3 Creative Ways to Get Through a Bad Date
By Michelle Cove
Most of us possess our fair share of “bad date” stories. For me it was the date who picked me up at home (I know, terrible idea) and wandered over to my closet to check out my shoes (perhaps borrow a pair of heels?). There was the actor who talked about himself all night long as if I were an audience member who’d paid to hear his life experiences. Oh, and there was the young man who sat across from me at a coffee shop, refused to speak, and then tried to kiss me after the date. Over time, I did develop a few coping mechanisms for getting through my bummer dates, which I will share:
1. Become an investigator. Whenever I found myself on a date with a nice guy who I respected but knew would never inspire fireworks, I switched into “reporter” mode. Instead of being on a first date, I pretended I was there to learn more about the man in front of me—what were his likes? Dislikes? What made him tick? With the pressure off to determine if this was my Mr. Right—and replacing it with my new goal of mining story material—I could end the evening feeling that my time spent was worthwhile, and fully worth blow-drying my hair for.
2. Become a reality TV show participant. If my date was truly unpleasant—but not rude or disrespectful—I would pretend I was on a reality TV show. When my date would wipe a booger from his nose without a tissue or complain about his boss for 10 minutes straight, I would turn to a pretend camera (off to the side) and give a look, like, “Can you believe this guy?” or “Are you getting this on film?” By doing so, it was almost like having a witness at the table that allowed me to find the humor in the moment rather than having to wait hours for the post-mortem with a girlfriend.
3. Become a magician (and disappear.) If a date was downright obnoxious—rude to me or others around me—I learned to leave. It might seem obvious, but a lot of us women stay and sit it out. We got dressed up nice, we’re here, and as horrible as the guy is, we don’t want to be RUDE by up-and-leaving. But, ultimately, there are people who don’t deserve our time, and I finally learned that it’s okay to say, “You know, this isn’t working out. Here’s my share of the dinner cost,” and then exiting. You will never regret leaving a date where the man treated you poorly.
On the plus side, navigating bad dates helps us find our tolerance limits and forces us to come up with creative strategies on handling life’s messier moments. And, come on, admit it: the worst date nights of all end up giving us a stable of comic stories to dish out for our friends and loved ones. They become our little social treasures.
Michelle Cove is the director of Seeking Happily Ever After, a feature-length documentary that explores why there are more single women than ever in the U.S. and whether women are redefining happily ever after. See http://www.seekinghappilyeverafter.com (and please take the 3-minute questionnaire while you’re there). Michelle is also a journalist and bestselling author, working currently on a self-help book based on her research from Seeking Happily Ever After.
Watch this “behind the scenes” clip for Michelle’s Seeking Happily Ever After…
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