Meet/Eat/Love (MEL) #10
It’s really a gamble whenever you go on a first date with someone you met through a dating app.
Does he look like his pics, does he think I look like my pics?!
Are we going to have things to talk about… run out of things to talk about… or SIT THERE IN SILENCE? What if the date turns into this:
Sure, not all dates will have happily-ever-after endings and having gone on my share of first dates, especially while traveling, it’s inevitable to have a few “I would rather be ANYWHERE but here” moments.
I’ve learned that sometimes you just need to do yourself a favour and escape from that bad date. Making that exit can be tricky, because you don’t want to end up being a sucky human being.
So, how does one make like Houdini and escape from a bad date seem as painless as possible? I’d like to share my top FIVE, first-hand experiences of escaping like Houdini from a bad date:
Pawned my date off to my friends
Kinda kidding, but not. There was this one time… in Barcelona (not band camp) where I was running late for a first date. I had decided to join some friends for drinks before the date. Perhaps under a buzzed state of mind, I invited my date to meet me at the bar where I was still having drinks with my friends*. Guillaume showed up and seemed like a nice guy, but the conversation was flat. Although it wasn’t the worst date ever, long story short, I was tired after a week of travelling and my friends ended up hitting it off with him. After helping Guillaume make some new friends, it seemed liked the perfect time for me to call it a night and get some sleep! Win-win situation I’d say.
(*BTW – inviting your friends on your date is another story all together and will be revisited at another time.)
I forgot to <insert activity>
Ok, so this was one of those ‘I-don’t-want-to-hurt-your-feelings’ situations. I was in Valencia and my first date with Marc was heading South. We had zero common interests, except for the paella that we were eating. Since I had an important Skype interview the next day, it was pretty easy to end the date early by saying “Hey, I forgot I have an UBER important interview tomorrow and need to go prep.” This Houdini escape of “I forgot to <insert activity>” is very versatile, because you could “forget” to do just about anything -> “I forgot I left my crockpot on” or “I forgot I have a 6am yoga class tomorrow” or “I forgot I needed to update something on my website.” Yep, you can really forget ANYTHING.
I’m not feeling well
When someone tells you they aren’t feeling well, there’s really no way to disagree with them. How inconsiderate would you sound if you were to say “Are you sure you have a headache?” or “Are you sure your cramps are really bad?” I mean yeah, faking being sick might not get you good karma points, but I did use this one in Mallorca when I just wanted a fast and clean escape from Bruno who got drunk way too fast.
My best friend is calling me!
This one is nothing new or earth-shattering. It’s probably been around as long as cell phones have been around. It just requires a trustworthy friend to remember to call you. So, it’s important that you find a responsible friend who will remember. Basically, have your friend call you 20 minutes into your first date (this seems sufficient time to gauge how the date is going and if you need escaping.) Technically it’s rude to have your phone out while on a date, but you never know when an emergency might strike, right? After answering your friend’s call, make it clear there is some sort of “real-time emergency” that requires you to leave immediately, aka. pronto! This one I used in Shanghai when having an “work- related emergency” excuse on a weeknight was incredibly believable.
Be honest, politely
This has happened a few times… in London, Cyprus, Mexico City, Valencia…. where I matched with a guy, exchanged messages and pics, only to find out after meeting them in person… THEY DON’T LOOK LIKE THEIR PICS! Wtf, right? I mean, how did they think they would get around that. So, what did I do? I’m usually a nice person who’ll just grin and bear it, but for these situations, I’ll politely point out the discrepancy and politely say I’m leaving. It’s totally fine to call it what it is and leave like mature adults, right?
So, there you go. My top 5 Houdini escape stories from bad dates. Hope your next date won’t require a Houdini escape.
Happy dating! Ms. Mel