How to avoid dating disaster

Are pre-date nerves getting the better of you?
Do things go wrong for what seems like no reason at all?
While the words ‘first date’ might strike fear and dread in most, all you need for success is good preparation and consideration for your date. We have compiled a list of ten possible dating disasters to give you foresight and hopefully help you prevent and avoid them.

Be on time!

Turn up to your date before or on time as this will make a good first impression. The last thing you want to do is turn up late or keep your date waiting, he or she may be nervous without the extra worry that you might not turn up. Prepare well in advance, set one, two or three alarms if you struggle with timekeeping. Most importantly, let your date know if you’re going to be late, a quick text should do it.

Avoid First Date Disaster

Messy food/clumsy

First dates can be nerve-racking experiences, next in line to a job interview, so it’s no surprise that things can and do go wrong. First dates involve time management, multi-tasking skills and respect for whoever you’re with. Aside from ‘talking’, ‘listening’, being ‘humorous’, being ‘interesting’ and keeping ‘conversations’ flowing, there’s the other side to dating, the art of impressing.

If you’re usually a clumsy person try not to order messy food or greasy food. No one wants to experience the moment you reach for a spoon and knock your dates drink all over their lap, the moment a meatball slides off your fork and splashes his or her outfit, that awkward moment where your date looks at your chin hoping you’ll realize you have tomato sauce or mayo on your face before they have to mention it.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh it off and instead mention one of your best qualities and compare it to your worst (pointing out that they have just experienced your worst).


Awkward Silences

The clock ticks louder, sweat starts to run, and you realize the silence. Panic, panic! “What should I say”? “What can I do to save this date”? Don’t panic, try to think of questions that need more than one-word answers, ask your date about themselves, their lives, their family and anything you can think of to strike up a conversation or keep it flowing. If you really struggle for things to say, then before your date read a newspaper, watch TV to catch up on things happening in the world, think about your childhood (funny stories) or check out some conversation starter help guides.


Just not interested

OK, you’ve done your ‘homework’, you’ve been dating someone online and taken things slowly, now you’re off out to meet in person for the first time. Expectations are high, but all your aspirations and dreams go out the window when dating disaster no.4 happens, you realize after speaking for 5 minutes that you’re just not that interested in the person sitting opposite, you have 3 hours left.

Because it’s your first date, you could confuse boredom with nervousness, so give yourself and your date enough time to work out whether this is the case. You’ll soon know whether this person is your kind of person and if you connect or not. Sometimes the worst situations and the most unlikely coupes go on to have successful relationships, so don’t rule this out.

However, if you ‘re so bored that it’s starting to show, then you may need to excuse yourself as soon and as kindly as possible. (Don’t go climbing out the toilet window though). Be honest and upfront about the way you feel rather than dragging things out longer than you need to.


Alcohol overload

Most people have a tipple on a first date, even if it is just to calm the nerves.
When alcohol is involved inhibitions are lowered and perceptions are often blurred and no one wants to wake up the next morning with no memory of what happened on their first date or worse still next to someone they don’t really want to be with. There’s a well-known formula to remember when it comes to ‘dating’ and ‘alcohol’.

(A+SA)=b10 Alcohol + Sexual Attraction x 2 People = A Really, Really Bad Decision

Surely, the main reason you’re on a first date, especially in the early stages of dating is to gain a clear picture of who your date is and to find out whether you’re well matched? If there’s ever a good time to be sober or just not drunk, then this is it!


Running into the ex!

If there’s one dating disaster that can include a positive and a negative, it’s coming face to face with your ex. Admittedly there’s only one positive, the fact that you’re clearly over them if you’re out dating. Unfortunately, the negatives often outweigh that one positive. ‘Awkward’ is an understatement for you and for your current date.

Coming face to face with the ex on the first date can add pressure, not to mention stress, which could start the dating disaster ball rolling if handled wrongly! If you’re aware that running into your ex might be a possibility, then let the person you’re dating know in advance, they’ll appreciate it. The best thing you can do in this situation is to not make your date feel uncomfortable around your ex.


Running into current/past dates

Modern dating is all about ‘multiple dates’ with different people, which can include grey areas right up until the point you and the person you want to be with, become official. So, there’s a very good chance you’ll be dating different people at the same time and bumping into current dates or those you’ve been talking to, so if this happens, then handle the situation well. Embrace it.

If it’s an undefined, early non-exclusive relationship, then there’s no harm in people you’ve been talking to or been on a date with seeing you out on another date. If anything, it makes you seem more desirable and attractive. Say hello, make an introduction if it’s situationally appropriate, and then enjoy your night.


Dressing wrong for the occasion

Men don’t tend to dress too revealing unless they’re wearing an open shirt. Women, on the other hand, can sometimes dress a little more revealing and when it comes to being sexy and flashing some flesh, it’s important to show off your best asset without bearing all. Anything more than one asset and you run the risk of being viewed as trashy or too sexy. What message do you want to portray to your date, seductive sexy or bringing in all the men? Wearing something too revealing may distract your date from getting to know who you are.

There’s nothing wrong with dressing to impress, but there is such a thing as under dressing. A woman can still be attractive without flaunting everything she has on the first date.


Overshare overload

Too much information on a first date within a short period of time is never a good idea. Be yourself and share, but be careful about what you choose to disclose too soon. Avoid talking about your ex, politics, religion, how cute your imaginary children would look and certainly withhold information about any strange habits or obsessions you have. First date conversations should be light and fun, so don’t get too deep too quickly. Reveal slowly and get to know your date over time to build a good solid foundation.


To kiss or not to kiss?

If you’re not on the same page when it comes to this part you could create a really awkward situation. This is probably the most nerve-racking moment when coming to any date and with any luck, you’ll both know exactly where you stand by this point. The signs should be obvious, and kissing someone should come natural, but there’s always that sticky moment just before you say bye when none of you know how well you’ve got on or whether you should lean in for the goodnight kiss.

If you’re on the receiving end and not feeling it, be polite and say something. If you know they’ll be no second date, explain that you’ve had a nice time, but you need time to think about how you feel before seeing them again, be polite and kind. There’s never any reason to hurt someone’s feelings. If you’re the one wanting to kiss your date, then go for it or ask them. What’s the worst that can happen? They say NO!


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All the information and advice on is subject to personal tastes or experiences.
There is other dating advice available from many other sources, the advice we provide is to protect and help people when it comes to finding and keeping love alive. Our advice is honest and well researched, our advice will not guarantee dating success, relationship success or success where sex is concerned, but it will give you the tools and best opportunity to help you in this regard. Although our blogs focus and discuss cis and heterosexual relationships, we also recognise relationships between gay, transgender, queer and gender non-conforming people. We are looking to work with writers from the LGBTQI community to accurately reflect the diversity of our readership. If you are interested in writing for Findmeyou please submit a form on our ‘write for us‘ page.