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How to Salvage a Bad Date


Using Humor to Salvage a Bad Date
Think she'll still be there when he's finally finished?
Think she'll still be there when he's finally finished?
Hemera/Thinkstock

Can the gift of laughter help alleviate a bad date? Here are a few situations where humor might be the best medicine.

Scenario No.1: Cell Hell

Cell phones, PDAs and smart phones have become everyone's BFFs, so you might find yourself on a date where you're the third wheel to technology. Is the preoccupation legitimate, such as a work obligation, or just merely a bad habit? Either way, a humor fix could be appropriate. Try a lighthearted joke or comment, about how "in demand" your date is, which will hopefully make him or her give the phone a rest for the remainder of your time together. If that doesn't work, ramp up the humor and ask if your date and his cell would like to get a room.

Scenario No. 2: Silence is Not So Golden

Pausing for effect is one thing; long, "I have no idea what to say next" pauses can be awkward to say the very least. If you find yourself in such a situation, try throwing a life vest into the conversation pool via a funny comment. Have some prepared ahead of time: It's what the experts like stand-up comedian Tracie Jayne would do. She always has stock one-liners "locked and loaded" to help her recover when jokes fall flat. Apply the same tactics:

  • "Is this thing on?"
  • "Am I coming in clear?"
  • "We need a crash cart … stat."

If that doesn't work, try posing a question to your date to reengage the conversation, such as:

"What's the last book you read?" or "If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?" or "What was your first/best/favorite concert?"

Another idea would be to suggest switching locations to a place where there's an activity involved, such as bowling or miniature golf, to lessen the need for talk.

Scenario No. 3: Too Much, Too Soon

Whether it's you or your date airing your dirty laundry, there are certain topics that can take anyone aback, especially during the initial courtship. Subjects like nasty diseases, tales of the no-good ex, how much or how little money is earned. If any of these scenarios come into play, try to redirect to more lighthearted topics such as those listed above. Or ask your date about some of the positive things going on her life.


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