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How to recover from a bad date

As a Dating Coach, I know that there’s nothing more depressing than a bad date. You were really excited about meeting but things didn’t go the way you wanted.

The thing about first dates is they’re part of a trial and error process. Sometimes we just can’t help things failing – whether it be a lack of chemistry, awkward silences or just saying something completely moronic.

Is there a way to redeem yourself after a bad date?  I had an Asian client recently who’d pursued a lady for a long time.  He was thrilled when she agreed to go for drinks with him and tried his best to make a great first impression. Unfortunately, half way through (and after such a good start) he made a joke which had clearly insulted her, and for the rest of the evening there was a frosty atmosphere. Afterwards, he continued pursuing – trying to undo the damage he had inadvertently created – but he was unsuccessful and I had to tell him to stop contacting her.

The point of the story is that sometimes you just have to accept failure and move on. If there was such a great connection in the first place, would she really have broken it off over one bad joke?

It’s even worse if you thought the date went great, never to hear from that person again. Rejection can really be a kick to your confidence. Consider these ways to deal with a bad first date instead of turning to tissues and ice-cream:

Don’t panic and rethink

Chill out and ask yourself: how do you think the date went? Did you talk a lot or was there silences? Did you check your phone too much or say anything inappropriate?

Be honest with yourself

If you gave it your best, maybe it was your date who put a downer on it? Maybe there was just no spark between you. If the problem wasn’t you, there’s not much you can do to correct it.

Put things into perspective

If you know you acted in a way you are not happy with, text or call and apologise. You are not perfect, no one is.

Don’t get clingy If contact has taken a nose-dive, don’t chase too much or demand attention. Give your date some space, keep busy and see what happens when you reach out again after a week or two.

Analyse the ending

Think about the end of the date.

Were you happy/unhappy it ended? Did your date say they would call/text you? Did they seem keen to see you again? Was there a hug or kiss goodbye? If it seemed to go well, and you haven’t heard back, perhaps they just got busy and feel too bad now to contact you at all.

If you haven’t heard from your date after a while, just reach out and say hello. There’s no harm in being friendly and there’s nothing to lose.

The most important thing I can tell you if things don’t work out is simply to learn from your mistakes and move on.  Get yourself back out dating again and you never know what might happen.

Remember – there’s not really such a thing as a “bad date” as you’ll be able to have a funny story to tell your friends.

Happy dating


James Preece is one of the UK’s leading Dating Experts and has over a decade of experience helping bring singles together. If you are interested in getting some personal dating coaching from James, you can find out more about him HERE

By Dating Expert James Preece

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