So you went out on a first date with someone and it was a terrible experience. It happens to everyone at least once.
However, just because you had a bad experience on a first date doesn’t mean you should give up on meeting people altogether.
If you learn from your bad experiences you become a better person, and next time your first date can be the best night of your life.
Don’t Expect Too Much
One reason why your date may not have gone the way you had hoped for is because your expectations were too high. You can’t expect sparks to fly as your eyes meet for the first time across the table over a bowl of pasta.
Nor can you believe that you will spend the night talking to your date about your life, the sun will rise, and you will know you have met the person of your dreams.
A first date is a way to meet someone and have a good time. You can’t expect anything more from the encounter than that. If you enjoy one another’s company enough to set another date, that is fine; if you don’t, that’s fine too.
Relish the encounter for what it is, not what you wish it to be.
Don’t Underestimate Small Talk
A first date is not the time to talk about politics, religion or how many kids you hope to have one day. These are conversations best left for down the road, assuming there is a down the road for the two of you. Deep conversations can be uncomfortable, so that leaves small talk.
There is nothing wrong with small talk, especially on a first date. It helps break the ice and make your date more comfortable.
Balance The Night’s Activities
Because you don’t want to have long and meaningful conversations on a first date, it’s wise to suggest activities that are more energetic. A movie is a fine venue for a first date, but other activities are perfect as well.
Bowling, skating, rock climbing or bike riding may be a fun way to enjoy one another’s company without forcing long bouts of uncomfortable silence.
Don’t Assume The Feeling Is Mutual
You may have had a fantastic time and can’t wait to see your date again, but you may find that he or she doesn’t feel the same way. Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there or it’s only one-sided.
When that happens, don’t push the other person or try to make him or her like you.
If it happens, it happens, but you can’t force a relationship. If the other person doesn’t want to arrange a second meeting, just end the evening amicably and remember the good time you had.
Don’t Assume It’s A First Date
What constitutes a first date is different for everyone. When you arrange a meeting with someone make sure the two of you are on the same page regarding your expectations.
If the other person seems nervous about calling it a date and just wants to go for coffee, then let him or her set the pace. If you don’t apply pressure, he or she may be more willing to consider going on an official date with you in the future.
Not every date you go on will be perfect, and first dates are especially difficult.
However, if you keep your expectations in check, keep the conversation light, and try to do fun activities that take the pressure off, you’ll have a better chance of enjoying the occasion.
When you make sure that you both have an understanding regarding whether the outing is a date and only move forward if both parties want to get together again, you increase your odds of having more terrific dates.