There inevitably comes a moment during every difficult first date when you pause and think, I am an utter moron for having ever agreed to this. But before you resign to the idea of a life of La-Z-Boy armchairs and reruns of The Office, take a moment to try to reconcile the situation. (And no, that doesn’t mean having you best friend call with a beckoning emergency.) Here are a few simple ideas for managing those awkward first date moments.
Don’t check your Blackberry. Don’t stare at your shoes, his shoes, talk about the dé©cor, panic, vomit. There are ways to break the silence without resorting to the awful, Boy, isn’t this awkward! Your best bet is to come prepared. Google your date. While you may feel a little stalker-ish in the moment, you’ll be thanking Twitter later when you can break the ice with an anecdote about your latest dog-walking misadventure (having landed upon his Twitpic of his furry friend just before the date). Come up with a list of things to say when the quiet strikes. Ask about his family, job, travels. You’ll be much more confident if you come prepared.
It’ll never work. Sometimes this realization comes within the first five minutes (God help you), and sometimes it’s well into the date. But just because you and your politically-agitated, still-lives-with-mother dinner partner won’t be walking down the aisle anytime soon, it doesn’t mean you can just get up and bail. Here’s one way to grapple through this date going nowhere: think of a single friend who would be perfect for your date, and let the interviewing begin. It’ll become clear to your date that you and him won’t jive, but it will keep the conversation going, at the very least. And hey, maybe someone will get a match after all.
Don’t let it sit there like a patent leather-cased elephant in the room. Make your move, and do it fast. Reach for your purse just after the check lands on the table. Even if you have no intention of paying, it’s good dating etiquette to offer to split the bill. Don’t argue if he says he’ll pay. The less time spent talking about the check, the better.
There’s nothing worse than the awkward handshake-turned-hug. He’s not your bro; there’s no reason for that. Decide what you’re comfortable with beforehand. If you know what you want, beat him to the punch. Go for a quick peck and goodbye, if that’s what you’re after. Prefer to follow his lead? Leave an opening. A second or two of premeditated (on your part, at least) silence and he’ll move to action. Be completely passive, and goodbye will go a lot more smoothly.