Ninety-nine percent of the time, you can guarantee I’m doing something embarrassing. Whether it’s talking about my teddy and blankey like they’re my children or entirely missing my mouth when taking a gulp of water, I’m a mess! I’m sure I’m not the only one who deals with a life of humiliation, as I’ve heard many date mess-ups. In order to save you (read: myself) from not knowing how to respond when things go awry, I solicited some answers on how to come back from it all. I’m not promising you won’t still blush, so don’t @ me.
1. You slipped about your social media stalking.
Maybe they were talking about the vacation they just took with their mom and you accidentally nodded your head, replying that Mindy looks like such a nice woman. In this extremely uncomfortable situation, humor is key. “It’s important to laugh it off,” says Cher Gopman, NYC Wing Woman and dating coach. “If they confront you and ask how you knew that, say something like, ‘I always have to be sure of who I’m going on a date with and wanted to make sure you were safe,” she suggests. You’ve already been caught (and there’s really no other way out of this one) so lying would just dig yourself (deeper) into a hole you don’t want to get in.
2. You called them by the wrong name.
Come up with a reason (not a long-winded one, because that screams dishonesty in every situation) as to why this other name was on your mind. No one wants to be called the wrong name, because it makes the other person feel not special, says Gopman. She suggests telling your date a story like, “I was just thinking about my friend Sam because I remembered that I had to send them an email. I’m so sorry about that, Alex.” “Make sure you then present your date’s name to make it clear you do actually know who you’re out with,” Gopman says.
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4. You said something offensive.
You say you don’t get vegans, and they are one. Yikes. “A lot of people want someone who has an opinion. [That’s just one reason why] the worst thing you can do is change your stance. When you backtrack, you’re showing your date that you’re trying to be someone else for them,” says Gopman. Save yourself with something like, “That’s interesting that you feel that way. I’ve always felt this way about it, but you bring up a really good point.” You’re still holding your ground, but you’re doing it while being respectful of your date’s thoughts. Hey, it might even open the floor for an interesting conversation.
5. You lied.
Sometimes in the excitement and flow of a conversation, a white lie just happens. They ask if you like a certain band, and you reply yes but actually have no idea who the hell the Bob Rosses are. In this case, Gopman suggests simply stopping the conversation. “Say, ‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry. For some reason I really thought you were talking about something else. I actually don’t know that one. Tell me more.” You don’t want to get so deep into the conversation that the next thing you know, you’re going to a concert of a band you’ve never heard of. And you definitely don’t want to build your relationship on a foundation of falsehoods.
6. You let one loose.
This one stinks (had to!). Truth is, we all do it. But there’s nothing worse than not addressing it at all because then both you and your date are uncomfortable. Laugh and say that you’re super embarrassed and then move on. Or if you, more commonly, burp in their face, laugh and say “Excuse me.” You can even joke, “I don’t usually burp like this, but I always wished I could sing the ABCs while burping. Can you?” All of a sudden, you’re both telling and laughing at some really funny stories, says Gopman. The most important tool at your disposal is the confidence to confront these situations and not get too in your head, which could ruin the date. “Addressing and laughing it off will not only make your date more comfortable, but it also shows that you’re human. It’s attractive being comfortable in your own skin and showing your authentic self,” says Gopman.