How do you handle a first date that is simply going off the rails from the start?

I met this man on a dating site that I joined a few weeks back. He’s attractive and our profiles indicated that we share many things in common. When I started exchanging messages with him I found his writing style to be enticing. When we started exchanging text messages I actually began to feel like we were developing a solid connection. Due to conflicts in our work schedules, we weren’t able to meet in person for nearly four weeks following our first meeting online. During all of that time, we chatted online nearly every day. This, I admit, only served to elevate my expectations. Sadly, when we finally had our first date I was resoundingly disappointed. First, he looked nothing like his profile images. He was 20 to 25 pounds heavier, looked ten years older — nothing like what I expected. As if lying about his appearance wasn’t enough, his behavior was atrocious. While online he was kind and witty. In person, he was rude, curt and obnoxious. I soldiered on through dinner and once we finished I bid him a good night and left. Was there anything I could have done to have made the evening shorter? Would it have been rude to mention my disappointment in his appearance and behavior?

how to handle bad first dates

Well, sounds like you had one doozy of a first date. We all know that not all first dates are going to result in love and romance. Yet, we must go on our share of first dates in order to find that one perfect person for us.

In the situation that you described you had one resource that you did not exploit. That being the fact that you had already established a level of trust with him. After chatting daily for a month some level of trust had to exist. You should have leveraged it immediately to politely ask him why he never sent you updated pictures of himself. Perhaps he felt uncomfortable with his present appearance. While that would not be a sufficient excuse on his part, it at least may have opened a dialogue toward honesty.

The way you describe his behavior, however, sounds like he probably wasn’t worth salvaging. In those situations, there is nothing wrong to state the fact that you are disappointed by his deception and behavior, apologize and leave. While toughing it out as you did is what most people do for the sake of kindness and courtesy, if things on a first date become intolerable — never hesitate to just politely excuse yourself and leave. Simply block him and try to meet someone else on the dating site you’re using.