Worst Mistakes on a First Date and How to Bounce Back

Online dating has made meeting people easier than ever , but it also means that one little mistake can make the difference between a second date and moving on to the next match. From forgetting your wallet to kissing at the wrong time, a first date is a minefield. Here are some common first date failures and how to recover when they happen to you.

You are late, you are late for a very important date

You should always leave early for your first date (or any meeting for that matter). Even so, it says, “I am the world and I don’t care about your plans,” and life can get stuck. way. When you fall behind despite your best efforts, all is not lost. There is more you can do to stay in the good graces of your date.

Vanessa Marin , a licensed marriage and family therapist and Lifehacker member, invites you to send an apology message as soon as you realize you are running late . Again, not when you are already late, once you realize the inevitability of being late. If you can, give them an estimated time of arrival and don’t calculate how long they will have to wait for you. As Adrian Fernham, Ph.D. , professor of psychology at University College London and Norwegian Business School, explains, people don’t mind waiting that long if they know how long they will have to wait, and if their wait ends up being shorter than they expected. Marin also recommends apologizing again when you arrive:

Apologize as soon as you get there. You can even use the situation to set up a second date if the first goes well. Say something like, “I really owe you for being late today. Will you let me do this by asking you on a killer second date? “

Dating columnist and Kotaku member Dr. Nerdlove suggests you dig a little deeper if you get a second chance. Check Waze or Google Maps to see what traffic is approaching your meeting time (Google Maps even estimates departure times and your commutes using historical traffic data) and take a few minutes to get familiar with the terrain, streets and possible zones for parking so you don’t have to try to find a spot when you arrive.

If you are running late due to something really bad happening (your car breaks down, you are asked to work late, family emergency, etc.), just cancel and reschedule the schedule. You don’t want to keep them waiting for more than 15 or 20 minutes maximum, and you certainly don’t want to meet them when you’re in a bad mood because the job has taken over you, or dirty because you had to change tires. Just remember to let them know as soon as a problem occurs so they can still plan on doing something else. Politeness goes a long way.

You’re not sure if it’s a date or not.

It’s hard to have a great first date if you don’t really know what the date is. This is less of a problem if you met the person through an online dating service (obviously you both came to find a date), but it’s a fairly common problem when you’re out with friends of friends or even spending time alone with someone. who is already a friend . In any case, try to sort it out as quickly as possible, says Marin. If you can get clarification before the meeting, do so. If not, don’t let yourself take too long before asking about it when you meet. It’s embarrassing to bring this up, but it will only get worse over time, suggests Marin:

After you’ve greeted and settled in, say something like, “I really wanted to spend more time with you, but I have to admit I wasn’t sure if we were hanging out as friends or if it was a date.”

Be prepared for any response. If they say yes, great. If they say no, at least you know the pressure has been relieved. You’d better talk about it as an adult.

You have nothing to say or you speak without interruption

A good first date should feel like good radio, not dead air. Of course, there will be commercial breaks here and there, but if you don’t look each other in the eyes while the love song is playing to the audience, you guys should be actively interacting with each other. You are trying to get to know each other , and you cannot do this if you are not talking.

So, when your old friend was awkwardly silent as a third wheel, Nerdlove suggests you use a few open-ended questions, for example:

  • Tell me about …
  • How are you…
  • What inspired you to …
  • What is $ SUBJECT like?
  • Why…
  • What’s the best about …
  • You … / You …

When they answer your questions, practice active listening and wait for your turn to speak . It doesn’t hurt to rephrase what has been said to make sure you get it. As Nerdlove explains, you can use their answers as a springboard for other topics:

You can almost always move on to another topic by saying, “you know, that reminded me,” and tell a little about yourself to make them reciprocate … Just don’t go into interviewer mode, alternating questions with statements or referring to what they should have. to tell.

Of course, if you’re drawing a blank space, Marin says that a polite compliment can be an easy way to break the silence. Something simple, for example: “Sorry, I just got distracted by your beautiful eyes, and lost my train of thought.” This example is a little silly, but you get the idea. Don’t overdo it and don’t make yourself creepy.

If the opposite happens and you can’t shut up, that’s okay. Once you know this, Marin invites you to admit it and quickly brush off something like “Wow, that’s more than enough about me. I am much more interested in learning about you. ” Then you can move on to the question. Likewise, if you start talking too much about your love life or dating than you think you should really reveal it on the first date, stop and say something like, “This is probably a little more information than you need. at this stage. point! “Laughing or smiling can help relieve tension and then ask them something about themselves. Chances are you really want to know about them, and their conversations take the pressure off you, so to speak.

There’s just no chemistry

You meet, have a nice chat and … nothing. It’s okay, it will definitely happen, especially when you first meet people. Nerdlove explains that if there is no chemistry, there is no shame in calling it early at night:

This is one of the reasons why going for drinks or coffee is better for a first date than dinner – it’s less time-consuming, and it’s easier to say excuse and leave when you’re not in the middle of lunch. Just understand that everyone and their dogs knows about the “emergency call” trick. It’s less offensive to say, “Hi, it was nice to meet you, but I have to go.”

You may think that you are behaving well, enduring the rest of the date, but in reality, you are just wasting everyone’s time, and worse, you can make the other person think that you really enjoy their company, when in fact you are. don’t. t. If you want to spare their feelings as much as possible, Marin advises you to remain uncertain and say something like, “I think you are a great person and I want to be honest with you. It’s more like a friendship between us. Thank you for spending time with me today. “

In addition, both Marin and Nerdlove agree that you must be completely honest about your future plans. Don’t say “I’ll call you” or “We have to do it again sometime” just to avoid embarrassment. When we asked Lifehacker readers about their biggest mistakes on their first date , many commenters said that they agree to a second date when something went wrong on the first date . Compulsion doesn’t work for anyone.

You chose a bad place

If you do your homework with sources like Yelp, Foursquare, Google Reviews, and even these free alternative weekly newspapers about your city, you’re less likely to pick a bad spot. (Pro tip: Nerdlove recommends that you pay close attention to what is being said reviewers about noise level). However, even a decent establishment can challenge you. For example, a highly rated bar with a “cozy, relaxed atmosphere” is great for a date, but unexpected special events like karaoke, trivia parties, reserved parties, live music, and comedy nights (avoid comedy clubs at all costs) can derail yours. plan quickly.

“This happens more often than you think,” says Nerdlove, so always have an emergency plan ready. This way, you can smoothly move to another place without asking the awkward questions: “So where now?” conversation. Personally, I have an ever-growing list of featured places on Yelp that I know will be interesting dating spots if our first pick doesn’t work out.

If you don’t have a back-up plan ready, Marin suggests that you make finding a new location an adventure game:

Browse a list of highly rated Yelp or Foursquare locations nearby. If you open up, say, 10 results, ask your interviewee to randomly pick a number between 1 and 10 and then move to that location.

If you can’t leave your chosen location (maybe it’s a show, or you’ve paid cover and don’t want to waste your money), Marin says this is a great opportunity to see how bad the experience was. Make up stories about the people around you or joke about the strange atmosphere. A bad experience can also be a chance for a second date. Say something like, “I gotta have a great second date for you,” and try to think again about how to do it next time.

You forgot your wallet or wallet

You are having a great time with your date, when a check comes in, you reach for money and it goes away. What are you doing? For starters, Marin says you should apologize profusely, and seriously. Whether you plan to pay for everything or not, you have now forced them all. Explain that it was an accident and try to find a way to fix it. If they have an app like Venmo or Square Cash , for example, send them your share locally. If they understand, use this as an opportunity to plan a second date and offer to pay for everything next time.

If you want this never to happen again, Nerdlove invites you to put together an emergency date kit that you can store in your car. Keep a supply of cash (for such occasions) as well as other useful items such as antihistamines, decongestants, mouthwash, indigestion medications, and travel deodorant. Basically, you need a service dating belt so that you are always ready for anything.

You start talking about your ex

No matter how hard you try to block them, exes leave a trail, and it’s only natural for them that they show up at some point. Chances are, you’ve spent a lot of time with them, so you have stories to share with them. However, talking about your ex is a quick way to end a date. In fact, it’s one of the biggest red flags that people pay attention to when dating.

If you’ve caught yourself talking about your ex, the only thing you can do is admit it and change the subject. Marin recommends turning this into a compliment before changing the subject. Say something like, “Sorry, I shouldn’t talk about my ex on the first date.” You are such a good listener! Looks like I’m comfortable talking to you about anything. ” Then you can ask them a question or change the subject. This trick lets your date know that he actually interests you more than your ex, and that he is also a good listener.

You go for a kiss at the wrong time (or don’t go when you need to)

The night is over and you are about to part ways. You decide to kiss and then they back off like a spider on your face. “Don’t panic,” says Marin. Just keep it simple, sorry and let them explain if they want to. They may have a no-kissing policy on the first date, or maybe the timing just wasn’t right. Do not take it personally and do not attach much importance. If something gets embarrassing, Nerdlove recommends that you admit it and recoup it, as if it’s okay:

People will usually look to you for an example of how to react to things; unless you make it weird, they won’t make it weird. Don’t back down and put it on. The more attention you pay to the error, the more serious it becomes.

By apologizing and brushing it off, he turns the embarrassing mistake into a nightly flash that everyone will forget about.

So when should you kiss? It depends on the date and how well things are going. The botanist notes that reading body language is the key to knowing when to kiss someone:

The eyes and mouth are the two biggest concessions. someone who wants to kiss you or wants to be kissed will draw attention to their mouths by licking or biting their lip, especially if you are near them. They will also look in your mouth. One of the surest signs of interest in kissing is what’s known as the triangle gaze: their eyes move from your eyes to your mouth and back to your eyes.

If you are getting signals like this, now is probably the safest time to try kissing, especially if you are at the climax of a date. However, make sure you move slowly. It’ll be more romantic and exciting, and as Nerdlove explains, they’ll have time to brush you off or turn the cheek to you. If the date is drawing to a close and you think you missed the opportunity to kiss, Marin says you can play it off in cold blood by saying something like, “I feel like I just missed my moment there. May I try again? “


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