03 September 2010

10 worst dating disasters

The big evening approaches, but somehow you have a feeling things might not work out the way you hoped. So what are the ten worst dating disasters?

You somehow got it together to ask this person out – after much gnashing of teeth and many sleepless nights. The big evening approaches, but somehow you have a feeling things might not work out the way you hoped. So what are the ten worst dating disasters?

Car accident. There is something worse than a car breaking down, and that is having an actual accident. And I am not talking small dent here. The souvenir that your date would like to have from the evening out, is probably not a shattered kneecap or a broken arm.

A chaperone. An unexpected third person, like a mother or a cousin, can swiftly put paid to any hopes of romance. There's nothing like a hanger-on to spoil the evening for both of you – especially if it's someone who likes talking.

Getting the date wrong. It can still be funny if you arrive a day early, but not if you arrive a day late. A day late will, at best, make your date extremely thin-lipped, and at worst, get you a door slammed in your face.

Fashion suicide. Arriving in inappropriate clothes could be a real downer. Jeans will not do for a wedding, for instance. Or if you're taking your date to the local steakhouse and she's dressed in a ball gown, it could cause quite a lot of embarrassment.

Caught in the act. Being spotted by your date's husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, when you had no idea your date was anything but footloose, fancy-free and decidedly single, could also nip any relationship in the bud. Apologise, beat a quick retreat, move house and change your phone number if you need to.

Food fiasco. Taking a vegan to a steakhouse is not going to work. Neither is taking a carnivore to a health deli. Find these things out beforehand. There is also nothing quite as unromantic as really revolting table manners. Except, of course, someone who gets horrendously drunk.

Movie madness. Find out beforehand whether your date likes car-chase movies or movies with sub-titles. Gentle snoring in the seat next to yours will also not be an exhilarating experience.

Religious or political argument. Whatever you do, stay away from religion or politics on the first date. Don't make sweeping statements with regards to anything contentious – you could get yourself into serious trouble.

Rude to waiter. Someone who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. Remember that your date will also think this way. Lording it over someone who lives on tips and carries plates for a living, will not endear you to your date. Remember this. If your date is rude to the waiter, make this a one-off experience.

Accidental insult. It may be weeks before you realise that you insulted your date by knocking those copper clocks in the form of Africa, people with blue rinses, charismatic churches or whatever. Stay away from sweeping statements, unless you know this person reasonably well.

- (Susan Erasmus, January 2005, Health24)

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