I take boxing classes, I bravely go into Haunted Houses. I’ll watch a psychological thriller and I’ll go to a new country, completely alone. When it comes to fear, there’s not much that shakes me but there is a type of horror that every one has experienced: awful, terrible, bad, bad, bad, just plain bad first dates.
Though a totally normal part of finding a partner, there’s something about the residue that disappointing first dates leave behind that have a way of sticking with you. And not just for a week or a hot second, but for years to come, even when you’ve found the love of your life, and someone asks about your old dating life. Even if your date wasn’t technically a monster, didn’t come disguised in a costume or brought way more tricks than treats, love horror stories are frightful.
From those who weren’t anything like they advertised them online and those who moved way too fast to ones who took their dates to sketchy locations without much of an explanation, I warn you these stories will get your heart racing — and not in a good way:
1. When It Was On National Television
In 2004, I was on Match and connected with this girl and asked her out. She told me she was being followed around for a show about dating and would it be OK if cameras came around? Sure. We meet up at the time and you could just tell that right off that the chemistry wasn't there. But no, we have cameras around all night so had to go through with it. Anyway, after drinks, we head to Slate where they have a dinner table set up for us. Problem is, I was a broke actor so I was not planning on dinner, nor could afford it. So I informed her that she would have to grab this check. I only ordered an app as I wasn't planning on eating anyway. Needless to say, she wasn't happy. I'm at least trying but she was just shut down. Even worse, the editing just used me saying weird punchlines without the jokes so I looked unhinged. One of which, specifically, had me mooing and laughing maniacally as it was a ‘Mad Cow’ joke. Shortly after that the date ended and we both hustled off.
When the air date came, I didn't tell anyone, because, why would I? I almost got away with it. Someone at the hedge fund that I was working at saw it that night and hijacked the IT department the next day and told them their only job was to find it, rip, it and disseminate it throughout the office. They found it, and man, since I knew what was coming, it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The whole office gathered around and it was horrible. Nothing I could do. They all loved the mooing bit. A couple years later I was in a car that was stopped at a light and saw her crossing the street. All my friends in the car had seen the show and as we drove away I leaned out of the window and did my mooing/maniacal laugh out the window to her. Felt like I got my mini revenge.” -Hunt
2. When Your Joke Went Wrong
“I once had a first date with a woman named Sima (see’-ma) who smoked incessantly, even throughout dinner. As passive aggressively as possible, I eventually just said ‘Is it OK if I call you Emphysema?’ She was insulted and the date ended there with no further communication.” -Steve
3. When Things Moved Way, Way Too Fast
“The problem was that the date was on January 1, and everything was closed for the New Year. So when I went to pick [my date] up, she suggested we just hang out at her house. Her mother started treating me like I was the future son-in-law. She took several pictures of us the moment I walked in. Her brother (who looked to be maybe 13 or 14) just glared at me from the top of the stairs. ‘Don't worry," her mother reassured me, ‘he'll warm up to you.’”
The inside of the house looked like it had been decorated by a Smithsonian curator who had been fired for stealing random items. Turns out, her mom fancied herself as an artist. Animal skins, license plates, farming implements, coins forming the shape of palm trees, you name it. It was beyond eclectic. I was quickly ushered upstairs (by the mom) to watch a video my date had made for school... in sixth grade. The TV was wrapped in a zebra skin.
There were two couches. I sat down on one, next to my date. The mom plopped down on the other, and just grinned at us throughout the entire 20 minutes of awkward history class presentation. The brother sat down next to me, apparently warming up to me. Five minutes in, my date picked up my arm and put it around her, cuddling up to me. A little forward of her, but I was OK with it. Then her brother did the exact same thing with me. The mother just continued to beam at the three of us, with my arms around both of her kids. I've never felt more awkward in my entire life.
After the video, my date suggested we play pool in the basement, just the two of us. Things were going fine until she cornered me, trying to kiss me. Fortunately, her mom called downstairs that she had cinnamon rolls ready for us, so I was saved. Or so I thought. When I got upstairs, I was handed a cinnamon roll and told I should go meet my date's father, who sat in semi-darkness at the end of a long dining room table. I kid you not, he was cleaning his gun, wearing his DEA jacket. His first question was where I had met his daughter. Fortunately, I answered his questions correctly, since we had met through a religious function. Apparently he deemed me a nice enough guy not to kill on sight.
After all that, I just wanted the night to end. I politely explained that I had better be on my way, since it would take me an hour to get home. My date walked me to my car. I conveniently placed the car door between her and I, so the best she could get was a good-bye half hug. I drove two minutes down the road, parked, and screamed for a solid minute.” -Dave
4. When Your Date Thinks Murdering Is A Good Idea
“First time meeting this guy off Tinder. He doesn't look the same as his photos and shows up in a black shirt covered in cat hair. We discover we have absolutely nothing in common — different food tastes, working out all the time versus. almost never at a gym, introverted versus. extroverted, etc. He spills mustard on his shirt, and I try to be polite and not pay attention. He talks about how he smokes weed and says it's for his glaucoma. I sympathetically respond — glaucoma is a serious issue! He then laughs and says he was just kidding. Joking about serious diseases — cool? He starts telling me about how advanced medicine is becoming, and how we should cure all the diseases.
I asked how he thinks we should handle the overpopulation if that were to happen. He says murder the bottom 1/3 of people! ‘We already have SAT testing for academics; we could just develop testing to see who isn't contributing enough to deserve to live.’ On top of everything he spits when he laughs. I don't even want to be funny just to make him stop with the spitting. I'm very confused and disturbed by the entire experience. It was an absolute disaster! -Victoria
5. When He Made Her Sit Outside In The Rain
“A guy took me to a good restaurant in Asheville, NC. Then afterwards wanted to hang out. We went to a local beer place called Jack of the Wood. I don't drink, so he offered to get me a soda. I am also claustrophobic and don't like being around too many people — this night the place was at max. He went outside to smoke — I don't like being around smoke in general. He told me to come with him. It started raining and he thought it was sweet for us to sit outside. I was getting soaked. He then tells me all about the drugs he's used and can't believe I don't like to drink or smoke. Needless to say no second date.” -Emily
6. When He Suggests Marriage
“I met him at an event and completely forgot about it — then saw his number in my phone book, no name next to it, and thought it belonged to someone else. So I texted, we started talking and I was mystified about who he was, but he convinced me to meet him at a bar nearby. I still did not remember him upon seeing him, and we spent the next hour arguing. He thought my ‘issues’ would be solved if I married him, and I thought that his total inability to imprint on my consciousness probably meant that we were not a good match.” -Lena
7. When Everything Smelled
“I had one first date where all I remember is that we somehow ended up sitting on his front porch, which smelled horribly of pee, for almost the entire time. I didn't want to go into his house, for obvious reasons, but the yard smelled even worse. The question is, why did I go to his house in the first place? Not like me at all. Probably my dog had something to do with it. That was one of a few terrible dates I met on OKC.” -Lucy
8. When Everything Was Just A Big, Big ‘No, No, No’
“We went to a movie where he then opened up his jacket and revealed what appeared to be an entire mini bar in his coat to mix with his soda. [He] then actually asked if we could sneak into another movie after the first one. I stormed out and he had the nerve to pull out a condom and ask me if we were going to ‘at least have sex tonight.’" -Heather
9. When He Was Obsessed With Eminem
“Blind date .... All he did was talk about how awesome Marshall Mathers aka Eminem was for 2 HOURS and no rap music compared. Nothing else was discussed.” -Kelly
10. When He Ditched Her For His Ex
"I met a guy online who looked nothing like his picture (shocker, I know). I figured I would give it a shot but as he was arriving, he called me because he didn't have cash for parking, so I told him to pull up to where I was and I would cover him until he could pay me back. He bragged about his nice car (which wasn't nice...at all. I know, another shocker). Then we headed to a club where his cousin was spinning and he wound up seeing his ex there and ditched me." -Jessica
11. When She Watched Him Bowl
"He invited me bowling but when we got there it turned out that he meant to watch him and his bowling league bowl. So I sat there for an hour while he and his friends drank and bowled and then he was very confused why I didn't want to go home with him afterwards." -Jade
12. When The Guy Got Drunk And Left Her Purse
"It was a second date with a guy on Tinder. Things were going great until we switched bars and he had his friend (who, tbh, was really really good looking) join us — they kept ordering shot after shot. I went to the bathroom and came back and *I wasn't ACTIVELY looking* but he left his phone in front of my seat, and I looked and saw that he had been taking pictures of our waitresses and sending them to people in texts... By this point, the alcohol caught up with me and I got up to go to the bathroom again. I came back, both guys were gone, and so was my purse (I always carry my purse with me but I was an idiot and left it at the table — I didn't think they would leave though and i told them where i was going.)
Thankfully, I made friends with a girl in the bathroom who found my purse (someone turned it in at the bar) and I got an Uber and went home. Guy kept calling me over and over... The next night, asked if 'coming over to my place was out of the question or no...' I had a horrible time and deleted his number. Boy bye." -Cassandra
13. When He Had To Stop At Rehearsal Quickly
“A guy told me he had to stop by a film rehearsal before dinner and asked if I minded to tag along for a quick 20 minutes — it was in a sketchy basement, I'm pretty sure it was softcore porn just by listening to the script reading, and the creepy cameraman asked if I wanted the part of the ‘sexy demon genie who sleeps with most of the main characters before violently killing them.’ I was pretty sure I was living through the first scene of the Lifetime movie that would be based on my murder.” -Victoria
Images: Tinx/Fotolia; Giphy