'The Modern Girl's Guide to Sticky Situations,' by Jane Buckingham

Is he tipsy or toe up? Nervous daters have been known to overdo the liquid courage. You can always hit the bar and catch up with him (suggest he match your cocktails with cups of coffee), or join him in a carb-heavy meal -- by the time you get to your entrees, he'll probably be sobered up (and a bit embarrassed). Now, if your squire is completely smashed, put him in a cab and wish him well. You are not the local chapter of AA.

You were married in your early twenties -- for seven months. Is this a big revelation or is it just another past relationship?

It's best to share this story when you get to the dating history stage of the romance. Go down the litany of exes, and add, "And, well, I was actually married for a little while right after college." Most likely it will be seen as just what it was: a youthful decision that went awry.

You've got a big secret (kids, a messy divorce). When do you share it with your new interest?

The sooner the better. You don't have to wear a name tag that says, "Hello, my name is Recently Separated," but you should share your status with anyone you are considering a relationship with. It doesn't have to be a dramatic revelation -- casually show him pictures of your kids on your iPhone and explain the custody arrangements. If he can't handle a complicated situation, it's best to find out earlier rather than later.

You're not a one-night-stand kind of girl, really, but somehow last night you just wound up, well, you know, having a little too much fun. So how do you deal with an awfully uncomfortable aftermath?

The way I see it, there are two possibilities here: Either you're wishing he'll call or you're praying he won't. If you like him, the best thing to do is wait -- for the first forty-eight hours. If he hasn't called by then, it's not a great sign, but there's still hope that logistics got in the way. Call or text him that you enjoyed yourself (wink wink) and would love to see him again. Short, sweet, declarative. If you get no response, walk away. You don't want to have to convince anyone to like you this early in the game; even if you end up together, you'll spend the whole relationship wondering whether his feelings are real.

If you hope never to see him again but he gets in touch, be kind. Think of how you'd want to be treated. Don't disappear; pony up and say the way you acted was out of character -- maybe even that you're a bit embarrassed. Just be honest. Come to think of it, this isn't the worst way to act with someone you do like, either.

A friend's crush goes after you, even though you have no interest and haven't done anything to provoke it.

Turn him down the way you would any other pursuer you aren't into -- politely and firmly. And if your friend has caught wind of the situation (or, God forbid, was present while he made his play), make it clear to her that you would never angle for her dude. Then step aside and let her continue working her magic.

A friend's crush goes after you, and you think he's pretty cute.

Make no moves without checking in with your lady friend. If this gentleman has been a long-term project for her, you may just want to bow out preemptively no matter how fine he is. But if he's a recent romantic goal, she'll probably be okay with handing him off. Either way, what she says goes. Hos before bros, yo.

You want to Google your date.

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