As a rule, we are going on a date with a person we don’t know very well yet. Yes, you might have been communicating for some time on the Internet and have already found out their hobby and favorite color, but it doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to avoid an awkward first date. Funny and awkward moments become a reason why certain people hate dates, while others consider it a perfect pastime. Everything depends on your perception of the world. Frankly speaking, the first date should be called “awkward moments of a romantic nature” because that’s what happens. Well, now you might think, “But, I had nothing like that!” Of course, not all first dates are filled with awkward situations. Nonetheless, often, when you do not know each other so well and don’t know how to make a first date less awkward, embarrassment is inevitable. We will not deny that some first dates are just fantastic, but still, there are ones from which you want to escape. So, what to do if you find yourself on the most awkward first date and how to avoid such situations?
Here's Why First Dates Can Sometimes Feel So Awkward
The first date can boast of a certain kind of magic. This is a great moment to get to know each other better and understand for yourself whether your relationship has a future. This is an emotional period that can bring many happy and sometimes awkward situations. Why does this happen? Just imagine the following.
“You are using sites to find women and meet one interesting person there. You feel a bit excited before the date. You put on your best outfit to feel at least a bit confident. However, you are still nervous because you will be evaluated soon. But you, in turn, will also evaluate the person with all severity, so here you are even.
You see your partner on the other side of the hall. They are sitting at the bar and typing something on the phone. You are a bit late, but everything is not that critical. Coming closer, you perform a kind of full-fledged inspection to see if they are attractive and charming as in the photos. At the same time, you are trying to predict the future. Is this person smart? Are they optimistic? Funny? And now, while you are approaching, they raise their eyes, and you make your first eye contact.
And now they stand up to greet you. There is an award moment because you don’t know what to do exactly. Well, they decide to hug you. A moment before leaning towards them, you look down and think, “Is it worth it?” Usually, the assessment is disappointing, but not this time. This time, you sit down, not thinking about how to leave, but instead, you are afraid that they can leave you now. And you’re scared because your partner is amazing, insanely beautiful, and you really, really, really don’t want to screw up here. So, you start talking, but it’s difficult. It’s much more difficult than conversations with single females online.”
At this moment you can try so hard to look better to make a positive impression, so you don't even notice that you pretend to be someone else, thereby provoking awkward situations. You feel inner tension because you are trying to control your manners, your thoughts and even the way you look. However, all your attempts are in vain because instead of enjoying the romantic and friendly atmosphere, you blame yourself for not enough preparation and reflect on what you could do better. Besides, excessive tension leads to awkward first date questions and moments.
Main Signs of Awkwardness on a First Date
Sometimes you cannot say for sure whether your date went well or not just because you didn’t face any awkward first date moments, so the very thing you can worry about is the impressions of your potential partner about you. However, in other cases, you know that everything was not that smooth because you felt awkward literally from the first minutes of your date. Actually, your date was one huge awkwardness, and now you should come up with a plan on how to fix everything because you like that person and want to get a second try. Why are the first dates so awkward? Usually, it happens because of unpreparedness, unforeseen circumstances or excessive inner tension.
1. You are late
You know this very well and understand that your companion will not be very pleased from the very beginning of the date. Therefore, the chance that everything will pass perfectly is very small. And if you are late for an hour, maybe it’s better not to go? You have lost their “points of respect,” and it will be difficult to get them back. The same happens when you have come on time, but your date is late, and you are not sure whether they will come at all. Such a situation can happen both because of your poor time management and unforeseen circumstances, for example, a big traffic jam that you cannot avoid.
Another awkward moment can happen when you suddenly realize that you don’t know how to greet each other. It’s too early to start embracing, but it seems it’s not enough to say the standard, “Hi” after many weeks of communication online. In the end, both of you are standing still, not daring to start a conversation. Not only teenagers are embarrassed on the first date, but adults and completely independent people feel uneasy as well. You can avoid such awkwardness if you remember that a date is not necessarily about stress, although the excitement is quite justified on it. You can sincerely smile, joke or immediately give a compliment, saying that the partner looks great.
3. Long pauses
Long pauses are always embarrassing, uncomfortable and awkward. It is the minutes of silence that help both of you evaluate the essence, the level of comfort and importance of the first date. At such moments, the partners feel like a fish out of water and try to fill in this uncomfortable pause at least with something. This happens due to the unpreparedness of both partners when nobody has thought about questions and topics for discussion. Besides, it seems you didn’t try to find out anything about the interlocutor’s hobbies to “fill in” the pauses with questions about their favorite pastime. You hoped for the better but weren’t prepared for the worse.
4. Something happens during the dinner
Everything seems to be going well: you are chatting about everything in a cozy place, when suddenly you accidentally turn a plate of salad over or even worse: the interlocutor stares at you and then says something like, “Oh, you have parsley stuck in your teeth.” Well, at this moment, you may want to burn with shame or erase the memory of everyone here. Alas, it will not work. You have to live with it. Self-irony will save you in awkward situations because you can laugh it off and switch the conversation to another topic. The worst thing you can do is whining all evening about your clumsiness and constantly recall the annoying incident. Do not suffer until the end of life because of nonsense.
5. You don’t have enough money
You can face an awkward situation at the end of a date when the waiter brings the bill, and it suddenly turns out that you do not have enough money to pay it. In your wallet, perhaps half of what you need. So, on the one hand, it is awkward and shameful to say that you didn’t calculate the expenses, but on the other hand, you still need to pay. You can ask to share the bill in half and specify when you can pay back the debt. However, it would be better if you have close friends who can transfer the missing amount of money or drive up to help you out.
Does the Pre-Date Communication Affect Awkwardness?
It may seem that you can avoid the appearance of awkward moments if you have been communicating with the partner for some time before the date. However, everything depends on the duration of your communication as well as the level of honesty and trust between you. If it was about online talks, then this will hardly help you avoid such moments because alive communication is a completely different thing. You cannot think through your answers, sitting face to face as well as affect some unforeseen circumstances. People feel differently, being just “acquaintances” and “potential partners.” The level of responsibility and evaluation changes when it comes to love affairs. So, the only thing you can do is to come up with the least awkward first date ideas and try to behave as natural as possible. Even if something goes wrong, it will be not the end of the world, so don’t get too worked up about it. Don’t forget about self-irony and the necessity to show your true self. The very fact that you find yourself in such a situation doesn’t mean that you should make a point and not even try to continue this relationship. Awkward first date fails only if both of you have a tremendous desire to finish the date as soon as possible and escape.
How to Avoid Awkwardness at a First Date
You cannot change what has already happened, but you can affect your future and try to do your best to minimize the appearance of awkward moments on your first date. Many people make the same mistake – they just let everything take its course and believe that if this person is their destiny, then everything will necessarily be easy and just great. However, things don’t work this way.
People have become successful not because they did nothing but because they made huge efforts to achieve the desired result. So, if you don’t know how to make a date not awkward, pay attention to the following points.
It happens that often people pretend to be the better person exactly on the first date. The desire for development is commendable, but good qualities are not always manifested, and it’s not the best idea to shock your partner with your “true self” on the fifth date. The better a person seems at the first meeting, the more expectations are presented to them on the next dates. And the more frustrating is the discrepancy between the “ideal” and the truth. So, how to not be awkward on a first date? The best thing you can do is to relax and behave as natural as possible. If you are relaxed and confident, your chances of success will be much higher.
Adequate self-esteem and its embodiment in behavior are attractive. Subconsciously, people want to communicate with such personalities. Such a person is a manifestation of pure sexuality.
Plan a date
Preparation for a date should begin in advance, otherwise, you run the risk of getting into an awkward situation and being late, which will make not the most pleasant impression of you. Good time management will help you avoid trouble and not be distracted by extraneous matters before the date. In extreme cases, it is worth notifying the partner in advance that you will be late and are sorry about such a nuisance. Besides, planning a date suggests that you should come up with several great first date ideas and make a list of safe questions that can help avoid awkward silence.
A date without a clear plan is not the best idea. You are not yet close enough to chat about anything for hours, so it’s best to choose an option where you don’t have to try hard to entertain each other for the whole evening. You might have already found out some information about their hobbies, dreams and favorite music, so use all your knowledge to the fullest.
Don't turn a date into an interview
A date, especially the first, is a great way to learn as much as possible about your potential partner. How to avoid awkward silence? The dialogue is the most successful format of communication between two people who have romantic intentions, but that cannot be said about interrogation or job interview. If you have a lot of questions, try to mix them up with some stories. Otherwise, in the best case, you will put your potential partner in an awkward position, and in the worst case, you will get bored with it quickly, and the first date can easily become the last.
Try not to be distracted by the phone
In the era of technology, social networks, and instant messengers, not everyone can cope with themselves and not look into the phone every 15 minutes. If this meeting is important to you, then try to devote your time and attention to your partner instead of the phone. Usually, dates take place in the evening, so try to solve all your work issues by this time and tell your friends and relatives that you will be busy and ask them not to bother you. Besides, you can simply turn off the phone, this will allow you to devote more time to the partner and distract from pressing issues.
Otherwise, it may seem to a person that they have come on a date with themselves. Boredom is not the only reason for the unacceptability of such behavior. The second reason is sheer disrespect. When you go on a date, you should focus on the person, not on work or talking with friends. Keep eye contact. If you are not interested, it is better to say this immediately and leave so as not to waste your and other person's time.
Don't take it so seriously
When it seems to you that this is your “destiny,” and you cannot lose such a wonderful person, you can start behaving a bit inadequate. It’s just your first date, and the chances that you will lose, or win are even, so try to calm down and slow it up. You shouldn’t perceive your date as a safety ring or a lucky lottery ticket. Besides, you can make the girl feel embarrassed if you start showing too much attention, especially at the end of the date. Such behavior can scare your date away. How to not make a date awkward? You shouldn’t take everything too seriously and behave as if you have been already married for several years.
Some Conversation Tips to Reduce the Degree of Awkwardness
This date can become your last meeting or the beginning of a wonderful romantic story, so if you want to increase your chances for success, you should take into account the following conversation tips. Your talk is the main tool and helper, so don’t diminish its significance. Every trifle can affect the whole evening more that you expect, so be careful when choosing topics for conversation.
Avoid talks about ex and money
When a person begins to boast about how rich they are or how many partners they had, it causes a feeling of irritation or awkwardness. It’s a bad idea to play hard to get on the first date. If you have suddenly started this topic, then you can say a few words about your past relationships, but you shouldn’t focus on it in any case. Don’t even try to compare your date with your ex-partner. You can do that only if you want to finish the date because the person doesn’t suit you, but you should remember that it’s very impolite. It’s better not to talk about money at all either.
Be sincere when talking about your tastes
“I like to listen to classics, I go to the gym three times a week, and I read Shakespeare in the evening.” That’s perfect! More precisely, it would be perfect if it was true because, in reality, you adore pop music, yoga, and Marvel comics. There is nothing wrong with your tastes and preferences. However, the fact that they are hidden, replaced by a lie, kills all the charm. What is most difficult is to tell the truth after a long deception. It is important to learn to accept yourself or to strive for development. A person can say three different phrases and get three dissimilar reactions. So, be sincere.
Avoid “forbidden” topics
Several topics can become a stumbling block on the way to mutual understanding and provoke awkward silence. The list of such themes includes conversations about religious beliefs, politics and sexual preferences. Firstly, you can have different views on these topics, and it may lead to a dispute, and secondly, not everyone can easily discuss such things, so your questions can put pressure on the person.
Don’t Hurry up to Ask a Person Out on the Second Date
Sometimes people do strange things that don’t have any logical explanation. For example, when they have an awkward first date and feel uncomfortable because of that, they try to fix the moment, asking the person out on the second date right away. Things don’t work this way. Besides, even if you like a person and feel excited, it's still not a reason to immediately appoint the second date.
- You can feel sympathy next to the person and do not even think about them in their absence. This has nothing to do with feelings, but rather with self-esteem, a desire to feel someone else's attention.
- You should think carefully about the awkward moments of your date without the presence of the interlocutor and their emotional influence.
- Your date could be too awkward and uncomfortable that there is no need to meet again.