Dating is tough—the nerves, the outfit selection, the small talk, the nervous drinking and over-sharing, and that bit of spinach you didn’t know was in your teeth! Oof. And as the digital age continues to reign supreme, things have only gotten harder: There’s swiping and last logins to think about, and seeing exes pop up in eligible matches are just a few of the fun new challenges we face. That said, the silver lining of a weird, funny, or just plain bad date is that it always makes for a great story.
It’s a small comfort to know that if you end up venturing into a date that’s a total waste of time, a hilarious mismatch, or ends horrifically, you’ll automatically be the most interesting person at brunch the next weekend. And to let you know that you’re not alone out there, here are a few terrible (read: entertaining as hell) tales from some real women who spilled the gory details of their funniest and weirdest first dates.
“On my first date with my now husband, we went to a local pizza place and sat on the same side of a booth because it was really busy and loud. We had a great time, but when we were waiting for our check, he let out a huge fart that I couldn’t hear or smell—thank goodness—but I definitely felt the massive vibration. It was ridiculous, but, lucky for him, we both started cracking up.” –Laurel, 30, Indianapolis
“My first date in college was with a guy named Ian. I was SO excited. I got super dressed-up and went to the campus bar to meet him. It turned out to be a different Ian than the one I THOUGHT I would be meeting. I guess I drunkenly gave my number to a random guy at a party who happened to have the same name as this cute guy in my architecture class. It was super embarrassing but I made myself stick it out with a smile until the date ended.” –Cassie, 29, Boston
“I was on a date with a handsome guy and it was going well until he started getting very handsy and I think maybe even tried to slip something in my drink—though this detail is a bit unclear in my memory—but needless to say, his behavior made me uncomfortable. I told him I was going to the bathroom and instead got a cab home. 20 minutes later, he called and asked if I was OK because I’d been in the bathroom for awhile. I replied, “Ohhhhh, you thought I meant the bathroom at the bar? I meant the one in my apartment.'” –Mary, 26, Manhattan
“I went on a blind first date with a man who lived with a guy who my roommate met on Tinder—what a time to be alive. When I showed up to the bar he’d chosen, he was already pretty plastered. He never even offered to buy me a drink! Conversation was nonexistent. But I’m a trooper, so I tried to stick it out to be nice. Finally, I managed to get small talk going and it came up that I have a short list of things that make me instantly not trust someone: If you don’t like pizza; if you wear socks to bed every night; if a mustache is your only facial hair; and if you don’t like dogs. Then he said, ‘Would this be a bad time to mention I hate dogs?’ I said, ‘Yes, it would be terrible. This isn’t going to work.’ And I got up and left.” –Cynthia, 26, Brooklyn
One and Done
“I went on a random Tinder date with a guy whom I had little to no chat with beforehand. He showed up in a suit with a massive posh umbrella, and immediately I could tell we both weren’t into each other. He seemed to want to leave with the belief that I fancied him, though, as some sort of ego boost. It was literally the only date I’ve ever been on where I’ve had no more than one drink. The highlight of the evening was him telling me about a year in his early 20s where he was recovering from a car accident and took up a side job as a private detective for six months. Never spoke to him again after the one G&T.” –Beth, 27, London
“I went on a date with a guy from Tinder who invited me to a cute wine bar. When I showed up, he decided he didn’t want to drink, so we took a walk and then ‘ended up’ right by his place. Side note, he had greeted me with a ‘you look like your photos!’ I didn’t end up going in with him… or replying to future texts.” –Casey, 28, San Francisco
“My first Tinder meet-up also happened to be my first date after a shattering breakup, and I felt all kinds of badass for finally getting back out there. I was already into this guy—his pictures were cute and the texting was good. He was a high school music teacher and I’d had painted him in my mind as an altruistic man of musical theory. I showed up and found myself face-to-face with a version of the man who was ten years older and twenty pounds heavier than his pictures. It wouldn’t have been so terrible if he also didn’t talk only about himself for an hour and end the night by saying ‘he hadn’t felt this connected with anyone in years.’ I legit said nothing the whole time we were together. Lesson learned: manage your expectations—especially on Tinder.” –Lucy, 29, Brooklyn
“I went on a first date with a guy I knew from high school. He was the quiet, brooding, artistic type back then, and I was hoping he still was. When we first met up, everything seemed fine—he was outfitted as a hipster and even had a good job. We spent the first hour date catching up, and then all of a sudden he got really serious and started taking me through his murky family health history: diabetes, cancer alcoholism, and mental illnesses of all kinds. When I asked him why he was telling me all this, he said, ‘Well, if we have kids someday, it’s best you know all of this now.’ KIDS? I hadn’t even finished my second drink.” –Anastasia, 27, Brooklyn
“On my first-ever Tinder date, the man’s photos didn’t really give an idea of what he looked like and when he showed up, he was very funny and nice, but I knew I was never going to be attracted to him. He spent all night chain-smoking, getting me very drunk, and then lunged in for a kiss before hopping on a bus home. He texted right away to make plans for a second date. I woke up the next morning super hungover and had to tell him I wasn’t interested. The next weekend, he sent me a load of drunk texts asking why I didn’t like him and why I led him on. Awkward.” –Kate, 28, London
Worth the Wait?
“I was 45 minutes late to a first date because a kid literally got murdered for his bike along the bus route I was on. When I finally arrived, I apologized and hoped to have a bit of fun since the journey had been so long and awful. Instead, I spent the night listening to my date talk about this cool project he did for three weeks at work—so cool I can’t even remember it now—and being asked whether I liked Disney and video games. No, I didn’t—and don’t.” –Meriam, 30, London
Before Google Maps
“I’d just moved to London and was on a first date with a friend of a friend. The whole thing felt like I was being interviewed for marriage, so I ended up getting horribly drunk to get through it, and then left the pub not knowing how to get home! This was before the age of Google Maps, so I had to call my one friend in London, who talked me through which buses to take and lanes to walk on. Red wine and true friendship to the rescue.” –Sarah, 27, London
So, You’re Not Crazy
“I was on a first date with a guy from OKCupid. His pictures showed that he was cute and well traveled. We met for a drink in my neighborhood, and about ten minutes into the conversation, he interrupted me to say, ‘thank GOD, you seem so normal, so sane.’ When I asked him what he meant, he proceeded to tell me TWO HOURS worth of stories about the ‘crazy’ women he’d met online and how he felt like dating had sucked away his soul. By the time we finished our second round, I felt like I’d become his therapist. I’d never pulled the ‘call me with an emergency’ card until that night, but desperate times call for desperate measures.” –Annabelle, 30, Brooklyn
Football and Farts
“My funniest first date story was actually my first date ever. It was in high school, and we planned to go to the football game on Friday night. I was irrationally scared that something terrible was going to happen, like my farting and not being able to cover up the smell. As such, I made my best friends promise to come and sit close and take credit for any wayward flatulence. About halfway through the game, someone DID fart near us, and my best friend—how I love her!—loudly proclaimed “Excuse me, I passed gas.” The fart had not originated from me, and once that boy and I became official, we all laughed about it for years.” –Brittany, 28, San Francisco