By: Debra the Dating Diva

It’s dirty work but somebody’s gotta do it. Hell, even <a href='‘ class=’linkify’ target=’_blank’>women do it. You get stuck talking to the unattractive friend you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole while your buddy is grinding up on the hot friend who won “most flexible” on her cheerleading squad.

When your buddy meets a chick he’s into at a party, all he really wants you to do is distract her friend long enough for him to seal the deal.  Easy enough, right? Not so much. She clearly doesn’t want to be there. The fact that her friend has been taken away from her is already starting to piss her off and get her granny panties in a bunch.  She’s ready to explode at any moment and bail to go find her friend. Then, BAM! Both chicks disburse out of plain sight and your friend is shit out of luck. Game over. You failed. These women are known as “grenades”, as brilliantly put by Mike AKA “The Situation” of the reality show, Jersey Shore.

In a perfect world, all the chicks at the bar would look like Kim Kardashian and there would be a hot girl for you and each of the guys you rolled up with. Keep dreaming.

What do you do?

Think quick grasshopper. What do you do? You’re talking to a girl who’s wound so tight, she looks like she’s closer to exploding with every tick of her Gucci watch…BOOM! Grenades are complicated. You can’t just dis the “grenade” and talk to another girl or it’ll be about T-20 seconds before she dives in like a hawk to swoop her friend out of your buddies grasp. When a “grenade” is thrown into the mix, you need to disarm, not dismantle, her with extreme care and caution before she throws some serious salt on his game. You need to act fast and you need to know what to do.

Even I’ve been the grenade

Let’s take a peek into a women’s perspective for a sec. When a friend of mine is talking to a new guy she meets at a bar, I’m more likely to leave the two of them alone if the wingman is entertaining− or at least not obnoxious and annoying for starters. The guy doesn’t have to be as hot as Brad Pitt. But, he’s gotta at least be able to hold a conversation and keep my attention. Otherwise, his words start to blur like a dull math lecture and I’m ‘bout to dismiss class freaks. I’m not gonna waste my time and energy talking to an idiot. I’d rather hang with my friend. Actually, I’d rather leave. So, yes, even I’ve been the “grenade.” Your duty as wingman, becomes to strategically handle the “grenade” so she doesn’t blow the chances for your buddy and his target. C’mon, take one for the team−because sooner or later, a player will have to do it for you. Trust me, it’ll happen. Or, he’ll at least buy you a couple drinks for your loyal efforts.

How to diffuse the “grenade”

Let me take you into the mindset of a “grenade” so you can learn how to diffuse her. There’s a “grenade” in most packs of girls. It’s usually the one girl who’s not as attractive as others in the pack or she’s hot but she just really isn’t feeling it and doesn’t wanna be there. She’s a bit jealous that her friends are getting the attention. She doesn’t want to be stuck talking to the bartender/wanna-be actor or staring at her Blackberry in the corner. She’s protective over her friends (most girls are) and she doesn’t want them hooking up with assholes because trust me, she’ll have to hear them whine about it later-sometimes for weeks! She’s not having fun and wants to go home. And she’s not going to leave without her friends. If you wanna stall her and get a HUGE return favor from your buddy, here’s your plan.

Ask her questions-not stupid ones. She’ll love the attention. Make her feel important. Try something casual like “How do you and your friend know each other?”  or “How is your night going?” Girls love to talk about themselves. But grenades don’t want to be interviewed. Stay away from questions that’ll require an elevator pitch such as “What do you do for work?” or “What are your top 10 favorite movies?” Barf. One time, a guy was so annoying, he asked what my favorite color was and I said, “Does it matter?” and walked away. Simple as that. Don’t ask stupid questions.

Try holding a conversation about what she wants to talk about. Think about it this way. She might be suspicious about why you’re talking to her in the first place. Women love to play detective. She’s thinking you either wanna get in her pants, you’re drunk and entertaining yourself, or you’re distracting her because you have to while her friend talks to your buddy. None of these options will work that well. You’ll need to act like you enjoy her conversation and genuinely care about her feelings. Yes, I said feelings. And act. So quit complaining. Hold her attention and keep her engaged in conversation before she gets frustrated with the situation and excuses herself to find her friend.

For example, if she responds that she knows her friend from school, cut her some slack and reveal a little info about yourself and what school you went to. If she responds that she’s not having a good time, she’ll probably be happy to tell you why−because that’s what’s on her mind. She’ll love that she has someone to confide in. A grenade doesn’t want to have to think too much, be “on” or put on a show. You get the jist.

Treat her like one of the guys. Hang out with her. Be real with her. If she can tell you’re not interested, she’ll be more likely to stay chill if you just hang with her rather than trying to pretend to be interested when you’re obviously not. If you both know you’re not attracted to each other, just have a good time. Have a few laughs. No harm, no foul.

Cater to her. She wants to go home. She’s tired. She either isn’t drinking or she’s drank too much. Her throat hurts from the smoke at the bar. There’s no one there she’s interested in talking to and her friends are busy. It’s up to you to meet her needs or she’ll bail. Think of a crying baby. Its either hungry or it wants to shit or sleep. You get the picture. If she says her feet hurt, find her a couch or bar stool to chill on. If she doesn’t want to drink, bring her water, fast.

Reassure her that your friend is a good guy. Chances are she’s worried about her friend. Most women tend to look out for each other. Guys, on the other hand tend to fend for themselves and let their friends run off and cab home alone assuming they are having a better time if they disappear. (Wink wink.) But, if you act like a good guy, she’ll be more likely to think that your friend is a good guy too that will treat her friend well. And score, he’s in.

If all else fails, there’s always plan B. Beer goggles. A seriously underrated tool. If you decide to drink a bit more, you may be able to better handle the wrath of the grenade and distract this downer till the game’s over or you may even wanna hook up with her and be charming enough to win her heart.

I never said there wasn’t a plan C. These things get tricky. Want a panic button?  If this “grenade” is about to explode or she’s harder to manage than Carrot Top’s hair, here’s the plan.  You politely excuse yourself, go tell your friend that he’s going to need to get the other chick’s phone number fast and make it happen another night before this “grenade” explodes.  

Debra the Dating Diva is a LA-based dating coach and writer. When she’s not charming the men of Los Angeles, or hitting up the hottest social events and outdoor activities, she’s cataloging her dating adventures and advising men what women want them to know at Got a dating question for her or her panel of ladies? Hit her up: