If you use online dating regularly to meet new people, you’ll have experienced more than a few bad dates. There are so many things that can ruin a first date, everything from finding out your date lied on their profile to being ignored by someone who plays on their phone all night.
Let me share my most recent disaster. I had a great first date with “Ian” who had many similar interests and enjoyed having fun like myself. His life was very full and he had two kids. I couldn’t wait to see him again, but his busy schedule prevented this from happening for almost three weeks! Well… what happened was… I started to fantasize and develop expectations because I really really liked him. And during these three weeks, my anxiety reared it’s ugly head and boiled over on the date.
Many of us struggle with dating anxiety and letting too much time pass before a first (or in my case, a second date) can really cause you to behave unlike the real you. For me, I drank too much and talked like I was on speed. Yep, it was bad! I apologized and tried to explain what sometimes happens, but he let me go gently back into the dating pool. I felt ashamed for a couple days until I remembered what helps me get over a bad date.
Talk about It
But not just with anyone, a trusted friend who can relate to your experience. Shame can only survive in secret, so when you talk about it, it will begin to wither away.
I like to journal, especially when things aren’t going so well in my life. It can really help get it out of your mind and stop you from ruminating and asking all those if onlys and what ifs.
If a date doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, write a list of five things you learned… what you do want, what you don’t, what made the date work, what didn’t. From my last experience, I learned it’s not a good idea to wait three weeks in between dates.
Focus on You
Try not to let a bad date affect your dating confidence. It’s okay to feel sad for a day, maybe a few, but remember no one else is responsible for your happiness. You were likely fine before you met this person and you’re still fine. Continue to do what makes you feel great.
Go On a Date
Sometimes after a date goes south, my first instinct is to disable my account either out of shame or anger or disappointment. But the best remedy is to go on another date soon after. It helps you move on and reminds you there are plenty of other people that are interested in you.
I like to think if a date doesn’t work, it’s just not meant to be. What helps you get through dating rejection.