The world’s worst dates

When I was 20, a random guy on campus asked me to go to dinner with him. Being a suspicious girl living in LA, I told him I’d pick him up—why give a potential serial killer your address, right?

On our first date, I found out he had a son. I won’t lie—it was a little surprising, since he was 23 and had sole custody of his six-year-old boy. But I admired him for being a devoted dad.

On our second date, I found out he also had a daughter. She lived in a different state with her mom.

Although I was a little nervous about what I would discover on a third date, I really liked him, so we went out again.

And again. And probably a couple more times after that. At some point he gave me a little pot with bamboo in it, along with a sweet little speech about how the bamboo was like our relationship: I could nurture it and it would grow, or I could neglect it and it would wither away.

All seemed well…until The Date. You know the one—when a relationship is starting to feel like it might be heading somewhere serious, and you’re a big mess of nerves wondering if he’s the only one you want and whether he’s feeling the same about you.

I arrived at his apartment for our sixth (or so) date, exhausted. I’d just driven three hours through heavy traffic from visiting my parents. My self-preservation radar was on the blip.

I didn’t realize until we got on the freeway in East LA that he was drunk. He hadn’t seemed impaired at all when we’d walked to his car. He’d been jolly and funny, as usual. His speech was fine. But damn if he didn’t struggle to keep the car in one lane on that freeway. That particular freeway is three lanes with no shoulder—just cement blocks on both sides. And he swerved back and forth across all three lanes.

As he drove, he sipped from a 44-oz cup of “grape juice”, which smelled an awful lot like whiskey.

I tried to stay cool and figure out what to do. If he couldn’t navigate the freeway, there was no way we’d survive the sharply curved off ramps, where you had to drop your speed from 65 to 15 in a matter of feet in order to stay on the road.

The freeway ended in Pasadena, a nice part of LA, and I breathed a sigh of relief as he managed to park his car next to the fancy restaurant he was taking me to.

And then he did it. He pissed in the bushes in front of the restaurant.

No, I didn’t stay for dinner. Nor was there a seventh date.

The next day, I gave him back all the stuff we’d exchanged—except the bamboo, which, unlike our relationship, has thrived.

Bad dates are fertile ground for writers. Last week, a British journalist on Twitter mentioned a bad date he’d once had. So many people responded that he put the tweets together on Storify: Your awful dates in 140 characters.

There are so many awful, painfully funny dates there that it’s hard to choose a favorite. This one’s pretty bad, though:

@msemmabray: went out with a guy who sent me a scanner pic of his penis the next day. Squashed against the glass, with his number written on it!

And this one’s just freaky:

@poubelle2011: went on a date it all seemed to go well until he gave me a note in it were bits of his eyebrow because he thought I’d like them

And hopefully this one ended quickly:

@The_Moviegoer: Guy came to get me in his new Porsche. Before I got in, he put a towel on my seat because “girls can sometimes be sweaty down there”

Not Another Bad Date coverWith bad dates on my mind, this weekend I pulled Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson out of my to-be-read pile. Rachel Gibson is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors; her novels are funny, gripping and very sexy.

And this book is no different. It features a woman who’s been cursed to have bad dates until she reunites with the man she fell in love with in college. But with his jealous dead wife throwing obstacles in their way from purgatory, they have a lot to get over before they can have their happily ever after.

Talk about a date from hell!

Go on, tell us—what’s been your worst date?


  1. oh man these are good [i mean bad] ones!
    my worst date isn’t really all that bad actually…. it was with a guy i had been set up with [first and only time for that]. we were on the dance floor [this was almost 20 years ago when people danced all the time. do they still?] he farted & then Very Loudly and Rudely blamed me and stormed off the dance floor to the bar. it was so weird and ridiculous. i called a friend to come get me & never saw the guy again.

    1. Oh my GOD! That’s hilarious! I can’t believe he blamed you – good thing you found out early on what he’s really like under pressure!

  2. Hmm…tough call. Maybe the first date where I mentioned I was Jewish and the guy said, “Oh! I LOVE Woody Allen!”?

    Congrats on your husband’s new job btw! An international move sounds scary…but exciting!

    1. Wow – did he follow that up with “I’m not prejudiced but…” or “Some of my best friends are Jewish!”

      What a prince.

      And thanks! It’s very exciting, but the to-do list might be the death of me. I don’t think I’ll get everything done that I need to in six weeks. Yikes.

  3. LOL, great post! Mine wasn’t so much the date, but what happened afterwards. While on the date, we ran into one of my best friends who is a beautiful and very down to earth girl – guys love her. A day or two after the date, the guy emailed me to ask for her phone number. Ummm …

    1. Ooh…bad form! Hope you didn’t give it to him. Your friend sounds like she deserves better than that! And so do you!

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