The important thing is not to let these mishaps ruin your evening - you can maybe even make a bit of a joke about them and help cheerful things along. One way of calming yourself down is to arrive a little ahead of time at your rendezvous and to get yourself sorted and make yourself comfortable. For instance, if you have arranged a date at a restaurant, get there a few minutes before, order yourself a drink and make yourself at home.
Close encounters of the third kind
You’ve decided to get over a break-up by taking a holiday in an exotic location and just who do you meet on that supposedly deserted beach? You’ve got it - your ex.
You might find that something similar happens on a date … The other person could turn out to be your old biology teacher or even a distant relation. Or it could be that a few colleagues are sitting at the next table. The answer is to keep calm. Embarrassing situations should be all about maintaining your dignity. Try and see the amusing side of the situation instead of wishing you could sink into the ground. You might even laugh about it on your first anniversary …
“Sorry, I forgot your name”
“Since your first email I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you, Linda… or is it Tina? … Just what is your name again?” If you tend to be a little absent-minded, what you absolutely do need to remember is that, when you are out on a date, forgetting the other person’s name, messing up a restaurant reservation, or leaving your money at home on the sideboard is unfortunately not going to help you make a great impression. If you are the forgetful type, make sure to prepare some reminders for yourself. If the worst comes to the worst, write them on your hand!
Body of evidence
When you are tense, do you simply clam up, come out in red spots, suffer from stomach cramps or even worse? One good piece of practical advice is that, ahead of the date, you should keep away from foods that can have embarrassing after-effects, such as spicy food and fizzy drinks.
It is also worth looking into the reasons for your excessive nerves, such as vague fears of failure. It can help to imagine what could possibly be the worst thing that could happen on a date - and of the forbearing way you or the person would react. If, in spite of your best efforts, you blush crimson as soon as you meet, just talk about it, even if that seems difficult. Your date might be just as nervous as you are.
The inferiority complex
Your date speaks to you in dulcet tones, but his or her preferred, highly intellectual subject matter is somewhat outside your frame of reference. What do you do: nod your head sagely or admit that you just don’t know what he or she is talking about? The answer is to go for the latter. Honesty is the best policy here. Nobody can know everything - remember that your date is going to have some gaps in his or her knowledge that you are in a position to fill.
So long, farewell …
As the date nears its end, the other person asks if you would like to meet up again. If you’ve thoroughly enjoyed yourself, you can respond with a wholehearted “Absolutely”. But what if you really couldn’t wait for the date to be over? The best route is to say something like: “You are a very nice person, but it just hasn’t clicked for me.” Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine how you would like to be treated. And if you are not sure what you feel, say you need some time to think and that you’ll be in touch the next day to let them know.
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