Let’s face it: First dates can be so awkward. Even if you memorized their Tinder profile (I know they like soccer, so I’ll bring up this hilarious David Beckham video), conversation can quickly fall flat. So most of us opt for some liquid courage and hope for the best. And if all else fails, we start to talk about the things around us, from the food we’re eating to the hockey game playing on the TV.
“It’s such an intense moment,” says Jacob Lenard, a product designer, on his experience on first dates. “There are a lot of emotions, and you’re not really sure what you want in the other person.” So Lenard took the issue of awkward first dates head on in his master’s thesis project, Across the Table.
Lenard asked friends and family to think of the things they look for when they first meet someone, such as eye contact, seamless conversation, and the feeling that you’re in tune with each other. Then he set out to create tableware to facilitate conversation as you dine with your new crush, including bowls with mirrored surfaces (there’s no escaping their gaze) and napkins with questions like: “Would you want to be famous?” Click through the slideshow to check out all of the different pieces Lenard created, and let us know your reaction below!
These Things Could Make First Dates Way Less AwkwardView Gallery
“If you’re uncomfortable, you’re probably going to look down at your lap,” Lenard says. “So that’s where I put the conversation starters.”View Gallery
But if you’ve got the gift of gab, the gray embroidery is subtly camouflaged by the gray napkins.View Gallery
“It’s natural for humans to mimic each other in moments of empathy and emotional connection,” Lenard says. This spout forces you and your date to drink at the same pace and be in tune with each other.View Gallery
“Many people said they can tell if they’re attracted to someone if they can make eye contact,” Lenard says. “But not everyone has the confidence to make eye contact all the time.”View Gallery
The stainless-steel interior of the bowl allows you to catch a glimmer of your date’s eyes.View Gallery
Hard to Bring Up
So much for small talk. Many people told Lenard they want to be able to bring up tough topics on the first date. This house on this plate could be a launching pad to talk about your family (or the family you may want in the future).View Gallery
Hard to Bring Up
And finally, this plate with rings could start a conversation about both of your thoughts on marriage and committment.