A bad date is a place you don’t want to be. It’s no one’s fault, yet no matter how well you seem to get on online, you can easily find yourself in a public place with a stranger having a real struggle with simple conversation. What should you do?
You have 3 options open to you if you find yourself on a date which is not going well. By bad date I am referring to a mediocre level bad date where awkward silence and stilted conversation ensues, not the type of bad date you need to run away from. You can either –
1) cut the date short and go home
2) stick it out, but not see them again
3) give it another chance, another time.
There’s no need to throw your possessions and yourself out of a restroom window if the conversation does not flow as you had hoped. There’s a lot of pressure on people on a first date and it can be difficult to be yourself. It’s not unlike a job interview, in many ways.
If the first date is not a roaring success, should you agree to another? Daters are very strictly in one camp or the other over this one. Some hardened daters are adamant that if there is no instant and deep connection, you should throw in the dating towel immediately. I am in the camp that believes that you might need a few dates to get to know one another.
Think of your current best friend, for example. I bet when you first met, you might not have imagined that they would one day be your best friend. You need more than one pop at getting to know someone – a date shouldn’t be like an exam.
If you don’t want to give it another go and meet your date again, send a polite and sugary message including:
– A big thank you for taking the time to meet you
– Tell them that they are great, but you don’t feel you are suited
– Wish them all the best of luck for the future and say thanks again
If your date is rude or lewd, you don’t need to sit politely through this one. If your date is rude or you feel unsafe in their company, you can cut the date short. Excuses include, I feel ill. That should do it. An elaborate plan that involves your mobile phone and an emergency is not necessary. Afflictions that are sudden and common include; headache, toothache, tummy ache, nausea.
You can bounce back from a bad dating experience. Laetitia, 32 from Brighton discovered this after a series of bad dates including suggestible sexual proposals on a first date, and another who left mid-way through dinner. Hang on, it may have been the same chap on two different dates. Bless Laetitia for giving him another go.
You can’t prepare for a date like the chap above. Laetitia just put it behind her and persevered with dating, eventually meeting her current partner 8 dates later. Laetitia advises to try and not to take a bad experience too personally, and to carry on dating regardless;
“A bad date can be nothing to do with you at all so try not to feel to dejected. Sometimes you just don’t know what the other person has got going on in their lives. Essentially, dating is a numbers game.”
To avoid a bad date in the first place, you are best to hold on meeting in person until you are completely satisfied that your prospective date’s profile is a true reflection of who they really are, pictures and all.
Just like a can of baked beans, we all have to sell ourselves. There is however, a big difference between showing off your best side and pretending to be a can of meat balls.
If your prospective date claims to be a 30 year old Engineer with a cat called Tiddles, then you want to make absolutely sure that you will be putting on your best frock/man attire to meet a feline loving, tinkler of engines. Nothing but the truth will do.
Seriously, people can be candid with the truth in their profiles. They don’t need to, but they do. I dated one chap who claimed to have a cat but didn’t. Puzzling, but true.
According to The Guardian, 4.7 million people are dating online and in a recent survey, 1 in 3 admitted to lying in their dating profile. 1 in 3 makes for a large potential number of porky pies to uncover. Over one million, to be exact.
The most common areas for mistruths, according to statistics, are different for men and women. Men are tempted to lie about age, height and income whereas women opt for misleading information about their weight, physical build and age. The porkies to look out for include, but are not limited to –
– Weight, height, age
– Out of date photos
Nobody is really worried about dating someone a little shorter, older or stockier – we all just want to meet someone we can have a life-time of fun with, and fancy a bit too. Lying before you have even yet met is not only unattractive, it does not bode well for the future. Check out the things important to you tactfully through your online conversations; ask for titbits about jobs and hobbies and find out the stories behind the profile photos. Make sure you too are not stretching the truth, it could lead to being in a pickle further on down the line. Most importantly, make sure you have the potential to get on.
Dating can be expensive in terms of time, money and crushed hopes. It make sense for your purse and your heart to whittle out the potentially mismatched dates early on.
Dating success can be yours – just keep going. In the face of a bad date, keep your chin up, enjoy talking to someone shiny and new and then carry on dating.
A nice cake and avoiding a bad date – it’s all in the preparation
– Find out how long your potential date has been online dating. Some are addicted to dating. You don’t want to be another short term fix.
– Always online? Bad sign. How can they fit in that exciting life if they are always logged in? It also suggests they might be dating lots and lots of people, which for some is OK, but not for the thin-skinned. According to statistics, 53% of people surveyed admitted to dating two people simultaneously, so be prepared.
– Texting a lot? Texting only proves that someone has a phone and digits. Take texting lightly, it’s not a heavy commitment to text and someone who is seriously into you will give you a call instead.
– Having said that, limit your contact before you meet. Find out enough to establish that you might get on but don’t overdo the pre-meet chat. You don’t want to establish a big text connection and then meet up and find you don’t get on in 3D. Tricky.
– If you do meet, suggest a date in a coffee shop in the day time. In a cafe, you can happily leave after a 30 minute chat over a tea and a muffin, and that’s completely OK. In a pub you might feel you owe them the whole evening and you risk drunken misjudgment.
I have recently dipped my toes into the world of online dating and would like to pass on my tips for anyone considering doing the same. More about me? I have an English degree, I enjoy researching and writing scientific and social studies and I currently work in the Careers Centre at the University of Sussex in the UK.