How to Recover After a Bad First Coffee Date

by Leah Campbell

Dating is hard, and making a good first impression is sometimes even harder. When you find someone you think you might like, the nerves can occasionally get the best of you, inhibiting your ability to be yourself. As you walk away from a bad first date, you might be left wondering -- is there any way to recover now?

Offer an Explanation

The sooner you acknowledge the dismal events of your first date, the better. If nerves were the main culprit, don’t be afraid to let your date know that. Anxiety surrounding a first date can make it harder to allow your personality to shine and can sometimes even result in physical symptoms such as sweating and shortness of breath, according to Dr. Galen Buckwalter, vice president of research and development at Reaching out to your date and apologizing for your own awkwardness might actually be endearing in a way. Even if there was something else inhibiting your good mood, such as a bad day at work or issues within your family, offering up an explanation to your date can at least pave the way to a second chance.

Give Yourself a Break

It isn’t uncommon for sparks between two people to take a while to build according to clinical psychologist Paulette Kouffman Sherman, author of “Dating from the Inside Out.” As much as you may have wanted this first date to end with both of you walking away smitten, don’t be too hard on yourself if the outcome was just the opposite. There is still time to build that connection and to get to know each other on a deeper level. Now that the awkward first date is out of the way, perhaps trying again will allow you both to feel more at ease.

Use Humor

Rather than allowing an uncomfortable interaction to linger, use humor to indicate you too noticed the awkwardness. Send your date an e-mail or text soon after, and poke a little fun at yourself and the situation. This can help to ease any discomfort which may remain between you, according to New York psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert. Show your romantic interest that you have a sense of humor and that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

Request a Second Date

The only way to find out if there is a second chance in your future is to ask. Let your crush know you would like a second date, and come up with something the two of you have already discussed enjoying, suggests dating coach David Wygant. For instance, if your date mentioned a love for hiking, bring up the possibility of checking out a trail just outside of town together. A coffeehouse is not the ideal atmosphere for every personality type; if your first date was in one, you may find that going for a considerable change of scenery brings out the best in both of you.

About the Author

Living in Alaska, Leah Campbell has traveled the world and written extensively on topics relating to infertility, dating, adoption and parenting. She recently released her first book, and holds a psychology degree (with an emphasis in child development and abnormal child psychology) from San Diego State University.

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