Damage Control Tips after a Failed First Date

We’ve all been there, lying awake at night, rehashing all the ways in which a recent, most anticipated first date, has crashed and burned. It would be easy to move on if there had been no chemistry between the two of you, but you know there was.

The date failed not for a lack of promise, but because of a curse the universe brought down on you that night—a curse that made you an hour late, or made you comment on the waitress’ ass, then compare it to your ex-girlfriend’s. And while the “curse” might just be that you’re an idiot, even idiots can redeem themselves with a little effort.

Send ONE Thoughtfully-Worded Message

Don’t text her a string of one-line pleas, asking her to give you another chance. Persistence of this kind is neither cute, nor romantic. Take some time to think about what you want to say, then say it in a clear, grammatically correct way.

Basically, you want this message to give her the best impression possible, because any additional attempt you make to reconcile will come across as annoying or just plain creepy.

Be Genuine and Vulnerable, Not Defensive

Tell her what you had hoped the date would be like. Express your regret that things didn’t work out, then ask her out again. Avoid saying things like, “I’m a good guy, and I deserve another chance” or “I thought you were into me. What happened?” These statements place the blame on her in a kind of whiney and defensive way that will only put her back up.

Pro tip: Any time a guy says, “I’m a good guy,” he sounds like a douchebag in disguise. Keep your message short and straightforward with a focus on moving forward.

Apologize but Not Too Much

If the date bombed as a direct result of something you did or didn’t do, it’s important that you acknowledge that. Apologize in a genuine, nondefensive way, then move on. Don’t circle back at the end of your message to say something like, “Once again, I am SO Sorry.”

She doesn’t want to pity you, and unless you murdered a puppy there’s nothing to be that sorry about—everybody makes first date mistakes. Remember, you can’t make her accept your apology if she doesn’t want to. If saying you’re sorry once doesn’t do it, just move on.

Add a Touch of Humor

Damage control is a serious business, so you’ll want to lighten it up by pointing out the humor in the situation. Rather than reiterating your apology as you sign off, try ending your message with something cute like, “Maybe next time you can stare at your boobs all night. Definitely nicer than looking at me.” Actually, that’s kinda cheesy and probably too self-deprecating, but you get the gist.

Let us know what witty sign-offs you have used for damage control.

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