They say never bring up past relationships on a first date and I would probably agree. No one wants to hear about how great, or crazy, your ex was. But I think sharing dating horror stories is never a bad idea. It breaks the ice and puts the other person at ease - 'No matter how bad this date goes, it won' compare to this crazy time when ______________.'
Personally, I think it creates an instant bond, like the trust hormone oxytocin (another blog…). We've all been on terrible dates, so laughing at them creates a common experience. Now, that's not to say you should use it as your opening line. But if the conversation moves that way, why not bring up a funny anecdote about how the cab driver flirted with your date for ten minutes and ended up giving her his phone number.
When asked about my weird dating experiences, my mind instantly goes to '2nd Period Girl.' Here is a quick version of the tale. I hope it brings a laugh and trust me, it was even more awkward at the time…
So I think it was five years ago and I was using an online dating site to meet Vancouver singles. I had been talking to one girl about music and films and we finally arranged to meet for a drink. The day before the date, she called and cancelled. Ok, no problem - reschedule. So after a few more days of talking we booked another time. That day comes, I get ready for the date, hop on a bus (cause we planned to go for a few drinks) and then I get a text… She cancels again. Starting to get a little annoyed.
A week later she suggests we try once more. I mull it over and decide why not. But, it is a game night - playoffs - and we're playing Chicago. I suggest a sports bar on Commercial and mention the game. She's cool with it. I tell her I'll need to wear my jersey. No problem, she laughs and says she is a diehard fan as well.
The day comes and I head to the bar in my full regalia, minus the face paint. I arrive early and order a beer. She calls and says she is running late. No surprise at this point and I'm just happy to be watching the game in a packed bar.
When she finally arrives, I give her a big smile and a quick hug. But, it is quickly obvious that all her photos from her profile are from a different time period. Like decades ago, when she was significantly thinner and younger looking.
Now, please don't paint me as shallow, but I was a little disappointed. Probably more thrown by the fact that she had completely misrepresented herself. But, as I mentioned, the game was on, we were in the playoffs and the bar was hopping. I decided to make the most of it.
She sat down and ordered a drink and we engaged in some awkward but fairly natural first-date small talk. I don't really remember what we talked about it, but I remember her being very nervous. I tried to ease the tension and make references to our previous conversations online.
The waitress came by and I ordered some food. My date claimed she wasn't hungry, which was weird cause we had planned to eat. No worries…
The awkwardness continues, the game moves on and the first period finishes. I tell her I need to use the washroom. On my way back, I decide to go outside for a smoke before returning to the table. I have since given up this unhealthy habit, but at the time I needed one and I felt like it wouldn't hurt if I were away from the table for another few minutes.
Apparently, I was wrong.
When I got back, she was obviously annoyed. It had been less than ten minutes, but this girl was pissed. I tried to make more small talk, but her answers to my questions were short, with no follow-up. I gave my attention back to the game.
After a fairly long period of play, the whistle was finally blown and I turned back to her. She was staring at me with death eyes. "You know what," she says, "I'm just gonna go." "Are you sure?" I stuttered. "Yeah," was her answer.
She stood up and put on her coat with me staring in disbelief. "Here's twenty for the drinks," she said, as she proceeded to pull a bill from her purse and literally, from her standing position, throw it on the table.
Like a deer in the headlights, I just stared at her blankly. I think I uttered an 'ok'. And then she stamped out of the bar.
At this point, I took a moment to look around the room. It seems everyone was watching. I lifted my pint and stared into my beer. So embarrassing…
After a few moments the waitress came over and asked if I needed another drink. I said maybe one more. She then leaned down and said in a soft voice: "Are you ok?" "Yeah, I'm fine," I replied, even more embarrassed.
I finished the second period, paid my bill and quietly left.
Outside, I texted a friend who lived a few blocks away and told him I was coming over to watch the third; there's no way it could be more devastating than the second period.
Leave your own awkward dating tale in the comments below.