Perhaps your first date hasn’t been that stellar as you may have wanted, but the truth is dating is hard, and making your first impression excellent isn’t easier either. On the first date, you are meeting someone you think is your special match and the nerves can get the best of you, derailing your ability to be yourself. As you walk away, knowing you have had a bad first date, it is likely that you’re thinking—is there a way I can recover? Neither should dispair nor let your first date eat you up.

True, a first bad date can be disheartening and you are not alone, but it takes a strong personality to make all the difference to your future dating success. Let’s say there’s no such thing as bad first date—they are simply opportunities for us to learn. But staying hopeful and optimistic is what you need to move on give yourself a better try, and here is how you can recover and feel better from a bad first date.

Offer an explanation

Many a times people tend to run from their mistakes and this could surely be the recipe for more trouble. The sooner you appreciate that the date wasn’t one of the best, the better. If, in your assessment, you feel the nerves were your major undoing, don’t hesitate to let your date know about it. The anxieties that surround the first date thing have caused many not to make their personalities shine. As a first-timer, you want to ensure that you heal as first as possible not to allow this situation take toll on your future relationships. All is not lost when your first date turns out unsuccessful. It takes courage for you to apologize for your mistakes, and this could be endearing in a great way. Offering your side of the story can free your mind as you look forward to a better date.

Get some break

It is common knowledge that love sparks take time to build up into fires, and as much as you would have liked your first date to turn out, be fair to yourself if the opposite happened. It’s good to know that there’s always the second chance and that you can still make up and make the connection much stronger and deeper. Now that your bad first date is over, perhaps you want to try again and see if you will feel a little relaxed.

Let your humor vindicate you

Rather than letting your awkward first date to linger, you can use your humor to communicate that you too realized the awkwardness that characterized that first date. You can send an email or a short text message to your date, poking some fun about yourself and the circumstances. This will surely help reduce the discomfort that could hang on your shoulders. Show that you have a strong sense of humor and that you don’t let seriousness take over yourself.

Be focused

Sometimes a bad first date can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially if you feel you lost the best match because of your own mistakes. The beginning of a healing process is not to let it make you hate yourself. Eliminate the feeling and thinking that every other person is as bad. Shake off the feelings such as “I can never be loved by someone’; ‘I am all by myself’; ‘All men or women are the same’ and more. These self-defeating thoughts are destructive and simply untrue. The fact that your first date was never the best doesn’t mean you can’t make it someday with someone else. One thing is for sure, harboring bitterness will make you look less attractive in the eyes of the best match that will come along.

Acknowledge that the situation was beyond your control

If you are like most people, first dates can go horribly wrong and that you could do nothing to make the situation better. Instead of troubling yourself and giving yourself difficult moments, ask yourself whether there’s a better way you could have handled the matter to prevent what happened. If you strongly feel convinced that much could have been done, then use it a learning opportunity and always remember it when you are preparing for a first date. If the answer is a straight no, then stay focused knowing that whatever happened was for your own good.

Let’s face it. It’s true that your ego has been badly bruised after that awkward first date, but trying to disapprove the circumstances could damage it even more. You need to give yourself some time, say a week

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