Terrible First Date? 3 Ways to Own It and Move Forward

terrible first date

You set yourself up perfectly. You signed up for several dating sites and racked up the messages. You had great conversations, and you were witty, funny, and flirty all at the same time. 

You finally decided to set up a date, but the date sucked. You could scrap the entire thing and move on to the next one, but you really like this person, and if the dating gods are listening, you’d love to go out with them again. 

Don’t toss them aside just yet. Even after a terrible first date, you can still get another shot, and here’s how to go about it. 

First-date jitters are a thing and can lead to awkward moments. Your stomach gets tied into knots, and your body is pumped full of adrenaline, so you have a drink (or four) to calm your nerves. It’s a disastrous setup just waiting to happen–and in this case, it does. 

On first dates, you’ll either cringe or blush, but some moments will keep your head spinning with embarrassment.

It doesn’t matter if you make one or many mistakes on your first date. We can show you how to recover successfully, move on, and up your chances of getting a second date. We’ll give you ways to do it.  

laugh it off

1. Laugh It Off

Whether you care to admit it or not, there are some hilarious “terrible first date” stories out there. Could yours be one that you tell at your engagement party?

You never know if an embarrassing moment might turn out to be a moment of endearment that allows your date to see your sweet, vulnerable side that can potentially make them fall in love with you. 

Use a post-date text to mention the embarrassing moment and laugh about it. When you ask them (or they ask you) for the next date, you can impress them with more of your “only human” antics. 

let it go

2. Let It Go

You messed up. Big deal? It happens. Of course, you don’t want to hear that right now because you’re still embarrassed, but it’s true. 

Yes, you want to impress someone on a date, but you aren’t perfect, and they shouldn’t expect you to be. When you worry about something you have no control over, it only causes you to stress even more, so let it go. 

When you accept what happened, you own it. You understand that you’re perfectly imperfect, so now you can move on. If your date can’t let it go, that’s a good sign that they take things too seriously, and you wouldn’t want to be in a relationship like that, would you? 

do over

3. Attempt a Complete Do-over

If you’re looking for a second chance, ask for it. Don’t decide that you’re going to hide in the Himalayan mountains for the rest of your life just because you embarrassed yourself on a date gone wrong. 

Dating is not for the weak. If you want to survive this dating dog-eat-dog world out here, you must persevere with courage and strength. 

You have to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and say, “Yes, I made an idiot out of myself, but I’m here to redeem myself, dammit, and no one is going to stop me!”

Or, you can simply ask them out on another date. The worst thing they can say is “no.” And even that’s not a big deal because you can hop back on your favorite dating sites and find someone better! The critical takeaway is that it’s never that serious.


Just remember, you are not some automated robot. You’re human. A terrible first date can be humiliating, but it happens to all of us. It isn’t the bad date that makes or breaks us; it’s how you respond. So, you can either hide away until Christmas or own it and move on. Your choice!

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