When banter goes wrong

26 January 2018

Good banter is the holy grail in dating. It’s the foundation of attraction. The display of wit and verbal dexterity puts a lot of skills on show. Lightning fast reflexes, creativity, a certain sophistication (provided you stay on the right side of naughty) and, if texting, a good test of if you can spell.

I know friends who won’t date someone if they don’t engage in a good bit of banter before the date. But I don’t think you should write someone off too soon. You need to give them a chance to show they can take you on in a bit of verbal jousting. To charm you with their prowess.

It’s with all this in mind I tell you about my Monday night date. I’ve given it a few days to let it percolate in my mind. And I’m no less shocked now on how it all went so wrong so quickly.

It started off well enough. I mean he looked a bit terrified but that’s fine. I’m used to having that effect on men. He had a slightly sincere look about him and was exceeding polite, which I found a bit off putting.

playful jibes

We had a few drinks and he loosened up. After a few playful jibes from me he started taking the piss back. The whole dynamic immediately changed and he went from a ‘meh 2/10’ to a ‘perky 7/10’. He was a reasonably good looking guy, but he had good banter so immediately went to the top of the class.

We ended having a real laugh and going for something to eat. You’re probably thinking wow, how did he manage to duff up such a head start? Well it was all in the banter. It took a turn for the worst. It got (whispers it) dirty.

Now dirty banter is the bedrock of any good relationship, or friendship for that matter. I’m a fan. But there’s an unwritten rule that you just don’t go there on a first date. Unless I suppose you’re looking to get laid. Which, just to be clear, I’m not on a first date thanks. So it’s a very risky strategy.

Total filth

We were having a decent conversation when he started to make some…let’s call them ‘playful’ comments. They were still within the bounds of decency and were actually quite funny so I gave as good as I got. But then he came out with a few comments that were total filth. And when I tried to steer the conversation onto safer territory he carried on, like he was just getting warmed up. Soon pretty much every other comment from him had a sex toy reference. He just wasn’t funny any more. Just a bit creepy. A bit pervy. I suggested we call it a night. We went our separate ways.

He’s probably a really nice guy but he really messed up by going in too early with the dirt. He misread his audience. I wanted a charming witty comeback machine but instead got Frankie Boyle on heat (sigh).