Fail to Fab: The Sense of Humor
By: Jess Downey, Copy Cutie
Fail: A few weeks ago, I went out with a guy I met online. While I sat at the bar, someone approached me and asked, “Do you come here often?” He then just stood there, staring at me. I was pretty sure it was my date, but I wasn’t positive if he knew who I was so I didn’t know how to react. When he noticed my discomfort, he introduced himself. After going on (and on) about how he was just joking, we bounced back from that snafu with small talk about music and movies. Then, he asked if I liked to work out. In true fashion I laughed and said, “Do I look like I work out?” Our chatter immediately turned to silence as he stared into his beer. In attempts to smooth things over, I talked about how exploratory walks in my neighborhood and using the stairs for the subway usually counted as my cardio. Still, he stared into his beer. The more I talked, the more obvious his is-this-chick-crazy? look became. And I’m pretty sure the only time he actually looked up was to make sure he emptied his cup. #Awkward
I’d love to say this date turned into a smash hit but we never got in sync. In fact, I’m positive the only laughter was mine … at my own jokes, that is.
Fab: As we saw in Zoosk’s study, humor is a big part of attraction. While not having a funny bone at all is probably a deal breaker, having different ones doesn’t always have to be. Sometimes, wit mishaps aren’t a matter of incompatibility, but a result of your date trying to be cute and charming — especially if you're on a first date.
When your jokes aren’t delivering the hit you expected, don’t push too hard with more punch lines. It looks desperate and it’s sometimes hard to come back after from this. Instead, try a topic change and let the funny flow naturally.
If swapping subjects doesn’t work, mix things up with a change of scenery. Instead of sitting at the bar trying to salvage conversation, do something. Go for a walk or find a lounge with live music. When you switch up the locale you provide a different experience, which can bring out different aspects of your date’s personality — and yours.
Some of us make jokes at our own expense while others don’t think that’s funny. At all. If your humor isn’t clicking, keep your date from feeling like a total idiot. Simply bow out gracefully at the end of the night.
Remember: You don’t have to think everything your date says is clever. But it wouldn’t hurt to give them a chance to redeem his or herself — especially if your jokes have fallen flat, too.