When everything on a date goes wrong – how to turn around a disaster?

We’ve all been there at some stage of our single lives. Having made the effort to put yourself out there to meet someone special, the date itself has been a complete disaster, and you’re left feeling embarrassed, rejected, disillusioned and heartbroken.

It would be great if we could all avoid the pain of horror dating experiences. But alas, if you’re going to put yourself in the game, then at some stage you’re going to get hurt. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to end up with your ideal partner, it just means you may get some knockbacks along the way.

So when everything goes wrong on a date – how do you turnaround a disaster? To keep you positive and upbeat about a dating setback, keep these 5 tips in mind:

1) Don’t take it personally

Dating is all about sifting through the bad to get to the good. It’s a process of elimination not rejection. So look at the big picture and remind yourself “it’s a marathon not a sprint”, and that you’re slowly learning what you want and don’t want in your ideal partner.

2) Get support from friends

Lean on your friends after a dating disaster and get their support and re-assurance. They’re objective and can help you pick yourself and stay positive after a setback. Don’t try and be the staunch hero – let them be there for you.

3) Learn from your mistakes

Take a moment to dissect the disaster and make sense of what happened – and learn from it. Think about why it didn’t’ work out, what could you do different next time, why were they wrong for me, and what you want different in your next dating partner?

4) Take the pressure off

Too many singles put immense pressure on themselves to make every date perfect – and to make each person “the one”. Instead of this mindset, look at dating as fun, a way to get to know what you like and don’t like in a partner, and let things evolve naturally.

5) Have a dating holiday

If you find that you’re getting cynical or bitter about dating after this recent disaster, then allow yourself a little break to re-gather yourself. You’re not giving up, but rather having a few weeks off dating to relax and focus on yourself. The jump back in refreshed!

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship psychologist, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (www.johnaiken.com.au)

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