You are sitting across the table from your date thinking, “What am I doing here?’ or “How am I going to get out of this one?”

You could tell the date, “Uh, sorry, I think I just left my house on fire,” but that’s probably not going to go over so well. The fact of the matter is no easy way to getting out of a bad date exists.

When dealing with bad dating situations, it’s important to look at what is causing it to be unpleasant. Understanding the culture and the way people think and act in this area will be a useful tool when trying to wiggle ones way out of an awkward situation.

Something to remember is Provo and Orem are towns with a large concentration of single people, all ready to tie the knot with the first person that will show even an ounce of interest. The recently returned missionaries are told to go and find a wife and eternal companion ASAP. Girls graduate from high school and, for some odd reason, feel they need to get marred right away.

Taylor McCarrey is a recent graduate who studied Psychology. He has lived in Provo for over five years and has experienced the highs and lows of dating in this unique area of the world.

“The Provo dating scene is too focused on appearances. There is too much pressure,” said McCarrey. “It all about dating and not about relationships.”

Student Adam Favero feels dating is like some kind of cruel social experiment. The pressure that comes from parents, peers, co-workers and local religious leaders to date gives an illusive idea of what dating should be about.

“You have different information coming at you and don’t know what to believe,” said Favero. “Time just keeps on ticking away and you are racing against the clock. If you don’t hurry up, your chances are gone.”

Dating is suppose to be about getting to know someone that you may be interested in furthering a relationship with. Instead, it has become all about trying to impress someone you think is good-looking.

“Everyone is told to have this goal of being marriage ready, so everyone starts to look and act the same,” said McCarrey. Pressures like this have caused people to put on a show and not be themselves. This situation is where bad dates come from.

Avoiding these dates can save you time, money and heartache. Here are a few things that can help you avoid these artificial dates.

The first way to elude a bad date is to know the person you are going to take out. A simple conversation before you actually go out on the date will give you an idea of whether you want to actually get to know this person better.

Second, don’t make the first time you go out a dating marathon. A simple one-hour date to an ice cream shop or sandwich joint for lunch will be perfect for the first date. If you had a good time, then you can ask the person out again another night.

Third, don’t be afraid to tell or hear the truth. It you don’t like him or her, say it. There is no need to act nice and lead the person on. If you are not interested, that’s okay. There is no reason to waste each other’s time.

Last but not least, always be yourself. Acting like someone you are not is never a good idea. It is really easy to tell if someone is being fake or real. If you want a relationship with someone, don’t base it on false ideas. Forcing a connection is never going to work.