Scrolling through Facebook the other day, I got a birthday notification for a "friend" and felt a twinge of guilt.
He's not so much my friend as he is a dude from Tinder I went out with a couple times. The second time, I pulled a serious dick move to ditch him. I'd invited him over to go to a warehouse party with me, but while we were pre-drinking at my place, I got a text from my friend saying she was already at the party—and she was with a dude I liked a lot more than Tinder boy. I started low-key telling my date I didn't think he would like the party; I said there was going to be a bunch of burners there in costume, and that it didn't really seem like his scene. I also began complaining about how expensive it was to get in, all the while maintaining that I was obliged to go because of my friends.
None of it worked—he was still keen on hanging out. So, knowing he'd done a lot of drugs in the past and was now completely straight edge, I told him how badly I wanted to get high that night. I actually don't even do MDMA that often (anymore), but I said my plan was to get fucked out of my mind. He was definitely not into that but still seemed to be considering going with me.
Finally, I more or less kicked him out of my house.
It was not my finest moment, but it seems I'm not alone. Some people will do anything to avoid confrontation—take for example, this woman who pretended to be ill while on a hiking date and ended up being helicoptered off a mountain because she didn't know how to just tell her date she was having a bad time.
We reached out to a bunch of people for their most shameful get-out-of-a-shitty-date stories. Here's what they said:
Changing the clocks
This was in college. Because I am old, that means it was before everyone had a smart phone, or at least a cellphone, and we still relied upon actual alarm clocks.
Anyway, this girl and I had been flirting for a few nights prior, so by the evening we finally hooked up, the action had become pretty hotly anticipated. We get back to my dorm around midnight and dive into bed and… it's just terrible. We were the perfect amount of sloppy, but she was… it was like hooking up with a bag of milk.
So I slow things down and tell her I'm just tired and pretend to sort of pass out. She isn't happy, but says fine and tells me she has an early class, so I need to set the alarm for 7 AM.
Sure thing, I tell her. And I did set the alarm for 7 AM. But as soon as she fell asleep, I leaned over and set the clock forward six hours. She woke up and went off to class… at 1 in the morning. Of course, once she had left, I went back out to the bar. —Seth, 33
Bullshit TV emergency
I was 25, and I just started dating after leaving the Roman Catholic seminary. This was my first blind date ever. I was nervous because the person who set us up wasn't really a friend, just someone who I knew, but she assured me that her friend was cool.
She didn't tell me that her friend was 20 years older than I was.
I had a bad feeling the second we met up for a coffee. She started talking about her kids and her ex-husband, and I thought, I want to be anywhere else right now. So I pretended to get a call from my roommate.
"Hey man, oh dammit, I totally forgot! I'll head home right away and record it."
I told the date that I had to go home and record the finale of The OC.
Pretty sure I heard her say, "Yeah, right," as I ran down the street.
Not my proudest moment at all, but I never went on a blind date again. And I didn't miss the finale. —Travis, 35
I was hammered as I had been effectively stood up by a different Tinder date, went to a comedy show, and was about six wines deep when my roommate picked up my phone and messaged this guy to meet for a drink. We met up at 11 PM on a Thursday night at this little bar; the only people there were me, him, my friend, and my two flatmates.
He lambasted me for being drunk, which I did not appreciate. He told me this was the most awkward Tinder date he had been on and asked why I needed to bring my flatmates along.
So, I then just started telling him random animal facts because I had nothing else to say—such as when bats exit a cave, they always turn left, and how polar bears are all left-handed, and how a blue whale's tongue weighs as much as an elephant, and how a human can swim up the arteries of a blue whale (it was here that I acted out swimming motions). When I ran out of animal facts, I ran out of the bar.
All up, we were probably there for about 30 mins. Most awkward 30 minutes of my life. And he wanted a second date. He said the "swimming actions miming swimming down an artery really got me. Fantastic." —Jenna, 27
I was on the Plenty of Fish app while dating and living in Vancouver. It was honestly one of my most successful years of dating as it seems Canadian boys found Midwest American girls "unique."
There was one particular guy, a 36-year-old who seemed cute and nice, but I was sort of alarmed by all his black-and-white "posed" selfies. I figured my safe bet of a date was a walk on the seawall with my four-year-old bulldog Lola.
Walking up to him, it seemed I was about to go on a walk with Elton John. A much older man, at least 50, stood there with giant women's floral sunglasses—like there were literally fake flowers attached to the glasses. He also handed over a box of chocolates for me and dog treats for Lola.
I remember being so worried that one of my coworkers from Lululemon would see me walking with this dude. I was pissed that I showered and did my hair. After 15 minutes on the seawall, I told him I needed to get Lola out of the heat and head home. It was 15 degrees out. Lola was fine. Easily my quickest/most random date in Canada. —Laurie, 36
I met her through friends, went out. Brief DFMO [dancefloor makeout]. She asked me out after, and I agreed because I panicked, then realized I super didn't want in. She was a couple of years younger, but had the look and demeanor of a sexually aggressive aunt.
I felt like a dick bailing, so I actually polled female friends to determine which restaurant was the worst possible, then texted to change the venue to Wings.
A couple of hours later, she called to say she was too busy. And I was like: "Oh nooo."
It's a technique I feel more people should use. —Jacob, 37
Fake hailed a cab
It was my first and only internet date. His online photo was only shoulders up—and he looked slim. When he stood up from the bar stool, it was pretty shocking—his hips were so big. Womanly big.
When Mr. Pear went to the bathroom, some other guys at the bar noticed I was on a bad date. They suggested I ditch him and hang with them instead. So I pretended to hail a cab to go home, and then went back into the bar and drank with other guys. I made out with one of them. —Anne, 33
Names have been changed to protect privacy.
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