I cannot be the only one in the history of dating who has said something stupid on a date. So stupid that the next day, running on the treadmill, I say to myself outloud, with each stride, “WHAT. WERE. YOU. THINKING!??!” and “GOD” and “GAHHI’MACOMPLETEIDIOTTTTTTTTT.” After a night when I’m not on my conversation game, I often need to calm myself down with a few reminders that the world is still going on. People are still going to work. Kathie Lee and Hoda are still drunk on The Today Show. Here are 10 things to think about when you have convinced yourself otherwise.
They misheard you or misunderstood you.
There is always the possibility they didn’t hear you or understand you or think very hard about what you just said. Now. Here are a few things that rhyme with “pee”: “tai chi”, “Grand Prix”, “ski”, shave my goatee”, “decree”, and “plea.” So those are words you can replace “pee” with it when you let slip that you sometimes pee in the shower at the gym. Even if they TOTALLY heard you because you also said it in sign language, acted it out, and write it on their cocktail napkin, just tell yourself, “they probably didn’t even hear me.” You’ll feel better. And at this point, that is the most important thing that you have control over.
Your judgment could be way off.
You might have thought what you said was confusing, terrible, or insane. They could have thought, “no big deal.” Once I said some pretty disagreeable things about my date’s political stance on abortion (I KNOW, SHUT UP OKAY) and I felt terrible. I harbored all this pain and regret until a few dates later, when I finally apologized. #1 he barely remembered, and #2, when he finally remembered because I reminded him, he said, “Oh no I thought that was a great conversation! I love debate.” And I thought, “all that pain and suffering for nothing.” It bears repeating (and perhaps I should point out that it applies to each point on this list) that even if you said something TOTALLY crazy (like you think their huge head probably gets in the way of their sex life), tell yourself “it probably wasn’t that bad.” You’ll feel better. And at this point, that is the most important thing that you have control over.
They could have thought you were joking.
This is a good reason to throw in some sarcasm and witty humor into your first date conversation. It keeps your date on their toes. So when you finally say something like “I can’t wait to see the upcoming winter Olympics in Rio!” your date things, “oh, what a card.” Not “oh, what an idiot.”
You could still turn things around.
If you do really slip up and say something insulting about their Italian heritage or use the “R” word, you can make up for it. Explain that you weren’t thinking and that what you said was rude or inappropriate. It may not save your ass, but it won’t dig you deeper into the hole.
There are way more important things you talked about.
Remember all that awesome stuff you said? That will be the stuff your date remembers! You made your date laugh. You asked interesting questions. You told that story about volunteering in India. You casually and humbly mentioned your awesome bowling score. You were on your game! With one slight slip-up. We can’t all be winners all the time. If you were Mr. Superdude the whole date, you’d be way too intimidating.
They have done it too.
Do you know how I know this? Because they are reading this article right now, too. I love you, but I did not write this article just for your eyes. (Or to make myself feel better about the hundreds [at least] of gaffes I have made.) If you’ve never made a gaffe, you’ve never put yourself out there and you’ve never tried to let someone get to know you. Screwing up is something that comes with that.
There are more important things in the world.
Now’s a good time to remember that there are hurricanes and people who really struggle and that our economy is screwed. Not to be insensitive or sound like your mom at the dinner table in 1988, but there are starving people in China.
It didn’t totally kill your chances.
One slip isn’t going to blow your chances on a good date. Which means you’ll get many more chances to show what an awesome person you are when you’re not so nervous you’re sweating out of your eyelashes.
You were drunk? They were too.
I love this game. When I’m drinking, I am usually not the only wasted person in the room, so when I say something vodka-driven, I have to remember that it wasn’t all my fault, and that other vodka-driven statements were probably made, and in fact, what I had to say may have been appreciated by others.
Nobody is thinking about it as much as you are.
You are not Angelina Jolie. (Unless you are.) Nobody is scrutinizing every tweet, eyeroll, or over-analyzation of The Real Housewives Of Orange County that you made. Even if they thought you said something wacky, they have probably forgotten about it by the time you finish reading this. It’s time to move on and start getting psyched for your next date. And if it isn’t with the same person, it will be with someone new. (AKA your Fresh Start.)