If you’ve messed up the first date, you are not alone. Read these three true stories from my clients.

1. “Alyssa” agreed to meet Allen in person after ten days of emails, text messages and phone calls. She was really looking forward to meeting someone who seemed good for her.

The problem was that shortly before she met Allen for coffee Alyssa had a huge fight with her mother. Her mother frequently mentioned that Alyssa’s younger sister just married a plastic surgeon. Alyssa’s mother said, “You’ve got to give up these teachers you date all the time.”

Allen was the Director of Admissions for a private high school. Alyssa taught math in a gifted program in the public schools. When she met up with Allen at the coffee shop she peppered him with questions such as: “Is there room for more advancement at your school? Do you think you’re ready to move on to a more prestigious school?”

The questions came out before she even knew what she was saying, and after about twenty more minutes Allen got up and left.

2. “Bella” did not have good luck with men. She didn’t read them well. She missed signs that other people caught almost immediately. Now Brad broke up with her because, in his words, she was a nag. Of course, Brad conveniently forgot that he was the one who drank too much and didn’t pay off his credit card.

About two months after Brad walked out, Bella’s friend fixed her up with Bob, a defense attorney whose wife died a year and a half ago. Bella’s friend thought that Bella, a prosecuting attorney, would make a great match for Bob.

When Bella went to an outdoor event with Bob, she was, in her own words, “too quiet.” She knew she had to keep in check her tendency to challenge people. She liked Bob a lot, but he didn’t call again, and she didn’t know what went wrong.

3. “Chad” finally broke up with his live in girlfriend. His friends told him repeatedly that she was a drama queen with a bad temper and that she would never change. They also told him he was too tolerant of her moods. But when she broke—“by accident” she said—a few of his favorite things, he called it quits.

He dated a few different women, but when he met Carla at a party, he was smitten. She smiled a lot, and he discovered that they both loved sports. But when they had adisagreement about which teams were better, he became overly insistent that he was right. Afterward, Carla did not return his calls, and he was surprised. He thought they were good together.

Do you know what three things Alyssa, Bella and Chad have in common?

-They all over-corrected their previous dating and mating behavior.
-They all were not mindful of their behavior.
-They did nothing to correct their bad first impression.

So, what can you do to fix your bad first impression?

Here are the top tips that have worked for the thousands of my clients and research participants. I hope they work for you.

Tips For Fixing A Bad First Impression:

1. After the Date, Ask Yourself These Questions:

-What “mindset” did I bring into this date?
-What previous love misstep was I trying to avoid?
-On a scale of 1-10, with 10 high, how anxious or pessimistic was I?

2. Forgive Yourself

Beating yourself up only accomplishes two things: It colludes in preventing you from dating and/or from dating “seriously.” Don’t drop out of the dating ring. You risk getting rusty at reading people and your own reactions to them. It also sustains a negative self-assessment.

3. Imagine in Your Mind What You Would Have Liked to Have Said in a Different Tone and With Different Words

Imagining and practicing are great ways to create new neural circuitry in your brain.Professional athletes, for example, often imagine different plays in their mind.

4. Talk to a Friend or Relative Whom You Trust and Respect

Ask for advice—not their opinion. Most likely, they will try to minimize your misstep. It’s better to ask for their help in explaining to your date what happened and in asking for a second chance. Rehearse what you will say or write to the person.

Many of my clients and research participants wrote creative Second Chance Requests.

Here is a great example:

Second Chance Request


This is a product recall for (your name)—and a free chance to try it out again.

I understand that you just had a bad experience with our product, (your name.). Unfortunately, the product that accompanied your time at (name the place) was undergoing unfinished stress tests and should not have been cleared. The product’s error was: (Explain in 1-3 short sentences the contributing circumstances. For example, you might write: The product (your name) was just coming off an unhappy relationship with a person who said the product did (too much or too little of _____)

(Your name) really liked you and is wondering if you would take this free offer. (Your name) is our best product—kind, trustworthy, and committed to improvement. Please do not miss out on this great opportunity. After all, most of us have had to undergo improvement.

If you are very uncomfortable about using this format, then write down and practice your own version.

5. Follow Through

Act in spite of your anxiety and doubts. You have more to lose by not contacting the person. Regard each misfire as an opportunity to become a wiser and more mindful dater. I hope you become emotionally brave and smart!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. LeslieBeth (LB) Wish is a nationally recognized clinical psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker LCSW #7132 FL, honored for her pioneering work with women and couples’ issues in love, life, work, and happiness. The National Association of Social Workers has named her on their list of the Fifty who has contributed to the profession. She is the subject of biographical entry in many Marquis’ Who’s Who publications, and is a frequent expert for websites, and radio shows. Her latest self-help, research-based books are Smart Relationships and The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie, the cartoon companion book. Do you have a story to tell about when you followed or didn’t follow your intuition? Your story could be featured in her next book about intuition! To receive gifts and tell your story, go to www.lovevictory.com and sign up on the right side or click on Intuition Stories on the upper right tab.