SCENARIO 1: You’re having an animated conversation with your date when suddenly, a bit of your spit lands on his steak.
SALVAGE IT: “Apologise immediately but calmly,” advises a senior associate consultant of Imageworks Asia. “A sincere ‘I’m so sorry’ does wonders. Then ask if he’d like to replace the dish and help him get a waiter. That gives him a chance to get a fresh plate of food without worrying about offending you.”
SCENARIO 2: You’re on a date with this hot guy. As he nuzzles your neck, you coo: “Ooh, Ken…” But it’s your ex’s name.
SALVAGE IT: “One way out is to laugh at yourself and admit you have no idea where that came from,” says clinical sexologist and founder of sexual consultancy Eros Coaching. And reassure him that it meant nothing. She adds: “Or you can lie about where that came from, like it’s the name of a character from a book you’re reading.”
SCENARIO 3: During dinner, your best friend shows up. You have to introduce them but can’t for the life of you remember his name.
SALVAGE IT: “Introduce your friend to him first, then trail off ,” says the chief executive of dating agency Lunch Actually and Eteract. com. “It’s likely he’ll tell her his name.” A senior associate consultant of Imageworks Asia suggests: “Say: ‘I’m really bad with names. Would you mind sharing yours again?’”
SCENARIO 4: Whenever he asks a question, you yak nervously. Suddenly, you blurt out something really rude about him.
SALVAGE IT: Curb any instinct to overreact. “First, thank him for his lending you a listening ear and apologise sincerely,” says the senior associate consultant of Imageworks Asia. “Turn things around by asking him more questions about himself – and listen well before talking again.” Remember, an engaging conversation works both ways.
SCENARIO 5: Things are going beautifully. As you gaze into his eyes, you let out a loud fart.
SALVAGE IT: Instead of stifling an embarrassed laugh and saying something vaguely funny, like “How rude of me! You really make me feel too comfortable”, try this trick from chief executive of dating agency Lunch Actually and eteract.com. “Acknowledge it by saying: ‘I had laksa for lunch, and it really gives my tummy a hard time!’ If you’re sitting on a leather or plastic seat, it’s even better. Move around and say: ‘Gosh, these seats can be noisy.’” Problem solved.
SCENARIO 6: You find that you and the guy your BFF set you up with have nothing in common. So you SMS her “This is a big yawn” but send it to him instead.
SALVAGE IT: You’ve been rude, says the senior associate consultant of Imageworks Asia. “First, apologise sincerely. Then, compliment him on one good thing about the date. Say: ‘You chose a very nice restaurant and I’m truly appreciative.’” But don’t expect him to ask you out on a second date.
“UH-OH, I GOOFED”
Women share their messed-up moments – and what happened after.
“After a break-up, I went on a rebound date with a friend’s colleague. Over dinner, I started talking about my ex. His eyes glazed over, and we both ordered more and more wine. We were both drunk even before the dessert arrived, and I ended up crying. He had to call my friend to take me home. No second date.” – Lee W.S
“Once, I tried to crack a joke about a car brand with my date. I said: ‘Their car doors are so light. Maybe they’re made with recycled drink cans!’ He was strangely quiet. Later, he drove me home. And guess what? His car was the make I’d dissed. Dead embarrassed, I blurted out: ‘Oh, your car door is heavy, so I was wrong. Haha…’ But he wasn’t offended. We went on several more dates… in his car. He’s now my husband.” – Ang Li Tin
“Wanting to feel feminine, I wore a body-hugging dress. My tummy is small but protrudes after a meal, so I ate little at dinner. On a romantic stroll later, as we were whispering sweet nothings to each other, my stomach growled. I felt like dying but luckily, he just laughed it off.” – Kiah Lim
“My manager dumped an urgent task on me just as I was leaving work for a date with this hot guy. I texted my bestie to complain about ‘my idiot boss’, but sent it to him instead. He graciously replied, telling me to take my time and didn’t mention my gaffe. We even had a second date, but the chemistry fizzled out. Maybe because he’d seen how pissed I could be!” – J. Tan
“I wore high heels on one date. Bad move. I parked at Raffles City and walked to Marina Bay Sands to meet him. We wandered around for 45 minutes deciding on a restaurant, then waited half an hour for a table. By dinner, my feet were in agony. As we were talking, I suddenly called him by my ex’s name and he choked on his food. No more dates.” – Joanna Siah
This story was originally published in the July 2012 issue of Her World.