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Having a Relationship & Dealing With Awkward Moments

by Keri Dillingham

Every new relationship is a mixture of excitement, anxiety, and even inner turmoil, making conditions ripe for the occasional outbreak of awkwardness. "Despite how common it is to be embarrassed when you're in the beginnings of a relationship, those awkward moments can be painful," according to Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts. Being ready to face these moments helps us to manage the difficulty with grace and humor, and avoid any lasting humiliation.

Your Reflection

Super awkwardness has arrived: your date has left your presence and you seek out your reflection to ensure you are at the top of your game, in terms of your presentation. But, oops! There is a glaring imperfection and your face flushes upon the recognition that you have been blithely unaware this tarnish on your appearance. It could be a green sprig stuck in between your teeth or a cowlick waving "hello" to all that pass-by or a nasal occupant going out for stroll. Wallowing in despair is your first instinct, but you can overcome this! Fix the blemish, then mull over the entire date, and I'm sure you'll recall many times when a deep connection was felt as you stared into each other's eyes. Many times, something that we notice, others do not. And, even your love happened to catch a glimpse of said defect, those who truly love us, love us with all our faults.

Did You Fall In?!

An unusually long trip to the restroom is undoubtedly an awkward moment. The best way to deal with a moment that you fear may have left your other with left visions of you...well, you can fill-in the blank...is to redirect the focus as soon as you return. The easiest way to accomplish this would be to notice something of interest on your way back and immediately point it out as you begin to sit down. This will indeed spark a conversation and erase the impending question of what happened that you were gone for such along spell.

Up Next: The Ex

There is no more awkward of a moment when an ex suddenly appears out of thin air while you are having a day out with your love. Some ex's are polite and ignore you altogether. Some ex's wave and utter a quick "hello." Then, there are the ones that feel the need to drag you into a long conversation and mention how you two were once a couple. Your best bet is to head off a "meet and greet," by changing directions and pretending you do not see your ex at all. If, by chance, your ex catches you off-guard and walks up before you can get away, lead the exchange and swiftly ask about the health of the ex's family, after which you interrupt the response by saying that you have to get going as you walk away tightly holding onto to your sweetheart. If questions arise after the encounter about who that person was, use your judgment on how to phrase it. You know your significant other better than anyone and should understand how to effectively deal with the subject of an ex.

I Have that Same Pair of Shoes!

Moments when you feel silly, embarrassed, humiliated, or downright ashamed will pop up in every relationship. The trick is to remind yourself that both of you will experience these uncomfortable moments, which should make you feel less apprehensive about the impending juncture. When the situation arises, honesty is always best, but be careful not to be brutal with the truth. You love and care for this person, so do not go into detail about how you deeply loved the intimate relationship you and your ex shared or how you nearly didn't make it to the restroom without a disastrous accident. It's better to recognize when the rose-colored version of the truth will suffice and when you should bypass it for a palatable fib. Whatever you choose, use tact when formulating the explanation in order to sidestep humiliation or hurt feelings. And, above all, remember to be kind and understanding when your love has an awkward moment, seeing how one day you may be in those very same shoes.

About the Author

After having earned two degrees in psychology, Keri Dillingham continues to focus her time researching and studying the intricate nature of the human relationship. She worked as a victim's advocate for those subjected to domestic violence, and, as such, is adept at discussing and reviewing topics that directly relate to healthy relationships and positive lifestyles.

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