So you met someone who seemed nice so you got dressed up and went on a date with them. Once you got there, you realized it wasn’t all that you thought it would be. Maybe they are rude, crass or totally incompatible. Maybe you just can’t get a conversation going. For whatever reason, this date is going HORRIBLY.
What do you do?
A. Throw your water on them.
B. Suffer through two hours of them rambling on and on.
C. Break out of the restaurant’s bathroom window and run.
D. All of the above.
I’ve dated a lot. I’ve been on more than my fair share of terrible dates and did my best to perfect the fine art of leaving gracefully. It is harder than it sounds to get away from a bad date without needlessly being rude, offending them, and/or making a total fool out of yourself. But with experience, I’ve learned how to handle all of the above. Here are my 6 tips for how to survive a bad date.
1. Think about what constitutes “bad”.
Is this a bad date because of their attitude, your attitude or some other factor? Is this really someone that you don’t like on the inside? Before you decide that they are completely incompatible with you and cut it short, consider whether they are worth your time.
I went on more than one date, where I wrote the person off way too early (like, before our drinks came) and it was a complete mistake. If I hadn’t stuck around on a few of these instances I would have missed out on some great men. If they are rude to you, by all means, leave. But if they just aren’t… quite.. right yet? Stick around and give them a shot. What should your “standards” look like? Use these 27 signs a man is worth your time.
2. Determine whether it’s really them or the activity.
I went on a few bad dates where I actually wanted to stick a bicycle spoke in my eye during it, but the guy wasn’t exactly the reason why. Maybe you decided to play laser tag together (don’t laugh! I did this in the name of “dating research”). Maybe you didn’t realize it until RIGHT NOW, but laser tag is the worst thing you have ever tried. Is this the other person’s fault? Nope. Would you still rather be somewhere… anywhere… else? Yep.
Even if you seriously want to claw your face off to get out of there, it’s important to recognize whether the person you are with is a mismatch or the activity is a mismatch. I went on more than one date where the other person was actually great, the activity just didn’t bring out the best in us. If you’re doing something out of your normal comfort zone, think about this before you bolt.
3. Consider their feelings… within reason.
Remember the golden rule: just because you don’t jive with someone, does not mean that they deserve to be treated like dirt. By the same token, you are not obligated to stick around until the date comes to it’s natural…yawn… two hour conclusion. You deserve to be at home watching Netflix or out with friends rather than suffering though a date that has dragged on way too long, if you so desire.
4. Consider the pluses and minuses of speaking up.
Remember that just because you are having the most agonizing time of your life, your date might be enjoying themself. It really stings to be out with someone who you think you’re hitting it off with and have them look at you, say “thanks so much for meeting me. I think we’re not a natural fit” and then not have anywhere to escape to. This happened to me on more than one occasion. Once, the guy said that he didn’t think we were a match and then the waiter brought our food. It would have been weird to run out of there screaming without eating my tacos, but it sure led to 20 minutes of hugely awkward silence and me figuring out how to deal with rejection.
It’s okay to be honest if you aren’t really feeling it, but consider your timing. Often the slow fade is the graceful fade.
5. Maintain a positive attitude.
Just because you don’t click with someone doesn’t mean it’s time to jump on the bitter bus and give up on your evening. The other person might not be your cup of tea, but this doesn’t mean they are an alien from another planet. Try to enjoy your time with them even though you are sure it isn’t a love match.
6. Cut it short.
If there is absolutely no hope, it’s okay to cut your losses and start mounting your escape plan. When there is a natural break, perhaps during the awkward silence right after your first drink or the check appears, it’s time to start excusing yourself. You can say you’re tired and have to wake up early.
What have you done to survive a bad date? Tell me in the comments!