Date Bombs

Have you ever been invited to an activity by a member of the opposite sex, where it is stated or implied that other people will be there, only to show up and find it’s just the two of you? (“Oh yeah, Bob, Sarah and Mike couldn’t come at the last minute.”) And the inviter then proceeds with some verbal intimacy or romantic escalation?

Congratulations…you’ve been the victim of a date bomb. A date bomb is a procedural switcheroo where you get inadvertently roped into a social situation you were not expecting to have to prepare for – such as being tricked into going on a date when you expected to be in a group of friends.

The Type I date bomb above reflects a beta-oneitis pathology: “if only she/he could get to know me they’d see how great we’d be together so it’s OK for me to trick them into getting into an intimate situation.”

Date bombs can also go in the other direction (Type II), where a one-on-one date is unilaterally converted to a group or friend event.

Have you asked out a woman to coffee or a drink, and she says “oh yeah that sounds like fun!” [You’re really jacked up at her accepting, unaware your dreams are about to be smashed to pieces] “…let me call Jenny and see if she wants to come, we could all hang out together.”

An even worse date bomb is to bring other people in without any warning at all, the other party shows up and finds other people have been invited without their being notified.

Type II date bombs are particularly pernicious because they make it look like they’re accepting the invitation while they manipulatively change it around, so you can’t back out of the “deal” (whose terms have been changed without your consent) without looking like a butthurt douche. It’s a form of LJBF.


Don’t do date bombs. Tricking someone into going on a date is dysfunctional and reflects desperation. Manipulating someone asking you out into hanging out “as friends” is cruel; just decline the invitation.

There is an exception for Type I. If you have a very well-founded suspicion that the other person is into you, the magical disappearance of other people provides an opportunity for seemingly-spontaneous intimacy to develop; it’s a way of making “it just happened!” happen.

A friend of mine had a longtime jones for a woman in his social circle. He hatched a plan to invite a group to a bar to watch a baseball game (they both liked the same team). He invited her friends knowing they wouldn’t show up to a sports bar, and “invited” his own friends to create plausible deniability while specifically instructing them to not show up either. They bonded over the game, then he kissed her, to her total surprise. They’re married now. He’s a smart guy.


Filed under beta guide, dating and field game, girl guide, original research

32 responses to “Date Bombs

  1. johnnymilfquest

    Its my favourite line with women:

    “Yohami? Oh yeah, he’s running late. He missed the bus. Soooooo tell me more about YOU.”

    Seriously though, Type II date bombs are how FFY gets all his women. He never goes on proper dates.

    The only people who seem to go on actual dates these days are the ones who met on-line first.

  2. 1lettuce


    Oh your pal Yohami also doesn’t show up to your date-bombs? ;)

  3. johnnymilfquest


    Yeah, Yohami’s a cool guy but he’s just so damn flaky when it comes to social gatherings. Ha ha!

  4. I’ve heard of this happening but never to me(if I recall correctly).

    @Johnny-For real!

    Traditional dates are pretty much dead except for those who met online.

  5. I’ve had a couple girls pull the Type II on me in the past, or attempt too.

    The first girl I banged after discovering the manosphere and Roosh did this. After we set up the date under the premise of just the two of us, she told me the morning of that her “friends” would be there.

    Completely called her out on her bullshit, respectfully, saying something a long the lines of “I’m sorry I thought this was a casual meeting with the two of us, not a social event”

    All but one of her friends “canceled” after that, the one was a male friend I’m betting she brought as a safety net (met her online) I talked to him more then her for most of the night, once he was on my team it was over. Took her home that night.

    Date bombs (great term by the way) suck, but I see them as an advanced shit test, if you play the situation right and pass, big points for you.

  6. criolle johnny

    I got suckered into a wedding bomb. The church decided to BAPTIZE “all the newcomers” before the wedding!
    The couple getting married claimed no knowledge of this. Several members of the wedding party opted out, including one of the groomsmen, who actually left.

  7. kenny,

    “Traditional dates are pretty much dead except for those who met online.”

    That is the truth. Women will wax nostalgic about being “taken out” – young women who are tired of the carousel, especially, will fetishize being wined and dined – but many of us recovering betas know that a guy using formalized dating is playing a very low-percentage strategy. Unless you’ve already displayed a huge amount of attractive power, the more involved the date, the creepier it feels to her.

    Online dating is indeed the only natural nexus for dating, because you have to actually meet the person one-on-one at some point.

    It’s also well-known that a class of women accept invitations for dates simply to get free meals and the like. And even if there’s no “dinner whoring” going on, the chance is high that a guy might shell out $20, $50, $100 and get nothing but “it was nice going out with you, I’ll see you around.”

    It’s another case of men have adapted to the market. It’s a but disappointing to me, because I enjoy lower-expense date-type activities like minigolf, artsy movies and dive-bar-hopping as a way of bonding with a woman. But I’ve found if I break these out too early it tends to scare the girls off.

    Per the wisdom of Roosh, the only “dates” I’d advocate early in the process are ice cream, pastry, or something light where you have the opportunity to chat. And (this is the key to escalating) a bounce to a nearby bar if the chat is going well, where you can loosen up and get a bit more intimate.

    This is an adequate environment to scout a girl’s true interest in you (and vice versa) without feeling put out that you had to lay down serious cash for the privilege of surveying a woman’s personality and compatibility.

    I like to set up a compliance test/princess-tell during the first phase…when she offers to pay or reaches for her purse, I wave it off and say magnanimously and self-deprecatingly “don’t worry about it…you can buy me a drink later if you decide you like me.” Then I see if she asks for my drink order when we get to the bar. They usually do.

    In the Boomer days, dating served the purpose of basically-equal-sex-rank people feeling out if they wanted to go further. But today’s mating mores have pushed attraction to the forefront of the process, so the get-to-know-you part of it is obsolete. It’s sexual interest (or even sex) first, then think about compatibility once that first box is checked (or filled if you will).

    FlyFreshAndYoung discussed this and theorized that women see “dating” as beta and too much early commitment:

    ““Who wants to take me out on a date?” our girls secretly think in the nether regions of their hindbrain, “He must really be serious.” And in today’s Brave New World, regardless of how you feel about it, this is a Beta mark to them. Dates are too formal, too serious for most of our girls, they indicate too much “relationship intent”, even if there never was. I have heard girls laugh about dudes who asked them out- not at the dude, but at the idea of a date. One girl I know dropped a loaded former male model she was talking with because he thought it would be wise to ask her on a date. A few dudes I know, all of certifiable game (natural though it may be) have also had girls drop all communications when they suggested going on a date.”

  8. Chad,

    That’s the way to do it. It’s really tough to call someone on an LJBF without looking insecure.

    Sometimes a date bomb is a rejection, but you are right that sometimes it’s a shit test, a “I’m not ready for that level of intimacy” yet.

    Bro-ing up with the male friend was a great move. Not only does it get you socially proofed with her friend, it takes attention away from her which will induce jealousy.


    That’s unbelievable. I would have thought about leaving too.

  9. SayWhaat

    “Date bomb”. That’s perfect.

    I was very recently date-bombed by a coworker. He phrased it as, “I’m in a ‘what good restaurants are out there?’ mood. Want to get dinner sometime soon?” I thought nothing of it and agreed, but in the next couple of weeks leading up to the dinner I realized that he was more excited than he should have been about something that was just a meal with a friend. (He even started planning future events that he was going to take me to…)

    I couldn’t back out because I had already agreed, and I wasn’t going to flake. He never made it clear that this was a date, and I didn’t want to be presumptuous in case this really was just a regular dinner.

    At dinner itself, he commented that the purpose was to get to know me better. Um. What. I said, “I thought the purpose was to try out Ethiopian food. Since you said you never had it before.” He said, “oh, well, that too.”

    I didn’t make anything more of it, but I was beyond irritated and uncomfortable. It wasn’t just that I felt suckered into a date with a guy I didn’t find attractive, it was also that I have a personal rule against dating in the workplace, and this boy just stepped all over that. After this, how could things not be awkward in the office? If I didn’t play my cards right I could end up with some unwanted drama. That I even had to worry about this was profoundly annoying.

    And for God’s sakes, if any of you invite a coworker out to dinner, at the very least TRY to talk about something else other than work!

  10. SayWhaat

    I wonder if date bombs are a relatively recent phenomenon. Given that most “dating” is phrased as “hanging out” these days.

  11. OffTheCuff

    SayWhaat, from what you and Badger wrote, that wasn’t a date bomb: it wasn’t changed after the fact. You accepted a date with someone you didn’t like.

    Dating-as-courtship was dead even 20 years ago. I remember trying that in college a few times, and the girls were just totally perplexed. When I met my wife we established attraction first and went on dates soon afterwards. That’s what women really want. They definitely want to go on dates once attraction is established, but not as courtship.

  12. SayWhaat

    “You accepted a date with someone you didn’t like.”

    Yes, I know I’m at fault for accepting. I shouldn’t have. In my defense though, I really didn’t know it was a date. I go on one-on-one lunches and dinners with people often, so I didn’t think this was any different. It was only until his crush became apparent that I realized I made a mistake.

    “They definitely want to go on dates once attraction is established, but not as courtship.”

    Totally agree.

  13. Standard refrain from me: Get off my lawn!
    With that out of the way, it must be pointed out that there is a demographic difference. Once sequestered away in condos and suburban homes, singles really must have “dates” in the classic sense.
    Date bombs become less of a challenge with age.

  14. MK

    Seems a convenient isolation strategy to me. Somewhat Machiavellian and not as beta as you make it sound.

  15. Looking Glass

    Anyone else have Tom Jones in your head saying “Date bomb”?

  16. Anacaona

    Oh I hate those, one of the jerks at my HS that for some reason was totally convinced I had the hots for him but was too proud to demonstrate it (I was not) decided to cancel a study group meeting to everyone but me. I didn’t showed up because by accident I called a friend to ask something about the meeting and she asked me “didn’t X called you? we are not going” I found out that he personally called everyone else the morning after and his excuse was that he called me and he left the message with my mother, my overprotective “who is this guy that is calling you” mother didn’t even knew the guy. That was scary and stupid I guess he was expecting my mother to be old or something. I never went to another study group without calling at least 3 of my friends to make sure everything was okay.

  17. sestamibi

    Seen far more flakes in my life than date bombs, but there were a few of those too. One of them was what would have been my very first date back in the 9th grade.

    Back then I used to trek into midtown Manhattan to borrow records from one of the few branches that had them. One of my classmates who had a crush on me decided one day to join me. I was quite excited about this because she was cute and her feelings were not unreciprocated.

    However, when I met her at the subway station she had one of her more frumpy friends along as a chaperone. I was pissed, but I put on a shit-eating grin and somehow made it through the day.

    She never suggested that we go anywhere else together, to my great relief.

  18. SayWhaat,

    I’d classify that as a date bomb, because you were given no context that romance or intimacy was on the table, and he specifically framed it as trying a new restaurant. Also you should not expect to get asked out by coworkers so it was even less appropriate. I don’t think you did anything wrong.

    When I ask a woman for a one-on-one event, I make sure it’s about her: “you seem cool, how about we get a drink sometime and chat some more?” Being direct about it articulates my intentions, which I think leads to a more concrete yes or no answer instead of a wishy washy, “what’s going on here and do I really want to commit to this” reaction.

    I understand how ambiguous it was, because I also go to restaurants and dives with friends of both genders with no funny business planned (Interestingly, this gets the hamsters spinning like mad which I usually don’t intend.) That includes coworkers, and I advise new young employees to invite other young workers to lunch or dinner early on the job to build their networks and make friends.

    Re: hanging out, I think hanging out and date bombs are parallel phenomenon both caused by the demise of formal dating. Directly articulating one’s interest and asking for a commitment of her time is verboten by the rules of today’s marketplace, and women are really loath to issue direct rejections especially to guys they already know, so Type I and II exist as soft letdown methods.

    There’s also the straight-up fear of rejection which as I mentioned causes guys to backdoor their way into a date so she doesn’t have the opportunity to reject him before she’s in the moment, where His Betaness assumes he’ll have convinced her.

  19. MK,

    “Seems a convenient isolation strategy to me. Somewhat Machiavellian and not as beta as you make it sound.”

    Thanks for commenting. I advise against it for practical reasons, mainly that date-bombing can majorly f$#% with a woman’s comfort system. It’s disjointing to expect one thing and show up to another, and could backfire.

    As I said in the post, it can work if there’s a kernel of interest on her part. Then the isolation is a happy accident that gives her time alone with you. Isolation only works if the woman feels you’re not dangerous to her. The woman will refuse an isolation attempt (that’s what motivates Type II datebombing) if she feels “off” about the situation.

  20. Nerdy Bachelor

    Adding on Badger’s last comment, his friend could have just asked her out on a date and had things turn out just as happily ever after. The date bomb was probably unnecessary.

  21. I’ve never date bombed anyone, but I’ve just realized I might have been part of someone else’s Type II date bomb. :(

    My friend gave me the impression that the guy (an old friend from college she was trying to reconnect with) knew I was coming along, but when we arrived at the restaurant, I got the feeling that he had expected it to be just the two of them. It wasn’t exactly a romantic date, and my friend was the one who issued the invitation (which I suppose gave her some right to invite other people as well), but it is a little weird to tell an old contact that you want to catch up and then bring along someone he has never met.

  22. RL

    Haha, your post made me think of type I/II errors in hypothesis testing: :D

    [I have posts in my brain about basic statistics, and relating Type I and Type II errors to mating strategies. A good strategy is one that finds appropriate mates while rejecting inappropriate ones. A woman who resists initiating or signalling and insists a man cold-approach her is going to filter out a lot of guys she’s not interested in, but also reject a lot of good matches who for whatever reason didn’t approach her straight out.]

  23. AnonymousDog


    I think dating-as-courtship was already dead 30 years ago when I was in college. There was a general feeling then that men and women should meet and interact in a ‘natural’ ,’authentic’ way. Spontaneity seemed to figure largely in this authenticity stuff, and a casual, spontaneous-seeming invitation to a woman who had given IOI’s seemed so much more cool and ‘authentic’ than an earnest ask-out on a ‘date’, which was viewed as kind of dorky and juvenile.

  24. 108spirits

    I’ve had exes attempt pulling a Type 1 on me at times, but I can smell that a mile away so I never show up.

    Type 2 date bomb is a typical BS young women pull these days. I’ve got that a few times. Usually I respond with a suggestion to reschedule the date, sometimes I flat out say that I’d like to hang out with the friend (s) in the near future, but not this time. I’d cancel the date if she insists on bringing someone else. Although there was one time I met up with a chick for drinks, she brought a female friend as an insurance policy and I finished the night hooking up with her friend instead. :P Totally backfired on her.

    I’ve pulled this one someone unintentionally too. I was interested in two girls at the time. One was already a friend, one was a chick I just met. I invited the first to see a show, and a week later, I invited the second one, forgetting about the first. The second showed up looking way hotter. :P After the show, I invited both to dinner (lol I’m sometimes too oblivious to awkward situations), and the first girl declined. Second girl and I became inseparable for the next couple of nights, and months. First girl was pissed at me for over a year.

  25. criolle johnny

    This time of the year, divorced guys might get the “Holiday Date bomb”.
    Right after my divorce I was invited to at least ten Thanksgiving dinners. I had just transferred and accepted one for Thanksgiving day and another for the Saturday after (family coming in for the weekend, etc.).
    BOTH ambushed me with a “divorced cousin, widowed sister, old maid” situation! At the “last minute” someone suddenly had the idea that I should sit next to “her”. One of the “hers” had four kids, perhaps six teeth and NO CONCEPT of personal hygiene. The family kept shuffling their chairs to push us closer together … Ah, romance!
    Christmas dinner, I could NOT avoid, my boss invited me. The “Old Maid” turned out to be lesbian. I caught on immediately and nobody in the family had a clue. She and I had a great time watching the football games and left the party together for a gentleman’s club.
    We got thrown out because of her behavior, but it was still a great night.

    [Football and a strip joint with a lesbian setup? That’s hilarious!]

  26. No way, I didn’t know this was really a thing. Check out this story I wrote a while ago about saving a female friend from a Date Bomb:

    I thought this never happened except for the one bizarro isolated incident.

    [LOL at that post title. You have quite a frenetic persona.]

  27. Revisions based on comments:

    -Both phenomena seek to avoid rejection. Type I, the guy avoids it by not giving her the opportunity to reject him until they’re already on the date. In Type II, the woman avoids explicitly rejecting him by reframing the event as not a date.

    -Type II is a form of a cockblock.

  28. Badger-
    per PM: “Date bombs become less of a challenge with age.”

    very true.

    type II date bombs are a classic shit test. i had one run on me when i was stationed in NO. we were going to see a movie…..and her room-mate and BF suddenly “wanted to join us”. i told her it was a “her and i only” event. she insisted the room-mate and roomies bf tag along.

    i walked. told her sorry, that i wasn’t down for that, and went to the Quarter to a strip club instead.

    girl ended up pregnant and dumped soon after the baby was born. guess i made the right call.

  29. 108spirits

    Some women actively work hard to kill traditional dating: (go through the whole series)

    … just for other women to bitch & moan that it’s dead.

  30. I’ve had girls who’ve had their friends “happen” to stop by unannounced in the middle of a first date. I guess you could say it’s a test – can you adapt to the new social situation and keep your cool? can you impress the friends? – but the whole thing pissed me off enough I really lost interest in the girls.

  31. P Ray

    It’s fun working “Let’s Just Be Friends” to its logical limit.
    Girls enjoy saying it as a “get out of jail free” card, and then spread rumours about the guy. Seen it happen so very often, they say it, and then reject any invitations to friendly outings.
    It’s a lie that’s run its course … if only more men would call it out for what it is.

  32. Pingback: Happy Birthday to the Badger Hut, Part 2: Best Posts | The Badger Hut

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