So your dream Internet lover is a cad in real life? That sucks. But it’s happened to the best of us.
It can be superficial, I have a friend who said that his date’s teeth turned out to be way bigger in person than her picture–like of the horsey variety.
Another said the guy she met online, who she vibed with until they talked on the phone, had the most effeminate laugh—like stardust shooting whenever he giggled. Still, she decided on an in-person date and the giggle was accompanied with imaginary pearl clutching and loud gasps when something delighted him. Since she wasn’t ready for her man to be more Scarlett O’Hara than her, she had a good laugh and jumped back online.
But those are your moves AFTER the date. What to do when you’re actively in the trenches i.e. during the date. The go-to-the-bathroom-and-jump-out-of-the-window move is expected and unless your date is distastefully rude then no need for the dramatics.
Here are three steps you need to survive a bad date
Boring you to tears in fact. On paper my online match was perfect. PhD-check. Vegan-Check. Handsome, in-shape-Check. In real life…I think I fell asleep on the date twice. He droned on about his interests: engineering theory and he whined about not being married with children at his age (late-30s). That’s it. No other conversation could butt in.
When all else fails dating expert Dr. NerdLove says, try the question game. According to him, the rules are simple:
“Rule 1: You take turns going back and forth asking serious questions – no bullshit questions like “what’s your sign”, but actual, probing questions.
Rule 2: No asking the same question back.
Rule 3: The other person goes first. Ply yourselves with cocktails if need be and just start moving the conversation towards something interesting. “What was the greatest day of your life?”; ”What was your craziest break-up story?”; “If you could commit the perfect robbery, what would you do?”; “Where did you lose your virginity?””
Explain the rules to your date and then go at it. This may be your last date with this person, but at least you won’t have wasted your time and you may make a boring new friend.
On a date with a Character
I’m a writer. So going on a date with an interesting person I never plan to contact again can be…maybe not fun, but interesting enough to stay on the date and observe an interesting character.
If you have nothing pressing to do and you’re not disgusted enough to leave, and you like watching clowns, then hang out! Take mental notes for the great story you can tell your friends. Basically, some dates are just story gold.
On a date with…
a Gender-Hater: (misogynist or man-hater), a crazy or controlling person, or basically someone so distasteful you can’t handle another minute of their company.
I had a date with a control freak. This man ordered my drinks, food, constantly peppered me with, “you women always…” stories, and was insistent on me ‘sharing’ information about myself I wasn’t ready to give (like aggressively wanting to know every single detail of my past dating history). I knew online he was off, but I ignored the signs! (Important not to ignore your warning signs)
These dates can be ugly BUT you can survive it and no, not by getting another drink or scrolling your phone.
In this instance, your handy conversation starters aren’t working and you’re just turned off.
My sis says, try the “get out of jail” cell phone arrangement. Basically, have a prearranged agreement with a friend where they call at a prearranged time and tell you an emergency that you must leave and attend to now or the world will end and leave. The thing is, everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock in the last decade knows this trick. It’s the rehashed going to the bathroom and never return trick.
I say, be an adult. If you absolutely can’t sit through another minute of dinner with this person. Cut it short—to their face—and yes, you can lie. “I think you’re great, but I have an appointment to get to (if it’s lunch) or an early day tomorrow (if dinner). It was great meeting you. Thanks for your time” or something equally polite and get out. Also, since you never plan on calling again—don’t mention it.
Remember in February when I said, be kind to yourself. A bad date would be one of those times. Best advice? Move on and don’t take it personally if your perfect online match doesn’t translate into real-world love.