Relationships are fun, exciting and at times, painfully embarrassing. Vatsala Chhibber helps you squirm out of those dreaded ‘awkward dating moments’
There are three kinds of dates: the good, the bad and the awkward. While the first two determine the beginning or the end of a relationship, the ambiguous nature of the third category can be tricky. Here’s how to save yourself from cringe-worthy situations.
Oops I said the ‘L Word’
When you are in a relationship, the air seems fresher, the world seems kinder and even movies like Heroine seem bearable. So on your third date, a romantic dinner, you watch your partner eat with a lingering (maybe even creepy) smile on your face. Suddenly, you hear yourself say, “I love you”. Now, if you’re lucky, your beloved might smile and reciprocate. Otherwise, you’ll probably be seeing the bill sooner than you expected.
Firstly, it is not advisable to use the ‘L word’ in the first month of a relationship or until you’re sure your partner feels the same way. But if you have broken the rule, damage control must be swift. If wit is your strong suit, make a quick joke like, “Now that you’ve lost your appetite, I can finish your food.” The other approach is to be direct and say, “I know it’s too early, but it’s just my way of saying I like you and enjoy your company.”
Oops, It’s the Annoying Friend
It’s finally time to introduce your partner to your friends. You are nervous and excited about this meeting (What will my friends say about him/her? Will they get along?). To your relief, your friends and your partner seem to be getting along. Everythings is going well until catastrophe strikes! Running out of polite conversation, your overenthusiastic friend says, “I’m so glad you’re dating my friend. She’s been single and lonely for so long!” Uh oh.
Since prevention is better than humiliation, brief your friends before you set up this crucial meeting. If you need to list down incidents and subjects that won’t be discussed, do it. If your friend has made a blunder, talk to your partner about it later. “Don’t mind my friends. They really care for me and tend to exaggerate sometimes,” should be enough. No elaborate excuses; being too concerned might seem suspicious.
Oops, the Omnipresent Ex
You and your partner decide to watch a movie together. While browsing through the list of films, you say, “Let’s watch a romantic comedy! My ex-boyfriend/girlfriend and I loved watching Woody Allen films together. In fact, he even bought a DVD collection for my birthday.” Congratulations, you have successfully ruined a perfectly romantic evening. The only thing worse would be actually bumping into your ex while you’re with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Or running into your partner’s ex. Now that is awkward.
A happy couple has enough space for only two people, so remember to keep your ex out of the relationship. If you manage to mention your ex during a romantic moment (shame on you), act quickly. Say, “I’m glad we broke up though. How else would I have met you?” Aww. Follow that up with a hug, just to be safe. If you happen to bump into your ex while you’re with your partner, keep it casual. No lingering hugs, no over familiarity. Include your partner in the conversation, you don’t want him/her feeling left out. Also, don’t stick around for more than five minutes; “We should leave now to catch the film, but it was nice bumping into you.” (no making plans to ‘catch up’). Now, if you bump into your partner’s ex, as difficult as it may seem, be cordial. Being aloof and arrogant will make things more awkward for everyone involved.
Oops, What’s that Sound?
After a quiet, romantic dinner, you and your partner are enjoying some cuddling and snuggling. It’s one of those precious moments when a couple shares a comfortable silence. Finally, you decide to break the silence and whisper sweet nothings into your partner’s ear, but your stomach beats you to it. And no, you can’t blame anybody else this time.
Unfortunately, we can’t always be at our charming best in relationships. Sometimes, our body tries to sabotage romantic moments by breaking wind, creating stomach growls or letting out a burp. While it’s easier for boys to get away with these ‘mishaps’, girls use these moments to judge how much of a gentleman you really are. No amount of opening doors and pulling out chairs will make up for an ungraceful physiological act, so always excuse yourself and laugh about it, if you must. For the ladies, such ungraceful acts might be mortifying, but keep calm and smile. Luckily, most men have the memory of a goldfish – one innocent smile and everything’s forgotten.
Oops, I’M a Spy!
Your partner leaves to visit the restroom and leaves you alone with his/her cell phone. Your hands are itching to use this opportunity to scroll through his/her messages. You probably won’t find anything fishy, but what’s the harm in making sure, right? You swiftly grab the phone/laptop and look for incriminating evidence, when suddenly, “What are you doing?” Darn, caught red-handed.
You could say your phone battery is dead and you have to text your parents. This might help you escape the awkward situation, but ask yourself if you’re stuck in an awkward relationship. Such situations will make your partner more secretive and you snoopier, creating an unhealthy relationship. If you’re insecure about something, discuss it with you partner before you decide to play Sherlock Holmes.
My Most Awkward Dating Moment
“Once I was on this date with a girl and we really hit it off. She was flirting with me throughout the evening and towards the end of the date, I felt confident enough to lean in for a kiss. The attempt ended in humiliation because she moved and I ended up kissing her ear! We said an uncomfortable goodbye and never met again. I still don’t know how to read mixed signals from women.
– Parth Thakkar, 21
“My boyfriend is really funny, but that’s not always a good thing. We were having dinner together and he said something that really cracked me up. The result? My uncontrollable laughter resulted in food (and saliva) falling into my lap. I wanted to run away and never see him again. Luckily, he didn’t make me feel uncomfortable about it at the time, but now he pulls my leg about the ‘food fountain’ incident.
– Reshma Kumaran, 23
Volume 2 Issue 5