Lifestyle

Know how to avoid dating disasters

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Avoid dating disasters (Photo by Zach Klein via Flickr).

Avoid dating disasters (Photo by Zach Klein via Flickr).

Many people have experienced one bad date or two, but for those not so lucky, some endure a dating disaster. A dating disaster is somewhat different from a bad date.

A bad date falls along the lines of, “it doesn’t look like this will work,” “we have different points of view,” or “he/she wants more than I’m willing to offer.” However a disaster date can include inner thoughts such as, “How did I end up in this date, I’m going to kill my friend for setting me up,” “I think he/she might actually be crazy,” and “Where are my keys? I’m getting the hell out of here.”

If anyone has experienced any of these thoughts or desires to flee, then congratulations you suffered a disaster date. I hope therapy will be able to fix the mentally deteriorating experience. Whether you have gone through a disaster date or hear too many horror stories and want to avoid it completely, the big questions are what are some early detections of a disaster date? And are there some coy and clever moves to make a quick exit?

As a gold medalist in experiencing disaster dates they can come from a variety of scenarios. The most common being a blind date. Everyone has that one friend who thinks she is the matchmaker of the century and just has to find love connections for any of her single, yet happy, friends. Then there are common mistakes such as getting the number from a hottie at a club or bar thinking the 20 minutes of barely audible conversation is intriguing enough for a date. Or the good friend situation: We’re already friends but let’s try dating.

Now I’m not saying that all of these set-ups lead to horrible endings. Not that at all. I’ve known some very happy people who have met the love of their life in similar dating scenes. I’m just saying from personal experience and stories, these seem to rank high on the disaster dating list.

Let’s talk about disaster dating clues. Unless your plan in life is to die being a saint, there really is no need to sit through a date going horribly wrong. Yes, it can make for a jaw dropping story to tell friends, but why ruin the evening and even worse drag some poor chump into believing you might actually be interested? That would just lead to some stalker voice mails later down the line. Let’s try to avoid that all together.

There are a variety of clues that can pop up in a disaster date. These signs can come from both men and women. No matter how different men and women are, there will always be those who are needy, full of themselves, full of crap, neurotic, clueless, and just plain boring. Be on the lookout for these early disaster date beacons:

The set-up phone call

Whether it’s a blind date or there’s already a friendly relationship established everyone needs to contact each other somehow in order to set up the date. A big clue is if the potential date-ee starts listing their dislikes when discussing where to go, and what to do: “I don’t like Mexican food,” “It’s too cold to be outside,” “Dress nice for me” “Don’t be cheap,” or “I’m not driving.” Especially for a first date, there needs to be compromise. Since your still getting to know one another it’s important to go with the flow to find out what the other person is about.

Now this can also be a disaster the other way around. If the set- up phone call is full of, “I don’t know” and “I don’t care” that could be a sign they won’t be much of a conversationalist when it comes to the actual date. It’s nice to hear opinions, just not Conan the Barbarian style.

First impression can say a lot (Photo by constantly_Jair via Flickr).

First impression can say a lot (Photo by constantly_Jair via Flickr).

Meeting together

Pay attention when it comes to starting off the date. Do they smile? Say hello? Initiate small talk? I don’t care what anyone says; first impressions mean a lot. This is also a good point to notice confidence. The way they walk up or speak to you can be a good indicator of the rest of the evening. If they start questioning whether you really want to be there or tell you that you can leave if you want to, then maybe it’s not a bad idea to take the offer. The rest of the night will be filled with similar questions and can bring down the whole evening if someone if constantly worried about your interest.

However, look out for over confident people as well. Someone who’s late or walks up expecting you to be standing there waiting can make the evening extremely annoying because they’ll want you to feel honored to be in their presence. No one needs to sit with someone so full of themselves that the idea of calling the mob to place a hit on them doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

The conversation

This can be the most crucial part. The conversation is the opening to possibly something new and great. For first dates or even just starting out, most of the time it’s okay to keep the conversation on simple topics such as school, work, free time, hobbies, or interests. If the conversation ever turns to family problems, work issues, or anything that would make the rest of the evening uncomfortable, then it might be time to make a break for it.

If you’re the hopeful type and keep trying to steer the conversations to greener pastures, then good for you. In many situations, though it’s like beating a dead horse, it’s not going to accomplish anything.

To make an exit strategy that will work, give any of these strategic maneuvers a try. It may place a damper on the rest of your date’s evening, but at least it ends with that date. Then take the rest of the evening to meet up with friends and enjoy the clean break.

Be blunt

There is nothing wrong with saying exactly how you feel. If the date isn’t working out as planned then say so. Now there’s no need to be rude, but the point needs to be given that you would like to end the evening early and not go out on a second date. Be gentle but direct. This is especially important to do if there is already a friendship established. Bailing out awkwardly will just lead to more awkward moments later because the person won’t understand why you wanted to leave. It may seem harsh but it’s probably the best way.

When in need, call a friend indeed (Photo by volliem via Flckr).

When in need, call a friend indeed (Photo by volliem via Flickr).

“I left the stove on???”

Having a friend call to bail you out can be a very clever way to skedaddle. This works better for blind dates, especially if you don’t plan on seeing the person around. Have your friend call you at a certain time during the date, give you a reason to leave (please be more clever and use a believable excuse), and make way towards the exit. If a friend’s unavailable have an alarm go off but try to avoid incoming calls as you act out your fake phone conversation.

Even if you take these precautions and a dating disaster slips through, take control of the situation. If you want to get out, leave! If you want to sit there for three hours while your date explains how their fake tan regimen works, then have fun. I’ll be at home letting Time Warner Cable give me access to other people’s dating disasters in the comfort of my own apartment.

7 Comments

  1. Reid

    December 9, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Crystal

    The only reason I read your article was because of the Conan reference. I am insulted and appalled! Given your pointless meandering and obvious obsession with minor inconsequential aspects of civilized life I doubt you have ever read a Conan story, much less the original 1930 R. E. Howard short stories about my favorite fictional character. I doubt Conan would date you. You’re probably an uncomely fat wench. Conan is an intelligent man, fluent in multiple languages, and very capable of expressing his thoughts and emotions in an eloquent manner precisely because he is not bound by the pointless excess of civilized life. While this may make him barbaric, it is a characteristic that anyone in their right mind would admire.

    Given the multitude of date descriptions in your article I am forced to conclude that you often go on dates, but don’t often end up in relationships with those you date. Perhaps the problem is not the dates themselves, but the fact that you will go on a date with any old schmoe who comes along?

    I think you should devote time to become the sort of self actualized person who can go a dateless Friday night without taking a self esteem beating, instead of being the type of person who reflects upon past bed dates in internet blogs, like anyone gives a fuck about your dates.

    I wish you ‘bloggers” would stop expressing idiot opinions online, and I could stop having to call you all idiots.

    Reid.
    reid.johnson1985@gmail.com

  2. V

    December 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Wow, what an ass. Me thinks someone just had the hamster start running inside their head when reading this article and realized that this sounded a little too familiar of him getting his dick knocked in the dirt one too many times… Funny how this wasn’t even about you or your experiences, Crystal. Oh well, I’m sure it was entertaining for you to read.

  3. Tyler

    December 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    This is for Reid:

    Where to begin… where to begin…

    I know, I’ll start with the blanket generalizing you use to characterize the writer of the article. You get all indignant on her ass because of her use of the Conan reference– and, if you were really as intelligent as you think you are, you’d have realized she was referencing the archetypal male who is only concerned with sex, food, and sports, a cliched stereotype itself– and go and say, “You’re probably an uncomely fat wench.”

    Really? You’re annoyed with her generalizing people based on a comic book image and over-generalizing, and then you go and do the same thing? Isn’t that being a hypocrite?

    You are a classic case of Pot meeting Kettle.

    Never mind that this is more of humor article than a bona fide self-help or other “informative” article. The tone, syntax, and references make that obvious, yet you deride her as being an idiot, even though you’re the practicing idiot (yeah, calling someone out and committing the same slight in doing so makes you an idiot, finest kind, too).

    Now, it would be ridiculous of me to not disclose that I am a friend of the writer, and I cannot begin to express how much you’ve made me laugh with your way-off comment:

    “Given the multitude of date descriptions in your article I am forced to conclude that you often go on dates, but don’t often end up in relationships with those you date. Perhaps the problem is not the dates themselves, but the fact that you will go on a date with any old schmoe who comes along? I think you should devote time to become the sort of self actualized person who can go a dateless Friday night without taking a self esteem beating.”

    Apparently you are gifted with the ability to know a person based solely on one article on a website written by someone. who you have obviously never met. Tell me, were you born with that ability, or did you get the magic decoder from the Cracker Jack box, the Ouija board, and the Captain Planet Element ring and BANG! you had telepathic power?

    If so, could you pass me the Captain Planet ring? I need to read my wife’s mind to find out what she’s getting me for Christmas.

    If not, well, I’d imagine the logical conclusion to this statement speaks for itself.

  4. Reid

    December 10, 2009 at 10:41 am

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  5. San Diego Entertainer

    December 10, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Typically when people result to insults, they no longer have a rational argument (which is always welcome here).

    What you posted however, is not.

  6. Dennis Hong

    December 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Congratulations, Crystal! You know you’ve made it as a writer when you successfully piss the sh#t out of someone as badly as you did with this dude…. 🙂

  7. Al Harron

    January 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Everything Reid says about Conan as Robert E. Howard wrote him is true. Conan was more complex than the simplistic “sex, food & sports/violence” archetype, and it’s unfortunate he’s used as a byword for that particular type of grumbling neanderthal.

    However, the article’s use of the phrase Conan the Barbarian is clearly a reference to the particular incarnation of Conan as depicted by Schwarzenegger. Howard never used the term “Conan the Barbarian”: Howard fans sometimes use “Conan the Cimmerian” or “Conan of Cimmeria” to form a distinction between Howard’s original creation, and the diluted film and comic character which came after.

    Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel Reid’s unprovoked attack on the article writer’s person puts Howard fans in a bad light, especially unfortunate considering how Howard himself was practically a proto-feminist, despite the popular conception of his work. Howard fans are usually polite and concise, so it’s really letting the team down to call Crystal names.

    There’s a Howard saying: “civilized men are more discourteous than savages, because they know they can be impolite without getting their skulls split, as a general thing.” Many Howard fans use that as a mantra, preferring courtesy to trolling. A shame Reid doesn’t do the same.

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