What To Do After A First Date When It Went Poorly

Updated January 17, 2023by ReGain Editorial Team

First dates, for the most part, are nerve-racking and can be very awkward. Whether you were set up by friends, dating someone you just knew, going out with a special friend, or maybe you're on Tinder dates, experiencing first-date nerves is normal. Most first dates are so awkward, to the point that people get excited when their dates go well. If you have noticed many of your first dates, don’t go as well as you would have hoped, don’t worry. First dates are all about first impressions and seeing if there is potential for a relationship. Just because a first date doesn’t go well does not mean there is anything wrong with you. It also doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your date. In fact, you two could still be compatible despite having a bad first date. You have to know what to do after a first date when it went poorly to know if a relationship is in the future or not.

Why Was The Date “Bad”?

Not Sure What To Do When You Have A Bad First Date?

Worrying about what a guy thinks after a first date is normal, especially if you think it didn’t go well. After you get home from a first date and feel it went bad, think about what made it go poorly. Was there a lack of things in common between the two of you? Were you unimpressed by your date and bored? Was your first date jitter overwhelming, and did your date feel it as well? Or was your date just rude? If you answer “yes” to any of these three things, you two may not be right for each other. If you went on a date and realized the person was not what you are looking for in a future romantic partner, it is normal for the date to go poorly. According to Peter K. Jonason and colleagues’ research, negative personality traits shown on a first date are among the top deal breakers reported by singles. If you feel like you don’t want to be with someone based on their personality, don’t worry. This is completely normal for you to feel, and you should trust your gut.

If you went on a date and both of you were very nervous but still got along well, another date in the future may be a possibility. Everyone has some level of nerves for their first date with someone. This is completely normal and understandable. If you feel this is why your date didn’t go well, be honest about it. Call or text the person you went on a date with and explain you were very nervous but had a great time. Hopefully, they will understand. For that to happen, you should really be good at knowing what to text after first date. If they do not understand, don’t worry. There will be plenty of other people out there who will understand your nerves on the first date.

After you have evaluated why you feel the date went poorly, think about if you would like to see them again. Without any influence or pressure from other people, do you truly want to meet the person for a second date? ChaminAjjan mentions that a first date is just a way to see if you have something in common with a new person. If you do not want to see them again, that is completely fine, and you should not feel pressured to go on a second date. If you want to see them again, try out the tips below to help fix what went wrong.

What To Do After A First Date That Went Poorly

  1. Let Your Date Know How You Feel

You don’t need to call them and talk to them for hours or text them a novel. However, if you know the date went bad and you know it was because of your nervousness, let your date know about it. Chances are they were just as nervous as you. Anxiety from being on a first date keeps a lot of your personality hidden away. It does take more than just one date to get to know someone well and see if your personalities complement each other. As you text your date and let them know you are sorry about the date not going well and because of your nervousness, they may see that as a strong and confident move. It takes a lot of courage to call or message someone after a first date gone wrong to apologize. This might make them want to schedule date number two. If not, then, of course, that person was just not meant to be with you. Don’t get down about that if that is the case, you are sure to find your special someone, don’t give up. If it wasn’t your fault that the date went wrong, don’t be afraid to give them a second chance.

  1. Don’t Overthink

Many people find themselves barely speaking on the first date-especially if they go to the movies. The date is a simple, “Hi, how are you?” and, “Bye, thank you for the date.” While it may not have been awkward at the moment as you were watching a movie, it can seem awkward looking back on it. This is also very normal and happens more often than you may think. Sending a simple text recommending that you two do an activity where you will talk more is a great move to make. If they text you this, always be willing to give second chances unless something made you never want to see them again.

It is a way to know if the awkward date was terrible, and you shouldn’t give it a second chance to look out for things you do not like. Things that someone does that show their true colors. Were they rude to the wait staff? Did they say mean things about certain people? If they say things that you do not agree with and know it isn’t something you can accept, don’t go on a second date. But, do not get caught up in overthinking about how you two didn’t talk enough and make that the reason you do not go on a second date.

  1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Instead of getting first date sparks, your first date went poorly. Don’t beat yourself up over a bad dating experience. You will likely experience a few bad dates if you are actively dating. This is completely normal and even expected. Don’t look at the failures as something wrong with you; laugh it off, and learn from the date. Figure out what exactly it was that made it a bad date and try to do better next time. If it was your date that made it worse, then take note of what they did that bothered you so you can look out for them next time.

After a first date, you may feel a hit to your self-esteem, as most people do. If you feel this way, take some time to heal and take good care of yourself. Watch your favorite movie, spend time with friends, and pick yourself back up. You don’t want one bad dating experience to hinder your future dates. So, be sure you take steps to get over the failed date before you go on another one.

  1. Communicate Your Expectations Effectively

Realize that how you communicate your expectations can have a large impact on how your dates go. If you can effectively communicate your expectations, you may find your future dates will go much better. Once you are better at communicating what you are looking for in a relationship, you will weed out some people you know you aren’t compatible with. This can take some time to learn how to do if you’re new to this, but you need to know what you are looking for in a person.

Be open and honest from the beginning. That way, you will find someone to date who is looking for the same things; if you are meeting your date for the first time while on the date, ask them questions. What are their plans and goals in life? What are they looking for in a partner? Are they looking for something serious or more casual? Asking these questions will help if there any awkward silences on a date, and it will help you know if you should continue dating the person. Ask open-ended questions that will help keep a conversation going. Maybe don’t bring up the subject of children, politics, or marriage on the first date, as this can be intimidating. However, if you already have children, you should let the other person know beforehand.

  1. Keep Trying

Not Sure What To Do When You Have A Bad First Date?

Do not give up after a bad first date. Give it some time and see if a second date will occur with that person. If you know for sure you don’t want to give that person a second chance, move on. Don’t stress about it; laugh about it. Laugh it off by yourself or with your friends, don’t dwell over something as small as a first date. If you go on a second date with that person, then things might go a bit smoother next time around. Take it easy, be relaxed and try to be more yourself. Hopefully, they will also be comfortable and reveal the “true them,” so you two can get a better feel for each other’s personalities. If the second date isn’t an improvement, then you both can decide whether or not to keep trying.

What To Do After A First Date

So, what do you do after a first date when it went poorly? Evaluate why dating a friend goes bad. If you feel whatever caused the date to be uncomfortable or awkward, decide if you should go on another. Do not feel rude if you don’t want to see the person again. Just kindly let them know you are not interested. If you do want to see them again, communicate openly with them about your nerves and what you feel made a date go poorly. On your second date, try to manage your nerves, remember that dates should be fun, and let go of any awkwardness.

If you ever have trouble in your future relationship with your date, do not hesitate to go to couples counseling. Every couple faces issues at some point, big or small. Couples counseling is very effective for helping people communicate better, even with the smallest problems. Sometimes, counseling can be used as a preventative measure, so you do not experience large problems one day. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed counselor because your relationship is worth it.

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