Top 30 Dating Disasters – awkward silences tops list

Almost half of Brits have been left red-faced on a date, with spilling a drink, forgetting the other person’s name and bumping into an ex among the biggest dating disasters.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 42 per cent even feel the disasters will always haunt them throughout their lives.

The most common causes of awkwardness were found to be nervousness (32 per cent), lack of confidence (20 per cent) and drinking too much (17 per cent). Falling over, fluffing a joke, mistiming a hug or kiss and having food stuck in their teeth were also among the top 30 dating nightmares.

Others have been known to use an ex-partner’s name by accident, laugh at the wrong moment or sit in silence with nothing to say. But the research, commissioned by Extra Chewing Gum, found 44 per cent preferred to laugh off any embarrassing moments.

And while three quarters felt it wasn’t funny at the time, they admitted they can look back and have a good laugh about it now.

The study also found a fifth of adults have left a date early because they felt so mortified over something that happened, while 13 per cent cancelled the next meeting.

With face-to-face dating taking a backseat during the pandemic, more than a tenth of adults have experienced a humiliating moment on a virtual date.

This includes a housemate interrupting (21 per cent), awkward silences (21 per cent), a frozen screen (22 per cent) and talking for a long time while on mute (19 per cent).

As a result, more than one in 10 plan to get their ‘dating mojo’ back in 2021 after it was so out of sync due to the pandemic, with a quarter admitting they have ‘let themselves go’ over the last 12 months.

It also emerged that of those polled via OnePoll who are in a relationship, one in six have moved in together specifically as a result of lockdown.

For more than a third this has led to romance being lost, while 30 per cent have experienced an embarrassing moment in front of their partner since moving in.

The research was carried out by Extra Chewing Gum as part of its mission to help the public get their ‘ding’ back and identify areas people need a little help in their dating endeavours.

Says Sasha Storey, head of minty fresh breath at Extra Chewing Gum:

“The past year has been different for dating, speeding up lots of relationships and moving first dates to virtual settings.

“But all still allowing for awkward moments – spilling drinks swapped for screens freezing and outfit disasters being hidden by camera positioning.

“We want to help couples get their ‘ding’ back in 2021.”


1.     Awkward silences
2.     Forgetting their name
3.     Mistiming a hug or kiss
4.     Falling over
5.     Spilling drink on your clothes
6.     Spilling food down your front
7.     Bumping into an ex
8.     Calling them the wrong name
9.     Telling a joke but it not landing
10.   Farting
11.   Having food in your teeth
12.   Laughing at something they said that isn’t funny
13.   Not talking at all
14.   Calling them your ex’s name
15.   Getting a horrible spot on the day of the date
16.   Burping
17.   Having a coughing fit
18.   Saying a joke and offending your date
19.   Spilling drink on your date
20.   Laughing and drink coming out your nose
21.   Having an outfit disaster
22.    Splitting your trousers
23.   Confusion over who is picking up the bill
24.   Constantly talking about your ex
25.   Your card getting declined
26.   Having a hair disaster
27.   Getting caught texting a friend about the date
28.   Eating something garlicky and having stinky breath for the rest of the date
29.   Ordering the spiciest thing on the menu unintentionally and not coping
30.   Getting IDed at the bar

Chris Price