There’s nothing wrong with making conversation. But, you may want to be on your guard with what you share—especially if you feel the date heading south. Stick to lighter topics like hobbies and favorites before you delve into family life and career aspirations.
2. Don’t Be a ‘Yes’ Woman
This goes for any date, not just a bad one. If you were talking to a friend and he or she said something that directly challenged your beliefs or opinions, you’d be honest with her about how you felt. Chances are if you’re on a good date, most of the things he will say won’t contradict your views. If you’re on a bad one, the odds of this may increase: “On one first date with a guy I went to church with, he asked me straight up about my feelings regarding gay marriage and abortion and told me all about how he felt. I’m sorry – to me those are really personal things to ask about on a first date. I just felt uncomfortable.” –Briana, junior, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Obviously, getting defensive or angry when this happens is not the way to go if you want to avoid awkwardness. When you find yourself in this situation, be honest but not aggressive. Here’s a short and non-serious (unless you’re really intense about your ‘90s boy band allegiance) dialogue to give you an idea about how to respond if this happens:
Him: “*NSYNC was clearly the best boy band of the ‘90s. I honestly don’t get how anybody could listen to The Backstreet Boys. Their CD players must have been broken.”
You: “Well, I actually preferred The Backstreet Boys when I was younger. I think everyone just has his or her own music preferences though. I don’t have anything against *NSYNC fans!”
Though you’re unlikely to end up butting heads over pop music of decades past, the same principle applies: by being honest about your opinion, you aren’t leading him on to believe that you’re meant for each other. Plus, if it is meant to be, the fact that you don’t agree on everything wouldn’t be a turn-off for him.
3. Avoid Physical Contact
This one is pretty obvious. If you don’t feel that you have chemistry with a guy, don’t be overtly flirtatious. This means, don’t hold hands or put your hand on his arm when you’re talking with him. What’s the point of this besides leading him on? Physical contact is a sign that you’re enjoying yourself, so be careful not to lead him on when you aren’t!
If he’s making contact with you when you aren’t feeling the spark, chances are your night will only get worse. You didn’t sign up for this kind of discomfort when you agreed to go on the date but it’s easy to neutralize the situation. If he’s crossing that boundary, make him aware of it. Move your hand away or say something like, “I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable with this right now!” and give him a smile to let him know that you don’t plan on biting his head off for attempting to hold your hand. It may be awkward in the moment, but you shouldn’t have to increase your discomfort just to get through the date.