How to Save First Dates That Get Off to a Bad Start

Sometimes you meet others who sounded promising when your friends describe them, or when you talked on the phone or in emails. But the first meeting turned sour right from the start and seemed destined to go from bad to worse.If that's ever happened to you, you don't have to give up.

A first face-to-face with someone who shows promise as a partner is too valuable to waste over misunderstandings and misinterpretations.The first thing you have to do in order to save the date is to kick into "problem-solving" mode. Try not to let your emotional let-down get you down. Remember, Thomas Edison had to fail hundreds of times before finding a light bulb element that worked. Giving your date a second chance for success may not light up the world, but it might light up your life for awhile.

Here's how you can get back into the starting blocks after a false start.

  • Stop disagreeing. There was a study that found that when singles disagree on as few as three things during a first date, there won't be a second date.

  • Find things you have in common and that you can agree on. Then express the agreement. If you like musical theater and your date likes going to college football games, "hey, we both like going to live events.

    The dressing, driving, parking, finding your seats and the rest makes it special, even if you could see it better on DVD or your Dish TV. Don't you agree?"

  • Mirror and match your date's body language. If your date is keeping distance between you, don't invade the space.

    If your date speaks softly, lower your voice. If you're date uses terms differently, use the words your date uses.

  • Try to get and keep your date speaking.

    Listen attentively, don't censure, and respond with appropriate enthusiasm. In addition to head nodding, and the usual "uh-huh, you-don't-say, that's interesting," try this trick: simply repeat the last word or the last point your date just made. Your Date: "Then the last thing we did was bicycle 50 miles down the river." You: "The river?"

  • Test to see how you're doing. Try moving closer.

    If your date leans in and opens up toward you, you're in. If not, back off and try again later.

  • .The way your first meeting ends will be much more important than the way it starts. Don't lose confidence.

    Hang in there and turn it in your favor.

    .Jerome M. Spector is a writer and licensed professional counselor. Jerry's background includes more than two decades enhancing relationships: business relationships (JMSDM Direct Marketing), therapeutic relationships (Relationship Counseling Associates, Children's Center for Behavioral Development), and intimate relationships (The Relationship Centers).

    For a wealth of practical information on match-dating, dating and relationship skills, visit

    By: Jerome Spector

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