Even thinking up this title made me wince. I have had some SHOCKERS. A lot of them I have completely blocked out – but when considering how good things are with Pedro it’s nice to reflect on how bad some of my dates were…
This was my first date after breaking up with First Serious Boyfriend – a very messy situation after 4 years together. Needless to say I was not in the right place to even be considering anyone else – however, I felt the need to get back on the horse! Set up by a well-meaning friend of a friend, we decided to go bowling. From the outset, it was clear neither of us was interested in the other, however we persevered. As we sorted out our first game and we were asked for payment, he looked at me expectantly as he paid. ‘You’ll get the next one’ he informed me. Girl-behind-the-counter’s jaw dropped. Before I get berated for not paying my way, I should say that I have very clear (but also very confused) views on this. Do I want a man to be a gentleman and offer to pay (particularly on the first date)? Yes. Do I still want to feel like an independent woman and pay my own way? Yes. See? Clear as mud! Anyway, back to the date. Now, of COURSE I would have paid for the next game. But being told I was going to? Not a great start. On to bowling – I am so bad! Really bad. Unless the barriers are up I never score more than 40. So I laughed my way through the first game. Blind Date was EVEN WORSE. But instead of laughing it off, he got more and more angry and frustrated, and made excuses for himself, saying he’d slipped, or dropped the ball, or a million other made-up reasons for his terrible score. Not cool. I should have cut my losses and called it a day – but after his payment comment, I felt like we had to do a second game. Part way through, Blind Date went to the toilet. In his absence, girl-behind-the-counter called me over. ‘Do you want me to say you’ve had an emergency and had to go?’ she whispered sympathetically. Yet another opportunity to leave. But I couldn’t. In for a penny, in for a pound. We ended up getting a THIRD game. I know I know! He went to pay for it and ended up arguing with girl-behind-the-counter because the price had risen since we’d been there. During this game he came up with the best excuse ever for being terrible at bowling. My stomach still plummets remembering. He told me that the reason he was bad at bowling that day was because he had a stent in his penis from a delicate operation a couple of days previously. The fact he said ‘penis’ on the first date was the thing that shocked me the most. I’m still reeling! After that I did leave. (I’ve just had to have a cuppa).
In Denial Man
Another rebound after First Serious Boyfriend was In Denial Man. We had our first date in less than ideal circumstances, with a group of my friends after we had all done a concert together. He seemed less than impressed (I can’t blame him!) After talking extensively about how he no longer smoked, and how great it was that he’d quit, as soon as we went outside to walk to another bar he lit up a cigarette and was so overly defensive in his excuses (when I hadn’t even said anything) I knew he was setting out the ground work for his nickname – In Denial Man. I felt that the first date situation hadn’t helped at all, so I thought we deserved another chance. We agreed to meet for a second date, and as it was coming up to Christmas we met at Millennium Square to have a wander around the German Market (a very romantic date idea by the way gents – I’d say a 99% chance of it being a winner). Of course, there is always that 1% chance it will be dire – with the wrong person. You can see where this is going. We talked about what he wanted to do with his life – all sorts of things. We talked about what he was doing now – nothing. I offered him some fun suggestions on how he could get to do the things he wanted to do. He put down each one with versions of ‘Yeah, I could do that, but I can’t be bothered’. After an excruciatingly long, drawn out date of negatives and talking solely about him, I made my excuses and left. I checked my watch – it had only been an hour.
Another dreadful date I went on was during the Summer of Love as referred to in previous posts, where Housemate and I went on dating websites. I arranged to meet up with one guy, he seemed perfectly nice and we got on well when exchanging witty messages. He never showed up – no explanation. It still smarts to this day! And no number of friends saying things like ‘maybe he got hit by a bus and that’s why he didn’t show?’ could console me.
Horrible Harrogate Man
Perhaps this name is a bit revealing…we met in Harrogate. We went for a drink, and he announced we were sitting outside so he could smoke. It was a chilly evening, and I would have liked to be asked ‘would you mind if we sat outside?’ But I went with it. While we were talking, he was constantly checking his phone. Now, I can’t talk. I am surgically attached to my phone, as Pedro would testify. But I’m just helping to build up a picture. About half an hour in, he announced it wasn’t working for him, and left. No pre-amble, no sugar coating, just straight out. I secretly admired his brutal honesty and decisiveness in not wasting time, but as I returned to the train station to go home, I realised there were no trains for over an hour. Sitting in a cold, tiny train station with no coffee shop, I realised it was a rubbish end to a pretty rubbish evening.
Just so I’m not painting all men I’ve dated as bad, I had another date during the Summer of Love. This man was perfectly nice. He looked fine in his photos. But when we met, he looked like, well, Skeletor. Very tall, very thin, almost to the point of looking seriously ill. His voice was strangely high and scratchy. He seemed very nervous, almost shaky, and he talked exclusively about his work. I don’t think for a second this was because he wasn’t interested in me, I just think he was so anxious it was all he felt comfortable saying. There were long awkward silences, followed by a question from him like ‘so, do you have any brothers or sisters?’ He was sweet, but I just wasn’t interested. In my usual way, I was unable to leave. I stayed for two and a half hours. Afterwards, he texted me saying he had a really nice time. I feel awful about this still, really really guilty, but I never texted him back. I just didn’t know what to say.
I would imagine that some of the above stories would resonate with anyone who’s been single at any point in their lives. And this is only part 1! The truth is, none of the men were nasty. We just weren’t right for each other. And remembering these cringe-worthy stories just helps me realise how lucky I am to have found Pedro!
So come on – what was your worst date?!