We’ve all been on bad dates. Even worse: we’ve all sat through bad dates for hours on end waiting for it to be over. Why do we do this? Well, we don’t want to be perceived as rude even though you’d much rather be getting work done or finishing Season 1 of Jessica Jones (it’s really good). So it’s been about an hour and change, you’ve purposefully kept just a little bit of whiskey in your glass, and you’re wondering how much longer you have to coax three-word answers out of him/her.
This happened to me last week. I met up with a woman from Tinder and I just wasn’t sensing any chemistry. The conversation was choppy. I wasn’t sexually attracted to her. She wasn’t sending me any indications of interest. So how do I escape? If the bartender or your date asks if you’d like another drink, politely decline. Then say you have to get going around Whatever Time It Is Plus A Half Hour. It’s not being dishonest: you do have to get going because you have way more productive ways to spend the night. Now attempt to enjoy your final 30 minutes with this person! See if you can’t find something you both have in common to discuss. Maybe someone in the bar or restaurant does something you both can’t stand. Bond over your shared love of the color yellow. Then when the time has arrived, you finish that drink and close your tab. You might even discover in that fixed period of time that from a different angle you think he’s really handsome or that she’s funnier than you gave her credit for. Tell your date you had a nice time (hopefully by the end, it’s mostly true), and start planning which junk food you’re going to devour when you get home (I can’t, I’m on a diet).
You shouldn’t waste your entire night on someone with whom you have no chemistry for the sake of being “nice.” That’s dumb. Likewise, just because you spend 1-2 hours on a date that doesn’t lead to a sexual or romantic connection does not mean you wasted those hours. You met a new person! You discussed stuff! You possibly gained perspective from a different point of view. You might have gained a new business connection through working in the same industry. There’s no need to burn the bridge by saying, “You don’t look like your picture and I find you boring. Peace!” If they ask if you weren’t feeling it, you can be honest. “Yea, I’m not sensing a connection.” It happens. If you’re an adult and he/she’s an adult, you can have an adult parting of ways and go back to avoiding adult life alone in your room listening to certain slutty podcasts.
Or they prove to be a horror show and you can immediately give them The Therapist: “Times’ up!”