Going on date is always a hit or a miss: Either you've met your soulmate for the next two hours, or you're silently praying your apartment building is burning down and the firefighters need you on the scene. We're going to talk about the latter one right now. There are ways to turn a bad date into a good date if only you put some extra effort into it. I know it's not the most encouraging situation when the date across from you is droning on and on about their Angry Birds stuffed animal collection, or are sitting mutely while fidgeting with the pretzel sticks on the bar table, but that could be for a plethora of reasons. Maybe they're nervous and are rambling on, maybe they're intimidated by your dazzling smile and lost all capabilities of the English language, or maybe they're shy and don't want to mess up their chances by talking? See, they might still be an amazing person, just the first-date jitters are getting in their way.
So if you're a patient, understanding type of person and want to help them through it, there are a couple of tricks you can use to see if you can resuscitate this whole thing. Below are seven tips on how to turn around a bad date into a good one.
1. Change The Location
Are you finding it really hard to keep the conversation going at the bar you're at? Or maybe the restaurant you chose is putting the two of you in a weird mood (is it too high-pressure?) The nice thing about that is, you can just call for the check and find a new place to go! Don't be afraid to switch things up — maybe the act of just putting on your coats and walking together down the block to your new spot can get you feeling more chummy and more comfortable to chat.
Steve Harvey shared with the Huffington Post, "Having a hard time keeping the conversation flowing at a bar or restaurant? Go outside for a walk or suggest something active to do. It can be difficult to keep talking to a complete stranger sometimes, and having a distraction may be just the thing to help you both loosen up." The suggestion to ditch the whiskey bar and get low-key tacos instead could do just the trick.
2. Treat The Person Like A Friend
People are usually nervous on a first date, and we all express those jitters in different ways. Some of us break out in nervous splotches, others wring their hands underneath the table, while others can't think of a decent thing to say all night. If you feel like your date is a dud, this might be what's going on.
So to turn it all around, look at them like you would a new, shy friend. Feel compassionate for their butterflies, and try and take them out of their shell. Harvey recommended, "Be in the moment, ask genuine questions and try to connect on a human level.." You never know — your date might already think they're bombing and their discouragement will only make things worse. Acting genuinely interested in them and urging them to keep going might give them the confidence boost they need to act like their true, fun selves.
3. Take Some Of The Pressure Off Of Them
When we get asked out on a date, a lot of us assume if it flops it's the other person's fault. After all, we're charming and interesting and hilarious. It couldn't possibly be because of us. Nuh uh, sister. This is a two-person game, and if the date is failing keep in mind it's partly your fault. That'll make you more inclined to do something about it and turn it all around.
Lifestyle writer Diana Pearl from Marie Claire pointed out, "Try to not put the responsibility of making the date a 'success' on his shoulders, a common habit of women." So what can you do? Is the date a little dry? Share a funny experience. Is it too one-dimensional? Ask them what was the coolest thing they did last year, or share one of your most rewarding traveling stories. Are they coming up with small talk type of questions? Take charge and ask something you'd really like to know about them, on a more personal level. Remember, it's on both of your shoulders.
4. Don't Let Them Steam Roll You In The Conversation
I can't tell you how many dates I've been on where it seems like the guy isn't a lick interested in who I am or where I've been. And I've got stories! I have so much to share! There are moments where I silently decide I don't like them because of it and all wedding bells disappear from the table, but then I remember that all I have to do to change that is speak up.
How easy is that?
Pearl explained, "If you're ticked off because your date won't give you a chance to speak, don't get quiet and moody about it, a behavior Chrisler dubbed 'resentful niceness'. Rather than stewing silently, change the subject and bring the conversation back to you, so you have an opportunity to share. Chances are, he's just nervous and is blubbering away in order to fill any potential awkward silences." Just because he doesn't ask you a question doesn't mean you can't share your story or experience. Just put it out there.
5. Change Up Your Body Language
Is the date feeling off? Do you feel like you two aren't as friendly as you should be, or are missing each other when it comes to connecting? Well, body language is a powerful thing, so try and arrange yourself in a way that shows you're open, friendly, and want to be pals. Lifestyle writer Joshua Duvauchelle at lifestyle site Modern Mom suggested, "Try to spark a connection through your body language by making lots of direct eye contact, smiling, keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground — this conveys openness, while crossing your legs makes you appear more withdrawn — and leaning slightly forward when your date speaks." Other tactics include: Have your feet pointed at your date (and not at the door,) mirror the way they're sitting (it makes them feel like you're on the same page,) and have your palms facing upwards rather than down to show openness (but do it in a natural way — don't look like you're about to break into the Our Father.) This obviously won't fix everything, but it'll help get you back on track.
6. Dial Up The Excitement
If nerves or self doubt are the date's issue, let them know you're enjoying their company by acting like it. Put a little oomph into your gestures, talk with some excitement in your voice, let the laughs roll off easily, and react enthusiastically to what they're saying. Why do I suggest this?
Because a couple of years ago I was that shy shlub that could barely get through an hour of drinks without breaking out in blushes. One time I had a date that was so easy going and so expressive in the ways he reacted to my stories that I instantly felt easier. And with that new comfort, I was able to untie my tongue just a little. Try it out — act like you're enjoying yourself and that you're happy to be in their company, and they just might loosen up.
7. At The Very Least, Use It As Practice
Alright, fine. So the two of you aren't vibing, and no amount of resuscitation is going to make you want to go on a second date. Instead of glowering over the fact that you shaved your legs for nothing, use it as a nice evening away from the couch and a chance to practice your charisma skills.
Pearl pointed out, "Every date is a chance to learn something new and to hone your conversation (and flirting!) skills for the next time." So even if you don't want to see them next week, still act as charming and flirty as you would on an ace of a date. At the very least, you can see how many times you make them blush with your smile. Wink, wink.
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