which meant that we’d broken the ice — phew! — and could get into a more relaxed sort of vibe to really get to know each other.
  6. It was refreshing. He wasn’t the type of guy I usually went for. He was into adventure sports and knew all these weird bands I’d never heard of. He liked skating and had loads of tatts and piercings. Still, chatting to him was such a breath of fresh air from the guys I usually dated. It was awesome to get to know someone from a different walk of life.
  7. We found common ground. Once we got over the fear of meeting someone new, we actually got on really well! He made me laugh loads and he enjoyed hearing my thoughts on things. We sat having coffee for almost three hours, chatting away like no one else in the restaurant existed. Although we were quite different, we got along which was intriguing.
  8. He had tons of depth. Okay, that’s enough for me to want a third date! Not only did this guy read, which is one of my favorite things to do, but he quoted poems. Swoon! He was quite a deep and sensitive soul, even if his love of snakes and tattoos told the world something different. I would never have known this if I hadn’t gone on a second date with him.
  9. He made me see the importance of digging deeper. It’s so easy to make a judgment call on someone just by looking at them, which is probably partly due to how much we rely on pictures in dating apps. This guy was proof that there are sometimes gifts lurking in guys who don’t seem like my cup of tea at first.
  10. Things didn’t work out, but… Before you think I’m getting to the point where we went on a third date and became a couple, proving opposites attract, sadly that didn’t happen. He wasn’t interested in me and started slow-fading me out of his life shortly after our second date. Yup, even though it went so well for both of us. Still, it didn’t matter — the experience was more important than the guy. It taught me that there were other types of guys out there who I might actually like if I gave them a chance.
  11. It was great to step out of my comfort zone. When I met this guy, I’d been single for almost three years and had been on a few dates that just were so bad, they didn’t deserve a second shot. This guy encouraged me to try something different and go on a date with someone I wouldn’t normally consider, which helped me grow. It’s so easy to fall into a comfort zone when dating, but if I wanted to get the relationship I desired I had to be willing to try different things. I don’t regret going on a second date with him even though we didn’t work out because I was proud of myself for daring to do something different. Onwards and upwards.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.