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

Some of you may be thinking, What's sticky about this? Doesn't everyone Google their dates? Sure, but how many of us are thrilled with what we find? My advice is simple here -- only Google him if you're prepared to find out some pretty weird stuff. Maybe he wrote an editorial about why he doesn't believe in monogamy -- or why he does believe in Santa Claus. Maybe he's been in the local paper for all the wrong reasons. Maybe the New York Times ran his first, second, and third wedding announcements.

My feeling is that total access to information sabotages the natural process of courtship. He should be able to tell you about himself in his own time. Finding out too much prematurely can lead you to draw the wrong conclusions -- after all, you never know who shares his name.

You're on a blind date that seemed promising at first, but now there's zero chemistry and you've barely gotten through the appetizer. Do you fake an emergency, or do you stick it out, knowing TiVo has you covered?

Is the lack of interest mutual? Take his temperature -- when you flirt, does he flirt back? If he's into you but you're not into him, is it better to be honest or to save his pride by making up a white lie such as "I'm about to get back together with my ex-boyfriend"? Being honest -- acting available but disinterested -- may backfire and lead him to pursue you, because we all know men love a challenge. But you must never make yourself unappealing or too unavailable, because you never know who could lead to someone else. What a dilemma! Just wrap the date up quickly. If he tries to order dessert, demurely protest by saying you have an early morning meeting and pray he gets the signal. When I was on the market, I used to always schedule blind dates as drinks, never dinner. That way, if your chemistry is as cold as the North Pole, you can call it a night. If it's as steamy as Rio, head out to dinner.

If he calls you for another date, don't be tempted by the lure of a free meal, good concert tickets, or just one fewer night at home watching Mad Men. Just say, "I had a really good time, but I think maybe we should wait a little while before we go out again." When he tries you again, tell him you're really busy but that you have a pal you know he'd like, and hook them up. Maybe he'll return the favor.

You agree to a second date even though you know you're not into him.

As tempting as it may be to keep your options open, don't give false hope to someone you have no interest in. "A girl's gotta eat" is no reason to reprise a mediocre date. Give him a call and say, "Look, I've been thinking about it -- I don't think we're a good match and I don't want to waste your time." If you genuinely want to move things into the friend zone, be up front about it. When setting up the date you agreed upon, say, "I really enjoyed spending time with you, but I think we would work best as friends." Back this up with a suggestion of a fun -- and platonic -- activity like bowling, and be prepared for him to pass up your proposal.

You have some shameful physical secret and you're terrified he's going to find out.

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