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By Erica St. Claire, from Catholic Singles Dating Sites:

IF you're single and in the process of dating, you might have enough bad dates under your belt to write a horror story - or maybe even a series. And sure, bad dates are expected to happen from time to time... but when they do, there's no doubt that they leave you feeling awkward, disappointed and maybe even questioning the entire human race as you swear never to go on another date again. So the next time that you're on a date that would be described just about as far away from "good" as possible, be sure to keep the following tips in mind for dealing with it:

Plan ahead. If something is telling you that the date might not go as well as you'd like but you still decide to give the person a chance anyway, plan on holding the date in a casual setting. Meeting for a cup of coffee or a quick lunch won't put as much pressure on the situation as a fancy dinner at the nicest restaurant in town. And if the date does in fact spiral downhill, you can be out of there quickly and painlessly.

If you think your date might not go as well as you would hope, choose a casual setting like a cafe
Always be polite. No matter how much the person isn't a fit for you and no matter how much you'd rather be at the dentist having a root-canal than where you are, you should never be rude to your date. Try your best to grin, bear it and once it's over, you donít have to go out with them ever again. Remember to treat others how you want to be treated and give your date enough respect to at least finish out the evening.

If the situation calls for it - leave. Now if your date is being rude to you, putting you in a questionable situation or even crossing the line of being abusive - that's a different story. Should these things happen, don't be afraid to bow out early and call it quits. No one with the right intentions will make you feel uncomfortable - and you donít have to stand for it. Be sure to keep a cell phone handy in case you need to phone a friend or anyone else to help you get to a safe place.

Take nerves into consideration. For many dates - especially first ones - nerves are the culprit for the classification of "bad." So be sure to think about that before you make the call to never see the person again. Many couples look back on their first date and laugh about how awkward and nervous they were around each other... these feelings are very normal when first getting to know someone. So if you think that a spark could be ignited on a date number two, then give the person another chance and go for it!

Honesty is the best policy. If you had an awful date and the person you went out with thought it went better than you did, you at least owe it to them to be honest. Of course, don't tell them that you thought it was the worst date of your entire existence - but should they want to go out again or seek a future with you, let them down by truthfully (yet gently) explaining that the feelings weren't reciprocated.

Erica St. Claire is a guest post author who shares with us her tips for dealing with a bad date. In addition, Erica also owns Catholic Singles Dating Sites where she provides resourceful information about online dating to the Catholic community.