You’re on a date and it’s not going well. The moment the two of you sat down, something felt off and now you are faced with one of the most uncomfortable first date predicaments singles have to deal with — should you suffer when the vibe is off or end a bad date early?
I’d say that for the most part you should not end a bad date early, although there can be a few exceptions. It’s also important to note that, if you follow my guidelines on how to structure the first three dates, you really shouldn’t be hanging out with the person for more than an hour anyway.
My dating rules are as follows:
- The first date is meant to establish trust and rapport. It should cost no more than $10-$15 and should last no longer than an hour.
- The second date should be something that is active and free. This date is intended to escalate sexual tension.
- The third date is where you get to pull out all the stops with a fancy dinner and discover whether or not you two are morals and values fit. This is often the date where physical intimacy will occur.
So basically, if you can’t get through an entire hour with the person it is either because:
- There is something seriously amiss that warrants you ending the date early.
- You are not using the right strategies during the date to make it go from awful to enjoyable.
A bad date that starts off badly doesn’t have to end badly.
When to End a Bad Date Early
Most of the time, I definitely recommend sticking it out when it comes to a first date. Bailing 15 or 30 minutes in just comes off as rude and disrespectful. But there are a few exceptions to this rule.
If a date arrives and she announces that she likes to kick puppies for fun or something of that nature, you are completely entitled to haul ass.
But seriously, if a woman leads you to believe that she is dangerous or is going to put you in a dangerous situation, you should absolutely leave. Trust your gut on this one.
Moreover, if a woman is just straight up mean and insulting to you, you should definitely leave. No one deserves to be disrespected.
She Shows Up Completely Intoxicated
If your date shows up completely wasted, yeah, the date can end right away. Make sure you alert staff at your dating destination or a law officer of the situation, make sure she is going to be taken home safely and be on your way.
Aside from those things, though, you should really try to stick it out when it comes to a first date.
She’s Wearing a Ring
Surprise! It turns out that your match from Bumble is married! Yeah, you can end a bad date the second you find that out.
Also, if a woman claims to be recently divorced but is actually “technically married” still, you’re free to leave.
And finally, any woman who has an exclusive boyfriend but is choosing to step out on him is one you want to get away from as quickly as possible.
Tip #1: View the Bad Date as Practice
Practice makes perfect and — unfortunately — part of practicing can involve a lot of trial and error.
You can always use the bad vibes you got on the date as a way to inform your next steps in the dating world.
Instead of letting the “bad vibes” and/or lack of chemistry dishearten you, analyze the parts of the date that felt weird. Ask yourself some questions:
- When the vibe got weird, did you continue to act authentically or did you start to act out of sorts as a result? There’s a chance that the date could have gotten back on track, in spite of its rocky start, if you pushed through the weird vibe with charm, confidence, and humor.
- What exactly didn’t feel good about the date? At what moment did you realize that the vibe was off?
During my 100-date experiment, I treated dating as a research project and doing so paid off big time.
One of the main dating strategies I used was MegaDating. MegaDating is a dating process where you go out on dates with several different people at the same time. Using this strategy will help you get better at dating faster and also alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with early dating stages.
When you MegaDate, you don’t sweat the small stuff as much because you’re seeing that there are plenty of fish in the sea. This keeps you from settling for the mediocre or getting super upset over things like rejection.
Give MegaDating a try and I guarantee you that dating will be more fun, less frustrating, and the “weird vibes during a date” won’t be a point of rumination.
Tip #2: Take the Bad and Use it to Create New Qualifications
Sometimes dates go badly because two people simply aren’t compatible and that’s OK.
Think about which traits made you consider leaving the date early and use those things to create new qualifications for future dates.
Let’s say that you met this woman on a dating app. With the information from your bad date in hand, you can go back to your profile and craft a more stringent set of qualifications.
For example, if one of the issues was that she couldn’t take a joke, use that to alter your profile. Maybe you can add a funny quote or make your tagline more humorous in order to attract a woman who is more comically inclined.
Also, take a look back at the profile of the woman you went on a bad date with. Look at clues in her profile that might have indicated that she took herself too seriously or signaled she was going to give you weird vibes.
Learning to read the signs on her profile that she isn’t the right fit for you, can save you tons of time, money, and weird vibes.
Tip #3: Flip the Script
There are things that you can do to salvage a bad date if it gets off to a rocky start, or prevent awkwardness altogether.
Like I said, the first date is about building trust and rapport, and rapport is about connecting over shared interests.
There are a number of questions you can ask on a first date that will help to alleviate awkwardness and build rapport, such as:
- What would constitute a “perfect” first date for you?
- What hobbies would you like to get into if you had the time and money?
- What’s the most recent TV series you binged or re-watched?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve?
- How would your friends describe you?
- What do you and your friends like to go out and do for fun?
It can also be helpful to get a bit more introspective and ask yourself what you could have done differently on the date. Were you forcing the conversation? Did you feel nervous and — if so — do you think that added to the awkwardness of the date? Did you smile and attempt to put her at ease?
There are a number of different reasons that people can get bad vibes during a date, but sometimes it has nothing to do with two people being compatible and more to do with allowing nerves and overthinking to dominate the atmosphere.
Keep in mind that she might have just come from going on a string of bad dates and be nervous about this one, which could be what is making her send you bad vibes. If you behave authentically, this can ease her nerves and there’s a chance that you will find a lot of chemistry with her once she calms down and acts like her regular self.
One thing you can do to ensure that you are confident and behaving authentically is to warm up before a date.
When advising my clients, I always recommend that they “warm up” before a date by having something planned about an hour and a half before you’re supposed to meet her.
Socialize with friends or the baristas at you local coffee shop to get you in the mood for conversing. At a minimum, you could simply go outside to a park and catch up with a few friends on the phone.
This type of happy distraction can make all the difference when it comes to making a great impression on her during your first date.
Tip #4: Try This Fun Assignment
A lot of times we forget that dating is supposed to be fun and end up treating it like a chore or a job interview rather than an exciting new experience.
To get yourself out of the mindset of “I’m dating because I have to” or “Dating sucks but I want a girlfriend so it’s a necessary evil,” try this fun assignment.
Think of your favorite band or artist.
What if I told you that your assignment this week is to find a woman who loves the same exact band you do? How would you find her?
Would you search for Meetup groups for fans of the band? Would you go on their Twitter page and look through all the women who have liked them, then try and connect with her? Would you add a note that you’re looking for a woman who loves that band on your dating profile? Would you start your first intro message to each woman on dating apps with the question, what’s your favorite musician?
Think about how you might find a woman who shared this specific interest with you.
Now apply that framework to other interests you have. Add those interests to your dating profiles. Imagine how much more compatible your dating partners might become.
Because rapport is so important during a first date, you need to make finding those shared interests a priority. When you find a woman who you have things in common with, and use those things as points of conversation, dates will flow more easily and you will avoid awkwardness and bad vibes.
Should I End a Bad Date Early Wrap-up: Looking for Good Vibes and Better Dates?
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