Girl’s Best Friend: A Bad First Date Shouldn’t Mean He Doesn’t Deserve a Second

I consistently acknowledge how hard dating can be. It’s so difficult that there is an entire industry focused on improving our dating chances. From relationship blogs, like this one, to matchmakers there are plenty of people out there telling us all how to find love. I think one very simple way to improve your chances is to maybe reconsider giving a not-so-great first date, a second chance.

About a month ago, my sister-friend went out on a disastrous first date. Everything that could go wrong did. First, the guy was thirty minutes late meeting her, he was held up at work. He is a lawyer and having practiced in a corporate firm myself, that scenario is highly plausible. Then, my sister-friend said the guy said some pretty “foot-in-mouth” things that put her off. And then, as if that weren’t enough, he accidentally tipped over a bottle of red wine right onto her light colored dress. It felt like a scene out of a movie and afterward she went straight home.

When she told me the story, she was merely joking around and had no intention of giving the guy another chance. I had a few simple questions about the guy. Turns out, he was an attractive man, who was successful, came from a seemingly good family, had never been married and had no kids. On paper, he was exactly what my sister-friend, who all of those attributes applied to as well, had been looking for. But, his missteps had turned her off and she no longer saw those qualities in him.

“You should go out with him again,” I said. As you can imagine, she laughed in my face promising that there was no chance in hell. I went on to explain why I thought she should. I think we put too many expectations on a first date. We’re all looking for the proverbial spark of love at first sight, and when that doesn’t happen, we get disappointed. Moreover, first dates are nerve racking and if you’re not the smoothest, than those nerves are on full display.

I challenged her to think more deeply about it. Was she looking for the smooth talker who would just be “quenching her thirst?” My thought was that her date was nervous and in true form created a comedy of endless errors. So, I made a deal with her: if she went on another date with him and it was a disaster I would never give her any more advice.

She took the deal and went on a second date – on a Saturday afternoon. The guy was far more relaxed and they got along well. Still, after the horror of the first date she wasn’t completely convinced until their third date. They’ve been dating since then and having a great time. I’m definitely a friend that will say, “I told you so,” and I did. However, I was much happier that my gamble paid off for her.

In the precarious world of modern dating, the first date may not be the best indicator of someone. So, if you find yourself on a comically tragic date, but with someone who seems pretty decent, he might be worth a second date.

Wishing you love and ceaseless joy! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.

Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.

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