How To Recover From A Terrible First Date

Some first dates just totally suck — actually, a lot of them do. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy doesn’t deserve another chance if you really like him. Sometimes a bad first date is just a fluke and shouldn’t be the end of the road, but when it’s so disastrous that there’s no recovering from it, you’ll have to shake off that terrible experience and move forward. Here are some ways to move on after a really terrible first date:

  1. Ask for a do over. If you kind of liked the guy but just felt like you were off your game, why not ask if you can do it again? Maybe your awkward behavior is impossible to recover from or maybe he felt like he was the one being awkward and would love the chance to try again.
  2. Go on another first date with someone else. Sometimes the only thing we can do to shake off an absolutely terrible date is to go on one with a different guy that hopefully won’t be quite so bad.
  3. Call an emergency girls’ night. Hell, you can even leave a bad date to meet a friend for a drink if necessary. After all, what can give you perspective faster than your girlfriends and half a bottle of wine?
  4. Remind yourself it’s him, not you. Sure, you were there too, but if he was just a jerk, there’s nothing you could have done to prevent his rant against your political preferences, anyway.
  5. Apologize if it’s appropriate. If your first date went really badly because you messed up in some way, maybe just throw him an apology even if you’ll never see him again. It’s good to clear the air, in any case.
  6. Remember that he’s just one guy. The weight of a million bad dates can feel pretty heavy, but separate them out in your mind and realize that for every bad date, there’s totally a great one out there waiting for you, as well.
  7. Embrace your sense of humor. If you take a bad first date seriously, it’s just going to be that: serious. Find the humor in the situation, which makes everything feel better and might even help you convince the guy that the first time was a fluke and that things could get better.
  8. Switch things up. If you guys are going to go out on a second date, don’t return to the scene of the crime. Instead, do something totally different. If dinner didn’t go well, maybe taking a hike or hitting up a movie will lighten things up a bit.
  9. Don’t put too much pressure on the situation. If you go into a do-over date with too heavy of a do-over mentality, it could go south pretty quickly. Instead, just think that it’s been about as bad as it could possibly get, so there’s really only room for things to go up.
  10. Move on. If you try to get a second date and the guy isn’t interested (or if that one goes wrong), just move on. Sometimes people just make up their minds and that’s that. You’ve got to trust his instincts the same way you would want someone to trust yours.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog