This Is Either the Most Awkward or Endearing First Date Ever

Everybody has a handful of stories about first dates that were memorable for all the wrong reasons, and now the entire internet has one more. Footage of Ben Samuel’s first dates with five different women from the second season of Dating Around on Netflix has got viewers divided, with some cringing at the awkwardness so hard they’re watching from behind a cushion, and others being thoroughly won over by Ben’s antsy, enthusiastic attempts to woo each lady.

Prior to appearing on Season 2 of Dating Around, Ben had only been in one relationship before — but it lasted 10 years, which might go some way towards explaining why he appears to be so nervous during his dates on the show. He’s been out of the game for a hot minute.

It all starts out well enough, with Ben making a great first impression by presenting each of his dates with a flower (even though he’s not entirely sure what flower it is). Then they head into the restaurant, and viewing gets adorable or unbearable depending on your point of view.

On each of his dates, Ben is excitable in a way that could easily be interpreted as overeager. Puppy-like, even. But since when was that necessarily a bad thing? It’s worth noting that he seems genuinely thrilled to be there, and interested in finding out about Shamerick, Kat, Alex, Jaden and Stephanie, asking them questions and engaging with their answers.

One genuinely cringeworthy moment does arise, however, when Stephanie reveals that she is a full-time student at the University of New Orleans — where Ben himself is currently a Professor. “I’m not sure if we’re allowed to be here with each other right now,” he tells her. And while he is not her teacher, and there is no direct conflict of interest implied in them dating each other, it does seem to cast a pretty sodden blanket on proceedings.

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