How to Fix a First Date Going Badly

If you have as much online dating experience as I do, you know that it’s a good idea to expect the unexpected. You may have chemistry online in your back and forth messaging, but in person the connection falls flat. On the other hand you may just feel friendship vibes, that change when you’re face to face.

First dates are a little of this and a little of that, and sometimes they go off the rails. So how do you get it back on track?

4 Ways to Save a First Date

1. Change Location

A trans woman will always want to feel safe and comfortable when meeting a man for the first time. So even if you’ve spent time and money on planning what you thought would be an exciting first date, allow for flexibility and changing direction if she isn’t feeling okay about things.

2. Pass the Reins

A lot of women, myself included, like a take charge kind of guy. We like a man with a plan, a man who isn’t afraid to make big bold decisions. But if something doesn’t seem quite right, don’t be afraid to let her take over and suggest an alternative setting or activity. This might mean simply asking her where she wants to go next or what activity she’s down with.

3. Make a Move

A lot of first dates feel like job interviews, especially if you’ve chosen the coffee shop locale as a meeting place. It’s usually bright, crowded, and sterile, not really lending itself to canoodling. Now, if you’re on a nature walk or in a cozy nook at a wine bar, you will likely have more of a chance to flirt.

A first move can obviously make or break a first date, so watch her body language for signals that may invite such a move. If your rapport has been fun and flirty, it’s okay to go for a kiss at the end of the date.

4. Take Stock

Check in with yourself midway through your date. If something isn’t feeling right, her vibe or your collective energy, trust your instincts. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t a good match. An off-kilter first date could be a many number of things, things in her life you have no idea about. One way to test the waters is to share ideas for a second date—this allows her to share her interest, or not, in you.

Some dates are just bad and not worth salvaging, and that’s okay. Every online dating experience teaches us something that can help when searching for the kind of relationship you want. When a first date doesn’t work out, move on and don’t take the rejection personally.

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