Awkward First Dates

Nothing like watching a train wreck of a first date happen right before your very observant eyes.

- You want to give her a stiff cocktail.
- You want to give him some confidence.
- You want to untie her hair out of that stuck up, not-so-sexy bun.
- You want to tell him to not laugh at her not-funny jokes.
- You want to tell her she’s being a bit loud and dominating the not-so-good conversation.
- You want to tell him to lean in closer and make some of his own.
- You want to tell them that they shouldn’t be bringing knapsacs and shopping bags on their date (symbolism for excess baggage anyone?)
- You want to tell them just how awkward they look, how tense they are making things, how much easier and chilled and actually enjoyable their time can be together, if they would just – for the love of god – not try so hard.

The forced nature of it all is killing the surrounding patrons at the restaurant. One of them being you. And it is in that moment that you look at the guy you’re with, and you smile to yourself, and feel a newfound (and previously unrecognized) appreciation that you two are so not in that awkward place. That in and of itself is to be said for something.

How easy it is for us to people watch, to judge, to take a snapshot of a situation to determine whether or not it’s going anywhere. I looked at an awkward couple at a table to my right the other night and I tried to imagine what they’d be like after they’ve slept together already and got some of the ‘firsts’ out of their way. I’m certain (and hopeful) that the awkwardness would die down. But it was hard to fantisize about their future because their present was so wrong. It made me wonder how they would report on the date to their friends.

- Would she say ‘He was so great he laughed at all my jokes, I can’t wait to see him again.’
- Would he say ‘I have no idea why her hair was wrapped up, she seemed so uptight, only drank water and I can’t picture her ever loosening up.’

It’s interesting when we wear rosy shaded glasses and see things from a completely different perspective than they actually are. So if you think it may be concievable that – at times – you come down with the case of the awkward, remember:

There is only awkwardness where you let it.I’m convinced that the most embarassing of things can happen on a date (think a few extra sugar packets he took ‘to go’ from his morning coffee falling out of his jacket pocket, and her jacket catching the end of the table causing the candle on it to drop on the awaiting floor), yet if the two people can laugh it off and admit to their embarassing nature, it ends up being more endearing than anything. Humor gives way to many virtues. A blushed face is one of them.

Don’t force. Don’t try to say and do the right things according to what you feel the other person thinks is right, but just do you. Cut the tension. And be mindful of the montage of images you have from observing others’ first dates and awkward moments and never, ever let yourself be that girl.

- Jenny Jen


3 Responses to Awkward First Dates

  1. Ken says:

    Wow. Very, very well said.So, er… wanna go out some time?

  2. D says:

    I once watched a first date happen at a fondue restaurant. it was very very painful! Their skewers just hovered inches of the pot for minutes at a time cause they hadn't gotten their talking/eating timing down due to overpoliteness.

  3. I showed up on a date once with my sweater button on completely wrong buttons. Meh! I figure he can always assume I was too busy thinking up brilliant scientific formulas or writing the next great novel to be worried about which buttons go where. Then again…we never had a second date. Damn sweater buttons!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>