How To Fix A Bad First Date: Must-See Tips & Advice

A good first date is hard to come by, especially with all the mounting pressure of wanting to make a good first impression. Sometimes things just don’t go well, and before we know, we find ourselves in the middle of a bad first date that’s quickly falling down the tubes. A lot can happen though, and all hope is actually not lost. Take a look at these 10 ways to save a bad first date when it goes from 0 to 100 real quick!

1. When You Have Nothing In Common

emma stone bored

When the conversation goes stale after just a few minutes, try adding in an activity that will hopefully encourage more convo. If you’re at a brewery, try playing a board game. If you’re at a bar, play a trivia game on your phone. If you’re unable to play a game, use other people to help ignite the convo. Create your own game where you and your date people watch for a few minutes and then create stories or faux convos. Keep it going for as long as you can.


2. When You Can’t Hear One Another

A loud bar or restaurant will leave you and your date with nothing but sore throats from yelling and tons of frustration from having to say “Huh?” every two minutes because you can’t hear each other talk. If you notice that the bar or restaurant you chose is particularly rowdy and a bit too loud, suggest a new location sooner rather than later.

Arrive at your date a few minutes early to scope out the place and get a good sense of whether or not it’s the right place to have a first date. If it’s not, look up a quieter coffee spot or restaurant nearby or ask your date when they arrive if they have a second preference.


3. When You Make A Mess All Over Yourself

This one is all too familiar for the accident-prone people of the world. If you avoid wearing white and light colors because you always spill something on yourself, find that you trip and take tumbles more than the average person or are known for your accident prone catchphrases like “Oops” with your follow up apologies, going on a first date can go from bad to worse quick when there is a good chance you’ll spill something on yourself or worse–your date.

If you make a mess on yourself during your date, the best thing you could do is acknowledge it with a joke or a quick declaration and move on. If you spill something or make a mess on your date, quickly and kindly apologize and offer to pay the tab or next round. If you really are into the person and want to make amends, offer to take them shopping and get them a new shirt or have it dry-cleaned.

Above all else, make sure you DON’T make a big deal. We’re all human, and these things will happen. The less you focus on it and move on, the better it will be. Also, carry a spot treatment pen on you.


4. When You Don’t Find Them Attractive

Unless you’re being catfished, don’t abruptly and rudely leave your date in the dust. If you’re meeting someone for the first time in person, understand that while they shouldn’t look completely different from their photos online, they may look slightly different. Don’t freak out if you’re not 100 percent attracted to them physically, give the date a shot and see if you two can develop a connection first.

If you find that you like them as a person but just aren’t feeling them that way, suggest that maybe you both continue your relationship as friends. Don’t lead them on. If you find that they bring nothing to the table and you can’t even see yourself being friends with them, cut the date a bit shorter than you usually would.

Before you head out, let them know that while you are sure that they are a great person, you’re just not interested in pursuing anything further with them and wish them the best before your exit. Don’t lead them on into thinking anything will come of things, not even a friendship, especially if you have no plans of speaking to them again. Be respectful and direct without being rude.


5. When They Bring Up Their Ex

This is a big no-no for obvious reasons but sometimes it happens and your date brings up their ex on the first date. The key to getting around this flub is to consider the capacity and the context. One or two passing mentions could be an attempt to put their dating history out there and gauge the type of relationship you’re looking for.

However, if you find that they continue to bring up their ex too often during the date, let them know that you notice they keep bringing up their ex. If they don’t catch the hint and continue to bring them up, consider that they may not be over their ex or even ready to be on a date with you.


6. When They Talk To Too Much

Everyone wants to feel like they have a voice, and a date who doesn’t let you get a word in because they are too busy monopolizing the convo is a huge turnoff. If you find that you’re date is talking a bit too much (and only about themselves), ask them, if they have any questions for you and see if they catch the hint. If they don’t and they continue to talk about themselves, make a bee-line for the nearest exit and declare the date a wash.


7. …Or They Don’t Talk Enough

Awkward pauses are going to happen sometimes during first dates, mainly because they are somewhat awkward. However, because this is your first date, too many long pauses or spaces in the conversation could also mean that your date just isn’t the talkative type.

During a first date, there should be plenty of conversation happening because the relationship is brand new and you’re trying to get to know the person as much as possible. However if you find that your date is a bit too quiet or answers questions with just a few words, consider that they may just be awkward in social situations or shy.

Continue to ask questions and take note of whether or not they ease up a bit throughout the date. If they don’t, try to go on a few more dates in different settings to see if there is any change. If there isn’t and you do not see any improvement, this person may not be the one for you, especially if you’re the chatty type.


8. When They Pick A Fight With You

There are some people who just love to have a good old fashioned debate even if it’s the first date. It’s often said that first dates should be kept light and fun and to avoid talking about controversial topics to avoid an argument or heated debate. However, some people just aren’t down to follow social norms and before you know it you may find yourself in an argument or offended by something your date said while you both were intensely debating something.

If this winds up happening take a step back and collect yourself. Let them know that you disagree and if you feel comfortable, explain why. Try not to get offended or upset if they say or do something you don’t agree with 100 percent either. Consider how serious it is before you write them off or declare them as ignorant.


9. When They Are Cheap AF

When it comes time to pay the bill, offer to pay and if your date insists, let them treat you. If you prefer to put in some for the date, offer to split the bill if that makes you more comfortable. If you find that your date is a penny pincher and doesn’t want to pitch in, pay it all and let them know that they have the next one or don’t go on a second date.


10. When They Are Rude AF

Believe it or not, you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat the wait staff at a restaurant. Having good manners, being kind and not being cheap when it comes to tipping are all good signs that your date is well mannered and not a complete a**hole. However, if your date is obnoxious and rude, degrading and insulting and doesn’t leave a tip for no good reason, you don’t need a reason to skip out on the jerk early. Do yourself a favor and bounce.

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