“Pulling a Perry”: Five Ways to Fix a First Date Gaffe


Looking for advice now that you’ve checked out our new dating channel? Our partners over at HowAboutWe keep quite the blog roll, with posts on everything from date ideas to ways to pickup bartenders (hey, we would love to order a pisco sour at home!) to how to know if you’re being too picky. 

This particular post, inspired by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s doozey of a debate performance, seemed like an especially fun read for a Friday afternoon. After all, single or not, who couldn’t use a refresher course on how to move on after stepping in it?

Here’s the post:

Being on a date can feel a lot like taking part in a nationally televised presidential campaign debate: one wrong move might blow the whole thing for you.

Take, for example, Rick Perry’s monumental gaffe last night. Perry stated that he would cut three agencies from the federal government — “Commerce, Education and the – what’s the third one there? Let’s see…”

But, forgetting one of the major agencies that you intend to cut from the federal government is the kind of thing that happens all the time during presidential debates, right? It’s not that big a deal. At least, that’s what Perry would like us to think.

“Any time you’re standing in front of however many million people we were and you have a loss of train of thought, sure. It impacts you,” Perry told CBS, “But the fact is one error is not going to make or break a campaign.”

Whether or not this “loss of train of thought” will ruin Perry’s chances of clinching the GOP nomination remains to be seen. But, it does make us wonder: will one slip up ruin your chances for a second date?!

Well. It all depends on how you recover. And we can learn a lot about how to handle (and how not to handle) it when we say something to our date that we wish we hadn’t from Rick Perry. For example:

1. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen 

If you happen to temporarily forget what you do for a living or say “I love your breasts” instead of “I love your dress,” or you have to at least acknowledge that it happened, just like Perry did. But how?

You don’t have campaign managers to give you talking points on the fly, so you’re on your own. Take a breath, then speak. Don’t fall all over yourself trying to make up for the slip. Something lightly self-depreciating will do, e.g. “I swear I’m employed, I just can’t remember by whom.” or “Wow. I wish I had said something very, very different just now.”

2. But don’t make a huge deal out of it either 

You screwed up. It’s funny. Move on. Don’t bring it up again unless they do. 

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