Ask Single Dating Diva: Bouncing Back From a Bad Date

We’ve all been on disaster dates that we think will never end. Were you a bumbling fool? Did you overshare? Did you drop your food and/or your drink on yourself or (gasp) on your date? Did you pass gas? Did you get overexcited about a topic and insult your date? Did you go dancing and step all over their feet? Did you trip and fall? Did you go in for a kiss and miss ending up slobbering all over their nose? These things (and more) have happened to the best of us. Now, what if you really liked them, is bouncing back from a bad date possible? The question really lies in first impressions – do they really matter THAT much? One of my readers had just that problem and really wanted to try for a second chance.

bad-dateDear Single Dating Diva,

I recently went on a date with my dream girl. She’s gorgeous and intelligent and I couldn’t believe she actually went out with me! Needless to say, come the first date I was extremely nervous and really messed it up. Although I’m a great conversationalist, I was at a loss for words. I kept fidgeting and I was sweating. If that wasn’t bad enough at the end of the date when I went for a hug we ended up crashing heads. In retrospect, it’s kind of funny, but, I want to be given another chance. How do I do that? Is bouncing back from a bad date possible?


Hoping for a Comeback

Dear Hoping for a Comeback,

Thank you for your question. I totally understand how embarrassed you must feel. We all goof up sometimes. We’re trying to make a good impression and end up looking the fool. It’s usually because we really like the person.  All the things you mentioned are pretty rough, I can only imagine how you felt after! But you know what? You’re still standing and you’ve still got hope. That’s a great start! The question you had was if bouncing back from a bad date is possible, well, yes and no. I’ll explain.

Bouncing Back From a Bad Date

We all make embarrassing mistakes, whether it be on a date or anywhere else. Today I was at a meeting with a big group of people and I went to sit down and missed the chair. Needless to say I was so embarrassed. But, you know what I did? I sat there and laughed with everyone and made a joke about it.  I truly believe in making the best out of every bad situation. One of my favorite Paulo Coelho quotes (from my favorite book The Alchemist) is “the secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times“. You need to keep bouncing back from all challenging situations, that also includes bouncing back from a bad date. You have to get up, dust yourself off and move forward. Does that mean that you can redeem yourself with your date? Well, not necessarily, but you certainly can try.

Here’s what to do:

  • send her a message thanking her for the date
  • mention that you would like to see her again
  • poke fun at the disasters you encountered
  • hope for the best, but fully expect that she won’t answer or she’ll decline the offer

It could sound something like this:

Hello [girl], I hope all is well. I just wanted to thank you for a great time the other night. I was hoping to see you again (I promise to bring helmets this time). Take Care, [you].

Ask-Single-Dating-DivaYou just need to make it your own, you can even make reference to something you talked about. It’s really up to you. Put it out there and see what happens. If she doesn’t “bite” then just move on and take it as a “lesson learned”. Perhaps the next time you go out with a girl you really like try not to put too much pressure on it. Perhaps do an activity, this way you’re forced to focus on something other than freaking out about the person sitting in front of you.

Thank you again for your question and I hope this helps!

Readers: What do you think? Do you think bouncing back from a bad date is possible? What advice would you give? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


  1. If someone doesn’t want to see you again based on bumping heads, you don’t want em anyway! Though, chances are if they’re not interested in a second date, it has nothing to do with how jittery you were, they probably just were not into you.

    I think everyone gets a little leeway for being nervous!

    So yes, I believe you can come back from a bad date, so long as you were not rude, ignorant, or offensive, if there is a genuine connection.


  2. Great post! “Fall seven times, stand up eight” is my motto! I think this letter writer can learn something from his experience. Get beneath that nervousness. What are you so afraid of??? When you realize that rejection isn’t the biggest deal in the world, you stop dating from a place of fear.


  3. Unfortunately, it takes two to comeback from a bad date. You gotta be willing to try and they gotta be willing to accept it. The good thing is that if they’re not willing to give you a second chance, you probably dodged a bullet. I say don’t sweat it if they don’t give you a second chance. You don’t want to be in a relationship with someone so rigid anyway.


    • You’re right Aaron. If they don’t give you a second chance then they really weren’t that into you to begin with, or they really are rigid like you said which isn’t ideal at all.


  4. I think sometimes people get trapped in not knowing what to say because they’re trying to drum up conversation from scratch. I think any guy starting out on a first date could change the dynamic quickly by offering some gestures of chivalry right at the start. If picking her up, go to the door. If driving together, go to the passenger door and open it for her before coming around to the driver’s side. And when you arrive at the destination, politely ask her to wait in the passenger seat while you come around to open it for her and extend your hand to help her get out with ease. Open the door for her. Help her off with her coat. Pull out her chair at the table. Rise if she gets up to leave the table. Be gallant. It will make an impression and likely give her something to talk about with you.


  5. I’d fix the issue at the source rather than trying for a “comeback” right now. Sweating, silences and fidgeting has to be fixed up first and the best way to counter those actions is to get out there and date.

    The 800lb Gorilla? If she really liked you none of those blunders would matter anyway.

    Be careful where you point the blame when (if) she doesn’t/didn’t respond to your follow up note.


  6. I would give a guy a second chance in the circumstances mentioned here. His words make him sound like a genuine person, which must have been obvious to the woman he was on the date with.

    I would suggest he makes 100% effort to be natural if he gets a second chance. I would be uncomfortable spending time with someone who had me on a pedestal so high I got dizzy.


  7. It can be so frustrating when nerves take over. Poor guy. However, I have heard of women agreeing to a second date after a not so great first date. Usually, if they could tell the poor guy was just nervous, especially if they can still see potential in a relationship developing. Great article! Makes me want to find out if there is a second date!?


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