By Natasha Burton
Double dates are a fun way to meet up with someone without feeling the pressure of an one-on-one encounter. The Wingman feature allows you to invite your friend to MeetMoi so you can receive intros together. But having a partner-in-crime by your side — your best friend, your co-worker — doesn’t make a date immune to pitfalls or tense moments. Here are six issues that might come up on a two-on-two meet-up and advice on how to solve them.
The Issue: The date just started and things are just, well, awkward.
If you can, avoid going to dinner for a double date. Try mini-golf, bowling, wine-tasting — something that’s active and has a focus other than making small talk. But, if you do go out to a restaurant, and you can hear crickets chirping, spark conversation with an interactive meal. Order beer or wine flights, get a sample appetizer platter or share desserts among the table — that way there is a group activity that includes everyone and you will have something to bond over instantly.
The Issue: All the guys/girls are talking to you (or, conversely, none are talking to you).
If you’re the friend who everyone is fawning over, it’s your job to steer the conversation to include the person who is left out — segue with a short introduction about his or her recent achievement at work, crazy neighbor or new dog, then let your pal tell the tale. If you’re the left-out friend, don’t make a scene and get up from the table in a huff to indicate that other people are being rude — it will just make you look rude. Do the best you can to participate in and contribute to the conversation and, if your efforts are continually ignored, excuse yourself from the evening with a stomach ache or work demand. And then find yourself another double-dating partner.
The Issue: One person is dominating the date.
Perhaps one of the people you’re meeting up with thinks he or she is the most interesting person in the world and feels the need to tell you every story, opinion and accomplishment he or she has. If you’re on an “active” date like bowling, suggest a funny contest (like who can get the best score by rolling the ball backward) to take the focus off the dominator and back onto the group.
The Issue: You like your friend’s date better than your own.
If your double date starts to mimic the one in “When Harry Met Sally,” try to steal a moment alone with your dating partner to powwow about how he or she feels about their date. From there, you can gauge if the two of you are game for a “date swap” and want to pursue the other person, or if you should put your feelings on hold until the date is over.
The Issue: Your friend and her date are really hitting it off — to the point that their PDA is making you and your date mighty uncomfortable.
In some situations, the best thing you can do is laugh. If you and your date aren’t really feeling each other, leave the two lovebirds to their making-out and call it a night (unless of course, you and your friend agreed to go home with each other post-meet-up). If you and your date are hitting it off, just not quite as passionately, perhaps change your location from the dinner table to the bar or the bowling lane to the alley coffee shop to give the pair their privacy — and to spare you from having to watch them swap spit.
The Issue: The check comes and nobody seems to know what to do.
Ideally, everyone on the date will just split the check four ways (unless one person drank like a fish and ran up a particularly lengthy bar tab). If the guys insist on paying, they should split the check in half to avoid nickel-and-diming each other over who ate what and whose date ate what. In the end, what’s ten extra dollars for a fun night out?