Cupid's Pulse Article: 5 Ways to Avoid a Bad Date Before It HappensCupid's Pulse Article: 5 Ways to Avoid a Bad Date Before It Happens

By Michelle Danzig

Bad dates are inevitable. Many magazines even feature an entire page devoted to embarrassing and awful date stories submitted by avid readers. Prepare yourself, because everyone will experience an awkward, boring or just plain awful date at least once in their lives. The talkative; the obnoxious; the rude; the stand up–we’ve all been there. With the New Year here and Valentine’s Day approaching, you may find yourself scrambling to find dates. Don’t just settle because you may end up discouraged. Here are some excellent tips from the experts on how to avoid a bad date before it happens:

1. Get to know each other first. With today’s technology, there is no reason to not get to know the person you are planning on spending a potentially romantic evening with. If you met on an online dating site, this may have already happened. Online relationships have become extremely successful because you must read a person’s profile before meeting them. Dateologist Tracey Steinberg says, “Always speak on the phone for at least 10 minutes to see if you have anything to talk about and if he can hold up his end of the conversation. It requires a lot less energy to end a bad phone call than a bad date.”  Similarly, dating relationship advisor and comedian John Powers recommends “When you’re exchanging emails, texts, or phone calls you should listen carefully for awkwardness, hesitation or anything unusual. If this person is social and friendly then they should come across as natural and relaxed through any type of communication exchange. Pay attention to how they express themselves. If you sense anything out of the ordinary you should cancel
the date.”

Related: Date From Hell: 10 Ways to Get Out of It, Tactfully

2. Make a mutual decision on the venue. If you don’t like sports at all, don’t agree to go to a sporting event. If you hate jazz music, don’t offer to take your date to a jazz club. Powers says, “Being in an uncomfortable situation always makes for a bad date. Arrange to meet in a public place where

you feel safe and secure. Go someplace you have been before and allow the date to be whatever it will be.”

3. Keep it short and sweet. Dating Coach and the author of the book Gratitude, Giggles & Grace, Tracy Fagan, recommends starting with a small investment. She says, “For first dates, only commit to coffee or a drink. You can make it through 30-45 minutes, no problem. If you commit to a full meal, you may sign up for more than you really want to invest.”

Related: Getting Back in the Dating Game This New Year 

4. Don’t go on a date immediately after a breakup. No matter how you feel after a breakup, going on a date right away is not a great idea. Take some time to reflect on and heal from your breakup before you end up chewing off your date’s ear talking about your ex. Powers also recommends not rushing into dates. He says, “Being in a hurry leads to desperation and lack of interest. To avoid a bad date it is important that you do not accept every date that is offered to you. Be selective and feel free to turn down a date if it doesn’t fit your schedule [or needs].”

5. Trust your instincts. According to Fagan, If something doesn’t feel right, it most likely
isn’t right. She says, “Even if you have agreed to meeting, and over the course of continued conversation, if the other person starts making you feel uncomfortable–politely–cancel the date. One of my dating mantras that share in my book says, ‘You can’t make Mr. Wrong right and you can’t make Mr. Right wrong.” Similarly, Powers suggests, “Bail on a date if you’re just not feeling it. There is probably a good reason you were
not feeling it.”

What are some ways you avoid a bad date before you go on it?