Your palms are sweaty and your heart pounds heavily against your chest when you go on a date. You feel like you are choking on your words when you confirm your reservation with the hostess and she seats you at an empty booth in an isolated, candle lit corner of the restaurant.
You take a seat, adjust your tie and pretend to be looking over your menu while you wait anxiously for your date to arrive. You only know her from the internet so you’re hoping and praying that when you meet her face to face, she will be exactly what you perceived her to be from her profile.
At the same time, you hope she will like what she sees without being put off by the odor of your bodily perspiration. When she finally arrives, you eagerly jump up with an outstretched hand to greet her and your hip collides with the corner of the table in the process.
This is embarrassing but you shake it off and try to pay her a compliment. That’s when it happens. Your words spill off your tongue like vomit and you wind up saying something really stupid. Chances are, if you’re single, you’ve been through something like this before.
So, what are some of the worst things you can possibly say on a date?
To answer this question, we thought it would be funny – er, rather, fitting to ask our eccentric female writer about some of her stories. Our writer – who once thought of a random idea for a chamomile soda – has a lot of knowledge from firsthand experience with this sort of thing. When asked, she had this to tell us:
“When it comes to dating, I have enough comedic material to last a lifetime and many kooky memories that I never asked for. Most of them are repressed, stored away in the dark depths of my subconscious because they were just too bizarre for me to hold on to. I’d resurface them for entertainment’s sake, but they’re probably covered in cobwebs by now.”
“One thing I learned from my past experiences is that there are a lot of interesting characters out there. From finding out my date was on house arrest to having a guy accuse me of being ‘shady’ for not wanting to follow him into his car late at night, I remember wondering if I was a magnet for weird.”
“One of my funniest moments worth mentioning, though involved a guy performing a full-on, wild chicken dance at our table in a public restaurant because he claimed there was something ringing in his ear. Equally as interesting as the people, however, are the words that come out of their mouths, ranging from shocking to just plain peculiar.”
“One of the rudest moments for me occurred less than 10 minutes into a first date when a guy asked me how long he’d have to wait before we’d be intimate. ‘Two days? A week? A month?’ I kept my mouth closed while he spoke and simply stared blankly at him. I gave no answer when he said, ‘well, I simply can’t wait a whole month, so this isn’t going to work out because I need someone with a higher libido than that.’ I shrugged, he left and that was that.”
“On a separate occasion, I had a date start worrying if we could potentially be related simply because we had the same hair and eye color. He brought it up many times throughout our conversation as a serious topic for concern. To end the date, all I had to do was agree with him and that was the end. Easy.”
Getting asked what is OKAY to say to girls
“Because I have a lot of guy friends who are socially awkward, I’ve often been asked what is okay to say to girls and what is not. Anyone within hearing distance of my group at a local bar or a pub might have overheard me telling them things like, ‘no, you probably shouldn’t talk about your chest hair with girls,’ followed by a ‘no, don’t talk about your sister either…’
In return, I might be asked, ‘but what if it comes up in conversation?’ at which point I simply pat them on the back and fondly encourage them to do what comes naturally.”
Saying something awkward or weird on a date is no surprise.
“But it’s not like I am perfect either. Far from it. I am a much more confident writer than speaker. Like a lot of introverts, I tend to fumble over my speech when meeting new people face to face. So, I have my fair share of slip-ups with poor choices of words too.”
“My nerves always seem to have a specific agenda, which is to make me look as stupid as I feel when it comes to socializing. This, I mostly feel in my body as my back stiffens like a board and I am embarrassingly asked, ‘are you okay?’ and told, ‘You seem uncomfortable.’”
“So, it may come to no surprise that I’ve said some things on first dates in the past that were really dumb, simply because I was nervous. For instance, upon meeting a first date, I once croaked, ‘nice to finally meet you,’ which, I found, made the guy really uncomfortable. I felt the urge to face-palm myself for saying it right as it slipped.”
“It’s funny how one word can make all the difference in the context of a situation. In this case, inserting the word, ‘finally,’ into my greeting made it seem as if I’d been Facebook-stalking him for weeks or something.”
“Though most of the things I’ve said on dates are pushed to the back of my mind for being deemed too cringe-worthy, I’ve learned over time that it’s best to just laugh at yourself whenever you say something dumb and try not to dwell on it. After all, we all do it. And, if others around you sense that you’re at ease with your mistakes, they won’t feel as uncomfortable for you.”
What do other girls think about the worst things to say on a date?
After asking our eccentric writer for a glimpse into some of her past experiences, we had her consult a couple of her female friends for their input as well, so that we could provide you, with real-life examples. When asked about the worst things that were said to them on a date, some of their responses were humorous, to say the least!
I didn’t think I would have fun
The first friend explained to us a time when she was wrapping up the end of a date and the guy concluded by saying to her, “I had a good time. I honestly didn’t think I’d have fun with you…” Now, we’re not sure if he meant to be insulting about it or if this was just word vomit, but that slip of the tongue didn’t come without a cost and there was no second date after that.
She went on to add that whenever she is out on a date, she can’t stand when she’ll start to talk and then her date interrupts her with something entirely off topic. Though, she said she had a tough time coming up with examples because a lot of her memories of these instances had blurred into obscurity.
Being silent is worse than saying something weird.
The second friend of our writer explained that it wasn’t necessarily what guys have said to her on dates but, rather, what they didn’t say. She told us a story about her worst encounter ever and how she endured an entire date, which consisted of dinner and a movie, without the guy saying a single word. “It was a silent date,” she said.
The words, “awkward” and “intense” were peppered throughout our conversation with her. The kicker is that he had apparently spoken to her before when he initially asked her out after they met at a bar. Yet, for some reason, he was completely mute for the entire duration of their rendezvous. Perhaps, he simply couldn’t speak to her without alcohol in his system to boost his confidence. Either way, there was no second date for this couple either.
A study has been done on the significance of the first date and what was said on it.
We examined some research, a 2016 article written by Marissa T. Cohen, which highlighted the vitality of early communication on influencing our perceptions of others. In this case, first impressions really do count.
In her published work, Cohen writes that a first date tends to take on “the form of a ‘dance’ involving carefully orchestrated conversation and self-disclosures. What is said is certainly important, as are the behaviors exhibited by each member of the dyad”.
Cohen conducted a survey, which she gave to 390 participants. It mostly focused on men’s and women’s perceptions of whether they felt their first date was attracted to them. Results showed interesting findings indicating that men had a tendency to think their dates were attracted to them when the topic of sex was surfaced in conversation, whereas women were more likely to think their dates were attracted to them if they mentioned future plans or kissed them goodbye at the end.
In this way, there may sometimes be a disconnect between heterosexual men and women with what they say to one another, which can lead to misunderstanding.
Cohen goes on in her article to explain the results of another study by McFarland and colleagues, which showed that women were more likely to show a connection with their dates when they were the topic of the conversation. This may sound sort of self-centered and we guess it kind of is, but it is based on a natural desire for women to feel like men are genuinely interested in getting to know them.
It also explains why our writer’s first friend mentioned that she doesn’t like it when men interrupt her with something off-topic. Clearly, this makes her feel unheard and invalidated. The study did, however, show that, for the most part, women actually liked men who interrupted them, but only in the context of the interruptions affirming what they were saying and building on a sense of mutual understanding.
Although dating science has come a long way and there is an abundance of research related to attraction, mate selection and relationship formation, there is still not a whole lot of literature on the basic understanding of individuals’ perceptions of subtle interactions, particularly when it comes to dating or a first date.
People respond differently to weird things said on a date.
Overall, people seem to respond differently to what is said based on the unique circumstances of their personalities and how they perceive the situation. For instance, although saying, “let’s get married,” on a date would most likely be viewed as more than a little too forward by most people, there are some who may actually be quite flattered by this.
Though, we wouldn’t recommend changing it if you’re thinking about saying it to someone you don’t know very well. If she says no, that’ll just be awkward. This makes it all the more important to find a partner who is compatible with you and your unique way of thinking.
Although our prior real-life examples consisted of negative outcomes for saying dumb things on dates, this is not always the case. Apparently, not all embarrassing things that are said end without a second chance.
So, if you’ve opened your big mouth recently, there may still be hope for you yet.
We return now to our writer’s statement as she explained a time when she was told something that maybe shouldn’t be said on a first encounter. Yet, it did wind up resulting in a happy ending.
With this, she said:
“I still remember when I first met my current fiancé at a neighborhood community bowling event – offline if you can believe it –, and I was trying to be sociable with him. I thought it was going well at first but then, out of nowhere, he uttered dismissively, ‘I’m hungry so I’m going to eat now,’ which threw me off. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is rude!’”
“As I grew to know him over time, however, through other neighborhood gatherings, functions and events, I later learned that he wasn’t trying to come across as rude. He was just painfully shy and didn’t really know how to respond to me. Thus, he went from being snappy in my view to being kind-of-adorkable and then the rest is history. To this day, he treats me well and I am really glad I gave him a chance.”
We hope this story provides some comfort to anyone who has been on a date recently and said some things that could be construed as rude, stupid or just plain embarrassing by others.