If you're someone who's had more bad first dates than good ones, or you know a couple who had a horrible first date but ended up dating for awhile after it, don't be too surprised. It's safe to say almost everyone has had an icky first date at least once. If you had a less-than-great first date with someone, but you still want to see them again (second dates can be so different, and they were so cute!), figuring out the best text to send after a bad first date can be pretty nerve-wracking. But fret not! I spoke to two dating experts, and their insight into the perfect text to send post-horrible date is beyond helpful.
"No one has a perfect first date every single time," Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, tells Elite Daily. "Sometimes, you just don’t show up at your best, and it’s totally OK if you’d like a second chance, especially if you feel like something truly could be there between you two." While the budding relationship is in its earliest stage, Edwards emphasizes how important it is to be honest with your date. Acknowledge your letdown and commit to giving your date a better second first date, he says.
Edwards recommends sending your date a text saying, "Hey, I don’t know about you, but I have to ask, that first date felt a little off, right? I feel like I didn’t show up at my best and if you’re down, I’m totally open to giving this first date thing another shot. What do you say?" You never know what could come from that one, simple text.
Even if you weren't your best self, or something personal came up that you were trying to save for date number four, at least, that's OK. "Just because something happened does not mean all is lost," Laurie Davis Edwards, love coach and founder of The Worthy One, tells Elite Daily. "Your date may or may not have even noticed." So, don't be so hard on yourself if you feel like you messed the date up. Chances are, you didn't. And if for whatever reason you still feel like you did, you can always ask for a second chance.
"We tell ourselves so many stories about what someone else feels and thinks," Davis Edwards says, "yet we only know if we ask and hear them. If you do want to address it via text, it’s best to stay on the lighter side and include some humor, if possible." As tempting as it may be to throw in some self-deprecation about how you were "so awkward," she recommends against it. "Don’t call yourself out."
It can be easy to blame yourself after a bad first date, especially if you know you weren't on your A-game, but it's totally normal to not always be on your toes. "You sometimes become too hard on yourself," cyber dating expert Julie Spira tells Elite Daily. "I believe in lifting the pressure off and sending a post-date text to lighten the load. The best way to do this is to think about something positive that was said on the date, or the one thing you both might have in common." There was probably something the two of you enjoyed talking about. Spira recommends texting your date something about whatever it is the two of you might've bonded over. "Remember to keep it simple and say, 'Thx for meeting me tonight. Can we push the restart button and try again?'"
If your date was awkward or didn't vibe with you on the first date, consider giving them the benefit of the doubt. After all, wouldn't you want the same from a date if you weren't at your best? Even if you weren't romantically attracted to them, but you had great conversational chemistry, maybe you could try and be friends. "There’s nothing to lose by reaching out," Spira reminds us. "Instead of obsessing about what went wrong, think about the reasons you decided to go on the date. Everyone deserves a second chance."