5 Ways To Recover From A Bad Date
You’ve had a bad date. Depending on how you feel about the woman you went out with, this could be a big deal or just a regrettable experience that you can move on from. If it is the former, then it’s up to you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
You can recover from a bad date. Although there is a great deal of truth in the cliché that first impressions count, you should not assume that first impressions cannot be supplanted by second, third, and fourth impressions.
If you think she’s worth it, then you shouldn’t give up. Here are a five ways to recover from a bad date:
Your gut will tell you if a date is going poorly. After it’s over, you should reflect on where things went wrong. Assuming that the two of you are relatively compatible in your interests, temperaments, and personalities, you should look at the particulars of the date. Did you say or do something that created an awkward moment? Did you take her to a place that she found boring or uninteresting? Did you get on to a topic that sparked heated disagreement between you? Did you find that there was just no chemistry at all between you? The last of these can be the hardest to overcome. However, personal experience informs me that mental and sexual chemistry cannot be determined on a first date. Some women are naturally shy and reserved. I once went out with a woman who barely spoke during the meal, and when she did it was only in response to questions I asked; and even these were terse and pithy. I really liked her but thought I had made a hash of things. I called her the next day, and it turned out that she had a wonderful time: soon after she became my girlfriend. The bottom line is: know exactly why you think the date went badly and be willing to give yourself another chance.
You should always call or text the next day if a date went well. You should do the same if it went poorly. Texting is much preferable to calling in the latter case. You want to create a space in which the awkwardness of the evening can be dissolved, but you don’t want to wait to contact her again. Doing so will only allow the bad experience to settle and harden in her mind. You want to put yourself in a position to quickly replace a bad impression with a much better impression.
One of the best ways to recover from a bad date is to laugh at yourself. Light self-mockery will show her that you’re aware of the foibles that occurred during your first date. And that is likely to create the kind of sympathy you need to smooth things over, to the point at which she is willing to go out with you again.
It is a mistake to follow up a bad date with another date. Instead, propose a meeting that is date-like. Invite her for coffee or a lunch. If the weather is nice, ask her to meet you in the park for a stroll. I once asked a girl to meet me in a bookstore after what I thought was a bad date. I could tell that she was ready to get it over with as soon as she showed up. But she ended up really getting into it. We talked about the books we were interested in buying, which had the effect of warming her towards me. We had a coffee and a chat in the café that was in the bookstore and began dating seriously soon afterwards.
The lesson to take from the last point is that you want to do something that makes it easy to keep the mood light and relaxed. Planning another evening event—the old dinner and a movie—after a bad date is not a good idea. Repeating the conditions under which you gave her a poor impression of you is likely to revive those images in her mind. You want to put distance between that view of you and the one you want her to have. Meeting her during the day and doing something innocent and benign will allow you to create an atmosphere that is free of tension and expectations.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.