There are few things more uncomfortable than bad dates, except maybe bad dates arranged via online dating services.

Never fear, though, because eHarmony, the successful web-based dating site, has arranged for backup. It’s launched the free Bad Date Rescue app which allows a call to come through on a user’s iPhone and help free them from the clutches of a date that’s gone horribly wrong.

It’s interesting since eHarmony’s business model is to bring people together, but the app helps separate them, if need be. It also begs the question: won’t users be aware of this app and figure it out if their date is running interference via the very service that linked them in the first place? That might make for some unhappy customers.

“There are all sorts of reasons people would want to get out of a date,” said Arvind Mishra, director of product management at eHarmony. Mishra gushed about the app, saying, “It graciously allows you to play along and to get out of that situation…We are helping them do it in a way that is fun and light and not abrupt.”

Users can customize the app and decide on whomever they want to interrupt the date. The app also provides ready-made scripts regarding the disruptive call, such as family events like births or a boss requiring immediate assistance. The app can also be pre-set so that the call rings at a certain time, in anticipation of a bad date.

[The Chicago Tribune]