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.

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