Given the odds, it’s amazing that otherwise intelligent beings ever agree to a blind date. Call it hope triumphing over experience. Or maybe you’ve just got a soft spot for your grandmother. Whatever got you there, remember that by agreeing to the date, you’re bound by a social contract to be nice, regardless of the wart on your date’s neck.

Have an escape plan
: There are ways to ease the inevitable pain of the blind date. First, plan it with care. No dinner (too long), no movies (too anti-social), no weekend getaways to Niagara Falls (too weird). Just one coffee, one drink or one quick bite on your lunch break — the operative word here being ONE. It’s easier to extend a date on the fly than it is to cut one short.
Have somewhere to be later. It makes a bad date bearable if you have something to look forward to. Let your date know up-front that you’ll eventually have to dash, so he or she doesn’t take it personally. If things are going well, why not be old-fashioned and save something for the second date — delayed gratification always makes things hotter.

Showtime: Once the date has begun, you have to let it play out. We think 45 minutes minimum is a nice gesture. Think of it as a deal with Cupid: You give up 45 minutes for the chance to meet the love of your life (or at least get the best sex of your life). If this doesn’t happen, well, too bad — but you’ve still got to make good on your end of the deal. At the very least, turn the encounter into a learning experience. Your date must know something you don’t — capital cities, perhaps?

No ditching allowed: This means that you can’t excuse yourself to the bathroom and never come back. You can’t fake anything: a cramp, a food allergy reaction, a bad case of the runs. You can’t have a friend call you with an “emergency” — this trick has been done to death. And you definitely can’t have any friends stop by to “save” you.

Exceptions to the 45 minute rule

If your date is a liar: Did he or she post a decades-old pic online or exaggerate his or her weight by, oh, 100 pounds? Or maybe your date is racist, sexist or homophobic. In these cases, feel free to say you’ve been misled, and then hit the road.

Em & Lo’s latest book is “SEX: How to Do Everything.” Visit for your daily dose of sex, love and everything in between.