There are certain aspects of dating you can control, but there are factors you can’t control when on a date. Below we have outlined some dating disasters that could potentially occur on a date and possible solutions to these scenarios.
You’re not compatible with your date
It’s not until you start getting to know someone you can tell if you’re compatible or not. Some people instantly click; some people take an instant dislike to each other. If you’ve met online but never met in person, you risk this happening. That’s not to say it can’t happen if you met for the first time in person. Only when you go on a date will you have the chance to get to know each other better. If it’s clear you’re not compatible, all you can do is get through the date as quickly and smoothly as possible. At the end say thank you and leave it at that. Don’t give them false hope by arranging another date. For more advice please see our article on what to do when a date does not work out.
It isn’t officially a date
There’s nothing worse than going on a date only to discover it isn’t officially a date. You might have perceived being asked out for a drink as being asked on a date, but if you arrive and your “date” is there with a group of friends too, it’s then you’ll realise you were just being asked to join them as mates. To hide your embarrassment and confusion, pretend you knew it wasn’t a date and just try and have fun and make the most of a night out. Even if you made an effort to look your best, don’t humiliate yourself by asking if it’s a date. There’s always a chance they wanted to get to know you better before asking you out in the future.
Having a long period of silence on a first date is everyone’s worry. If you run out of things to say, ask some questions. Don’t interrogate them though; simply ask general questions such as what’s their favourite book or film. For more dating questions please see the article First Date Questions. Questions make great conversation starters and it helps to have these questions prepared, even if you have to write them down and have them to hand if needed.
You’re not dressed for the occasion
It helps if you know where you’re going for your date, but that’s not always possible. Arriving dressed completely inappropriately for the date venue is embarrassing. If you’ve dressed up but are going for a drink somewhere casual, or doing an activity such as bowling, then you’re certain to feel awkward. The same goes for if you’ve dressed casually to be taken somewhere classy. Be honest with your date and explain that you don’t feel comfortable going to the chosen venue while dressed unsuitably. If it isn’t possible to cover your outfit with a jacket or cardigan, you have the option of going somewhere else for your date. If you feel uncomfortable, then you won’t be able to relax and enjoy yourself.
They look completely different from their online picture
With online dating, you always risk the person not looking like their picture. If you arrive where you’ve arranged to meet and discover they’ve used a fake picture, you have every right not to continue with the date. If you think you’re meeting someone similar in age to you and you were attracted to their picture, but you arrive to find someone doubles your age and the complete opposite of their online image, then it’s acceptable to feel misled and disappointed. Tell them they’ve misled you and you’re not interested. If they lied about their appearance, it will make you wonder what else they’ve lied about. Alternatively, they may have uploaded an old image of themselves, in which case it’s up to you to make a judgement when you see them. You might not find them as attractive as they looked in their picture, but keep in mind it’s the same person and you must have had a connection of some sort to get to the stage of meeting in person. Give them a chance and decide at the end of the date.
You’ve been stood up
This is the ultra humiliating dating disaster. Before you assume you’ve been stood up, check to make sure you’re at the right place and time. If you’re certain of this then give your date half an hour or so to show up or contact you, just in case they’re running late or are stuck in traffic. While waiting call a friend for a chat on your mobile so you’re not completely alone. Depending on where you’re waiting depends on how you can act. If you’re meeting in a bar or café, get yourself a drink and act like you’re having a relaxing drink by yourself. If you’re waiting outside a venue, give them half an hour to show up and if they don’t, leave. By talking to a friend on the phone while you wait, you won’t look so obvious that you’re waiting for a date.
You have a clothing mishap
After spending time getting ready, having planned your perfect date outfit, the last thing you want is to have a clothing malfunction resulting in unintentional exposure of skin. Whether a zip comes undone, or a button pops open, firstly you need to discretely fix the wardrobe mishap, even if you have to excuse yourself for a moment and visit the nearest bathroom. Next, you need to detect whether your date noticed your mishap. If they did notice, simply smile or giggle about it. If you don’t make it a big deal about it, neither will they. You might feel a little embarrassed but being able to laugh at yourself will lighten the moment. Simply remember not to wear that particular item of clothing next time.
You bump into an ex-partner
Whether you bump into one of your exes or your date’s exes, it can make things very awkward. When getting to know someone new, you don’t want a reminder of the past. Depending on how things were left between you and your ex depends whether you acknowledge them or not. If you have no option but to talk to them, keep it short and sweet. After a simple greeting, simply explain to your date that you used to date that person then move the conversation swiftly on. Never make the mistake of entering an in-depth discussion about your ex; it’s the last thing your date wants to hear about. Likewise, if your date sees one of their exes, be calm and polite and stay focused on your date. In the case of seeing an ex, ask your date if they’d rather go somewhere else. Regardless of whether you stay where you are or go somewhere else, don’t let seeing en ex ruin your date.
Spilling your drink
Spilling your drink on a date is ultra embarrassing. Regardless of whether you spill it down yourself, on your date or across the table, there’s very little chance of it going unnoticed. All you can do is laugh, clear it up the best you can and joke about it afterwards. It will certainly break the ice if things are a little tense. By laughing you’re showing you have a sense of humour and do embarrassing things just like everybody else.
You end up talking too much
People usually end up talking too much due to nerves. Babbling on about everything and anything will eventually become obvious. You also risk sharing too much detail, even about things they’d rather not know about. If you find your mouth is on overdrive, simply apologise for going on and on and just explain you’re a little nervous. This should prompt your date to take over the conversation. You’ll probably find they’re just as nervous as you are. Just remember to give them a chance to speak too.