When you’re swirling your drink around in a glass, staring into the mini tornado you’ve created desperately trying to think of something–anything–to say to break the silence, you know you’re probably on a terrible first date. I recently went out with a fellow–let’s call him Bob–who I’d never met before, and after my initial optimism at his friendliness, we ran out of things to talk about very quickly, and I became frantic in my head, plotting an escape route.
Bob wasn’t a bad guy–just one of those people you ask a question of only to receive a one word answer and no follow up. He wasn’t particularly inquisitive, and seemed generally disinterested in both trying to find out things about me or divulging things about himself. Fair dos though; he may have spewed up in his mouth a little bit when he first saw me. I’m not trying to say I’m perfect here, just that Bob didn’t seem to have any inclination to make the two drinks we shared even a little bit pleasant.
So I did what any self-respecting Brooklynite does to get out of the date–I blamed the L train. Lucky for me it was during the time when the L wasn’t running past midnight on weeknights, so I was able to make a fairly believable excuse to justify my hasty escape from Manhattan. Regardless, I probably would have blamed the L train anyway–it’s a really easy train to blame.
Here are some other moves that are useful to getting through a terrible first date:
Drink A Lot Of Water
Every time the wait staff puts a glass of water next to you, chug that bitch down. The more water you drink, the more you will need to go to the toilet/the more believable it will be when you go to the toilet every 20 minutes.
Text A Friend
Have a reliable, fast fingered friend on text so that every time your date goes to the bar/toilet or you do, you have a text waiting, and can respond in kind. Being able to shoot out random tidbits throughout the date helps you see the humor in your situation.
Don’t Go To The Bar Together
This is another great way to get some alone time and minimize awkward silences in each other’s company. If only one of you goes to the bar, and especially if it’s a busy bar, you might even get a solid 3 to 5 minutes reprieve. Although if you’re a girl, make sure you have a clear line of sight to the drink he’s getting you–if you think the date is bad now, just wait til you’re roofied.
When you can’t think of anything to say, comment on all the things around you. Luckily at my terrible date there was a television on in the bar AND a bachelorette party. Plenty of distraction.
Show Some Photos
Your smartphone, while distracting and stupid most of the time, is designed for bad dates. This is its moment to shine! Get out your phone and start showing off some photos of your cat or a holiday you went on. It’s dead boring, but at least it’s something.
Talk About Your Bills
Speaking of dead boring, you’d be surprised how long you can talk about really mundane crap. Describe removing a caked on stain from your stove top in detail. Lament the etiquette of strangers on the subway. Chew out your mailman for stuffing your post in the box wrong. When you’re grasping at straws, you will be surprised how truly uninteresting, but long winded, your life actually is.
I generally like to stay for 2 drinks and at least an hour and a half, just to be polite. No date I’ve ever been on has ever been so bad I’ve had to bail right away. But if you do–who cares? You don’t like this person. You’re having a shit time. You’ll never see them again. So what if they think you’re an asshole for hightailing? Although I will disclaimer this with DO NOT GHOST. No Irish goodbyes. Just bailing without saying bye and thanks for the drink makes you a massive cunt, even if it is better to cut your losses and head home to watch re-runs of Friends in your pants while eating Kettle chips in bed.