First dates can be exciting experiences and the start of something wonderful, but if they don’t go quite as you’d imagined, they can be memorable for all the wrong reasons!

Fear not! There are things to be learnt from these less perfect dates, and however badly you think it went, a second date could still be on the cards…

Here are our top three dating learning curves:

If nerves got the better of you:

If you found yourself getting a little tongue tied or hot under the collar during your date, it’s okay; it’s perfectly normal to feel a little nervous when you first meet someone new.

The lesson to be learnt here is – do your homework! Preparation is key, so ahead of your next date, try to spend a little time reminding yourself what your date is interested in to help to keep the conversations flowing. If you’re dating online, it’s always a great idea to read back through the messages you’ve exchanged and pick out some key points you could talk about on your date.

If they’re not quite what you expected:

If your date was a barrel of laughs online, but seems to be more reserved when you meet, you’ll understandably be a little disappointed. But, try to approach each date with an open mind and really see them for who they are. Your date might have a perfectly valid reason for acting differently to how you imagined they would; perhaps they’re feeling shy, or have had a bad week at work.

Remember what you’ve learnt about them from past conversations and ask questions about their interests. Where possible, use open-ended questions to get them to talk about themselves more. If they feel as though you’re genuinely engaged by what they have to say, they’re more likely to relax and enjoy your company.

If everything went wrong:

If your bus was late, you scuffed your shoes and the weather spoiled your dating plans, it’s not a sign that the two of you aren’t meant to be.

We all have bad days (and dates) from time to time, but if you liked your date and you got along well then why not pick up the phone and ask them for a second date…