My first (and last) foray into online dating didn’t go very well. Actually, it was an unmitigated disaster. It was early 2012 when I met my first match from a well-known dating site. We’d chatted briefly online and agreed to meet in the Valley for drink to get to know each other better.
That first date went really well. It lasted from 4-11pm and we had drinks, then dinner and saw a movie. It was great. We laughed, had things in common and it was clear he didn’t want the date to end. He was also kind of cute (which always helps).
But the second date didn’t go quite as well. In fact, it was so bad it took me a few days to write down the story (which I later featured in my book The Men I’ve Almost Dated). The truth was, I had to process an interaction with a man who turned out to be a truly awful person before I could write about it. After that experience, I wasn’t sure if I ever want to date again.
Anyway, here’s the story…
On a Saturday night, I dressed up and headed out for a second date with DH. I’ll let you work out what those initials could stand for (hint, the first word is a name for the male genitalia) .
Anyway, the first date went really well. It lasted from 4-11pm and we had drinks, then dinner and saw a movie. It was great. We laughed, had things in common and it was clear he didn’t want the date to end. He was also kind of cute (which always helps).
So when he asked me out for dinner on Saturday night I said yes. I was looking forward to it.
We met a local bar and it probably wasn’t a good sign that he confessed to flinging his chewing gum into the street just as I exited the cab. When he’d removed his shoes and socks in the movie I’d thought it was quirky. But throwing his gum onto the footpath for someone to wear as an unwanted shoe ornament just seemed disrespectful.
We settled into a table for two, he ordered me a glass of wine and we chatted about this and that.
He mentioned he’d seen Underworld: Awakening earlier that day and how much he loved the 3-D effects. Then he said he was hanging out for 3-D porn.
I convinced myself that he was joking and changed the subject. After all, we’ve all said stupid things at the wrong moment and maybe he was just nervous.
The conversation seemed to get back on track and I started telling him about my blog.
When he asked, ‘What’s the point of blogging?’ I thought I detected a hint of disparagement but thought ‘No, that would be crazy. After all, why would someone who has never read my work and barely knows me ever disparage my blog?’ So, I told him it was about the discipline of writing and we talked about the book I’m writing.
Then things definitely went downhill.
I told him I was writing about my own life and hoped that people could relate to the things that happened to me. ‘Nobody wants to see a movie or read about someone who is like them,’ DH said. ‘They want to escape.’
I asked a few more questions just to clarify his meaning. Surely I was misinterpreting him? Sadly, it was very clear. He didn’t think anyone would want to read my writing because it would be too much like their own lives. Just to be clear, this man had never read or asked to see any of my work.
We left the bar and walked along the street to the restaurant. Then it got worse. I wasn’t feeling too great by this stage and he said, ‘You look confused?’
‘I’m perplexed,’ I said. ‘You seem to have a good heart but you’re saying things that are likely to offend me.
‘You’re too sensitive,’ he said. ‘Besides if I don’t say what I think there would be nothing to say.’ Then he tried to make a joke of it.
We didn’t talk a lot during dinner and he continued to act like everything was great. But I wasn’t feeling great. During the strained chitchat, DH said he often offends people and asked me why I thought that was. ‘Maybe you need to consider the feelings of the person you’re talking to,’ I quietly suggested.
Throughout the date I continued to be polite to this man because I’ve been raised to have good manners. Everything I said was politely worded and smilingly delivered because I kept thinking that maybe I was misinterpreting something.
DH had told me on our first date that he always tells his students (he’s a primary school teacher) they can do anything and encourages them to follow their dreams. When I compared this to his comments to me he said, ‘I just wouldn’t want someone to waste their time.’
Yes. That is exactly what he said.
And still I sat there sucking down my sangria like there was no tomorrow and thinking I need to get drunk really quickly or else I’m going to throw this cocktail into his face.
When the waitress returned I declined her offer of dessert because I was really hoping to end the ‘date’ as soon as possible. I put ‘date’ in inverted commas because dates are supposed to be pleasurable and this was definitely not.
But DH went ahead and ordered dessert for us to share!
Then he made some crack that no one wants to see another Sex and the City and laughed when he saw my face. ‘Ha ha, that’s what you’re aiming for isn’t it?’ he said. Then he laughed some more.
That’s not what I’m aiming for and the look on my face was pure shock at his atrocious behaviour. What a jerk. What a complete and utter jerk.
Often when I’m confronted with an insensitive and rude person I continue to smile, be polite and pretend that everything is fine.
But this time I chose a different route. This time I left. I excused myself and went to the bathroom. While there I accosted some poor woman and asked her if she had change for a $50 note. You see, I wanted to go back into the restaurant, fling my half of the money on the table and leave. But the woman (who probably thought I was a little nuts) said, ‘Um, no,’ then fled out the door. I followed close behind but stopped short of making my way back up the hallway to the restaurant.
The woman had gone in the opposite direction and exited through the glass doors into the car park. I watched her leave, then looked back towards the restaurant. Then I looked back at the glass doors. Then back to the restaurant entrance again.
Suddenly I was half-running down the hallway, shoving open those glass doors and emerging into the dark car park beyond.
Yes, I was legging it!
I remember ducking and weaving behind the parked cars because I didn’t want DH to spot me leaving (there was a concrete wall between us but my adrenaline was running and I felt a little crazy). I’d never done anything like that before. My parents had brought me up with good manners for heaven’s sake! Yet there I was fleeing like a fugitive before somehow flagging down a passing cab and throwing myself into the backseat.
When I started laughing (probably a little hysterically) the cab driver asked if I’d had a good date. That made me laugh even more. When he heard the story, the driver started laughing too.
Although I did laugh about it, I think I was also really shocked. The whole thing was unbelievable. I mean, who acts like that?
After about 10 minutes in the cab I sent DH a text saying, ‘Thanks for the not so lovely evening. If you’d like to send me your account details I will transfer you the funds for dinner.’
But I didn’t hear from him and blocked all communication with him on the xxx dating site.
I guess he probably felt humiliated sitting there in the restaurant on his own with his dessert for two. But I can’t really find it in my heart to feel sorry for him. Beside it could have been worse – I could have stained his shirt with my sangria.
Would you like to read more disastrous dating and men-related stories like this one? Check out my new book The Men I’ve Almost Dated. It’s available in eBook and paperback today.