Does a bad first date equal no second date?



Before you meet someone face to face for the first time it is natural to have built a mental picture of them based on the information in their profile and anything else they may have told you. When faced with a new and unfamiliar experience we all try and anticipate what it might be like. This need to prepare can mean that the actual experience may fall short of our expectations because we were trying to anticipate something based on very little information. The good news is that even if the first date feels disappointing it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no hope of a relationship developing.

If your first date is a let down because of one of the following issues it is probably worth giving it a second chance because it is likely things will get easier as you get to know each other more.

They don’t look like they do in their profile photo

How someone looks is often the first thing you will notice about them and if you have only ever seen a photograph then the real-life version of someone can come as a bit of a shock.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, a photo is a static moment in time when someone may be posing for the camera – this is not how they will look all the time. Secondly a photo is of a moment in the past. Even if it was taken only a few days, or weeks, before you meet people change over time depending on many factors. Finally the photo someone has on their profile will usually have been selected because it is particularly flattering but no-one looks their studio best 24/7 – add in mannerisms and facial expressions and it becomes clear that photos don’t give a true indication of what someone will look like in person.

If you have repeatedly been disappointed by the appearance of your dates it might be beneficial to talk on Skype before you decide whether you want to meet – that way you will have seen a fully animated version of the person and have a better idea of whether you find them attractive.

If this is not possible and you feel disappointed by your date’s appearance on your first date   – unless you feel they have knowingly deceived or misled you – attempt to put your feelings to one side for the duration of the date and see them as they are rather than comparing them to how you expected they would be.

The date is awkward and conversation difficult

Often first dates are difficult because one or both people are extremely nervous. Nerves can affect anybody and can make them feel awkward and self-conscious. This anxious state will often have a detrimental effect on the flow of conversation and it could feel stilted and false.

Nobody wants to repeat a bad experience but if the discomfort of the date was caused by nerves then it is probably worth giving it another go. The expectation that if you are meant for each other then everything will flow and you will feel immediately comfortable in each other’s company is another unrealistic expectation that needs to be shelved.

You are two strangers meeting for the first time and, as such, things will probably feel awkward at first while you get to know each other. If you expect this on a first date you will be more at ease when things don’t go smoothly and the second date is sure to be easier. Six dates is enough time for all nerves to settle down and for you both to decide if there is a possibility of a relationship developing.

Circumstances beyond your control

A first date may go horribly wrong because of things that are out of your control – traffic jams, missed trains, bad weather, poor service or illness can all ruin a first date. Problems can always arise but it is not necessarily a sign that you were not meant to meet, just an aspect of the unpredictability of life which we all have to adjust to. How you both respond to adversity will be much more telling than if you only have perfect dates where nothing ever goes wrong.

Rather than be left wondering if you let an opportunity slip by because of fear, nerves or preconceived ideas of how everything should be, go on another date – and another if need be – until you are confident you can make an informed decision.

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