Yikes! This Date Sucks! Now What? (Or ‘How To Survive A Bad Date’)

I’ve been on more than a few bad dates in my lifetime, but I haven’t had a seriously bad date in a long time.  That’s because I’ve learned what to do…and what not to do. Here’s a few tips on how to cut your “oh no!” dates down to a minimum (and, of course, I’m assuming that the badness in the bad date is not your fault):


The Only Tip You Really Need

  • Make the first date a short date.  Meet for coffee and dessert.  Or a drink.  The first date should last an hour.  You can tolerate anything for an hour, right?  If you like each other, you can always schedule another one for another day.


If you ignore the above tip and find yourself out on a good-date-gone-bad, first consider how bad it really is, on a scale of 1-10.  What you should do next depends on how you rate this date.  1 = I’m bored.  4 = Something’s not right (though I’m not sure what.)  7 = What a jerk. 10 = This guy is psycho.

1/I’m Bored

  • If he’s a nice enough guy but just not that interesting, you should be pleasant about it.  Finish your food and drink quickly and start packing your belongings and refreshing your lipstick like it’s time to go.  He should get the hint.  If he doesn’t, yawn and comment on your early morning tomorrow.  The “yawn/early morning” thing also works if you’re at a party.  If it’s a movie or concert, you don’t have to talk to him much anyway, so just enjoy the event and vow to yourself that next time you’ll pay better attention to The Only Tip You Really Need.


4/Something’s Not Right… 


  • I ignored my own “Only Tip You Really Need” and went to dinner with a new guy.  He took me to a supper club that puts on a Drag Queen Revue.  Everyone there –including all the Drag Queen Performers—knew him by name.  I thought this was an odd choice of venue, but decided not to be judgmental.  I kept pushing to the back of my mind the question as to why a supposedly straight guy was so well-known here.  The first show was quite enjoyable, though I was more concerned when we stayed for the second show.  He had an extreme amount of empathy for the performers who, he explained “had very difficult lives trying to reconcile their male and female sides”.  No doubt that it true.  I was a little alarmed at how passionate he was in making this argument.  I also was uncomfortable with how well the performers knew him and how much vamping they displayed toward him while they were on stage.  I decided to make the most of the evening and enjoyed the shows.  As soon as I could, I told him I was tired and thought we should leave.  I just never returned his call after that.  It was just too complicated.  I don’t know why he was so involved in this “community”, though I assumed he was grappling with his own sexuality.  At any rate, I didn’t feel he would give me an honest answer if I raised it.  So why bother?  Something wasn’t right…and I just went with me gut.



8/He’s a Jerk

  • I had the misfortune to go on a date with a guy whose ex-wife happened to have the same birthday as mine.  Once he had that bit of information, he proceeded to tell me all the ways I was probably just like his ex- (“probably” because he didn’t really know me, but since we had the same birthday…).  At first, I tried to laugh it off and even made a joke about it, while gently reminding him of the universal “you shouldn’t talk about your ex- on a date” rule.  When that didn’t work, I tried changing the subject a few times.  That worked for the short-term, but he always found a way to sneak ex-wifey back into the mix.  So, I suggested we cut the date short.  With a sweet voice and a smile on my face, I pointed out that this clearly wasn’t going to be a love connection, thanked him for the evening, and wished him well.  When a guy is consistently behaving like a jerk despite your efforts to turn things around, honesty is the best policy. He might not be a bad guy, but he’s not on “good date behavior” and you don’t have to accept that.  If you’re not having a good time, politely cut your losses.  Say “good night”.



10/He’s a Psycho

  • For most bad dates, I think two things: get out as soon as you can, but don’t make a scene about it.  If it’s a seriously bad date though, and he is clearly and probably intentionally being ugly, I think it’s fine to end it however you can.  I was at dinner with someone who I decided was mentally unstable.  I excused myself to go to the bathroom and kept walking…right out the front door.  Safety first.  (And, fortunately, he didn’t know where I lived).


But keep in mind, some bad dates are worth it for the laughs and great stories they make.  Plus, they make all your other dates seem even better.

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6 Responses to Yikes! This Date Sucks! Now What? (Or ‘How To Survive A Bad Date’)

  1. Alex says:

    Dang. I’ve been a 4 on the scale all this time and never knew! =)

    Awesome article! I might have to do this, but for the fellas instead.

  2. Debbie says:

    Oh, the joys of dating!

    I don’t remember having any really bad dates in that the guy was a jerk. Mine have been where I ended up bored to tears or annoyed and felt trapped because I didn’t have a way out. Live and learn…I now insist on meeting all my dates at the destination.

    I did recently have a conversation with a lady that claimed to have crawled out of the bathroom window of the restaurant she was at with her date! He couldn’t read (that’s not why) and claimed to “take care of people” for a living…and he didn’t mean in a caretaker kind of way…talk about YIKES!!! I did wonder if her story was true because who would admit to having that career?

    Just this summer, I had a great date with a guy that there was obvious chemistry, we clicked immediately and it turned into a three hour fun and interesting date. I thought for sure we’d see each other again but as Janine spoke of, this guy was not really into me. I wondered why he let on and enjoyed the date so much if he had no interest in anything further. So frustrating. Apparently, he is a serial dater…seeing one girl for a few dates/weeks then ending it. So I’m thankful I only had the one date and my misdirected emotions weren’t drug out or led on.

    • Janine says:

      Debbie, this is where I have a serious problem with the idea that guys are “just so simple and uncomplicated” compared to women – as we are always told. I ran this scenario – where a guy plunges from piping-hot to freezing cold within 8 hours for no apparent reason – past a male friend yesterday. He replied, “Yeah, well that’s just what us men do, I’m afraid. I’ve done it, we all do it. Don’t know why.” Hilarity. And that is just one of the things that drives women completely bonkers when dating. Interestingly, when men complain about “disaster dates’, it’s overwhelmingly because the woman looked older/fatter than she did in the photo, or more to the point, in their imagination. Half their luck that that is their only problem. Over it. Was over it 13 years ago.

  3. Janine says:

    I’m starting to think a bad date’s prefereable to a good one! I’m used to the bad ones, but just this week I had one of the best dates ever with a guy that ticked a lot of boxes, although he was a whole 4 years younger than me – whoah, cradle-snatcher. Anyway, he was still in that shellshocked phase post-separation and not really emotionally available. The net is full of guys like this. I even have a name for the category: “I’m Just Seeing What’s Out There”. Window-shoppers. It would take an awful lot for them to wake from their emotional slumber, and I’m not the kind of gal who’s about to knock anyone’s socks off. I guess they’re hoping they’ll meet someone who will. Yet, same old story – he’s just not interested. He sort of issued a very half-arsed “Sure, let’s keep in touch”, but I know when a guy’s just not that into me. I’ve had various episodes like this over the years, and I find the rejection much harder to take when I know both parties had a terrific time and everything SEEMED to be working. He said he found me witty and entertaining and stayed out way past his bedtime on a Monday night, yet… He also knows the world’s his oyster in a city like Sydney filled with stunning young single women and very few decent available straight men.

    So I think I should revert back to my previous strategy of just having brief flings with much younger men who I know I can have a bit of fun with without getting emotionally involved and thinking there might be “something there”. And hanging with my queers in the meantime, which is more fun still. I had to laugh at that anecdote about the drag club – I had a date with a gay-acting guy not that long ago and despite the big pink alarm going off immediately, I really thought we were hitting it off and me being an old fag hag from way back, maybe he was a perfect choice. I had a few more dates then actually slept with him – HUGE mistake. It was unpleasant and awkward, and I still suspect he was gay and just in denial. Then SUR-PRISE! He dumped my arse a week later. You ladies might “live and learn”, but I never do. Never.

  4. Sandy says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ve recently started dating after a 20 year absence (talk about nerve wracking!) and I can use all the help I can get. I am rusty on all this. 🙂

  5. This is an awesome post, and very helpful. I like to set a short date as well for the first time because I don’t like to waste my time, either.

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