How to Deal With Dates That Don't Meet Your Expectations

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Whether you've met someone by chance or arranged a date through an introduction agency, it can be devastating when you're left disappointed. Whether you just didn't feel chemistry with the guy or his idea of a date left you feeling bored to tears, here are some tips that will help you pick yourself up and dust yourself off when dates don't meet your expectations.

1. Ask yourself whether the problem was external

Firstly, it's smart to make sure you're not writing off a decent man because of external things that went wrong on your date. For example, you'll probably have had a bad time if he guessed and chose a restaurant with awful food, or if one of you was stuck in traffic and cut the date short by a half hour. If, on refection, you think your lack of enjoyment had more to do with the environment than the guy you were with, it might be worth trying a second date.

2. Take a critical look at your expectations

When you're left feeling unsatisfied after a date, it's also a good idea to check whether you have realistic expectations. If you were hoping that your date would sweep you off your feet and make you feel like you were falling in love within the first ten minutes, you might need to adjust your ideas about dating! Think about where your expectations come from, too. For example, if you're basing your idea of a successful date on romance novels or the swoon-worthy performances of A-list celebrities, it will be hard for anyone in the real world to match up.

3. Let him down gently

If you've engaged in some thorough self-reflection and confirmed that you do have realistic expectations and that your dissatisfaction came directly from your interactions with the guy you were with, it's time to let him down gently. If he wants to see you again, there's no need to stomp on his heart when you break the news that love isn't in your future. Try to give a tactful explanation rather than a character assassination, but make sure you are unambiguous about the fact that there won't be another date. And it's not so bad having someone fancy us!

4. Make use of what you've learned

Every disappointing date provides an opportunity to learn more about what you want from a man. Whether the date was awkward, boring or downright offensive, you'll have a better idea of the traits you should be looking for in the future. In addition, ask yourself if you're repeatedly going for the wrong type of person, perhaps as a defence against the scary unknowns associated with falling in love.

5. Be positive about the future

The best thing you can do after a date that doesn't meet your expectations is to stay positive about the future of your love life. Once you've learned all you can from your recent experience, go back to the drawing board with the dating agency and start pursuing another potential match!