If you're anything like me, a first date can be a seldom traveled journey through awkward conversations, that is less an exciting way to get to know someone and more, “I may need a third glass of wine”. When I am sitting across the table from the latest stranger I met on Okcupid, it's like my mind suddenly goes to a dark place, filled with forced puns and inquiries into whether or not you actually need your appendix. Why suddenly does the only thing I can ever think to say revolve around the excellent craftsmanship of the salt shakers on the table? They look like every other salt shaker I've ever seen! I also maybe shouldn't have told them about my strange fear of whales this soon either...
Needless to say, I don't really get many follow up dates.
If you're the kind of girl who is sitting on a coffee date, laughing all too loudly at a joke he made only to spill boiling hot coffee all over your new leggings, then you completely get me. There are only so many times I can trip in front of a cute person, shriek like an old woman, and snort-laugh it off after, before I throw in the towel on dating for good.
So without further ado, here are the things awkward girls, including myself, will somehow find OK to say on a date.
1. You Throw In An Off-Hand Reference To Your Favorite Fandom
Now don't get me wrong, this can be the stuff long lasting relationships are made of. Let's say you spout out one of your favorite Harry Potter spells, and he/she counters with an even better charm, you may have just met your soul mate.
However, if they're telling you how their grandfather just died, and you reply “Valar morghulis”, well then, not so much.
2. Listing Everything You're Allergic To On The Menu
You may have a gluten intolerance that will leave you in the bathroom for the next two hours if not addressed, but that doesn't mean he/she needs to know it. It also may not be the greatest idea to alert him/her to where your EpiPen is, and then spend the first half hour of your date giving instructions on how to handle possible anaphylaxis.
3. You Feel Compelled To Share Random Facts In Between Lulls Of Conversation
Yes, there has been a silence for more than a few minutes, and now you feel the urge to discuss Pluto's debated status as a planet within our solar system. Or maybe you happen to know a strange amount about how many people die each year from possum attacks. For whatever reason, now just feels like the perfect time to bring it up.
4. Repeating The Phrase “I Haven't Been On A Date In A While”
You're painfully bad at this, and you're finding the need to justify your inability to keep up a regular conversation without throwing in some Shakespearean wordplay so you tell him/her, maybe five or six times, you haven't been on a date in a while. Confidence seems to escape you when you're on a first date, but now you're veering into the “insecure mess” lane. And that's not actually you.
5. Easily Misinterpreted Compliments
If they mention how much they look like their dad, for instance, you may say “Well, you must have a really hot dad.” This will inevitably lead to you having to clarify that no, you didn't mean to say you were attracted to their dad...not that their dad isn't a good looking guy...you're sure he's perfectly handsome for his age...not that he's really old or anything...
And you've completely dug yourself into a hole.
6. Naming Your Future Children
The date is actually going well; you've decided that they're the perfect combination of your favorite celebrities, so now you're pretty set on getting married. You've started drawing hearts around their name on your napkin while they weren't looking, and you can't help but feel their dreamy green eyes are the genetic jackpot for your three future kids (two girls and one boy of course). Screw it, you just feel like telling them!
“What do you think of the names Jack, Layla, and Francesca for our kids one day?”
7. Mentioning Very Personal Details
My friend once told me he went on a date with a girl who spoke about getting the warts removed from her toes for about 20 minutes. Then after, she went on an almost violent tirade about her alcoholic father, and the crappy genes he gave her to predispose her to wart-filled toes. Needless to say, he played sick and left that date after about 45 minutes.
First dates may be the social equivalent to Chinese water torture, but it's infinitely more difficult when you derive your charms from your awkward quirkiness. Worry not, though, fellow self-proclaimed awkward women of the world; one day you will meet a man or woman who understands your off-handed references, and has a slew of random facts of their own.
If I can give you but one tip it would be this: marry that person, because he's the unicorn you've been searching for.
Images: Elena Signorini/Flickr; Giphy (7)