Date Night Is Hate Night

A collection of stories about bad dates.

Going on date tonight? Why not read these stories about terrible dates and explode with nervous energy to save yourself the inevitable horror, dismay and depression?

Illustrations by Sam Taylor. Follow him on Twitter @sptsam or visit his website at samtaylorillustrator.com.


When a girlfriend and I were 16, we bunked off college one afternoon to watch The League of Gentlemen movie. We chose that because we knew the cinema would be totally empty because the film sucked so hard and nobody in their right mind wanted to see it. Going to the cinema with a girl as a teenager is always primarily to get to second base and not to watch a film, so within a few minutes of it starting, we were getting pretty hot and heavy.

So she's straddling me and suddenly her eyes open wide and she jumps off, and I hear this voice over my shoulder. I freak out and zip up. "We can all see what you're up to and you both need to leave," the voice says. We stand up and start walking out and he says, "By the way, there's CCTV in the lobby that is trained on this screen." Because it was the middle of the day, we walk out shame-faced, and sure enough, there in the lobby, is a screen showing the inside of the cinema clear as day, and maybe 40 or so kids with their parents just giving us total daggers.

My girlfriend was pretty upset about it. We bought a bottle of vodka and spent the rest of the day drowning our sorrows.

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Some big boy from Wigan Rugby Club asked me out one night and I agreed, not because I particularly wanted to spend time with someone who plays rugby, but because my best friend was relying on me to go on a double date with her and this hottie she found a couple of days before.

Within a minute of meeting the guy at a pub, I'd spilt a bottle of blue Reef on my white jeans. I looked like a maxi-pad ad from the 90s. To cover my embarrassment, I drank a shit-ton of booze, and was already bladdered by the time we left to meet my friend and her date at Wigan's premier nightspot: a multi-storey Walkabout. She was having a nightmare, because all three of her ex boyfriends were in the club with their new ladies and they all seemed to have a problem with us.

I was in the bathroom washing my hands, when three girls who'd been side-eyeing me all night attacked me because my date had once had the misfortune of being the fattest, scariest one's ex-boyfriend. They slammed my face into the dryer and then pushed me into the stalls but I managed to slip past and run with jelly legs back to my friend downstairs on the dancefloor, where she was embarassing herself with her date, draped over him and declaring her undying love, despite all the other shit that's going on. Just as I reach her to drag her home, three pints are dropped on our heads by the cackling witches up on the balcony two floors up. We ran home together, crying. Wigan sucks.

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A guy I met on a dating site told me he was a singer and a collector of vintage cars. Although you don't always get what you think you're going to get on dating sites, there was enough going on with him that it piqued my interest, and when he showed up in a beautiful cream-coloured 50s BMW I was pretty much sold.

Before he even had the keys out of the ignition he gave me these puppy-dog eyes and admitted to renting the car to impress me. Obviously, alarm bells started ringing. He was wearing a ton of jewellery, loads of chains, rings, all in gold, so I told him he looked like Mr T, which he took reeeeally badly and didn't talk to me in the car AT ALL.

After this awkward car silence, we arrived at a bar and I ordered a cocktail. He went for a soft drink, so I changed my order and go for one too. "Don't do that, I want to watch you drink," he says. Which is obviously the creepiest thing you can really say to someone on a first date, or just at all, but even creepier when paired with a skull-crushing Indian head massage. As he delivered this, he was telling me how he became a cruise ship singer to escape from an ex-girlfriend. It was around then that he told me he loved me, which was my cue to leave. I tried to be polite and kiss his cheek as I left but he stuck his tongue down my throat. Which I actually found kind of redeeming, for some reason.

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So I'm out at the embarassing hell-hole that is 333 Mother Bar in Shoreditch, chatting to some indie-rock heart-throb when my just-about-ex-boyfriend shows up. Over the course of the next couple of hours, everybody in Mother Bar finds out all about the horrendous break-up we're still kinda going through because we spend those couple of hours screaming insults at each other.

After I can't drink or cry any more, I take myself home in a taxi to sleep it off.

Still feeling like shit when I wake up, I discover a phone number in my pocket and give myself a retrospective high five for having the presence of mind to pick up that stud's number before my ex showed up and ruined everything. So we text a bit until the next Friday when I invite him to a party. "I'll pick you up," he responds and here's me getting giddy at the thought of an American high-school movie style date. So I'm all ready and waiting for him when a taxi pulls up outside and I realise that I never got that hunk from 333's number at all. When I couldn't hide behind the sofa any longer, I went out to explain my mistake. "I thought you were keen," he said, before offering me a lift to the party anyway. What a nice guy!

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I once met this rockabilly guy called Eddie and I thought he was the coolest stray cat evuh because he ignored me and told me he was depressed which even I know is pretty damn deep. His friends were in a psychobilly band, and he wasn’t because he had no talent, but he would always hang around with them anyway. He was incredibly good looking, though, so I pursued him.

I was working in a bar at the time (obviously I was, where else do rockabillies work?), so he said he’d drop by and see me at work on a quiet night. He did and I gave him free drinks. He must have drunk a full bottle of Jack Daniels and he kept getting more and more weird and emotional, telling me about how he never got on with his dad and that he thought about suicide sometimes.

As the night drew on, his relentless sulk was really pissing me off. Eventually it got to a stage where he couldn’t speak and was knocking drinks over. Then, suddenly, he disappeared. I was so glad! I locked up and went home. The next day the owner of the bar called and said he’d found some dude slumped in the toilets in a pile of sick. And he’d pissed himself. He did call after that, but I didn’t pick up. Ever.

Illustrations by Sam Taylor. Follow him on Twitter @sptsam or visit his website at samtaylorillustrator.com.

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