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Have You (Yes, YOU) Ever Been A Bad Date?

There’s nothing like a good bad date story. The best ones are so good they become a part of someone else’s storybook collection. We’re glad it didn’t happen to us but we’re also jealous we don’t have a story just as good to tell so we crib it, and tell that story to other people who don’t know you.

I don’t have a bad date story to share myself, which is weird. Some would say I’m lucky to be able to say such a thing, but I feel like I’ve missed out on some rights of passage only the realest of single adults have been through. I could talk about the dates I’ve been on where I ended up not going home with the girl. There’s also the times I foolishly spent more than I can afford wining and dining a first date, only to never get a return on my investment, not even in the form of a second date. Both of those situations have happened to me more times than I care to admit, but not to the fault of the women involved. I either had bloated expectations, assuming a woman would be so smitten with me, a perfect stranger, that she would be willing to take her clothes off just a couple hours after learning my basic information. Or, I didn’t bother devising a plane, thus letting her pick the restaurant or the activity, and ended up secretly checking my balance on my phone while she went to use the restroom.

So no, I’ve never been on the receiving end of a bad date; never can talk about the time I was out with a girl at the movies and everything was going so well until a child I didn’t know about ran up to her, grabbed her leg, and started screaming, “Mommy,” with a man much bigger than me following behind said child, talking about, “Where have you been and who is this guy you’re with?”

The worst I can say about any date I’ve been on is they’ve either been boring or anti-climatic. Bad though? No story here, but every time I hear a woman telling me about some guy who failed on a date in spectacular fashion, I wonder, is one of the many women I’ve been out on a date with telling a similar story about me and I just don’t know it?

I’ve asked myself this question more often ever since I started my job at the New York Post. Half of my job is getting the testimonials from the people who participate in my blind date column. The day they go on the date I’ve set them up on, I send them a short list of questions they must answer after the date is done. This is where I get to hear everything they thought about the person they dated, the place I sent them, and whether or not they will go out with the person again.

As you can imagine, I hear a gamut of stories. Some successful, some not, most somewhere in between where the two people had a good time but weren’t compatible enough to go out again. But every so often I get polar opposite stories, and these are without a doubt, the most entertaining types of recaps I get.

Two people go out, one person had a GREAT time and is more than happy to go out with the other person again. Unfortunately, the other person had the exact opposite to say about them. Not only will they not go out with this person who had an oh-so-great time with them, they are hoping this person doesn’t bother asking them out again because it’s going to be awkward when they hang up on them.

This was basically the gist of a recent Meet Market date. You can read the VERY BRIEF recap by clicking here, but here’s an excerpt to give you an idea of just how far apart these two were on each other.

He said: There could be potential and I plan to see her again.

She said: We had a lot in common, and exchanged numbers, but he was sloppy, arrogant, and a gentleman should never let a woman pay on the first date.

Now in the guy’s defense, all the dates I set up are comped, but participants are told they are responsible for leaving a tip for their server. Standard practice, which he probably didn’t understand, thus meaning the woman had to leave the tip. She didn’t have to pay in the traditional sense.

That aside, I was so amused by what I read. Keep in mind, the published versions are edited. The versions I actually received from the woman had a couple more un-printable details I left out because they didn’t go with the story. They sounded like she was being excessive.

Then again, maybe she wasn’t? The guy had a great time with the girl, wants to see her again, but what if he had no idea how he was coming off to the woman? Rarely do we know when we’re not on point. Sometimes we can recognize we’re having a off night. I’ve been two hours late to a date, and I’ve forgotten my wallet on a date. As you can expect, there was no coming back from either of those situations. I also told one girl on the first date that even if she wanted to, she couldn’t come home with me afterward, as though she actually wanted to. You can imagine how well that went.

Outside of those three grievances, I’m not too sure a woman is telling her friends about a night with me in which the phrase, “And then guess what this no-good sonofabitch did next?” is uttered.

But I’m curious to know, can any of you say the same? A question I enjoy posing, especially to women, is, have you ever been a bad date? I am always awe-struck by the stories women tell me, if only because the guy on the other end sounds so delusional. Like he really didn’t think flirting with the bartender right in front of you was a bad idea?

What about you? Have you ever knowingly not cared enough about the other person, and therefore sabotaged the date just to make it more entertaining? Have you ever been so turned-off by a date, but instead of leaving, you gave it right back and made his time as miserable as yours? In a recent episode of “House of Lies,” Jeannie (played by Kristen Bell), decides to go out on a guy she met through a dating website. The scene that unfolds is one of my favorite scenes ever.

Jeannie, who is still getting over a bitter breakup with her fiancee and kind of had to be coerced into giving the online date a try (partly because she’s doing research for her job), ends up being a prick to a seemingly nice guy. What’s amazing is it wasn’t her intention, she just speaks with no filter. Before the meal gets to their table, the guy politely excuses himself and tells her he’s going to pay for his half of the drinks at the bar before leaving.

So what say you, readers? Ever been like Jeannie? Guys, ever been like the guy I mentioned before Jeannie, smooth in your head, but rough in the eyes of others? I’m interested in hearing responses to the question, Have you ever been a bad date?

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  • J B

    Time to be honest. I cut a date short because the guy’s mannerisms were just too much. If he didn’t know the answer to a question, he would sit there and practically beat himself up (smacking his thighs, gripping his elbows, slapping his forehead), all while making contorted faces as if he were in extreme pain. This would go on for 20-30 seconds. We’d met for lunch and were planning on going to a museum, but after that display, I told him work had called.

  • Ashley Arnold

    I’ve definitely been a bad date at least once. I was having a rough day and I wasn’t really feeling the date to begin with…but then it all went downhill. To the point that my date asked if I was okay and I proceeded to tell them “I’m sorry – I need to call my friend and talk to them” (another man – at that)…surprisingly enough, after I got off the phone with the other guy (a coworker who was engaged) the guy still wanted to hang out.

    He asked if there was anything he could do to make me feel better, I said no, he looked upset, then offered that we get some drinks. I agreed, so we drank and went to the movies and he asked me out again.

    I would say that’s the rare occasion being a bad date didn’t get me knocked off as a person, he actually continued to pursue me after the fact.

  • happinessisme

    One word: McDonalds. Then he had the nerve to keep calling.