How to Salvage a Bad Date

Salvage a Bad Date

It happens. No matter how well you prepare, no matter how much of a positive attitude you display, no matter how well you look — inevitably, at least once, you are going to have a bad date.

Even if you are little Miss or Mister Perfect, it’s going to happen. Much like getting a zit or farting accidentally in public — bad dates happen.

Instead of living in denial about them, you should be proactive. Consider ways to salvage a bad date. While some dates will be a lost cause no matter what you do, it’s amazing how many bad dates can be saved by simply applying one of our tips below.

1. Be Prepared to Change the Topic of Conversation

Salvage a Bad date By changing the topic

Many times what is at the root of a bad date is having a bad conversation. This does not necessarily mean that you or your date are poor conversationalists, just that the topics that you have chosen are not flowing smoothly. For this reason, you should apply the three-strike technique. If after 3 brief exchanges on a specific topic the conversation has not started to flow on its own — change the topic.

Of course, some subtlety should be used when doing this. You don’t want to appear robotic as if though you’re going through a list of changing topics in your head. Be suave and smooth — introduce the new topic in an “as a matter of fact” sort of way. Also, let your date introduce some topics. Remember, you must never dominate a conversation on a date anyway.

2. Date Triage

Salvage a Bad Date Using Triage

Sometimes nothing seems to go right on a date. You may have inadvertently offended your date, you may have stepped in a puddle in the parking lot splattering yourself and your date with mud, your date may have said something stupid — the possibilities are endless. Basically, your date could be turning into a nightmarish collage of unfortunate happenstance.

When that happens you could always run out of the restaurant screaming before dessert is served or you can take action to save the evening. This is where “date triage’ comes into play. Much as during a disaster medical personnel must evaluate the injuries of those coming through the emergency room to attend to the most seriously injured first, so too must you evaluate all of the missteps during the date and focus on correcting one misstep at a time.

If you try to correct every single misstep that happened during such a date, you will wind up appearing foolish and blundering. If, however, you select only one or two missteps and make them right, that will usually nullify any lingering negative impressions.

So, instead of apologizing every five seconds for spilling red wine on your date’s white blouse or shirt, apologize once and insist on paying for the dry cleaning bill, but then move on. Don’t feel like you have to move on to correcting the next misstep on your list, either. Instead, be ready to move on with the date as a whole. In other words, if things go badly — if you goofed something up, address it and remedy it, but don’t linger on it.

3. Introduce Some Alcohol in Moderation to the Equation

Salvage a Bad Date with Alcohol

Alcohol has long been known as the social lubricant. It can help steady nerves, it can make shy people open up, it can add merriment to an otherwise dreary situation. Of course, if overdone it can create embarrassing and unwanted situations. In moderation, though, it can be a date saver.

If you detect that your date is suffering from a lack of energy. If the entire evening is taking on a stale overtone — then you should not feel bad about introducing some wine or spirits to the occasion.

This could be as simple as ordering a pitcher of beer if you’re having pizza or if you are in a more formal setting, having a couple of joyful and fancy cocktails before dinner. As long as you don’t overdo it and your date has no aversion to alcohol, booze can help you prevent your date from becoming a snooze.

4. Call an Audible

Salvage Bad Date by Calling an Audible

While it is always wise to plan out a date beforehand, don’t hesitate to deviate from your plans if things do not turn out as expected. Sometimes introducing an element of spontaneity and surprise is just what a date needs to rescue it from the rubbish heap of otherwise failed dates.

Even if the both of you are dressed up for a more formal occasion and you suddenly deem it prudent to go out for hot dogs and shoot darts at a local bar — just do it.

This doesn’t mean that you should spring something unexpected on your date simply for the sake of introducing the unexpected. We are talking about using elements of spontaneity when you detect that the normal course of affairs is not coming along well. You’ll know it in your gut — you’ll probably also detect it from your date. It will be one of those moments when uttering the phrase, “wanna get out of here?” will seem like the appropriate thing to do.

5. Call in Reinforcements

Salvage a Bad Date with Reinforcements

Dates should always revolve around two people. However, that doesn’t mean that a date has to always be exclusive of other people being involved. This is especially true if those other people happen to be part of an inner circle of friends.

While we would never suggest this type of tactic for a first date, on subsequent dates, if the both of you are in a down mood, it can be the perfect time for friends to come to the rescue.

This could be as simple as hanging out at somebody’s house or having your friends join you at a bar or restaurant. Just remember, you are doing this to reinforce a festive atmosphere for your date. You are not to doing this to escape from your date — that would be the topic for a different story.

Ideally, it should be a mixture of both of your friends. Think of it as a show-and-tell type of date. You can brag about your date to your friends and your date can brag about you to their friends. Everybody talks and mingles and in the end — you rescued what would have been an otherwise routine and boring date.

— An Occasional Bad Date Is Normal —

You should always keep in mind that having an occasional bad date is not a bad thing — it’s not abnormal. Even couples that have been together for long periods of time will have one or two outlier dates that simply don’t go as expected. That being said, however, a reasonable number of dates that are often allowed to go bad could have been rescued if some of the techniques listed above would have been applied.

The next time that things start getting a little bit shaky on your date, enter a self-induced trance and with a cloudy transition effect reminiscent of a 1970s made-for-tv movie, think back to this article. Better yet, keep as a favorite on your mobile browser. Whenever you need a tip, just excuse yourself to the bathroom and check us out.