How to recover from a terrible date

Life doesn’t end after your strike out on Tinder.

Jessica Wildfire
7 min readJul 25, 2018



That beautiful young financial adviser just ghosted you. Or that handsome Stanford grad keeps postponing your next rendezvous. The first date went so well. But now you’re starting to wonder.

Maybe it’s something you said. Ya think?

Bad dates happen. Sometimes you screw up. Other times, your date’s the one who ruins everything.

It’s hard not to feel judged when you’re ghosted. But you were, and you have to deal with it. You can blame them. Let’s call this the “they don’t know what they’re missing” approach. Maybe.

You can also obsess over your imperfections. We can call this the “What’s wrong with me!?” approach.

Neither one of these strategies help much. The truth always lies in the middle somewhere. A little post-game analysis never hurts. Because, you know, maybe you did say or do something stupid. We all do. And it’s smart to avoid making the same mistakes.

Dates I’ve destroyed

I’ve ruined a few dates. One time, the Cabernet went straight to my head after a rough week with too much work and not enough sleep. My attempts to flirt all failed hard, and at some point I literally tripped and fell. Tried to laugh it off. He was not impressed.

The worst part? He was a friend of a friend.

You can bet my friend called me later. “What happened?” she said. “He told me you seemed really immature. And that…you might have a drinking problem? Are you okay?”

Oh, how embarrassing. And I never went back to that restaurant. A real shame. Because their pot stickers were excellent.

Another time, I slept through the first half of a date. I’d been working too hard (again) and fell asleep on my couch. His phone call woke me. So I rushed down to the restaurant. Although he was having wine, I ordered coffee and spent the entire night complaining about a student who bugged me, and all the papers I had to grade that weekend.

He ended the date early. “You seem really busy,” he said. “Maybe I should let you get back to work?”