Went On A Bad Date? Here Are 5 Mantras To Recite To Lift Your Spirits Again

What makes a date bad? Honestly, it can be a wide variety of factors. Maybe the person is straight-up rude. Maybe they have a few too many shandies and start to get sloppy. Maybe the conversation is just dull AF. Regardless of the particular brand, if you went on a bad date, one thing's for sure: it can be pretty discouraging. After getting your hopes up about that cutie from the office or a match on your dating app, your fantasies have been shattered, and now you’re feeling — well, a little bit jaded..

First off, rest assured that you’re not alone. If I had a penny for every time one of my friends texted me to share their dating horror stories, TBH I’d be probably chipping away at my grad school loans. There was the guy who, on a first date, showed up straight up hammered to meet my friend Kelsey, kept shouting “GO SOX” out of nowhere and then passed out right on the bar while she was in the bathroom (#BostonBros). Then there was the guy who asked my roomie out for dinner, took her to get $6 burritos, didn’t offer to pay for hers and kept disappearing to the bathroom for long periods of time. Honestly, I could go on and on.

A bad date can leave a sour taste in your mouth, that’s for sure. But I have five words for you: You will get through this. And when you’re really struggling to recover from whatever horror show you went through, try repeating these mantras to instantly lift your spirits.

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

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In almost any unfortunate scenario in life, a sense of humor will help you survive. So consider this: Now, you have a hilarious story to keep your friends entertained at your next hangout. Besides, when you tell your tale of trauma, they’ll no doubt have some of their own similar stories to share. Then you can all bond about how brutal it can be out there. Remember: The more terrible the date, the greater the potential for laughter.

Sometimes Romance Needs A Second Chance

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Of course, if your date in any way treats you poorly, you have every right to avoid seeing them again (in fact, I highly encourage you to do just that — and while you’re at it, delete their number). But if you were genuinely excited for your date and it just felt a tad awkward or “off,” you might want to consider giving it a second go.

There are lots of valid reasons why a date can go south — for example, if someone is getting over being sick, super nervous, or just had a particularly brutal day at work. A second chance will allow you both to more accurately evaluate whether the last date was a fluke, or whether it’s simply not going to work. To be clear — in no way are you obligated to give someone a second chance. If you’re just not feeling it, feel free to move on. But if your instincts tell you that there were other factors that sabotaged your date, consider trying a re-do.

At Least You Learned That [Insert Lesson]

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Any time something goes wrong in your life, there’s usually a lesson to be learned. And if you can view your bad date as an opportunity to learn something, it won’t feel like you wasted your time.

For example, maybe you identified a particular behavior or personality trait that you find unattractive. Maybe you learned that doing drinks on a first date puts too much pressure on keeping the conversation flowing. Alternatively, maybe you learned that you’re actually really good at handling a negative situation with grace. Look for those lessons, and consider them gifts. After all, now you can use that knowledge to your advantage on the next date.

On To The Next One

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It’s really easy to let a bad date get you down, but rather than focusing on what happened in the past, redirect your attention to your future.

Use this mantra to try and remind yourself that there are plenty of fish in the sea, and this bad date was merely a blip in your exciting journey to finding love. Not only that, but that date means you're getting one step closer to finding someone who is right for you. If you feel particularly discouraged by your bad date, you can certainly take a week or two to reset. But once you feel like you’ve regained your optimism (with the help of these mantras, of course), then it’s time to get back out there with your heart and mind open.

It Wasn't Meant To Be

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How many times have you looked back on something that didn’t go the way you wanted, and realized why? For example, you may have felt devastated when you didn’t get the job you were eager to land — but when you got an even better, higher paying one months down the line, you were able to see that the previous opportunity wasn’t meant to be. It can be super helpful to view dating the same way. A bad date may feel disappointing in the moment, but weeks, months, or years from now, you’ll realize that simply wasn’t the right person for you.

Bad dates are not avoidable, unfortunately. But if you can maintain the right perspective, you can take them in stride. Try not to be too hard on yourself, or the other person. Moreover, make it a point to view these dates as learning opportunities — with a lot of potential for laughter, of course. And when you need a little help in shaking it off, simply whip out one of these mood-boosting mantras to bounce right back.