Monday, December 20, 2010

EDIP: Emergency Dating Interference Procedures

Shidduch dating is risky business because you never really know how a date may go. You might have had the best phone call, and a person may have sounded great on paper, but then you arrive on the date, and suddenly things are not going quite as well. You notice that it has been a full minute since either of you has said something, which in dating time feels like an hour, and as you desperately rack your brain trying to think of something, anything to say, you try to sneak a peek at your watch. Only to discover that you haven’t yet spend an hour with this person.

If you’re a guy, then you’re in control and you have to just stick it out until it’s been long enough for you to say, “OK, let’s head back now,” or something to indicate that it is time to end the date, and then take the girl back home. If you are the girl however, then you are stuck waiting for the guy to end the date. And if he is having a jolly old time, while you are smiling on the outside and going crazy on the inside, then drastic measures are in order. Some of us are the blunt and comfortable type and don’t mind saying gently, “Are you ready to head back?” but sometimes guys just don’t seem to get the hint. Therefore, I would like to make a suggestion.

We need to establish girl code EDIP: Emergency Dating Interference Procedures. (Also called: eDip). My problem is that none of my eDip plans seem to work. In theory, the way eDip would work is that Girl A would make a plan with her friend, Girl B, to call with an emergency in the middle of the date. Then if all was going terrible, Girl A could excuse herself, answer her phone and apologize profusely and explain that she needs to take care of the emergency. The obvious problem with this is: who answers their phone in the middle of a date? That is just rude. So scratch that plan. My next idea for a plan is to take advantage when your date goes to the bathroom and pretend to be on the phone when he comes out, with someone who calls with an emergency. If your date doesn’t take a break, then this plan doesn’t work either. If your phone starts ringing while you are “pretending” to be on the phone, then this plan goes up in smokes as well.

My third attempt at eDip would be to tell the friend where you are going so the friend can show up and interrupt your date. But what do you do if you’re actually having a good time? How would you signal to your friend that the eDip should be called off? It seems there is no way for us to rescue our friends from bad dates early, nor is there a way for them to save us. I suppose we are doomed to being forced to stick it out.

Perhaps one of you has a better suggestion. Any ideas for a successful eDip?

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20 comments:

  1. I think the best solution is counter-offensive:

    If he is telling you about his engineering plans or last Sugiot you are not interested in, counter-attack by telling him all the details about your last shopping trip with your best friend and why the X shoes are so much better than the Y shoes and you would never consider to go to H&M and only go to Zara (or vice-versa) and which lipstick is best...

    In this case, there are two possibilities: Either he ends the date immediately, or he is interested in those subjects (very improbable) and you are having a good time...

    Don't depend on others when you can do it all by yourself...

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  2. I think "Art of the Date" discusses this (why everyone makes fun of it without reading it and seeing that it has some decent ideas in it is beyond me). You could comebine the first two ideas, excuse yourself to use the restroom and pull the emergency phone call shtick.

    One girl I went out with produced a nail file from her purse and starting rubbing away while ignoring everything I said. I definitely took that as a hint that it was time to conclude the date.

    You could also say something to the effect of you're not feeling well or whatever and would like to go back home and rest. I would find that perfectly accepted and not too in-your-face.

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  3. Once I suspected a date was not going to be a winner, and I actually arranged for a friend to meet me (in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt). If my friend saw me remove my bracelet and put it back on, the friend was to come over as a long-lost high-school chum and break up the date. It worked very well, except that the guy called me the next day anyway.

    PS. This was 22 years ago, today I would be using a cellphone in the restroom instead of arranging it in advance.

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  4. Crashdate- I like that plan! Always best not to rely on friends who could misunderstand a signal.

    SoG- Wow, filing nails in the middle of a date is quite rude. Really impressive. I probably would have been like, "Is everything OK or are you seriously filing your nails right now?"

    Anonymous- A successful eDip story! I like that idea, thanks for sharing it. Even though he called you, trying to get off the phone with a guy is easier than trying to end a date, especially if he drove you somewhere and you don't have any other way home/ the other ways home cost a lot of money. On the phone you can just politely say you have to go and if it really gets desperate you always know you have the possibility to hang up.

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  5. I know people use the contact lens “malfunctions” as an “eDip.” One can surreptitiously rub their eyes a few times, excuse themselves to the bathroom, and return to their date and inform them of the unfortunate news that their contact lens is driving them crazy. Another common eDip, aside from feigning sickness, is claiming extreme tiredness or the need to study for an eminent test which one just realized they forgot to remember earlier. I mean there are ways of doing this with body language too, such as yawning every three seconds, looking at one’s watch, or pretending to doze off… but I assume we are talking worst case scenarios here. And the reason I know this…? Sometime a guy has to justify ending a date abnormally early too… ;-)

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  6. SiBW- great suggestions! Too bad I don't have contacts, though I suppose I could always pretend. The problem with yawning/looking at watch is that sometimes people don't pick up on subtle cues.

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  7. A while ago I wrote a post called Top Ten Ways to End a Bad Date.
    http://ablobofsomethingdifferent.blogspot.com/2009/10/top-ten-ways-to-end-bad-date.html

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  8. For me, I'd rather get through the few hours of the date and chalk the lost time to experience, prava galus, or counting down the meter.

    I though even bad dates have a divine purpose?

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  9. You have a mouth? Use it? Simply say that you need to go home because of an early presentation/class or whatever it is. Say it kindly so he doesn't think you are a jerk.

    Think of it like this - what happens if you are on a date that you don't want to end, but need to because of an early presentation/class or whatever. You would say something. So why not now?

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  10. SD- hilarious post! :)

    Bookworm- Bad dates have a purpose, and I make sure to learn something from each date, good and bad. However, that doesn't mean I don't try my best to end them.

    Anon 99- yes, but coming up with crazy interference plans is much more fun!

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  11. I didn't read this until now and am a little surprised and how easily people throw out suggestions that are borderline rude and hurtful. Sometimes dates are DOA, fact of life. What's so terrible about sitting through it and sparing a guy or girl embarrassment and discomfort? I've had dates that I knew weren't going to go anywhere, and I sat through it anyway because what is a few hours in my life compared to hurting another person who made the effort to get to this place?

    Sorry about this little rant; I'm not trying to be self-righteous or anything, I'm just a little shocked at the concept.

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  12. SiR- The bottom line is that I agree with you. I always just sit through bad dates without doing anything to end them, and of course it is important not to hurt anyone's feelings. But while I'm sitting there waiting for it to be over, I can't help but think of crazy ideas to end the date that I would never actually do in real life! :)

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  13. Good article keep posting this type of articles..............

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  14. SternGrad,

    You'd be surprised at what a guy can pick up. The thing is that girls think guys don't pick up these hints while we do but we just don't let the girls know it.

    I dated a number of girls who made "subtle hints" that they were ready to leave, yet I ignored them because the hints were rude.

    A yawn at any time other than a date is fine, but on a date, if not followed with a, "I am so sorry, I am interested in the conversation, it's just that I went to sleep last night at 5AM," is anything but subtle and sometimes done in a rude way, like a full-arm extension instead of merely covering the mouth.

    Looking at a watch is down-right rude. Rather, getting caught looking is rude. I'm sorry, you have to be somewhere more important? Your time is more valuable than mine? (When girls think they peeked without their date seeing, they are many times fooling themselves. Guys see; we just don't let on. At least the gentlemen don't let on.)

    Whether correct or not, my general policy is that I stay out with a date for at least 3 hours because that is enough time that if she is going crazy, it's not too long a time to "hold her captive," and if she likes me, it's enough time to give her the respect she deserves if I am not interested.

    That is why I set my alarm on a non-audible vibrate setting to go off 2:45 after I pick up my date. This way I don't disrespect her by looking at my watch and I know to leave and drive her home if I am not interested. That's my EDIP.

    A side point to which I will respond is that when you wrote, "while you are smiling on the outside and going crazy on the inside," just be careful that you are not "turning off."

    I give girls the benefit of the doubt that they are nice people so I can't imagine that a date will consciously turn-off because it is extremely rude. Therefore, I assume they do not realize they are turning-off. By this I mean that when the date realizes they are not interested, they are still capable of smiling and nodding but their eyes get this glazed look and one can tell that all effort to make conversation has left. Welcome to the land of monosyllable responses and "pulling teeth for an answer" zone.

    To all female readers: please be careful because guys pick up more, and are more sensitive,than you think.

    (Man, I should write some guest posts or run my own blog!)

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  15. lawschooldrunk- you should write a guest post or start your own blog! You seem to have lots of ideas and opinions to share. If you'd like to write a guest post, I would post it, so let me know.

    What you said applies to guys as well- I've been on dates where guys have yawned/looked at their watch, but you make a good point that both parties should be careful not to offend their date.

    I like your idea of 3 hours- I agree that it is the perfect amount of time, though it's a bit long if the date is going terribly. However, I once thought a date was going really well and he took me home after not even 2 hours and all I could think is, "Oh no, what did I do wrong?"

    I never "turn off" during dates, even when I'm having a terrible time (which luckily is rare that it's really so bad), and always try to keep conversation going.

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  16. SternGrad, this is a great post! I don't have any mentsch-like Edips, but I definitely know of more than a few not-so-nice ones :D

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  17. Sefardi Gal- yes, thinking of the not-so-nice ones is a lot easier :)

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  18. Maybe I'm not understanding some type of tacit rule here, but why is he in control?
    Why can't you be honest and say, "You seem like a really nice guy, but I don't feel like we have chemistry. Maybe we should call it a night"?

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  19. Anonymous- A practical reason. The expectation is that the guy will be taking the girl back to her place of residence. Therefore if you say that then you end up with an awkward car ride back to deal with. Also, you don't want to offend the guy- things would have to be pretty bad for a girl to say that. In most cases you just stick it out for the few hours and get over it.

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