Unfortunately, people don’t come with a user manual detailing how they best like their communication served, what pisses them off, and what turns them on and off. Some people may deem this part of the excitement of getting to know someone, whilst others will commonly struggle with the dreaded ‘not knowing’ and then interpret awkward dating moments incorrectly, based solely on their own internal user manual and not that of their date.

It is inevitable, no matter how great the communication is, that all dating couples will be faced with awkward moments—it’s simply part of the ‘getting to know you’ process. We explore some of the most common moments and how to best navigate these when staring awkwardness in the face.

Meeting Family and Friends

It’s a given that family and friends will want to offer their insights into your new-found flame and willingly provide advice and guidance to you along the way.  Generally, this is carried out with the best of intentions, these being to assist you in navigating the dating stages and to determine if they are the right one for you.

How to deal with it: It’s great to hear others’ opinions. Take what you need from a conversation and leave the rest. Other people’s feedback is generally formed from their own dating experiences and how a particular scenario unfolded for them.  Don’t let someone else’s past be the determining factor in your relationship future.

Misunderstanding

When there is a misunderstanding between those that have started dating it can simply be a matter of ‘lost in translation’. Reading body signals incorrectly or picking up a tone which you believe to be less than desirable can spiral into something major if you allow yourself to obsess/overthink/worry about it.

How to deal with it:  The simple answer is communication. Instead of doing your head in and wondering or guessing what they are thinking, the best way forward is to talk about it. Although in the initial stages of dating this is a difficult conversation to have because you lack insight into how your partner is likely to respond, it beats living in uncertainty. By being upfront in the early stages, it will assist in setting the tone for communication in the relationship where you can both operate out of openness. The key when faced with this scenario is to keep it light, never attack.  Start off with ‘I wasn’t sure what you meant when you said <insert comment>, can you please elaborate?

Expectations are Not Aligned

When we first enter into a relationship it’s easy to be swept up in the excitement of a new soul that you want to share only special and fun moments with. At times this results in some couples being hesitant to show their hand first and have an open and honest conversation about their expectations. Then a few months down the track both parties are completely surprised that issues have cropped up.

How to deal with it:  Here’s the thing! Do you really want to get 6 months down the track and find out you both want completely different things from your journey and that your expectations are in no way aligned? If one is up for a casual liaison and the other looking for a life partner it is bound to end in disaster. There is simply nothing wrong with having this conversation in the early stages and defining whether your expectations are aligned.

Sex

Sex with a new partner can be a combination of exhilarating and nerve-racking.  With legs and arms flying in different directions, don’t expect to get it right the first time and certainly not like the hot movie scenes where we are lead to believe that everything just works!  Awkward sex moments are pretty much a given with a new partner. It may not be the first time you take a rumble but awkwardness is bound to happen.

How to deal with it: Depending on the level of sexual awkwardness, laughter is generally the best way to get you through this one. If you need to chat about it then do so and deal with it powerfully. Sweeping it under the carpet and pretending it didn’t happen may result in you thinking about it endlessly and restraining yourself next time you hop between the sheets—which could create further awkward moments.

Not all awkward moments are created equal. What is sometimes difficult for women doesn’t event register on the male radar and vice versa. This is the big reason why you need to get it out there—something she is obsessing about may have been completely unintentional or misconstrued or he may have taken something badly and she hasn’t noticed at all. Don’t stew in it.

You can either dance through the awkwardness in the knowledge that it happens to the best of couples or let it be the killer of a potentially great relationship. It’s a no-brainer.