So you went on a date for the very first time, and it didn’t go as well as you hoped it would. He got stuck in traffic and you spent roughly an hour counting all the couples that gave you a ridiculing, pitiful look when they walked past you, all dressed up and alone.

When he arrived, the first thing you noticed was his trademark Star Wars shirt and pants, and you were in that brand new baby blue dress you’ve specially picked for this occasion. When it was time to split the bill, you realized you didn’t bring enough cash. You were just so sure that the entire time, the two of you looked all jumpy and awkward, people around you must have cringed just looking at how terrible your date was going.

You kept wondering what in the world the cue for you to hold hands was, or if it was even okay to hold hands on the first date. Or if you even wanted to hold hands with this guy.

And you sat there, trying not to laugh at yourself for not realizing sooner that this date was bound to be a disaster. That first date never had a follow-up, and you barely heard from him again. Three months later, the memory still makes you cringe.

But you know what? Screw that. It may probably haunt you for the rest of your days, but that bad first date is experience nonetheless.

Make good use of the age-old cliché that says you have to learn from your mistakes. Look past all the very awkward parts of your bad first date and start drafting a mental (or actual – you do you) note.

Instead of completely shutting off the idea of going on another date in fear that you have to bear one more day of torturous awkwardness, consider that it might actually be a better option to actually get yourself out there again and right all the wrongs.

Dating is a hit-and-miss, guaranteed. Depending on your luck, you might end up having more misses than hits, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying again. And if you do ever happen to go on another disastrous date, only with no moral takeaways, at least you’ve got one more interesting story to tell your friends about. It’s still a win in the end.

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