Oh, the boring date. Yawn, I’m getting more and more disinterested just thinking about one. Whether the person you’re out with is yappin’ your ear off about their spoon collecting obsession or, on the flipside, literally does not speak a word, it has become clear that sitting through a lecture on the space-time continuum would be better than spending another moment with this person. But, for whatever reason (probably to not be rude to this poor, poor soul), you don’t leave. (You’re nice like that.) If you ever find yourself in this position again, which I sincerely hope you don’t, you’re going to need some survival methods to get you through.

1. Let your imagination go off.

You know when people tell you to picture someone naked if you’re nervous? OK, so don’t do that, but this is kind of the same thing. If your date is making you want to fall asleep, imagine them in a bonnet and a diaper (the really old-school ones with the safety pins) with a pacifier in their mouth. 1. It’s fucking hilarious. 2. The sheer entertainment of it will make the night go by faster. Feel free to play with the imagery as you see fit, but if you want to remember anything about this night, it’s a bonneted-diaper-wearing date.

2. Ask them to play a game.

If the conversation you’re having is lackluster (it is), make up a conversation that the people near you could be having. Or hit them with some would you rathers (would you rather have notebook spirals for hair or notebook paper for skin is a personal fave). Maybe it’ll break your boring date out of their boring little shell. Then again, maybe it won’t, but at least you’ll get an ego-boost from your own wit.

3. Play your own damn game.

If they’re not down to clown around with you, play a game with yourself. See how many times you can fit a random word, like “stupendous,” into conversation throughout the night. Take a sip of your drink every time they give you a one-word answer. Ask them if they can cut up your food for you to see how uncomfortable they get. The options are endless! It’s like Cards Against Humanity… but better.

4. Make up a story about your life. 

I used to do this in my sorority when I was rushing someone who was super boring. I’d take different anecdotes from different friends and, all of a sudden, I had French grandparents who lived in Colombia and was a dance major with a Norwegian studies minor. See? Fun. Feel free to steal stories from friends or borrow a movie plot. “See the thing is, I was homeschooled in Africa until high school and going to school here was so different. So many cliques. I invited kids over once and they hid my mom’s fertility vase of the Ndebele tribe.” If they don’t catch on that you’re channeling your inner Cady Heron, that’s an even bigger problem than them being boring.

5. Be fully you.

There’s absolutely no better time to let your freak flag fly than on a date you know is going nowhere toward a second. Ask questions you’ve always wanted to ask a first date but were afraid to bring up. Try out a story on them that you’re not sure is entirely appropriate for anyone besides your mom or best friend. Be brutally honest when they ask about your last relationship. Be the ultimate, totally uncensored version of your truest self. It’s great practice for future dates, where, to note, you will do this with more self-awareness, and a knee-slapper for later.