One of the more amusing aspects of growing older is an ever expanding collection of human encounters that get filed in our memory. Many are pleasant, some exciting, others are just fascinating. And a few may carry the possibility of romance. You know, the stuff we all secretly wish for, the essence of kitschy novels we all deny of having ever read. And then there’s the ones that make us laugh – but only in hindsight.
It rather seems that, in the modern age of easy dating by means of online dating portals and apps, the universe steers towards and connects what better ought not connect at all. Unfortunately, we only know after having been on a date that we should have stayed home on the couch, with a tub of ice cream, or doing needle work, or polishing something.
Here are some signs that tell you your date is about to implode:
Your date keeps messaging you relentlessly, expressing an overwhelming desire to meet. You are on time, early even, and no one shows up. 20 minutes later, you get a text with an apology that “something” has come up. You give your never-met-before date another chance, just to be stood up again. And again. Then, while setting up a date with someone else, you put up guards and want, even insist, on reassurances – just to be told you are “unreasonable, a bit paranoid, and just plain weird.” You question your reality.
You have arranged for a coffee date at Starbucks at 2 pm and your date arrives 30 minutes late, reeks of alcohol, and states that “driving was a bit difficult with all the traffic. And after all those drinks at the bar.” After your date insists on driving and shuffles to the car, you call the police and keep your date engaged in conversation.
You just finished a dinner date and decide to spend the night with your date. And the two dogs, which also sleep in the bedroom. And on the bed. And when you wake up the next morning, you don’t feel the tender lips of your date on yours, but two fat little dogs licking your face and drooling all over your pillow. You get home feeling yucky. A shower has never felt so good.
You meet for a dinner date – pizza at the local eatery. Fancy. Simple. Your date is sitting across a large wooden table as you notice a strong breath wafting across the table that makes your nostrils flutter and your face grimacing to the point your date feels compelled to ask whether the pizza is OK. For once, you don’t hug – just shake hands goodbye.
You are excited to meet for dinner and pick a quiet place with outside seating. Throughout the evening, your date has nothing to say. Asks no questions. Shows no interest. Shares nothing. Eventually, you sit there quietly. “Should we just have sex and give up on talking?” crosses your mind. But then you decide Netflix is much more rewarding and interesting.
You finally meet this great person you have been talking to and chatting with for a while. A dinner date. On time, great! You order, but your date only has a drink “because in half an hour, I have another date and need to leave.” You just sit there. Should have brought something to read, really.
You had a nice dinner, followed by a drink at a local bar. Your date invites you over. You agree. In the apartment, as you enter, you see three lines of cocaine on the dining table. After you refuse straw and powder, your date snorts all three lines and gets violently sick and keeps hanging over the toilet for a considerable amount of time. You run outside and desperately hail a cab.
Your first date went fine. On the second date, you invite your date over for a movie night. As you sit on the couch, your date aggressively tickles you. You say “please stop.” and explain you do not like to be constantly tickled. Actually, you never like to be tickled. Your date keeps tickling. You repeat yourself. More tickles. You then get loud and scream at your date to stop tickling. Your date gets offended. You know this was the last tickle on your couch.
You already had a date from which you returned stunned. You already told your date not to come by. Not unannounced, not ever, really. Your date shows up at 10 pm after driving into your street with the lights off so as not to be seen, then comes up to your door wearing a rubber Dennis Rodman mask “just to scare you.” You scream. And consider a restraining order.
During a dinner conversation, your date shares that there are “unresolved and lingering feelings of wanting to kill my last partner.” You gulp. Then your date tells you that “mania is quite fun” followed by “I stopped my psychotropic medications because I think they were not working.” You look for the nearest exit.
After playing phone tag, you finally agree on a lunch date. Your date arrives in a banged up old car with three children in the back seat. “We just have to pick up something, come along!” You agree to ride along and see where this is going. Nowhere good, you already know that. Your date says that “the kids are hungry and we should have pizza.” You end up at a pizzeria, your date orders first. Eventually, you are told that “I don’t have any money, sorry!” and end up footing lunch for 5, without offering, being asked, or as little as a thank you. Thoughts of violence bubble up in your head.
You invite your date over for dinner and have prepared a tasty meal. Your date arrives and asks to use the restroom first, then spends an oddly long amount of time in your bathroom. You hear your bathroom cabinets being opened one after the other, then your date emerges. You eat dinner together, then you go and inspect your bathroom just to discover that all the prescription pain medications you got years ago are gone. This tells you that now is probably a good time to fake an emergency phone call to end the date. In an hurry, you usher your date out of the house.
You sit at the dinner table and are eating. Your date is staring at the cell phone, frequently texts, and eventually makes several phone calls. You sit there quietly. But you overhear every conversation – conversations during which you are referred to and as “my piece,” “the hookup,” or “the “break before we go out.” You feel cheap. But still have to pay for dinner.
You go on a coffee date. Conversations go well. After a while, your date hints at wanting to have sex. You decline. Your date keeps pushing. You keep declining and ask the topic not be pursued. Your date then asks how much money you want. You are stunned and can’t believe the question. This your date interprets as a hint to up the offer. “You want more than $100? $300? Just tell me and I pay you for sex!” You think about your cable bill. Then still decline and end the date. Until later when you get a text “I WILL pay you, just tell me how much!!!!”
You have met someone attractive online. You agree on a lunch date. Unfortunately, your date does not have a car, so you agree to pick up your date and drive to the restaurant. At the restaurant, your date orders a cocktail. Then food. You both eat and chat. Your date keeps looking around at other people, then orders more cocktails. Four cocktails later, your date is rather drunk, has followed someone else into the restroom, got obviously rejected, had another drink, then slurs: “I did not bring my wallet.” You think about why the universe hates you.
You meet for coffee and chat for a while. You listen more than you talk. Your date shares: “I am sort of half way out of a relationship,” which takes you by surprise as “single” had been checked on the profile. Your date then explains that “to get back at my partner for not paying attention to me, I started using meth again – just to make a point!” You choke on your cookie in light of this logic.
If you have had dates from hell, I would be curious to know about them – please share!