Monday, October 18, 2010

When to Give a Guy a Second Chance

A friend of ours had a spectacuarly bad first date the other night.

The guy looked great on paper: his interests, background, and ambitions matched what our friend was looking for. And he invited her to a comedy club, which seemed like a cool location for a first date.

The venue turned out to be less than ideal for talking and getting to know each other. They were seated at a table with other people, and once the show starts, it’s basically the movie-theater shhh dilemma.

The comedian’s routine also hit a little too close to home when his shtick turned to sex—specifically, sex in a new relationship.

When our friend got home, she told us the guy was “really awkward.” But we wonder if the experience made the guy seem less adjusted than he actually was.

After making a mental note to never bring a first date to a comedy club, we told our friend to give this guy a second chance.

There’s nothing worse than a bad first date. You’re feeling generally uncomfortable to begin with, and you usually start wondering what’s wrong with you/all the guys out there/life in general, depending on how bad it’s going.

Your only saving grace is the knowledge that this, like everything else, will end, and you’ll never have to see the guy again.

But you’ve probably been a shitty first date before too. Maybe you were too tired to make conversation, or maybe you’d had a long week and that glass of wine loosened you up more than you’d meant it to.

Couple that with a bad venue, and the guy’s gonna remember you as being much worse than you actually were.

Same goes for this guy. A few jitters seem much more pronounced when the guy on stage cracks a joke about shaved vaginas and the guy has to decide whether or not to laugh.

If this were some random guy she’d met at a bar, we’d tell our friend to move on. But because they met online and had paired up based on interests and outlook, we told her to give him another chance.

It may have been his job to make a good first impression, but it’ll be her loss if a compatible match slips away. And if a guy seems good on paper and just meh in person, you might want to give him another shot.

Besides, it’s hard to judge what kind of boyfriend he’ll be from the first date alone.

Generally speaking, people who shine on first dates tend to excel because of experience.

Once you’ve been on 50, or 100, blind dates, you know how to work the system.

That’s not to discount great conversation or “hitting it off” who shares your love of national anthems. But barring a strong resemblance in up-bringing/personality/taste, if a guy’s sweeping you off your feet on the first date, he’s probably done this before.

Guys with a long record of relationships, on the other hand, have probably only been on a handful of first dates. And men who are looking to settle down probably don’t read The Pick-Up Artist.

The more serious ones might be bad at first dates because that’s not their forte. The side of his personality that attracts girlfriends might not come out until the second or third date.

That’s not to say that every bad date is a prince disguised in frog’s clothes. And in between your job, yoga class, and kickball team, you can’t afford to waste too much time on a guy who’s not worth it.

But as long as you don’t spot any red flags, a second chance is probably worth the risk. This time, pay attention to reasons you thought this would work. Ask him about his plans for law school, or love of Greek food, or whatever else made you say, “That’s the one!” when you saw the 6 things he couldn’t live without.


  1. Haha I totally judge guys by the 6 things you can't live without section on Okcupid. I hope your friend does give that guy a second chance though, it probably was just an odd situation.


    Ps. Just recently found your blog and I'm loving it so far! I'm adding you to our blog roll today =)

  2. I had the same experience on a first date once. Dane Cook cracking jokes about everything I wasn't sure if I should laugh at on a first date with a former Catholic school girl. The evening afterward went better, and we wound up dating for 3 months. Not a keeper, but I'm glad she and I decided to forget the awkwardness of that first date.

  3. Even on a bad date you know whether there was SOME chemistry or connection right? Or at least whether or not you thought he/she was cute at the get-go, intelligent, polite. Yes, its hard to get to know someone in 2 hours in a bad venue/setting/on a bad day but there are some signs that you can pick up yes s/he deserves a second chance or simply...NEXT! Good luck and Cheers, T.

  4. I don't think I would make a very good first date if I were single again. I am a relationship girl and it would take time to get back into that dating groove, so I think you raise some good points.

    Anyone can have a bad first impression - like you said unless there is something really, really off, offensive or just creepy - it's not a bad idea to give someone a second chance, even if its just a quick coffee date.

    I walked into a tree branch on the first date I had with my now husband - thankfully he didn't write me off for my klutziness. :)