Sometimes humor isn't what the bad date doctor ordered. Let's take a look at some situations where a different approach is called for, along with the best plan of attack for each.
Scenario No. 1: Defensive Tackle
Certain hot topics can catapult even the coolest cucumber into a pickle. We're talking issues such as politics, religion, or an über-sports team allegiance. If your conversation has detoured into this type of territory, and you've offended your date, consider this advice from the author of "How to Fix (Just About) Everything," Bill Marken: "If you inadvertently insult your date, apologize and drop the subject. Depending on the severity of your insult, your date might forgive and forget." Try shifting the topic into something more neutral, such as pets, pop culture, or travel.
Scenario No. 2: Mind Your Manners
If it's a case of bad table etiquette, loud behavior or a clearly unprovoked sign of disrespect to those around you (wait staff, other diners), try to lead by example. If that doesn't work, politely suggest your date dial it down a bit by showing her you get more bees with honey. Be discreet to avoid embarrassing her and adding fuel to the fire.
Scenario No. 3: Happy Hour Becomes Unhappy Hour
Did someone signal for (yet) another round? If it's your date that's had one too many, discreetly switch to water or something else that's non-alcoholic. If your date is resistant, pull the waiter aside and let him make the suggestion. Do not get behind the wheel with your date under any circumstances.
If you're the one feeling like you're too many sheets to the wind, don't try to hide it, as it's probably just as obvious to your date. Offer a quick apology and stop drinking immediately. If you drove, leave your car behind and call a friend for a ride or a cab.