10 Women Reveal Why They Gave Their Bad First Dates A Second Chance

First dates can be either the best or worst thing ever, and you never truly know until you go for it. No matter how the chemistry is over text, things can shake out differently when you’re finally hanging out IRL. While it’s exciting to meet someone new, a first date is really all about reading the signs to decide if you’d like to see this person again. Are they easy to talk to? Can you feel a spark? And if the date didn’t go well, is it ever smart to give a bad first date a second chance?

Let’s face it. Sometimes, things just go poorly. After a disastrous date, the most obvious thing to do might be to send out the “wasn’t feeling it” text and move right along. We all want to avoid embarrassment when we can! But occasionally, a second chance is just what the relationship needs to be able to thrive. These women all decided, for one reason or another, to give their lukewarm first dates another shot. For a few, the results were totally shocking, and others are just plain relatable. Read on for some laughs, lots of cringe-worthy moments, and a few adorable twists and turns.

The Runaway
Stocksy/Thais Ramos Varela
I matched with this guy Riley on a dating app ... then agreed to meet Friday night at a bar near my home. He invites me to a table in the back, which happens to be full of a bunch of his coworkers ... Finally he suggests we go somewhere quieter so we can chat. We head outside and there's a car waiting. I realize that this is my out. 'Hey, so it was really nice meeting you, but I'm gonna go,' I say and start walking home.
Two blocks later, I hear someone running after me. I turn around and Riley catches up and begins profusely apologizing. Apparently that evening after work, his roommate's girlfriend of five years broke up with him, so he can't go back home because she is moving out that night. Riley says that he and his other roommate are just going to find a hotel. I tell Riley that there is no way that they are finding a hotel at 11 p.m. on a Friday that won't be expensive, so why don't they just crash on my couch instead?
I agreed to go on a second date because we had such strong chemistry over text message, and I felt like there were extenuating circumstances on the night of our first date. He was also pretty hot. For our second date, Riley took me to a Red Robin in the suburbs. We did not go on a third date.

— Natalie, 25

Dancing Queen
My parents met at the first annual MatzoBall, the Jewish singles' dance held on Christmas Eve. My cousin met her husband at the same dance years later. So when I finally went for the first time when I was 22, I felt like the pressure was on. I wound up meeting and dancing with this cute guy Dave all night, and he asked me on a date a few days later. It was a bust — without the glow of the dance, he seemed kind of pushy and not my type, and he insisted on showing me a really un-funny series of YouTube videos. I was bummed, but I felt like I owed it to myself to give Dave a second chance because of my family's history with meeting people at the dance. The second date wasn't any better than the first, and I haven't seen him since.

— Hannah, 25

Young Love
In high school, I asked out this girl. I thought she was really cute and I was still figuring out what I liked. I thought I liked her. I guess I never had the butterfly part of the crush feeling. The first date was kind of lukewarm. But I was excited that I had successfully asked someone out and they said yes, so we kept dating for a month.

— Julia, 20

Pasta Nightmare
Stocksy/Studio Firma
Not me, but my parents! My dad spilled red pasta sauce all over my mom’s white dress on the first date. She gave him a second chance, he forgot his wallet, and she had to pay. They’ve now been married 26 years.

— Marissa, 25

Where's My Juul?
Stocksy/Victor Torres

I matched with this guy on Hinge and he was super cute. We went to get drinks at the bar right across from my apartment (easy escape route if needed but also easy access if I liked him), so it was fine that he bought be a couple of drinks. We go back to my apartment and hook up three times! During the third time his Juul fell on the floor and he stopped and spent 25 minutes looking for it. He couldn’t find it and was pissed and left. He followed up a bunch of times to ask if I found it — no. I was over him at this point, but then I got drunk and he asked me on another date, so I went. Still not the one for me.

— Tatyana, 23

The Awkward Kiss
Stocksy/Sidney Morgan
After getting out of a long-term relationship, my coworker asked me out for drinks after work. I thought he was just looking for someone to sleep with… so by the end of the date when he hadn’t made a move, we got in his car and I yelled at him for not kissing me. Then I tried to kiss him but just kind of attacked his face. It ended weirdly. He didn’t call. Then about three days later, he asked me out again. Seven months later, we live together and are madly in love. It’s a joke we tell quite often to our close friends.

— Kristin*, 24

Second Chances
Stocksy/Victor Torres
I have a personal rule where I nearly always give a second date! First dates are full of nervous energy. Just about everyone is going to be weird or awkward in that situation, so it’s hard to truly judge if you would get along! By the second date we are both more comfortable and can give a better impression of who we really are.

— Victoria, 25

Arcade Bust
Stocksy/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
Our first date was during Lent, and I had decided to not drink during the week, and our date was on a Tuesday night. Because I wasn’t drinking, I decided to pick a fun date spot — Barcade. Turns out, Barcade is super busy on a Tuesday, so we couldn’t get to any games, and instead just ended up sitting at the bar and struggled to talk over the noise, leaving me feeling like our conversations were going nowhere. We had a quick kiss at the end of the night, and I remember walking away worried that I was going to have to tell him, and my good friend who set us up, that I wasn’t interested in seeing him again. I really only gave it another shot because I know my friend would have push back if I said I wasn’t interested in seeing him after only one date. For our second date, we went to a hockey game and had the most amazing time (especially since we’re both sports lovers). Now we’ve been happily dating for two years and I’m so glad I forced myself to go on a second date.

— Rachel*, 26

Not So Funny
Stocksy/Guille Faingold
This summer I went on a date with a boy that I immediately didn’t think would work out, but I decided to give him a chance. It was clear we had things in common, but the conversation was a struggle and he didn’t understand that I needed to go home and get to bed to get up in the morning for work. He asked me to get drinks shortly after and I decided to give it another chance. Things started out pretty much the same as the last date, but then got worse. He started bringing up his ex and told stories about times they had together, the turtle she gave him, and even about her mother’s boyfriend dying and finding it humorous. He then told me he was leaving for a two-month trip around Europe, so I took that as my cue to end it before things got worse.

— Erin, 24

A Ghost Returns
Stocksy/Viktor Solomin
We met on Tinder and went on our first date in fall of 2016. It was a decent date, but he didn’t really seem into it and afterwards I never heard back from him. Fast forward to summer 2018, and I get a text from a random number apologizing for ghosting me and asking for a second. I didn’t have the number in my phone anymore so I was like, 'Um, who is this?' And it was him! So we went to drinks and now we’ve been dating for six months.

— Emily*, 27

Even though a second date might seem like a weird choice at the time, you never know what it might turn into! At the very least, you’re bound to walk away with an interesting story, and isn’t that sometimes what life is all about?

*Names have been changed.