How to Follow Up On a Bad First Date

By: Jenn |

So you’ve completed the first few steps: you’ve signed up for online dating, you’ve messaged back and forth with a nice guy or girl, and now you’ve just had your first date. You had high hopes and expectations for witty banter and a charming evening and then things fell flat. The chemistry wasn’t there, the person you thought you had started to get to know turned out to be completely different in real life, and something was missing. It happens to all of us, so how do you handle it?

Option One

Don’t initiate contact. If you felt that something was off during your date, chances are the other person did as well. If neither of you makes contact with the other person, things can just dissipate quietly and both parties can move on. There is no obligation to send follow calls, texts or emails. If the other person contacts you once, don’t respond. I think polite non-action is okay, but if they call or text more than once, you need to pick up and let them down gently, which brings me to…

Option Two

Be honest. If your date is contacting you more than once, they’re clearly interested in seeing you again. Put on your grown-up panties (or boxer briefs or other undergarments of choice) and politely tell them you appreciated their time the other night but that you aren’t interested in going out again. Just rip that bandaid off quickly – it’s so much better than dragging it out. (For what it’s worth, I’m truly terrible at this. But you can be better!)

Option Three

Give them a second chance. If you had great conversations over emails and you were truly surprised that the in-person meeting wasn’t spectacular, you could give it another chance. Maybe the other person was having a bad day, or they were nervous or sick or something. There’s no harm in seeing if Round Two is less uncomfortable – you have nothing to lose but a couple of hours of your time, right? That’s a small price to pay if it means finding someone you love.