Speed dating events in London are the perfect way to meet like-minded singles. You'll meet a lot of people when you speed date and the chances are you're highly likely to meet at least one person you click with.
However, quite naturally not everyone you meet is going to be your type. How do you deal with that one in ten that really isn’t for you? What to do if things get awkward?
Occasionally, for whatever reason, it’s best to bow out gracefully and give yourself a bit of personal space. Doing so at the right time can reap significant benefits in the medium term.
So here are my top ten tips on why excusing yourself for a bathroom break could reinvigorate your speed date.
10) To prevent accidents
Okay, this one is a little obvious, and incontinence doesn’t figure too significantly in physical traits of our speed daters. But there is also a degree of method here. A fair bit of drinking occurs at speed dating events and if you’ve broken the seal then such visits may become embarrassingly frequent.
Try and hold on until you’re on a date with someone nice but not really for you. Being nice, they’ll understand and will wait patiently. And you’ll be freshly prepared to really focus on those you’re attracted to.
9) The speed date sweats
This is particularly useful for guys but the condition can hit anyone.
You’ve rushed straight from work to a large speed date event. You feel as if the pressure is on. You haven’t had time to grab a drink and chill out and the sweat starts to pour.
Better to disappoint someone with your absence than revile them with stained armpits and dripping saline solution into your drink.
8) The wind of change
Farting. It’s natural. We all do it. We all know we do it. It smells. It’s embarrassing. It’s a huge turn off.
Whether you catch the crafty cloud before it’s escape or an emergency emission is creeping its way steadily to the noses of those nearest, do not hesitate. Leave immediately. Remain calm. The smell will still hit, but if you time it right, people will still be guessing at the culprit by time you return.
Just make sure that when you sit down you pause, wrinkle your nose and frown slightly and whisper to your date, “Can you smell something?”
7) My office. Now!
Obviously we’d rather you waited until the break but rarely there may be a gap or two into which your friend has found themselves ensconced. If you absolutely must have that immediate debrief, perhaps due to the overwhelming hotness of your current date, then off you go and enjoy the pep talk.
Just make sure you’re back in time for your next date!
6) The great escape
Sometimes one slips through the net. The odd ball. The drunk. The socially inept. The offensive.
Rather than engage in a heated discussion around your dates views on the world or their social inadequacies, do your blood pressure a favour and excuse yourself for a bathroom break.
You’ll be in a far better position to engage with the more acceptable members of the event. And if they really are that bad, it gives you a chance to inform the host so they can ensure no-one else ends up in the same situation.
You’re ready to date again and you’ve done a great community service.
5) Physical deformity
As you transition from one date to another a friend points out your makeup is running/there is spinach in your teeth/your wig is falling off/your fly is undone.
A very quick trip to the loo could be the difference between a great conversation and smiles all round and a constant look of horror on your dates face and comments on your general level of hygiene.
4) Leave them wanting more
If you’ve reached a conversational impasse but are sure there is a spark, taking a little step away could be the best way to gauge if the feeling is mutual. It also allows you the opportunity to bridge the gap between polite conversation and definite chat later.
“This is a little embarrassing but I really need to pop to the loo. Which is also a shame because I really want to chat more. To apologise how about I buy you a drink after and we can keep talking.” Their response will tell you everything.
3) Is that a cramp in your leg or are you just pleased to see me?
Okay. This is a random one and happened to me.
I was happily chatting away and about one minute into my date my leg started to twitch in anticipation of a cramp. I had seconds to decide what to do. Unfortunately, I didn’t choose the bathroom option.
Cue leaping up from my chair mid date only to hop maniacally for the next thirty seconds trying to rid myself of the rather painful muscular spasm. Oh, and I knocked my drink all over the table.
2) Check out the talent
If you’ve arrived early and you’re all ready to go, you may not have had time to assess the relative physical possibilities of those who arrive later.
A moderate stride to the loo gives you the perfect opportunity for a quick scan around the room. Next date looks interesting? Hurry back.
1) I’m pretty sure that earlier date likes me
Already met someone but want to nudge things along before the social melee at the end of the event? Excuse yourself from your current date and head slowly toward the bathroom then – and this is the important bit – make eye contact with the focus of your desire and smile. If you can, a little stumble and a brush across their back with an embarrassed apology can also work.
The only down side is if they’re particularly bold or drunk and before you know it there’s an expectant knock on the door. Awkward.