The worst thing about a bad date is that you rarely realize that things are going poorly all at once. Instead, the feeling that you are going to be in for an awkward evening creeps up on you slowly, until it’s too late to bail out in a polite way.
If it starts to become obvious that things aren’t clicking, that isn’t necessarily a reason to abandon all hope. Plenty of fun nights out and even relationships have come out of dates that started in less-than-ideal circumstances.
Here are some strategies you can use to make sure you have the good time that you deserve.
1. Start Over
If your date starts doing all the wrong things, and you respond by making backbiting comments, don’t immediately let yourself go down the route of mutual resentment before the waiter even brings the appetizers. Just say “You know what, I feel like things went weird. Let’s start over.” Just acknowledging that you two started off on the wrong foot can be enough to dissipate any tension forming between you two and pave the way for a great time together.
2. Adjust Your Expectations
Consider the possibility that the problem isn’t the date, it’s that your expectations are off the mark. If it’s not romantic enough, why not consider the possibility that you are having a more casual night out? If your date isn’t talking enough, why not take the initiative to ask more questions to help draw them out. Taking a laid back, go-with-the-flow attitude can make you realize there isn’t distance between you and your date, there is distance between what the date is and what you thought it was going to be.
3. Change Your Plans
What if your problem isn’t your date, it’s the venue? When things are going poorly, take that as an opportunity to see what other fun things you two can do in your area. Check your smartphone to see what else you can do that’s nearby, or just ask around and see what’s fun to do. Trying a different activity than what was planned just might help you see your date in a whole new light.
4. Just End It
If you’re bored and irritated, and you really are firmly convinced that aborting the date is the only thing that is going to save you from a night of biting your tongue and polite nodding, just end it. If you are feeling bold, you could always go for the polite, but firm “You know, I hate to say this, but I’m not feeling it. How about we cut things short tonight?” If you are timid, you could also text to ask a friend of yours to call with a fake emergency that requires you to leave immediately. There’s no easy way to do this, but it can save you from a lot of pain. An evening alone with ice cream and television beats hanging out with someone who bores you to tears.
Logan Strain is a writer for Instant Checkmate, a way to check out the past of anyone you are thinking about having a relationship with.