“I’d like to have four to six children; I intend to be a stay-at-home mom; I want my husband to be home every night in time for dinner; and he has to help out around the house.” That’s a sentence I was able to weave into one of the first few dates with the guy I was dating.
To say that was a bad date, would be an understatement. In hindsight, I probably should have kept the conversation light. But I was on a mission. And at the time, I felt like I did not have time to be bothered with someone who wasn’t seeing the same vision for my life.
Well, fortunately, I didn’t turn my date off completely. The good news is that I bounced back, and a couple years later, we got married.
Considering my history of bad dates (and recovering from them), I wanted to chat with you today about how to bounce back. I feel like bad dates fall into one of two categories:
- you like the guy, but you embarrass yourself or make the wrong first impression
- or the guy is a complete knot head, and it makes you want to give up on men
But I’m here to tell you not to give up. I know what all the statistics say about black women and dating, but I believe that whatever God has for you…is for you. So if your first date was a major fail, here’s a few tips on how to recover from each category of bad dates.
If you like the guy…
Talk with a Positive Friend
This one is super critical. Don’t just call the first person that comes to mind, talk with a friend that has a knack for seeing the silver lining in everything. Nine times out of ten this person, is going to do everything to help you feel better. Once you’ve restored your confidence, you’ll have the poise to reach back out and try it again.
Feel the Burn
Take a few minutes to analyze what went wrong. At first glance, sometimes we blow things out of proportion. Perhaps it wasn’t all that bad. If it was, then take notice of the things you’d like to do better. If you get a second date, go into it with a positive attitude and concentrate on those elements about yourself you wish to showcase; and don’t harp on the mistakes of the last date.
Acknowledge that you probably embarrassed yourself, but it was only because you wanted to make a good impression. This will take some vulnerability. Reach back out to that date, and in a playful manner, let your date know you were super embarrassed and would like another opportunity to alter that impression. Your honesty may come across as refreshing and even endearing.
But my girl, Brenè Brown, says vulnerability is how relationships grow. (Well, obviously, she’s not really my home girl. But in my dreams me, Brenè, and Oprah sit around, chat and drink chai lattes. You know, Super Soul Sunday style). She says:
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness.” – Brenè Brown
Now, if the date tanked due to the guy being a jerk…
Again, Talk with a Positive Friend
She is going to do everything to help you feel better; and prepare you to get back out there and start dating again. She’ll also tell you all the reasons you are awesome and deserve somebody better. Listen to her.
Don’t Let It Define You
Just because the guy was a knot head, doesn’t mean that’s what you deserve. You are worthy of a man that is:
- and honors your value
Sometimes, we project things on ourselves that don’t belong i.e. all the guys I date are losers. Therefore, I must be one too. Stop it. That has nothing to do with who you are.
Forget about it
I’m not sure if this verse has ever been used with regards to dating, but I think it applies. In the book of Philippians, Paul tells the people what he’s REALLY good at—forgetting the bad stuff behind him.
“But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13
That’s a good lesson for life and for dating.
The only way to really move forward is to look forward. I dated more than my fair share of stooges before the real deal came along. But we can’t let those bad dates define us. We must keep moving and looking forward.
BMWK, what’s another way to bounce back from a bad date?