Dating Don'ts: How Not to Get a Second Date

The unholy trinity of Photoshop, spell check and the Internet means that even the most illiterate, personality-deficient, hideous troll can land a first date, much to a lady's disappointment. Landing a second date is the tricky bit, so when you realize you'd like to never see this guy again, there are some tried and true strategies to assure that he decides the first date is also the last.

"Forget" your wallet. There is nothing more awkward than wrestling your date for the check. Actually, there is one thing more awkward, and that's when you offer to split the check and he accepts; except you have no intention of following through and offer up this lame excuse in lieu of a handful of greenbacks.

Cry. Sobs of sadness, tears of joy-it doesn't matter. Water coming out of your eyeballs will kill the mood quicker than finding out he still sucks his thumb.

Inappropriate disclosure of the personal kind. You know how you've always really admired the curve of your brother's bum in his too-tight pair of Wranglers? Share that little tidbit and see what happens.

Perplexing puppetry. All you need is a pen to draw the eyes and mouth and you've got yourself a Señor Wences-style hand puppet. Once your date starts getting on your nerves (and on any first date, the chances are 70/30 in favor of that happening), insist that he address his comments to the hand. Bonus points if you can up the annoyance ante with a fake foreign accent. He will think you're a nutter, and not in a good way.

EXcessive EX talk. Despite your best efforts, you can see he's intrigued and starting to like you. He played along with the puppet. This calls for the big guns-it's time to bust out the ex collection. There are two ways to play this-both equally effective:

  • Still Smitten-Reluctantly explain that ex-BF was The One for you and all others ("no offense") pale in comparison. Your mother loved your ex and your dad still hasn't forgiven you for depriving him of the son-in-law he'd always dreamed of. In fact, you're wearing BF's old shirt under your dress-it's still stained from the glass of wine you threw upon discovering he was hooking up with your best friend. Wah!
  • Still Smiting-That low-life cretin. How dare he dump you! But you showed him. You hacked into his email and changed all the passwords; then you slept with his best friend and poured sugar in his gas tank. He thinks that you're done, but you've only just begun. . .

If, after all this, your dude sticks around, it's time to reassess-because either you're totally irresistible, he's mentally ill, or he's actually turned out to be a total catch. (Perhaps a little of all three.) In any case, you might want to give him a second chance. And a second date.

Judy McGuire is the author of How Not to Date (Sasquatch Books), and for the past eight years, has been writing a funny sex and love advice column called "Dategirl" for the Seattle Weekly.

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