Dating can be many things — funny, awkward, heart-wrenching — but one thing that we can ALL confidently say about dating is that it's almost always unpredictable. Especially early on, on the first or second date, it's totally common to go from having the Best Time Ever to gaining a dating horror story for the books.
While that's a bit of a downer, it's important to remember that the opposite can be true as well — sometimes a date that's initially a complete disaster will surprise you by transforming into a seriously enjoyable experience.
We're big believers in not judging a book by its cover, so doesn't it make sense to not judge a date by a bad first impression? We think so. And let's be real: Bad first dates make for great how-we-met stories if you DO decide to give the person a second chance.
In the spirit of second chances, we partnered with Excedrin to bring you 7 stories of dates that started off as complete headaches, but ended up not being so bad after all.
Don't give up hope just yet.
1. The Bad Conversation Starter
"We met for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and things immediately went south when he brought up religion (a HUGE first date no-no). I trudged through, though, and we eventually found some common ground talking about music. It turned out to be a good conversation and a great view." -Jenny, 27
2. The Not-So Hot Yoga Date
"He suggested we meet for a non-traditional date activity, which happened to be hot yoga. Yikes. I was irritated at first but in the end got a fantastic — and free — workout. Score!" -Anna, 24
3. The Babysitter Blunder
"She arrived to our dinner date with a kid in tow...and explained that the family she babysits for had a last-minute emergency so she was helping out. At first I was annoyed that she hadn't just cancelled (it's a totally valid excuse), but we actually had a blast and it was super sweet to see her take such good care of the little one." -Mike, 29
4. The Concert From Hell
"We went to a concert, which, word to the wise, is NOT a good first date activity. We couldn't hear each other and people kept bumping into us. It got better when he yelled at a tall person for blocking my view (aww) and we started dancing like crazy when they played my favorite song." -Taylor, 26
5. The Stormy Start
"The day that we were supposed to meet up, it was a torrential downpour and surprise! I didn't have an umbrella. I suggested rescheduling but he said that night was the only night that worked for him. We both arrived soaked, but ended up having a fun evening. And bonus: He was cute! Even while drenched in rainwater." -Rachel, 28
6. The Waiting Room Romance
"We met in a hospital waiting room — yes, really. And trust me, it's better in the movies. She was visiting someone who was recovering from surgery and I was getting a brace put on a sprained wrist. We were both hyper-aware of how weird the situation was, but we chatted and exchanged numbers anyway. I guess that counts as a first date?" -Jason, 25
7. The Credit Card Crisis
"I got dinner with a guy I was dating and since he had treated last time, I offered to pay. Well, the worst happened: My card got declined. I thought I was going to die of embarrassment, but he was so nice about it and actually believed my story that my account must be frozen because I had been traveling recently. Check your bank account before offering to pay, people!" -Tracy, 23
This post is sponsored by Excedrin.