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Simply Solo Spotlight: The Modern-Day Dating Lemon Law

May 15, 2012

Happy Tuesday! Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by Erika Ettin, the founder of A Little Nudge. Erika helps people navigate the world of online dating. Her services include writing unique profiles to get you noticed, helping to choose your best profile pictures, writing one-of-a-kind e-mails to get someone’s attention and planning dates. After you comment on today’s guest post, be sure to check out Erika’s site!

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at:

The Modern-Day Dating Lemon Law

Photo courtesy of Miss Muffin

You’re on a date. It’s going just OK. Actually, no it’s not. You’re bored. He lied in his profile. Her jokes are offensive. You got into an argument over some spilled wine. He was rude to the waiter. She thought it was polite to spit out her gum and keep it behind her ear for later. He started talking about a potential Martian invasion and possible future wars between humans and aliens. Whatever the reason, you want out.

And herein lies the question: Is there a polite, socially acceptable way to end a bad date and extricate yourself quickly and gracefully?

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about Barney Stinson’s Lemon Law.

In case you don’t watch How I Met Your Mother:

I’m just talking about a courteous gesture that indicates that the date is over.

I once went on a JDate to play ping pong. (If you know me at all, you know I’m a ping pong fiend.) When I got there, I couldn’t find him. Why, you might ask? Well, he was about 50 pounds heavier than his JDate picture and stated weight indicated. I could talk for hours about the reasons not to lie online, but I’ll save that for later. I wasn’t happy that my date lied, but I was already there, so I figured I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. But it soon became clear that he was exceedingly boring (like, pulling teeth boring) and a poor sport at losing to me in ping pong. Three strikes for him, and I was outta there. I told him that my workout earlier in the day had really taken it out of me and that I had to go home.

Did I do the right thing? Maybe. In hindsight, it might have been more appropriate to say that I was disappointed that he had misrepresented his appearance. But what’s done is done.

When it comes to a bad date, first determine the nature of “bad.” Is it “creepy” bad or just “no sparks” bad? If it’s the latter, then your best bet is to stick it out (at least for one drink or a cup of coffee). A drink can’t hurt matters either … It may actually loosen you both up. Who knows? You might even start to like each other. Plus, the worst that happens is you might get a funny story out of it. “Remember that time when I went out with a guy from JDate who had taken me out six years prior, but I didn’t recognize him? I didn’t like him then, and I certainly didn’t like him now!” Yep – happened to yours truly. I’m glad I stuck that one out since I’m still telling the story.

For the “creepy” bad date (other variants are “scary” bad, “offensive” bad, “mean” bad – you get the picture), the best bet is to (gulp!) be honest. This is definitely the most awkward choice, but it’s also the most mature. “You know, I just don’t think we’re clicking. It was nice to meet you, but I don’t want either of us to waste our time, so I thought I’d say that to give us the option to go do something else fun tonight.”

Telling a white lie (you’re not feeling well, you ate some bad cheese, you forgot about a work function you have to attend, you’re really tired, etc.) to get out of a date, like I did, isn’t usually the smartest move. You may cross paths with this person again, which actually makes this choice pretty awkward too. Your date may not have gotten the hint and may try to ask you out again, and the lie will become apparent by your present lack of interest. No, a little white lie never killed anyone, but if you’re comfortable enough to use the, “I just don’t think we’re clicking” line, it’s a better, more honest approach.

So, while there’s no modern-day dating Lemon Law, if your date starts discussing the pros of dogfighting, or coughing in your face without any regard for your personal space, it’s ok to admit you’re not a match and move on. Even Oprah agrees!

What’s your strategy for getting out of a bad date? Any tips you can provide?

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2012 9:09 am

    I hate blind dates but then all dates seem to be a bit tricky

  2. May 15, 2012 10:45 am

    I agree. I’d rather be honest as to why I’m cutting the date short so I don’t have to deal with any followup.

  3. Marcy permalink
    May 15, 2012 1:29 pm

    I do think some caution here is needed…. a coworker of mine went on a coffee date with a guy. She went through the date but felt no sparks. At the end, she was honest and said it was nice to meet him but she didn’t feel any sparks. That night, he sent her a series of sexually explicit texts with veiled threats of what he would do to her. Seriously. She did alert the online dating company and blocked him from her phone, but it was scary!

  4. May 25, 2012 6:39 am

    Absolutely be up front and honest. I have a good friend who does this. She is incredibly thick skinned so they normally hit back at her but she notes what they say and moves on (takes anything on board she agrees needs correcting). Now the thing is she’s ended up being good friends with a number of these guys because they appreciated the blunt truth and it even helped them improve their profiles and find dates. The one time she wasn’t 100% honest she ended up kissing another guy whilst her date went to the restroom! What can I say she’s funny and independent all her own.

    But yes I think being up front and honest is the best policy.

    Great talking point. I’ll tweet this out shortly.

    Have a lovely weekend

    • May 25, 2012 8:45 am


      Thanks for the comment! They do say honesty is the best policy, and I agree. (And apparently so does your friend. :))


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