The older (and ‘wiser’) we get the harder it becomes to find that ‘sparkle’ factor with the people we date. Life experience tends to harden us and as we hopefully become better at adulting we are less likely to get caught up in the moment. I can tell you from experience that the same girl who threw caution to the wind and moved to deepest darkest Africa for love as a 20 something, in her 30s will think twice about embarking upon another ‘long-distance’ relationship with a guy from the Northern suburbs.
While (much to my detriment) I still crave the magic you get when you instant chemistry, these days I find myself becoming more realistic, justifying those lesser interactions as having ‘slow burn’ potential and giving out second chances like they are going out of fashion. So in today I’ll be asking whether or not we should give people second chances when they didn’t make much of a good first impression on us?
Sure, there are plenty of reasons why we should give out second chances. Here are just a few of the justifications I’ve used in the recent past.
We’ve all been there. That job you are so desperate for that suddenly the pressure gets too much and you turn into a bumbling buffoon during the interview. Well, the same applies to the dating game. There is something quite endearing about the fact that someone was trying so hard to impress you that they ended up letting their nerves get the better of them.
The world is full of racists, rinsers and philanderers, so actually sitting across from a decent human being, who is gainfully employed and choosing to spend time with you instead of at home cuddling mummy, is quite an achievement in itself. Sometimes, even when chemistry and/or physical attraction is lacking you tell yourself there is more to life and maybe you should explore this opportunity because he ticks most of the boxes.
Even Prince Charming can’t control global political disasters (or your own small town dramas). It’s not really fair to hate on a guy who pulled out all the stops on your first date just because you’re in a bad mood because a) it’s the day of the Brexit result (and you just realised you had a lucky escape from a nation of racist fuckwits) and b) it turns out your ex is pretty intuitive and chose this of all days to pitch up at your workplace with a cup of ‘poison’ coffee. So maybe it’s a genuine case of bad timing and you give him a second chance hoping that your mood would have improved next time around.
Best out of a Bad Bunch
Sometime has gone by and although you didn’t leave the first date with butterflies you’ve since dated a bunch of other horrible Tinder boys and realised that in comparison he was really not all that bad. So armed with a little more ‘perspective’, you decide what the hell, a second date with him must be better than resigning yourself to sad spinster, right? And who knows you may even end marrying your second chance man?
I could sit here forever and day thinking up a million reasons why one could give people second chances to make a better first impression but experience has taught me this only really serves one purpose – to confirm that your gut instinct was right all along. If there was no spark there the first time around the chances that it’ll have magically appeared a week (a month or a year) later are very slim. I’m not going to tell you to NEVER give someone a second chance. But what I will say is that if the end of the second date you find yourself still questioning whether it’s still a good thing or trying to justify him having a presence in your future, it’s probably best just to let it slide because second chances have a habit of becoming third chances and fourth and so the story goes… Whatever your views are on the ticking biological clock, I think we can all agree that time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted on the mediocre experiences. As they say you never get a second chance to make a first impression – so instead of giving out second chances maybe your time would be better spent swiping away till you actually find leaves you wanting more from the get go.
Over to you Rinsers. Do you think we should give second chances to people who haven’t made the best first impression? What justifications have you used to give someone a second chance? Has a second chance ever led to happily ever after for you? Share your experiences in the comments section below.