Picture this, you’re sat at dinner opposite a person who’s body language is mimicking that of a nervous puppy and all of a sudden you’re feeling like you’ve thrown them so far out of their comfort zone there will never be a way to bring them back, sounds awkward right?
I’m sure we’ve all been on a date where the person there with us is looking slightly on edge, which of course naturally puts an awkward twist on the whole mood of the date, don’t worry though, we can fix this!
So what can we do to try and minimise the risk of this happening, especially during a time where everyone is slightly more concerned with where they are and who they’re with, because if anything is going to make dating slightly harder a pandemic will definitely do it!
Nowadays a walk and a coffee seems to be a foolproof plan, you’re out in the fresh air, there’s none of this awkwardly sitting opposite someone you’ve just met starring at them, asking your standard first date questions.
A walk and a coffee almost seems to make you forget it’s a date, so both of you automatically become slightly more relaxed. It also takes alcohol out of the equation, which for some of us is probably a good thing, if we get nervous we tend to drink more and if we drink more we tend to become a less put together version of ourselves (sounds like a recipe for disaster on a first date at least).
But maybe a nice dinner or a fancy bar is where you feel most comfortable? During these weird and wonderful times, it’s always a good idea to check in with your date to make sure they’re comfortable sitting in a busy restaurant or at a more intimate drinks venue as some of us may not be due to health concerns (totally understandable) and if you’re reading this thinking ‘I wouldn’t be comfortable sitting in a restaurant or a bar for a few hours’ it’s totally fine to communicate this to your date, remember good communication is key in any successful relationship, so you might as well start communicating your wants and needs early on.
Another good idea is to have a back up plan. If you take your date to a bar or a restaurant and suddenly they look slightly uncomfortable don’t be scared to be spontaneous and suggest heading somewhere else spur of the moment, if anything, showing that you’re flexible and open to change is an attractive quality in a partner.
But how can you tell if your date is uncomfortable? Well here are some things you look out for:
Crossed arms and/or legs – This is called body blocking and closed off body language shows that they’re not willing to open themselves up to the situation they’re in, which could be due to being away from situations that they would normally be comfortable in.
Constant seat shifting – if someone seems to have an inability to sit still there’s a good chance they’re not feeling very comfortable, if we’re naturally happy in our surroundings we will find it easy to settle and relax and when we’re not, we tend to move around a lot more to try and find comfort in how our body is positioned.
Eye contact – if they’re looking around the room and at exit points more than they are at you, there’s a good chance they’re looking for a way out of the room, so take note of this and suggest going for a walk or heading to a new location.
Make sure if you pick up on your date not looking comfortable you can fix it with a ‘you’ solution rather than a ‘them’ solution, asking someone if they want to leave will make them feel awkward (this is a them solution), whereas if you say something like ‘the atmosphere in here kind of sucks, shall we head somewhere else?’ It’s turned the situation into something you want to do (a you solution) and won’t make them feel bad for changing the plans because you’ve made it seem like something you want to do.
But above everything else, just remember to have fun! The world of dating is crazy at the best of times so don’t let a pandemic stop you from getting out there and finding the person you should be with!