We've all had to suffer through those first dates that we'd rather slit our wrists than repeat, so no need to go into detail about that (the dull guy, the perv, the workaholic, the blind date that looks nothing like the Brad Pitt that was promised ...), and unfortunately a one-hour dinner can seem like eternity.
Pop quiz: How should one end said horrific first dates?
A. Drink yourself silly, so that no matter what he does or says, he's utterly charming.
B. Suffer through the main course pretending to be moderately interested, pray he doesn't lean in for a kiss, then avoid the guy like the plague for the next few days until he gets the hint.
C. Tell the truth. You're bored out of your mind.
D. What date? I'm happily married. (If that's the case, then, well, boo on you.)
Answer: C Tell the truth.
After suffering through more horrible first dates than I even care to think about, I had an epiphany during one particularly bad one. His uber-dry British humor clashed with my typical American awkward-sarcasm, and I could tell it was going nowhere even before I finished my first vodka tonic.
I was missing Grey's Anatomy for this?
Suddenly it hit me. Why do I have to suffer through another round and then dinner? Who's forcing me? Because it's the "polite" thing to do? Sure, it may be polite to not run out of the restaurant screaming, but are you doing anyone a favor by wasting both parties' time and money? No! So ... I told the truth.
"You're really nice, and it was great meeting you. I'm just not feeling it. I'm going to head out. Thank you though!" Sweet, simple, and to the point. I was expecting him to storm off in a huff at being rejected, but instead, he thanked me. "Wow, a tad bit blunt, but I appreciate the honesty. Thank you." We hugged it out, and I got home in time for Private Practice. It may not be the happily ever after I'm on a constant search for, but it was for me that night.
I've since used this exercise on three other dates, and all three responded positively. The bottom line is, not everyone you go out with is going to be compatible with you, and most sane people are aware of this. They don't want to waste their time (or money) any more than you do. People draw out bad first dates thinking that it's the respectful thing to do, when in reality, they have a third party joining them and it's in the form of a big pink elephant that no one wants to talk about.
Might as well just cut to the chase and admit it.
Have you ever suffered through a bad first date? How did you handle it?
Image via Cia de Foto/Flickr