Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Dreaded Awkward Silence...

Good chat can make or break a date so the art of conversation is crucial if you’re going to click with someone. There’s no hiding in a one-on-one situation but remember, a date is a marathon not a sprint, so be prepared because you never know when one of those awkward silences is about to descend.

It may seem a bit calculating but having a couple of prepared questions up your sleeve is no bad thing. My uni housemate, for example, always favoured ‘Do you play a musical instrument?’ as her back-up question….but then she is still single so maybe try and be a bit more creative! I certainly wish I’d had an emergency subject to fall back on recently when an absolute shocker of a conversation pause led to pretty disastrous consequences.

Let me set the scene – I’d met Rugby Boy in a bar the weekend before and we agreed to go for drinks. He was sweet, funny, and pretty easy to talk to so drinks seemed a safe bet. We met for a shandy or two in Clapham and we were getting on really well….the only problem was I just wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him. There wasn’t any real chemistry and I was definitely thinking more friend than fancy-man.

Still, we were having a great time chatting away and despite a few suggestive comments coming across the table from the rugger bugger, I was doing my best to keep things more friendly than flirty.

It was nearly closing time and I was feeling pretty pleased to have met such a great new mate when I could suddenly feel it coming – the awkward silence. He’d just returned from the bar with drinks and the conversation stalled – we had run out of things to say. He stared; I stared; he awkwardly played with a beer mat; I nonchalantly fiddled with my hair.

‘So…’ I began, racking my brains for a new topic of conversation. ‘How far is it to your place from here?’

Rugby boy slowly put the beer mat down, coyly smiled at me and slid his hand over the table to stroke mine in what I think was supposed to be an alluring way.

‘I thought you’d never ask, we can be back at mine in 5 - I’ll get us a cab.’

Oh no, awkward silence panic had led to a slightly provocative but totally accidental agreement to a first date sleepover! I racked my brains to think of a way to back track but I couldn’t work out what to say so another sizable silence descended on our table.

He dropped my hand abruptly as I stammered and explained I just had an interest in London geography and didn’t actually intend on joining him on the five minute journey back to his bachelor pad.

A cab was then indeed hailed but it was for a solo passenger as Rugby Boy made a speedy enough exit to keep any winger on their toes. An awkward goodbye, an even more awkward peck on the cheek and I was left standing outside the bar watching as his taxi disappeared into the distance.

That was the end of what could have been a beautiful friendship.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post!

    Yeah, convo is definitely a top-3 factor on a date.

    I keep "backup questions" handy in case the date is terrible and I need to kill time, but otherwise I like to see if a girl can "be here, now" (to get all hippie on you). Maybe something funny is going on at the bar; maybe there's a person nearby that, when you both look at him/her, you both think the same thing.

    These sorts of "shared moments" rather than "interview questions" are much more meaningful and serve as a good indicator of compatibility. The information and facts about a person are important, but don't worry- if you really get along and connect- the answers will be forthcoming!