Horrible First Date? 5 Ways To Own It For A Second Chance

Terrible first date? Want another shot? Here's how to go about it.

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The first-date jitters can lead to some awkward moments. Your stomach is in knots and you’re full of adrenaline — it’s a setup for some disastrous-but-human moments.

These are the moments that make you cringe or blush on a first date, and keep your mind spinning with embarrassment.

If you made a mistake — or several — on a first date and want to know how to recover, move on, and hopefully get a second chance, there is a way to do it!


Was it that you snorted mid-laugh? Smiled all night, only to later discover a piece of food wedged between your teeth? Fell off your chair? Or was it the comment that somehow offended your date, despite your good intentions?

Let’s face it ... you’re only human. You’re going to have a bad date at least once in your travels.

Regardless, here you are, reeling with anxiety and trying to figure out how to redeem yourself. Hold on, my friend. Let’s think this through.

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Here are five ways to recover from a bad first date and get asked out on a second date:

1. Just let it go

So you “messed up.” Of course, you want to impress someone on a date, but you aren't perfect. Worrying about something you can’t change will only cause more stress.

It's best to just accept what happened, own that you’re perfectly imperfect, and move on. If your date can’t let it go, trust that the right partner for you will see your human side and give you a second chance.

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2. Laugh it off

You have to admit, there are some great "first date gone bad" stories. Could this be the one you tell at your wedding?


You never know if a moment of embarrassment could turn out to be the moment of endearment that helped your date see the vulnerable, human side of you that they fall in love with.

You could laugh at it in the moment, or in a post-date text. When you ask for your next date, you can plan to impress them again with more escapades.

RELATED: How To Get Out Of A Bad Date Without Being A Total Jerk

3. Accept your flaws

Accept yourself, and re-frame what happened into something positive. Consider the type of partner you want in your life.

Do you value someone who expects perfection (and likely views themselves as perfect, as well)? Or would you prefer to fall in love with someone who sees you as you are, imperfections and all?


Having a high degree of self-acceptance will help you attract partners who are non-judgmental, accepting, and compassionate.

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4. Freaking own it

If you catch yourself in a bit of embarrassment or awkward conversation on a date, instead of ignoring it, talk about it! Chances are, your date is just as nervous. 

They may even feel relieved to discuss it. Again, wrapping an awkward moment in some humor is a good way to lighten the mood.

5. Try a do-over

If you want a second chance, ask for it. Don’t make the decision that you’re going to hide in a cave for the rest of your life because of a date gone wrong.


Dating can be tough. If you want to survive it, you have to persevere with strength and courage. What do you have to lose by asking?

Remember, you are human, just like everyone else. A bad first date can be a source of humiliation, humor, or bonding between two people.

You create stories about your experiences.  A little self-compassion, honesty, and humor can go a long way when you’re searching for love. 


And who knows? Your moment of embarrassment and your courageous, authentic approach to handling it could be the quality that your date finds most attractive.

So, what are you waiting for? Redeem yourself by asking for that next date.

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Chelli Pumphrey, LPC, is a dating coach and therapist who wants to help you become more confident and empowered in your relationships.