First dates can be awkward; ridiculously painfully awkward. In my case they've been particularly awkward because not everyone involved has always known it was a first date. Yeah. It's been cringey.
One Reddit user asked:
and that sent me down this weird rabbit hole like ... how many servers were fully aware of all the cringe that happened? Did they go back into the kitchen and talk about it? How many people now know??? After I stopped spazzing I realized that situations like watching someone get shut down, stood up, awkwardly fumble their way through first dates, etc. must all be pretty commonplace for servers. These responses totally confirmed my theory, it happens a lot and sometimes it's just as awkward (and in at least one case potentially dangerous) for the servers as it is for the people on those dates. Brace for cringe in 3...2...1...
Expect The Unexpected
The biggest sign is when they order something the other doesn't expect them to get.
"I'll have a Guinness"
"Oh you like Guinness?"
One time I had a couple who were talking about what they had been doing the previous summer, indicating that they didn't know each other until recently. They ordered a bottle of 100$ red wine, and when I came back with the bottle the guy had started telling a gross story. He was bragging about how he was so hungover on vacation that his friends had to carry him inside the airport, where he had puked multiple times on various people/things etc.
The girl left the restaurant before she even finished her first glass of wine, and the guy stayed and drank the whole thing himself without ordering any food. The best/worst part was when he also chugged down her half finished glass before he left as well.
Weird lulls in the conversation that consists of information friends/partners should already know. Like how many siblings they have, desert island movies, etc.
Figure It Out
Staying way beyond being done with their meal and drinks, usually because they don't want to try to figure out if they're meant to be going home together or not.
Still Not Sure
On my first date with my now wife, our waiter figured it out for us.
We had been acquaintances for years through mutual friends and when we agreed to grab dinner that night, neither of us were sure if the other was in it for a date or just dinner with an acquaintance/friend. I guess we were being just awkward and giggly enough that our waiter (who had known us separately as regulars at this restaurant) blurted out "oh man, are you guys on a date?!?" We both just started laughing nervously while looking at each other and flop sweating. The waiter felt the awkwardness multiply and backed away like Homer Simpson into a hedge.
9 years later we're married, the restaurant went out of business, and I'm still not sure if it was a date or not.
Stop Talking About Your Ex
Not a server, but a former barback and one of my favorite things to do while working is to eavesdrop and try to figure out what the deal is between people having meals together. Here are some things that tell me that it is a first (or possibly second) date:
- "What do your parents do?" / "How many siblings do you have?" / "What do you do for work?"
- A surprising number of people (mostly male patrons where I work, no idea why) will ramble on about their past relationships. I've learned to use this as an indicator that they are on a first or second date. I notice it so frequently that I've been tempted to tell them to stop.
- If the couple gets quiet after disagreeing about something trivial like an opinion of a certain band or activity.
- Uncomfortably long pauses followed by something like: "It's been so cold out lately".
The Spilled DrinkGiphy
That giddy little laugh at jokes that aren't funny. The look of new love. The awkward trying to get close but shyness overpowers and maintains a distance. Also had a few women straight up tell me, so I'd help get them out of it. One woman paid me $50 to spill a drink on her, so she'd have to leave. Lol.
Yes, I did spill the drink on her. When he was in the bathroom she prompted me for help. I agreed and didn't ask her to pay me or anything, she came back afterward and tipped because of his behavior, but let me start at the beginning.
She ordered an iced tea and I "spilled" it when I brought it. When I did, the guy went nuts on me. Up until then he seemed like a nice, polite, and totally normal guy. He was terrifying. Had me in tears. She left even faster than she originally intended. He paid after more yelling and complaining to my manager (who was in on it) then left.
She returned and tipped me the $50. Her phone was lit up with messages from him, he was quite aggressive. Totally dodged a bullet there. She and I have since become friends. She always brings first dates to my job and we have a code worked out now. Although she hasn't needed it in a while since she is currently dating a good friend of mine. They are super cute together.
We also have a note in the woman's room that explains if you order xxxx drink (changes regularly) we will help you leave without causing a scene. We have a similar note in the men's room, with completely different appetizer instead of drink (yes, men need an out now and then too).
The Employee Discount
When he leaves before the food he ordered is made. I brought it out and she asked for the bill because he left. Brutal experience. She had to pay for his drinks and food. She didn't even want to packed his dinner up to eat later. This was not a cheap restaurant but the tables were close together so it must have been mortifying. I gave her the employee discount.
Get A Drink
The dead give-away is the conversation; it's always about mundane stuff that people would know if they were friends, colleagues or had been on a few dates before; childhood stuff like schools and towns you lived in, vacations which were cool, first date topics.
Not ordering booze whenever the person who ordered first doesn't order booze is a good one to. If you go on a date and you want a glass of wine, beer or cocktail; freaking order one. Doesn't matter he/she just ordered a sparkling water; they are nervous too. Take the lead, get a drink.
The Blind Date
When they come in and ask for tables separately, then sit across the restaurant from each other for ten minutes before realizing the other was there. (It was a blind date.)
Bartender here. I work at a cocktail bar that has a nice ambiance and gets a ton of people coming in for dates.
First dates take the longest time to order- they have the introduction/ice breaking to overcome before they even look at the menu. Then, when they get to the menu, they are often still kind of interacting with each other "what do you like? Bourbon?" And not really taking in what they're reading.
Once they finally order, I like to make their cocktails right in front of them, maybe do an extra fancy garnish, give them something to talk about!
The best dates are of course the ones who don't even notice me there, they're locked into their conversation and don't have eyes for anything else around them. They drink their drinks really slow, more likely to get another round. And they could be talking about their childhood dog or how many brothers they have. The worst trouble they got into while growing up is a topic I've heard a few times.
And then there are those dates that fizzle out. These ones drink their drinks very fast, or don't finish them. Lots of people sitting in silence, both credit cards out.
When they're sitting at the bar top playing 20 questions and both are too nervous to get more than one drink and actually eat something.
When the wasted guy went to the restroom and the girl took the opportunity to ask me to cash her out as quick as I could so she could get the fuck out.
I ended up getting her an Uber home.
It was how slow and carefully the guy ate his food. Gently wiped his mouth and chewed all the food before talking again. Also, not constantly on their phones.
I waitressed at a somewhat fancy family restaurant. Our menu was in the 15-25 dollar range for entrees, and the atmosphere was very cozy. Full bar, great appetizers, and awesome desserts... Usually, first time dates would be slightly too dressed up for the atmosphere, and generally the guy would be really nervous.
I will always remember this one time a gent came in dressed up and got a table in the quieter part of the restaurant. He was very friendly and did tell me he was on his first date with his crush of 3+ years. He only got two waters on the table and was fidgeting around. Unfortunately, he waited at least two hours with no texts or calls back. I could just tell he was super crushed. He left without saying a word, but I saw him crying as he left the building.
Its pretty easy. Their face expression is very awkward. (Most) don't have their phones out at all. If you are on a 5th or 20th date. Chances are you'll have your phone out or at least on the table. How they posture themselves is also very alert. Not a lot of comfort.
Get The Fried Pickles
I once stopped by the table while one of the parties was in the bathroom and had the girl ask me "We're on a first date, what food should I get?" And I was like whatever you want - but she was concerned about what her date would think of her food choice. she wanted fried pickles and a quesadilla but thought a salad would look better. I told her get what you want cause if a boy doesn't like that you are eating fried food he's a tool anyways.
Friendship is not something that can be forced.
As with any kind of relationship, it all depends on compatibility and chemistry, and thus must happen organically.
On the flip side though, it can be pretty clear when people will not end up being your friends, owing to a fundamental difference in personality or beliefs.
Redditor Chola_Bhatora was curious to hear the type of people the Reddit community would never become chummy with, leading them to ask:
"What kind of person would you never be friends with?"
Basically, people who aren't nice
"People who don't apologize for their mistakes, blame others for their problems, and generally complain without doing anything about their situation."
"Oh, and generally a**holes."- NerdyDadGuy1981
"People who are overly rude and constantly laugh it off and call themselves 'a**holes' as if it is an uncontrollable character trait."- Business_Grand7665
Don't you twist my words around!
"People that distort what you said."- Mystery_Ireal housewives lies GIF by leeannelockenGiphy
Just take some responsibility!
"People who can never admit they're wrong about anything."
"No matter how blatantly wrong."- Rachfo44
Say it to my face!
"The kind that talks behind your back."- 0breanna0
Are you sure about that?
"Someone who thinks they already know everything."- Fragrant-Crow-4513know it all boomerang GIFGiphy
Then why aren't I laughing?
"Someone that puts you down in front of your other friends.. 'as a joke'."- motherfugher
How well do you actually know them?
"People who abuse your trust and honesty to manipulate you, especially when they disguise it so well."
"Had it one too many times, thankfully gets easier to spot but some people are freakishly good at it."- nothingjustk
Yeah, well mine's better!
"One uppers."- BasedChickenTendiekristen wiig television GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Someone needs a lesson in self respect...
"I'm a woman."
"Had a classmate strike a conversation with me for the first time."
"2 minutes in said she doesn't have female friends because all women are b*tches."
"Why are you talking to me then?"
"What do you think you are?"- Minimum_Greedy
As Jane Austen famously explored in Pride and Prejudice, first impressions can often be misleading.
But every now and then, they can give a crystal clear depiction of who someone really is.
Which could easily be someone you do not want to be friends with.
Age is just a number.
We all hope to stay sexy until the end.
And even when we don't feel sexy, maybe there will be people who still think we are.
Redditor Debonair-Redditor21wanted to hear about famous crushes that enter into the "Harold & Maude" territory. They asked:
"Who is the oldest celebrity that you still find attractive?"
All Hail Dame Helen Mirren. Is there anything else to say?
How Old?Viggo Mortensen Peace GIF by Golden GlobesGiphy
"Viggo Mortensen. Very handsome at 63."
"Damn, he is 63? Time flies."
"Elvira. Cassandra Peterson. Just turned 70 and still breaks out that amazing personality at every appearance."'
"Omg. I saw the BEST suggestion for a movie ever. Elvira & Dolly Parton playing their stage personas as estranged sisters who must team up to fight evil."
Fatalejane seymour call me kitty cat GIFGiphy
"Jane Seymour. 71 and still stunning."
"Live and Let Die. Incredible, and she'll always be in my mind as Elise McKenna, the woman so beautiful that Christopher Reeve's character went back to be with her in Somewhere in Time. I totally get the desire."
"Susanna Hoffs (63)."
"Plot twist: She sang 'Walk Like an Egyptian' because she's immortal and actually lived in Ancient Egypt."
"She was my first crush. As a child, I used to watch MTV for hours just for that moment when she cut her eyes in the 'Walk Like an Egyptian' video."
I am loving this list. I didn't think I would.
Maddymads mikkelsen hannibal GIFGiphy
"You mean my daddy issues? Damn I love that guy. Death Stranding really nailed how he can come through a medium without much hassle."
My Biological Clock
"Jesus, I was so confused watching the new Spider-Man movies with Marisa as Aunt May. Marisa Tomei is perpetually the hot 80s chick in my head, also Jennifer Connelly. I was watching Morbius and seeing Requiem for a Dream and Career Opportunities. I AM OLD, I GUESS."
"Christopher Plummer, right up until the day he died at 92."
"I first saw ‘The Sound of Music’ as a child, watched in many times, know if off by heart etc. I didn’t watch for many years."
"Then as an adult I wanted to introduce a friend’s kid to it, put it on, and spent the next couple of hours absolutely dumbstruck by how hot Christopher Plummer was. It had never struck me before that time but go**amn have I never forgotten. No wonder Maria chose the Captain, if I had to choose between him and God I know who my pick would be."
"Timothy Olyphant. Idk what it is about him. He's so funny, charming, and handsome that I don't care how much older than me he is."
"I do NOT get tired of watching him; he is so expressive. In Catch and Release there's a scene where he and Jennifer Garner are having a conversation that consists entirely of gestures and facial expressions. Hilarious!"
"He is amazing in Justified and Deadwood... hell, pretty much everything. I think I just found out I may have a man-crush on the dude lol."
YeohMichelle Yeoh No GIF by RegalGiphy
"Ugh she was a vision in Everything Everywhere All at Once. And if she doesn't win all the awards then there is something really wrong with the voting system."
"Oof that's kind of a hard one. Without looking up a bunch of older actors I think I'd have to go with Ken Watanabe. I think he's in his early 60s now and the last time I saw a recent pic of him he was still looking fine AF. And an honorable mention is Steve Carell... I don't know what it is but he keeps getting hotter with age. I was never attracted to him until he did that silver fox photo shoot with the paint brush 'n shi*t."
total class act...
"Stanley Tucci. As my mom says about handsome men, he just looks like he smells good."
"He visited our hotel a few weeks ago. As the Restaurant Manager I was specifically told that my team and I were not to treat him any different to other guests, which we don't."
"The guy was a total class act polite, courteous, and always keen for a chat. Never mentioned his movies, his career, but was there to enjoy time with his family, and they themselves were also a joy to be around. Can confirm he always had a slight aroma of warm cinnamon."
Well that is a long list of sexy. Cheers to growing sexy with age.
We all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to food.
While some people might not be able to stop eating certain foods, the very thought of that same food is enough to make others gag.
Then there are the foods which are universally considered to be delicious delicacies, the foods so revered that it is assumed that everyone must find them delicious.
Only, not everyone does.
Redditor jamboamericano was curious to hear which foods the Reddit community couldn't quite grasp the appeal of, leading them to ask:
"What a food in your opinion that quite simply sucks and you don’t understand the hype behind it?"
How do you make a bland food even more bland?
"As someone from the UK I don't get why so many people here love mushy peas."
"I find peas relatively tasteless and gross as they are, mushing them just makes the texture gross as well."- MHC1905
More healthy, less tasty...
"Zucchini pasta."-- dannyboyhou
Who knew fish eggs would be so popular?
"I feel like whoever buys that sh*t doesn't actually like it and uses it to flaunt their money."- WapplesAreDelishAudrey Tautou Food GIFGiphy
Hold the guac!
"The early 2010s was a difficult time for me."
'"I f*cking hate avocado."- drunky_crowette
No matter where it came from...
You mean it's supposed to burn my tongue?!?
"I don't get the appeal of chili that is made to be as hot and spicy as humanly possible, to the point that it hurts to eat it."
"'I make my chili with the five hottest peppers known to man and a dash of snake venom to kick it up a notch'."
"That, and tofu."- MiddleAgedGamer71Homer Simpson Eating GIFGiphy
Brand names can never beat homemade!
"Industrial ice cream."
"The taste is WAAAY worse than the handmade one."- pensodiforse
Disgusting AND dirty...
"My wife tried to convince me to like them by saying 'they taste like dirt!'"
"Needless to say, this was an ineffective approach."- Neilpuck
Just because it's healthy, doesn't mean it's good...
"I don’t care how it’s prepared, there’s just no point to it."- protogens
Butter makes everything taste better... or does it?
"I uh, I don't get it.'
"It always tastes a bit flavorless and just alright to me."
"Then I see people dip it in butter and yea thats fine and all and it tastes great, but then I get the feeling I'm just tasting the butter and what the f*ck is the point of this $30 dish exactly?"- Sonder332Food Porn Butter GIF by Food Network CanadaGiphy
Some might accuse those who dislike the above-mentioned foods of not having a distinguished palette.
But maybe their palette's are so distinguished, that they know when they're tasting a fraud?
Either way, to each their own.
Happiness is one of those abstract and amorphous things that nobody can quite pinpoint, but everyone knows when they feel it.
It can be triggered by lots of things - a great meal, an old friend, your favorite episode of your favorite show...
Happy looks different for us all, but maybe that's whyReddit user MyForever_NameNow asked:
"What’s the happiest you’ve ever felt?"
The same situation might make one person miserable while making another elated ... so let's see where Reddit finds their joy.
Time Travelingseason 2 GIFGiphy
"Once I was driving from Philly to Las Vegas. On one leg of the trip, I got a bit of a late start and I really wanted McDonalds breakfast (this was before they served it all day)."
"My clock said 10:22, and I was about 15 miles from the next exit, so I knew I would never make it. Then I crossed over a time zone and my clock changed."
"Not gonna lie, best story I've read in awhile. I'm now happy for you."
"It’s like the world willed you into having breakfast that morning , like the earth moved in order to give you what you needed … kind of epic"
A Poetic Mishap
"This might be weird but I keep thinking back to this and how I will never have this experience again: I was 13, nerdy, loved to draw, grew up rural. My Grandma lived close to a big city."
"Went to visit her in the Summer and then went to an Japanese culture fest in said city. I was overwhelmed by the experience. Bought two super sweet Neon Genisis Evangelion artbooks."
"When I went back to Grandma's place by train, I missed the stop and got off one stop later. It was quite late already, but a warm summer night. Next train back would come in 2hrs. These two hours, alone during a summer night with two artbooks at a tiny, rural train stop surrounded by trees and absolutely nobody else around were pure bliss. A weird feeling of peaceful, 'liminal' joy that I can't properly explain. Different happiness than love, etc."
"I haven't really told this story to many people because I know nobody would truly understand the feeling, and that would kinda ruin my memory."
"That’s dope. Sometimes we forget to just stop and really enjoy the moment"
Endless Young LoveHappy Season 5 GIF by This Is UsGiphy
"I remember being in 8th grade watching a movie at my girlfriends house and we were giggling and commentating on the movie the whole time and just remember thinking I would marry her someday."
"I’m now 29 and we still giggle and commentate on every movie just like we did when we were kids, but that “young love” feeling is a very happy feeling for the first time, I’m just so lucky to still have those feelings 15+ years later"
"Ok, but seriously, my spouse and I are also several years into our honeymoon and it's quite nice."
It Was A Good Day
"Trying to keep up with my dog and boyfriend as they ran along the beach chasing the dolphins that were in the water. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. It was a sunny March day so nobody up and down for miles, just us. The bright blue sky and glimmer coming off the ocean - the salty mist while the waves crashed and the cold ocean at our feet."
"God I haven’t ever felt so alive in my whole life. It was one of those moments where I wished I could have it burned into my memory. Like I could tuck it away and live in it forever."
"That was a good f*cking day."
"That’s so wholesome, it sounds like a scene right out of a movie"
"I feel happy reading this"
Mutual CrushesCrush Flirting GIFGiphy
"Me and my crush were hanging out one time, and all I could say was. “I like you… a lot.” And she just smiled and said “Me too.” Has to be the happiest day of my life so far."
"I live near a popular district in Kansas City and I once bumped into a young man who'd just professed his love for someone, and he was so overjoyed I couldn't help but ask him what had happened."
"It made me really happy to see how happy he was."
"Same thing happened to me, she told me she liked me and it took me about 3 minutes to fully process what she had said and how to respond. I ended up saying "same bro". Well we're together now but that was a pretty stupid response."
" 'So far' I like your attitude"
"5 years sober"
"Mad respect, I'm very proud of you internet stranger!"
"I'm right behind you with 4 years. Congrats Feels great to be me again"
That First Cry
"When my youngest was born, she really wanted out and my wife made it to the bathtub, and she came out with my help, she had the umbilical cord around her neck and I managed to get my finger under that and free her, that first cry made me so happy."
"She's eleven now and sitting on the couch right now eating chocolate and watching TV..."
"Kid's first cry was mine was well."
"Wow that's insane! Great job! When the umbilical cord wraps around the neck it's called a nucal. It can be pretty dangerous, especially in an emergency labor setting."
"I always thought I would never want to deliver a baby. And then we learned about emergency labor situations in the EMT course I took and I fell in love. Once again, great job! That must've been scary."
"I was taking a walk in December last year when everything around me in my personal life was hell. A feeling of calm washed over me, and I started to look at how beautiful the sky was. I was crystalline in that perfect moment, and cried a few happy tears."
"I realized that being "present" is the only way to truly live... The past and the future are illusions and robbers of life. Ever since then I am extremely committed to finding beauty in every day things. I frequently feel very happy now, because I never run out of things to marvel at."
"Dude I feel that. I lost my mom and several other family members in the last few years, went through a major breakup, had to move a bunch, plus all the COVID stress. I'm stressed a lot, mostly tired, but sometimes a moment washes over me and I'm just so grateful to be alive, looking at a sunset or a tree or the Christmas lights in my living room. Something about going through hell really makes you appreciate life."
"Grew up kind of poor, didn't go on my first vacation until I met the woman who'd become my wife. We went to Tennessee and got a cabin with a hot tub and some good muscadine wine."
"It was night time, gently thundering and raining, little bit of a mist coming in to the high rise porch we were on where the hot tub was, just relaxing, buzzing. To me it felt like the perfect setting, perfect feeling."
"Tied with that, she's the first person I saw the ocean with. Took over 6 hours to drive there, we unpacked, walked out to the ocean about knee deep, holding hands. The sound of the waves and the seagulls. The look of happiness on her face as she stared out."
Frogging Aroundhomer simpson frogs GIFGiphy
"My ex, who loves frogs to death, asked me to go frogging with her early unto our relationship, not to kill them, just to catch and identify them. Its one of my happiest memories and without a doubt the most attracted I've ever been to someone."
"Its actually when I started to realize how strong and how smart of a person she was which combined with everything else made be fall head over heels."
"Thats awesome man. I'd be happy to have had a unique experience like that too. No dinner and a movie, Frogging!"
Y'all ... that got unexpectedly emotional, didn't it?
Turns out that for most of us, the thing that makes us happiest is one another.
Humans are adorable sometimes.