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We’ve all been at a restaurant with a date having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad time. This is most likely to happen on the ever–feared, usually awkward, crapshoot of a first date, but it’s also been known to happen from date two on up.
Picture it: You. Him. The Olive Garden. The only thing keeping you sane is the glorious, bottomless, never-ending basket of buttery garlic bread being brought to the table. Both of you are avoiding eye contact because you have both run out of ridiculous nonsense to fill the gaps in between awkward silence after awkward silence.
Perhaps you quibbled at some point in the conversation over something silly like politics and now you’re unsure how to recover from it. Or worse, maybe he is an absolute bore, pig, or loser. Whatever. No matter how you arrived at your own living, personal hell, when you are smack dab in the middle of a bad date with someone you perceive to have nothing in common with, you have three options.
What happens on most dates when both parties complain they “have nothing in common” is they get lazy and quit looking. It is so easy when two people get together to focus on the differences instead of the similarities. We all have something in common, even if it’s the weather, which, if brought up, could prompt a 30-minute conversation about how you both hate to talk about the weather.
The beauty of getting to know another person is asking the right questions and getting honest answers. You may find the answers don’t jibe with your own beliefs and opinions, but at least you got to know someone a little deeper before dismissing them altogether. Most people are actually really interesting when you mention a topic they feel most passionate about.
If the man loves football, listen to him talk about that Cowboys quarterback who fumbled the entire game and act like you care. Ask questions, admit you don’t know a thing about football and ask him to teach you. There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know something. It can create an opportunity for you to learn something new and fill up 30 minutes worth of conversation, which will loosen you both up.
“If you give the guy half a chance, you may actually
connect with him in ways you never anticipated.”
Guess what always loosens the tongue and provokes maddening, deafening, meaningless speech? Alcohol, YAY!! If you and your date reach a lull in the evening or a place where you feel like every passing second is an hour, resort to large quantities of alcohol. Keep in mind, of course, if your date revealed to you at some point in the evening he only has 13 days of sobriety, this is probably not a fantastic idea.
Ladies, please don’t lie to a man to get out of the rest of a date. It‘s so cliche but women still do the 30-minute-date trick. You know, they tell a friend to call them 30 minutes into the date to give them an out if they want to leave early.
“Gee, my great aunt just caught a bout of shingles. I’d better go check on her.”
No, no, no. The man is buying you dinner. The least you could do is humor him long enough for him have the pleasure of saying, “Check, please!”
And by the way, before you decide to skip dessert and make a mad dash for the comfort of your fuzzy pajamas, ask yourself if you are be being too hard on your date. Could it be you’ve forgotten one of the greatest conundrums of love — opposites attract.
If you give the guy half a chance, you may actually connect with him in ways you never anticipated. Who knows? What starts out as a bad date could lead to a lasting, happy relationship. You could meet the love of your life or the loser of a lifetime. Either way, enjoy the ride!