In addition to being a world-renowned comedian, talk show host, philanthropist, husband and father, Steve Harvey is the Chief Love Officer of online dating site Delightful. He draws on his personal experiences and the stories that millions of people have shared with him over the years to help more people find and keep the love they deserve.
A bad date isn't the end of the world, but it can be frustrating to stick around if you're just not clicking with the fellow across the table. If your date is rude or clueless, there may come a time when you have to cut your losses and get the heck out of there. However, just because you're on a bad date, doesn't mean he's a bad guy. It might be possible to turn it around. Everyone has experienced awkwardness during a date--or worse--but it doesn't mean all romantic potential is doomed. Let's talk about how to steer things back in the right direction.
First of all, no sneaking out the back door after visiting the restroom, or making a lame excuse! You won't feel good about yourself. Handle the situation with kindness--the way you would want someone to treat you. Second, don't give up after one bad date. You might be dealing with nerves (his or yours) and another chance could be just the thing you both need. Here are some real world strategies for dealing with the occasional bad date.
1. Make it clear ahead of time that your first date will be a short one. There's absolutely nothing wrong with meeting for a quick coffee before committing to a dinner or drink out. If you mention right away that you'd love to meet your date before your weekly dance class or other (real) commitment, there's no awkwardness when you wrap things up in forty minutes or less.
Feel like coffee is overdone? Meet for a short walk or food truck snack. Even the worst date on the planet is survivable if it's only a half hour long and comes with some wontons, right?
2. Be honest but gentle. If your date is pushing for more time together or a commitment to a future date, it is okay to be honest and firm if you feel you really can't turn things around. I know you want to do so with dignity and class. Finishing up a truly terrible date with your manners intact and your head held high is possible. You can begin by politely saying you're tired and need to get home. If your date can't take the hint, say, "My sense is we really aren't a match," or "I don't think we are as compatible as I'd hoped."
Even though it is scary to be completely honest with someone you don't know very well, this approach will eliminate a week of texts and confusion. Particularly if your date is being inappropriate or rude, you'll be doing them a favor if you explain you're not having fun. Set a high standard for all of your dates and refuse to settle for bad behavior.
3. Switch gears. Having a hard time keeping the conversation flowing at a bar or restaurant? Go outside for a walk or suggest something active to do. It can be difficult to keep talking to a complete stranger sometimes, and having a distraction may be just the thing to help you both loosen up. Good options? Try renting a pair of bikes or see if there's some live music playing nearby.
4. Be compassionate. Even if your date isn't your dream man, it wouldn't hurt to spend an hour or two of your life getting to know him anyway. Maybe there are things about him that are truly wonderful but not obvious. Maybe he's the perfect match for a friend of yours. Be in the moment, ask genuine questions and try to connect on a human level even if you know right away he's not the guy for you. You'll never regret a time you made an extra effort to be kind.
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