The following are excerpts from “The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating & Sex,” by David Borgenicht, Joshua Piven and Ben H. Winters (Chronicle Books).
How to survive running into your ex
Running into your ex at a party can be problematic for many reasons: lingering affection, pain over being dumped, unresolved emotions, passionate memories or poor selection of your current date.
• Do not avert your gaze. Look him/her in the eye and smile. Shying away from eye contact only diminishes your power. Keep someone’s gaze and you keep control.
• Be nice.
• Do not sit. Do not let yourself get stuck in a corner or on a couch with your ex. Remain standing and be ready to move.
• Take charge of the conversation. Start by mentioning something that you noticed earlier in the day. This keeps the dialogue fresh and superficial and in your control, and helps you to avoid complimenting or talking about the ex. Be upbeat — enthusiasm is a handy tool. Breezing by someone indicates you are not fazed or upset.
• Introduce your date and send clear signals that this is who you are with now. Touch your date as you converse with your ex, making it clear that you have moved on.
• Keep your conversation short and sweet. Tell your ex that you are “meeting friends,” but that it was nice to see him/her. Or, tug your date’s arm and say, “Oh, look, there’s Sally. I want you to meet her.”
• Move on.
How to dance on a bar
Seek out a bar with an inebriated, appreciative crowd, a laid-back bar staff and a jukebox full of good tunes.
• Drink the right amount of alcohol. Enough so that your inhibitions shrink, but not so much that you cannot climb up and stay on the bar without falling.
• Dry off the bar where you intend to dance. Use napkins or a dry bar rag to dry the bar and prevent slipping.
• Wait for a song you genuinely like. Load the jukebox upon your arrival to ensure that you will hear music that excites you. Choose upbeat songs that you know how to dance to.
• Enlist two people to help you up onto the bar. Place a hand on each of their shoulders.
• Prop the knee of your dominant leg on the bar stool. If the stool swivels, instruct your helpers to hold it still.
• Hold your supporters’ hands. Remove your hands from their shoulders and grab their hands.
• Swing your nondominant leg onto the bar. Continue to hold their hands until you find your balance.
• Dance. Keep foot movements to a minimum.
• Sing along. Lip-sync if you do not have a great voice.
• Smile. Enjoy yourself.
• Take a bow when the song is over. Do not overstay your welcome.
• Grasp your supporters’ hands and step down from the bar. Do not “stage dive” into the audience.
• Be aware. Be mindful of your short skirt when climbing onto the bar.
How to make your online profile more alluring
• Post a flattering photograph. Pose with children or animals if you are male. Look like you are having the time of your life if you are female.
• Use euphemisms. For instance, avoid the word “unemployed” by saying that you are currently enjoying a sweat-free lifestyle while you search for a new challenge.
• Seem rich. Refer to signs of affluence such as luxury brands, cruises, extended vacations, resorts in exotic locales and tax shelters.
• Seem interesting. Discuss a variety of interesting hobbies such as rock climbing, photography and wine.
• Seem cultured. List “favorites” that present you as educated and sophisticated, yet not pretentious. Mention highbrow and mainstream books, movies, TV shows and musicians to create the impression that you have eclectic and wide-ranging tastes.
• Keep it positive. Avoid mention of your breakup.