Bad Dates Happen to the Best of Us
Into every girl’s life, a bad date will fall. It’s a certainty. There aren’t a whole lot of certainties in life…but this is one of them. Kind of like the traffic light turning green the minute you start to put on your makeup or the roof of your mouth feeling like it was left out in the sun too long the day after you eat your weight in Cookie Crisp. (Why does Cookie Crisp make the roof of your mouth raw, exactly? This has always perplexed me.)
As many of you know, I re-entered the dating world several months ago by venturing onto the dating app, Bumble. And over the past few months, I’ve had some awesome experiences, some hilarious experiences, and a handful of “Am I on Candid Camera?” experiences. This story I’m about to tell you falls into the latter category.
One day a couple of months ago I ventured out on a first date – a lunch date – with one of my Bumble matches. It was a beautiful day and I was in great spirits. Until I got to the restaurant, that is. I was able to pick out my date fairly quickly because it was a small restaurant, but my heart sank as I got closer and realized he had obviously used photos on his profile that were at least ten years old. (And about 30 pounds ago.) Now, let me clarify. This is not meant to be catty or mean or body/age shaming. I’ve gone out with men of all sizes and ages and body types. In fact, gym rats and guys who are overly obsessed with fitness drive me absolutely up the wall. But here’s the thing, y’all. Online dating is much like online shopping. The pictures need to be accurate. If I’m buying a pair of shoes on Ebay, I want to see pictures of the ACTUAL pair of shoes I’m buying, in their current state, scuffs and all. I don’t want to see a picture of the shoes when you first bought them five years ago. That’s not an accurate representation of what I’m getting. So if you’re going to do online dating of any kind, be honest about yourself. Yes, of course put your best foot forward with flattering images…but make sure they’re images that are no more than a year old and that actually LOOK like you. Otherwise, it feels dishonest. I don’t ever want to show up to a date and have a guy not recognize me from my photos…and I don’t want the same thing to happen to me.
So, back to my lunch date. Once I got past my initial shock, I decided to just roll with things and see how the date played out. Welp, the date played out by him first ordering my food FOR me. Because apparently the restaurant was also a time machine and we traveled back to the year 1922. I’m an independent woman and I like to order my own food, thank you very much. He ended up ordering a couple of things for me that I didn’t even like, and while I continued to try and roll with things and be polite by choking down the things he ordered, I was growing increasingly skeptical/irritated.
The final strike came when he began hacking and coughing and for lack of a better word – snarfling (yes, I realize I just invented a word) all over the food. Apparently he had a cold or allergies or something…but it got to the point where I almost needed an umbrella to defend myself and my food from the onslaught of saliva showers coming my way. It was bad, y’all. I tend to have a bit of a temperamental stomach, anyway, so trying to eat my lunch while being hit with Hurricane Hacker was just too much for me. I barely ended up touching my food. To the point where he even asked me in a rather accusatory tone: “Are you not eating because you’re afraid I’m coughing on the food?” Well, DUH, man. Is the sky blue? Do cows say MOO? Of course that’s why I’m not eating THE FOOD THAT I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO ORDER MYSELF.
(Okay, stepping away from caps lock and taking a few deep breaths…)
After about an hour, I had had all I could take and politely made my retreat from the restaurant. My only real consolation was thinking to myself: “There’s no way I will hear from this guy again because there’s no way he thought that went well.”
Well. (And you know what’s coming.) Within less than ten minutes, I got a message from him asking me out on a second date.
I decided to wait until I got home and wasn’t driving to craft a polite response, letting him down easy and letting him know I didn’t feel a connection (because in my opinion, honesty is always the best policy. I don’t want to be led on and I don’t want to lead anyone else on.)
Before I could even get home, though…he fired off a follow-up message (because apparently, my immediate response was required): “Never mind. I guess you were just using me for writing material.”
Y’all. I cannot. I am so unable to can that my can’s have taken leave of my body. My can’s are currently on the side of a milk carton with “Have you seen us?” written in big bold lettering.
Now I know what you might say. “But, Mandy…you ARE writing about him. So you did use the situation for writing material.”
Truth be told, I would have never written about this incident had he not been so unnecessarily rude and spiteful with that response. I would have just let it fade away and never mentioned it again, out of the goodness of my heart in case he ever finds his way back to my blog. I never like to feel like I’m calling anyone out or being hurtful. And that’s not my intent here. My intent here is to hopefully help some fellas out with what NOT to do on a first date and also share with all of you my response to his hateful message.
And that was…
Nothing. I didn’t respond. I simply unmatched from him and went about my merry way. Because sometimes it’s better to just let things go than try and get the last word. I could have written him back and roasted him for all the glaring faux pas he committed during our date but it simply wasn’t worth the time or energy or drama. Some things you’ve just gotta let go and let slide.
Is this incident an indictment against Bumble? Absolutely not. I could have met this guy anywhere and the date would have been just as atrocious. I’ve met and went out on dates with multiple guys from Bumble that went completely smoothly. And while most of them didn’t turn into love connections, some did turn into friendships. And if nothing else, dating experience under my belt.
And the great thing about it being a Bumble match was I could simply unmatch from him and move on with my life, since I hadn’t given him my phone number. No muss, no fuss. Bumble adds in an extra line of defense that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
So…yes, bad dates will happen in life and snarflers will come along and sometimes you’ll show up to a date hoping for a prince and be met with a frog. And that’s okay. Because the point is: YOU SHOWED UP. You tried. You put yourself out there. And when it comes to that crazy thing called love…that’s all you can really do. And it’s brave. And it’s ENOUGH.
I wanna hear YOUR bad date stories! Sound off in the comments below… 🙂