Let’s talk about silence! Not just any silence, but the awkward silence on dates. It’s those silent moments that make you wonder…”what is she thinking? What should I say next? Is there anything else I can ask about? She must feel really weird about this now….uh oh, I’m starting to get nervous. Oh gosh. I just realized I’ve been thinking for so long now, now it’s awkward!” So, the big question is how do you handle awkward silence on dates? What do you do? What questions to ask to get yourself out of it? Let’s answer that.
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Reduce the awkwardness
The first thing I want to make clear in regards to awkward silence is….the awkwardness is in your head. It really is. Awkwardness is an internal feeling. It is a feeling you are allowing to define that situation.
You feel awkward. Does that mean she does? We don’t know. A lot of times when people ask how to handle awkward silence on dates, it’s because they feel that it is awkward to have silence on a date. So the first important step in this is to work on making it less awkward for yourself. And here’s how to do it!
Silence is a natural part of a relationship
Remember that silence is a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. The most healthy relationships have lot of silence. Having silence means you’re comfortable with each other. Silence says a lot about a relationship and how strong and comforting it really is. It’s natural and good for your relationship if you both share silence and enjoy it (I want to quickly note, there are bad types of silences too so look out for that and don’t mix it up) When in a situation you feel is awkward, I want you to ask yourself
Is this the right place to have that silence?
Silence is right for most environments
Not only is silence great for a relationship, but it’s better for certain time and places. There are moments where silence is appreciated, for example:
- If you two are eating, you don’t have to be talking to each other the whole entire time while you’re trying to eat. No one likes to talk with their mouth full!
- You two are taking a stroll around the city or a park, and then there’s silence. Silence is great in this because it’s a nice day to enjoy the environment, enjoy the view. It’s okay to appreciate the moment and feel relaxed.
In those similar situations, if you recognize you ran out of things to say and you just stopped talking, then feel the nerves coming up, wondering “oh gosh, it’s silent” — it’s time to reframe. Shift your focus to the environment, look at the food, or the city you’re walking around, or view if you’re sitting at a bench. Reduce that awkwardness for yourself and recognize “how do I feel more at peace and shift focus to look at the nice environment” Hopefully, you’ll then be comfortable in the silence and enjoy the moment.
The only environment that does make it slightly awkward is if you’re literally facing each other directly, you’re looking at each other eye to eye, doing nothing else. That’s when it’s more important to keep talking or else you’ll end up just staring at each other….awkwardly.
Otherwise, most situations are great to have silence. It’s can be comfortable!
Making sure she’s comfortable with the silence
When you get to a place where you naturally feel you can be comfortable with silence, you still want to to make sure that she’s okay and doesn’t think it’s awkward silence. You want to make sure that she doesn’t feel like it’s awkward.
So the best way to go about that is by verbally acknowledging you enjoy the silence. Communicate to her that you feel good in it so she can feel at peace too. Following the examples above, here are ways you can verbally acknowledge it:
- So if you are eating you can make the statement of “oh, wow, this is how you know the food is really good, huh? We’re both quiet and really enjoying it.”
- If you’re walking around and you’re quiet you could say “you know, I really appreciate just being able to observe the environment, just enjoy the peacefulness of it, and just being quiet…like, I can hear the birds”
- You can be playful with it! Do by so by saying “well, look at that, we’re silent together already. Wow, new level of the dating relationship as it is, right? :)”
- It’s actually very daring and very cute to be playful and call the action out. My partner and I did that when we had our first silence in a car ride, but it wasn’t awkward at all because we acknowledged it and was playful on how we already made it to this stage — it was endearing 🙂
Acknowledge the silence, she’ll verbally hear that you’re okay with it, and it usually gives her a comforting feeling. It’ll reduce any worries she may have. Once you know she’s okay too, feel the silence, but you want to get out of the silence, here’s how to do it.
How to get out of silence on dates
The best way to be confident in handling awkward silence on dates (I mean non-awkward haha) is knowing how to get yourself out of the silence. When you feel that you want to bring something up, start another topic, because the silence has been for a too long, minutes, now and you feel like you want to say something — what to say? How do you know what to say next when the last conversation with the last topic you had just already ended well?
There are two ways to re-start a conversation:
- Pick a topic that you want to learn more about her and ask her about it
- Think of qualities you want in someone and pick a specific area that you haven’t talked about, but matters to you. Pick that quality/area that you want to get to know her more in and ask about it
- Ask about a topic she’s already brought up in the past. You’re bringing it back up again so she can expand on it.
Just think about what you want to know more about, what you’re curious about, or what you can comment on. A big part of bringing up a topic and getting out of the silence is how you do it.
Acknowledging the random question
To make sure you continue to handle the awkward silence on dates in the best way, when you can think of question to randomly bring up, it’s important to acknowledge it’s random and how you just thought about it. Let’s say, for example, you realize you two haven’t talked about family yet and you want to get to know more about that topic for her. You’d introduce it out of the silence with:
“I know this is random, but I just thought about this because I saw that family. I realized we never talked about family. I’m curious, how many siblings do you have?”
That’s it! The key phrases are “I know this is random…” or “I just thought about this…” and then the transition “I’m curious” into the question. You’re acknowledging the moment, and by doing so, it completely reduces any awkwardness, any weirdness, any questions, or concerns.
Acknowledgment is key with all of this. If you feel she may be feeling awkward, acknowledge how you’re enjoying the silence and you can ask her if she’s doing okay. Maybe it’s a completely random question because it’s not falling under what you’ve talked about, acknowledge it! Or, maybe you messed up on a transition from one question another, acknowledge it! And with all of that information, that’s how you handle “awkward” silence on dates. And yes, if you didn’t notice, I put quotes around it awkward because it’s not actually awkward 🙂
Get comfortable in the silence, silence is great for relationships. And once again, if you keep feeling it’s awkward, that is an internal obstacle for you to overcome. So just ask yourself why it’s so uncomfortable for you and start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable!
If you’re having a difficult time figuring out how to overcome feeling uncomfortable and practicing reframing, I go through the exact steps of how to do so below