A Treasury of the World's Worst Online Dating Stories

Since we gathered a truly huge pile of data from our online dating survey, we’ve published advice about how to improve online dating for everyone, for folks who date men and folks who date women. Now, in our final installment of this very special dating survey roundup, we bring you: The Most Horrific Things Encountered While Online Dating. A word of warning here? Most of these are really funny. And then, in a small section towards the end, some of them are absolutely not funny. We’re including some extremely frank stuff, including about sexual assault. If you’re not up for reading about that today, you should take a pass. But we think we’d be remiss not to include the dark and very real amongst the wacky and bizarre.

The Strange

• After we had sex, she told a story about her marine biology internship and about a pack of manatees they once found in the water off Key West. She really loved manatees, and eventually she jumped from her boat into the water and landed on a manatee. But the manatee was actually dead, and the body ended up falling apart and she was covered in dead manatee slime and someone had to fish her out and clean her up. After some words of consolation from me about how fucked up that experience must have been, she told me she made it up, and every other story she had told me that night, because she likes making up stories. It was an amazing WTF moment and I never talked to her again.

• I got walked out on on a date that seemed like it was going fairly well because I said I didn’t like french fries. I am still baffled by it.

• The date where the self-identified “artist” revealed her day job was working as a prison guard, and she spent much of our afternoon on a mumbled, paranoid rant about an anonymous “them” who were on the verge of their incipient take over of everything we hold dear. She wore mirrored wrap-around sun glasses. She ordered $75 worth of lunch, which she wouldn’t touch because she was sure it was contaminated.

• My date ‘encouraged’ me to share the $100 steak for two. It was delicious, but he proceeded to pick out every single piece of fat from his mouth and made a pile of it on the side of his plate. I was so grossed out I couldn’t bring myself to ask what the problem was. By the end of dinner it looked like he’d spit out more than he’d ate.

• I went back to the person’s place after a concert and unwittingly served as passive-aggressive muscle for a drug deal. It was perilously close to that scene from Boogie Nights.

• My worst case dating scenario… was actually not all that bad. But when the conversation turned to “future plans” the guy could not tell me much beyond how many dogs he wanted to own at some future time. He wanted to own thirty dogs. He had their names and breeds picked out already. At the time he owned no dogs at all.

• I went out with a guy in his 30s who told me within the first hour of the date that: he didn’t have a bank account, had never filed taxes, worked on a drug farm, and paid with his “green card” aka pot for goods and services in the neighborhood.

• Nowhere on her profile did it say anything about her being an acid casualty and ketamine dealer.

• It’s a tie. The first is when I waited an hour outside at Harvard Square in late January because my date was in the North End buying pot (not for me.) The second was with a grad student in English who dismissed my skepticism towards Freudianism with, “I guess I’m just not as much of social determinist as you are.” The moral of these stories: don’t date Harvard men.

• Made the wrong comment about conceptual artist Matthew Barney to the wrong art student… got called a “bourgeois pig.”

• He spent one-third of the time telling me about the musical he was writing about raccoons, one-third of the time talking about C++, and one-third of the time demonstrating the plot of Othello using the salt and pepper shakers.

• The seemingly bohemian alt industrial-music dj was still enough of a “nice jewish girl” that she insisted our first meeting be a dinner with her mother at an Italian chain restaurant in the Valley.

• I am pretty good at not going out on dates unless I am fairly certain that I have picked someone I am at least a little compatible with, but at one point, I ended up going out with a girl to a cafe, where she had secretly invited her friends, who, it turns out, were mostly just AA buddies, and the next thing I knew, I was at an AA meeting. I don’t really drink much, and I don’t really have a problem with it, and I didn’t really know the girl very well, and I didn’t want to be there. While I am sure it was great for her, it was just not where I expected to be on a first date.

• I can’t even begin to rehash the details, but the guy drove a Cougar as if it were a Ferrari, had a facial twitch that I’m pretty sure can be seen from space, had favorite hobbies along the lines of watching History channel documentaries, and disapproved of my eating of croutons in my salad. Because of carbs.

• I went on a date with an otherwise cute girl who wore a “Trogdor the Burninator” shirt and said at least one 4chan meme to me, unprompted, out loud.

• I once went out with someone who, within an hour of meeting me, told me that his ultimate fantasy was to date a replicant.

• Went on two dates. Girl followed me on twitter. Girl randomly started replying and cursing at my tweets.

• This guy commutes to the city from Connecticut, which I never really get (why not just live in New York?). I suggested that he must really treasure his vegetable garden or something in order to put up with 2.5 hours/day on Metro- North. He told me that when he bought his house, he hired a landscaper to tear everything out and replace it with gravel. “Like a prison yard?” I asked. He called me a hippie for growing my own vegetables.

• My dates “catch phrase” was a quote from Seinfeld. I love TV, so I thought that was a good sign. When we meet, I start to talk about Seinfeld and he tells me he doesn’t watch tv and doesn’t even own one.

• A young woman and I got along pretty well in the bar where we’d agreed to meet, but things went downhill when we decided to get dinner at a nearby restaurant. Our server brought us a bread basket that my date grabbed three of four rolls from and then started playing weird games with. Like, she would scoop dough out of a roll, pound it into a little ball, and then put it back in the basket! She would then fill the little remaining crust-boat with olive oil, take a bite from it, and refill it. Eating is cool. Playdough, less so. Did you ever see that movie ‘Conspirators of Pleasure,’ with the woman who fetishizes bread and snorts dough balls? It reminded me of that, which might say more about me as lousy digital dater than her.

• We agreed to meet at a bar even though he didn’t drink (when I asked if he went to meetings instead, he was silent). On the phone it had come up that he was a Redsox fan – I am a diehard Yankees fan. But I thought a little rivalry could be fun – I have a lot of Yankee fan friends who have married Redsox fans and they both have a sense of humor about it! When I met him at the bar he proceeded to tell me that 1) If we became a couple I would only be allowed to wear my Yankees hats/shirts when I was home visiting my family; never around him; 2)I should not expect him to talk to me while he was watching Redsox games on TV; and 3) we could not get married in October because he needed to keep the post-season available for any potential Redsox trips to the World Series.

• My online date was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. She never mentioned that prior to our meeting. True, I swear. My first words on our date were: ‘Pardon me, but are you pregnant?’ A gay friend of hers, it turns out, had inseminated her with a turkey baster, or so she said. When I asked what she was doing on a blind date when she was going to give birth in two weeks she said: ‘The baby has me; I want someone.’

• A poet offered to pick me up for dinner and a movie. I accepted, and that’s where everything went wrong. For dinner, we went to Ikea for a $5 platter of Swedish meatballs. NO I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS. And the movie? The movie was one of those free movies-in-the-park, and it just so happened to be Spongebob Squarepants and the park was full of children. I hate Spongebob Squarepants. On top of that, he only packed a very small blanket and asked why I hadn’t brought a blanket for myself (um, because I thought we were going to a theater?).

• A guy said how great it was that I was a “mommy,” and when I explained that I was more a mom than a mommy, and a bit about my parenting philosophy about trying to make my then-young son more independent, he corrected me. “You’ll always be a mommy,” he told me. “That’s the gift you got when you had your son.” Not only was he totally infantilizing me with his gross Ronny Reagan virgin-mother bullshit, and presuming to explain for me my place in the world (without having met me) but he wasn’t fucking listening. I explained, nicely, why it bugged me, and he said he was glad he found out early how ugly I was on the inside.

• I met a guy for coffee. As we were sitting outside of the coffee shop enjoying some nice conversation he told me how he was working on writing some music. He then proceeded to sing, very loudly, his current endeavor in song writing. It was about killing unicorns (and no he was not being ironic). I kept making, “oh that’s nice,” “okay,” sort of comments and he just kept singing louder and louder.

The Super-Speed Dater

• We were supposed to meet at a coffee shop at 3pm. He was ten minutes late, which in and of itself wouldn’t have been a problem. In line, we ran into an old coworker of his, they chatted. We ordered coffee, and decided to drink our coffees while strolling through the farmer’s market next door. We walked the length of the farmer’s market, and when we reached the end, he asked if I wanted to talk more. I said yes. He said “great, well, nice to meet you. Bye!” And then he walked away. I looked at my watch–3:30pm. I was completely stunned! When I got home, I had an e-mail from him saying that we didn’t have any “chemistry.” Chemistry, really? After twenty minutes? Asshole.

Captain Pretentious

• Dude talked for several hours nonstop about his multi-discipline art project, which was based solely on an experience his father had 40 years ago. It was the only thing he talked about, no exaggeration, for 70% of the date. He asked me what I do creatively and I told him (succinctly) that I obsessively document everything. He snorted dismissively and said “Don’t you think that’s a little self- absorbed?” And then he pulled the classic hipster “I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it, but I’m really into ____” except IT WAS ALL THE MOST COMMON, MAINSTREAM STUFF EVER. Really? You don’t know if I’ve heard of Miles Davis? You think there’s a chance I’ve never heard of Wes Anderson? Oh, cool, I’m totally humbled to meet the person who introduced quiche to this previously bereft-of-quiche metropolitan area of 7 million people.

• I went out with a graduate of an elite Boston high school (Boston Latin), an Ivy League University (Harvard), and then taught in an inner-city public school. He’d just stopped teaching so he could be a PhD student (Philosophy) at another Ivy League University (Penn). After an absolutely miserable conversation where he humblebragged about his university (he mocked shame when he told me he’d gone to Harvard), he then started to tell me about volunteering for Arthur Ashe and how inspiring that was. When I said that the undergrads he’d be dealing with at Penn would be horrible — I’m friends with plenty of grad students with horror stories about the privilege and entitlement of the students there — he looked at me, disgusted, and said “I used to teach in the ghetto. Anyone can be taught.”

• I went on a decent enough date with a guy in a loud bar–enough to agree to a second date. 2nd Date rolls around and i was late at work making a powerpoint, I had attended a friends’ funeral that week, and was just a bit subdued. We go on the date in a quiet Indian restaurant, where I realize this guy is the LOUDEST TALKER EVER. He was facing the window, I was facing the restaurant, so he could not see the number of people turning in their chairs and craning necks to see who the hell was SO INCREDIBLY LOUD. Over and over, he noted at top decibels that we MET ON MATCH.COM. At one point he learned that I worked at a homeless shelter, and treated me to a 10 minute LECTURE on how homeless people chose their station and how i “shouldn’t be so naive.” At one point I actually went to the bathroom and stood quietly with my forehead pressed against the back of the door. Finally, I tell him that I have had a really rough week, a friend had passed away and work was really stressful, and apologize for being subdued. He says “Well thank God…I thought it was me!” Awesome. A girl at another table facing me, clearly on a date herself, was shooting me Class 5 sympathy looks. He didn’t have a dead squirrel in his messenger bag or anything, but it was a rough evening.

• I went out on a first date with a guy named Alex. I knew within a minute of meeting him that I wasn’t interested: he was a total mansplainer, and there wasn’t any physical attraction there. Also, the things he liked, like computer science and entrepreneurship, were not things I liked. But we had a plan to go check out some unusual international grocery stores in his neighborhood south of Prospect Park, so we did–and at every single one, he made a huge fuss over pointing things out to me and telling me what they were. Like, “That’s a baby eggplant” or “That’s farmer’s cheese.” The thing is, I know quite a bit about food myself–I’m a food writer, actually–and I found his tendency to assume that he knew more about everything than I did incredibly repulsive. After this horrible supermarket tour (which also made me feel bad for acting like a cultural tourist–I mean, these were supermarkets, but we were kind of treating them like museums, which isn’t cool), the plan was to go to Prospect Park and drink a couple of beers. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the park, it was about to start raining, so we were pretty much stuck underneath this little shelter in the park waiting for the storm to blow over. It was here that I realized three crucial things: (1) He bore an uncanny physical resemblance to right-wing activist James O’Keefe, (2) He was a neocon who thought America had a responsibility to bring freedom to less developed countries, and (3) HE THOUGHT IT WAS GOING REALLY WELL. Eventually, despite all my body language saying, “Hey guy, I’m not really into this,” he kissed me, and since I felt literally trapped by the thunderstorm, I didn’t stop him. And then I was mad both at him for not being more perceptive about the fact that I wasn’t into him and at myself for not pushing him away and being more assertive about my boundaries. It was a bad situation. Luckily, the rain let up eventually, and he showed me how to get to the subway, and I escaped, my heart pounding. The next day he sent me two texts and one online message, in which he said, “When I got back home, I thought that I won’t have to come back to this website after having met you.” I wrote back and told him it was nice to meet him, but I wasn’t interested in a second date. This was long–sorry about that, but it feels good to get it off my chest–but the upshot is: He was arrogant, wildly imperceptive, and politically reactionary–all horrible turnoffs–and I wasn’t as assertive as I should have been about the fact that I just wasn’t into him. And the moral is: don’t go into parks with dudes you don’t like when it’s about to start raining.

The Dates That Didn’t Even Happen

• I had a woman cancel on me by claiming a wild dog killed her pet cat the night before we were supposed to meet. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but the message came to me by text, less than an hour before the date. It was was also her last communication before she admitted that she was still in the middle of something with a boy and would I kindly not contact her again. This followed weeks of correspondence/mixtape e-mailing/etc.

• No actual dating resulted from this, but one opening message sent to me was just “Asian?” because yes, that is my race in my profile. I didn’t respond, so 1-2 weeks later he recontacted me with “Are you full Asian?” like the only thing preventing our connection was my lack of understanding his first question.

• One woman thought it would be funny, before our first meeting, to call me a 7:00 am and pretend to be an Asian massage parlor shaking me down for money.

• A guy on OkCupid once contacted me nicely, you know: “Hey, I think you’re cute, message me if you want to talk!” I always check out people’s profiles before I message back, because I don’t want to get their hopes up by messaging and then have to crush them when I discover that they are soccer fanatics or whatever. So I check this guy and he seems really nice, but he has a kid, which is on my list of deal-breakers. Normally at this point I’d just delete the message and move on, but it had been a while since anyone had messaged me and I felt like being the better woman by letting him down gently, so I sent him a short, simple message back: “Hey, I think you look like a really awesome person, but I’m not really interested in dating someone who has children. Sorry, and good luck!” I wasn’t expecting anything back (except maybe a similar reply in kind– “okay, have a great day!”). What I got instead was an angry tirade about how I was prejudiced and should give him a chance anyway because he wasn’t looking for a replacement mom and seriously, I was super terrible. I’m not quite sure if he expected me to realize the error of my ways and come swooning back to him?

• He talked about burning man for an hour, then got into the ‘truth’ about 9/11. When we left the bar, he said he would ‘treat us to donuts,’ but he only bought one (which he picked) and gave me a chunk. After he took a bite. I’m sure he’s a nice guy.

• When I had just started online dating and was super green, this guy e- mailed me. He was tall, cute, and an artist. So he sends me this super thoughtful, complimentary, clearly researched e-mail that went into depth about several of our shared interests, asked questions, etc. Because I was an idiot and didn’t know any better, I got super excited and wrote right back, and we started e-mailing five or six times a day. Like, chatting at work, “what are you making for dinner tonight – I’m making Pad Thai!” talking about our childhoods, saying “Good night, talk to you tomorrow!” kind of thing. He sent me pictures of his artwork! (which was actually pretty good, which is so annoying). I still have them. After two weeks of this, this guy is basically my boyfriend in my mind. At the time, it didn’t seem strange that we hadn’t hung out yet, since we were too busy pouring our hearts and souls into Gmail. Finally one day I was like “Hey, let’s talk on the phone” and he was like “oh um ok” and gave me his number and then we had a weird awkward conversation at the end of which I was like “So do you want to get dinner later this week, it’s time to hang out!’ and he was like “Yeah definitely, why don’t you e-mail with me with a time and place” and I sent him this sad sad sad stupid e-mail that was like “I want to take you to my favorite diner! Let’s meet Thursday at 6!” and I never heard from him ever again. Looking back now it’s just a basic BS thing, but at that time my mind was completely blown. I mean, I sent myself an e-mail to make sure my e-mail was still working. I think I even e-mailed him again to ask if he got my e-mail. Then the same thing happened with two more guys, then I made a rule that you set up a meeting after the first e-mail exchange, then I met a guy and we dated for four years, then we got married last July. BOOM! The end.

How I Became a (Dead) Fictional Character

Oh, god. OK, first of all, his name was Dave [REDACTED]. He maintained a Geocities website for his writing, and as soon as he got my email, he added me to his mailing list. (This matters later.) We email a bit (after meeting briefly in person, although 95% of our contact was online so I categorize this as “online”)and decide to meet for lunch. He’s apparently running all his errands on this trip into the city and has an armful of library books, which I like. We order at the counter and go to sit down. He has to use the restroom and takes all his books and other possessions in with him, as if leaving them with me would be unsafe. More terrible things happen (I can elaborate if need be) and I finally decide I need to make my excuses and bolt. He sends me an email asking what constructive criticism I might give for previous dates and I explain there just wasn’t a real connection. The tones of both emails are breezy but friendly and I go on with my life/OKCupid dating. A few days later I receive an email from his listserv and notice that one of his new stories shares a title with a fairly unique phrase I had worn on a button. The story is told in the first person. The narrator is a condescending, poseur asshole often mistaken for a lesbian, and at one point she actually says, “No! I just dress this way to repel men!” The story ends with her being beaten savagely with a cricket bat.

Google It

• He had an unusual first name, and a relatively obscure profession, I found him pretty easily. I googled his name, and found a bunch of amazon wish lists and accounts on sci-fy nerd discussion boards. Hmm, I thought, not really my type, but I guess a love affair with superman isn’t THAT big a deal? So then I saw a link to a Vanity Fair article about the Menendez brothers. That’s weird, I thought, as I clicked. Turns out my potential online date murdered his father when he was a teenager, and as a cover up, had concocting a complicated plot involving foreign assassins. The plot was plausible enough to garner worldwide media attention after his father was killed. Of course, police eventually discovered it was my date who killed his father, he was tried for first degree murder, and defended by the attorney who went on to defend one or both of the Menendez brothers (hence his mention in the article). My date was ultimately convicted of involuntary manslaughter (his mother and sister testified that the father was a violent and sadistic abuser), and served no prison time. Eventually, his life led him to eharmony and to me.

• Pulled strings to get into a sold-out comedy show upon hearing that she was a fan of several of the performers. Opening act was a comic who did her entire routine about how shitty online dating is, and how all the dudes are big, fat losers who are gross. I probably would have laughed about it under normal circumstances, but my date was visibly horrified & embarrassed. That was the beginning of the end. When the act we came to see came on, they were much more … raw(? Blue?) than my date had expected. Turns out she was a fan of them only from tv, a medium in which they had sharply toned down their usual act. By that point, I just got drunk and laughed about it. After the show, we had a chilly “so that was different” conversation. After that, we never spoke or exchanged emails again.

The Massive First Date Overshare

• At one point in my life I had a rare yearning for an old fashioned guy, one who would buy me flowers and call me pretty and look into my eyes. This was after a few too many dates that ended twisting up a lot more then just my sheets. I started corresponding with a guy who worked near by, sent me poems and complimented my on-line pictures with vigor. We decided to meet for a date, and I picked him up on a street corner where he met me with a bouquet of irises. As we drove across the bridge to the city, he stared at me and told me how I was even prettier then my picture. It started to feel a little icky… why do women like this? Anyways, we went out to eat in China Town and he began to unfold the requisite life story. Turns out he had grown up Jewish in a small town in the south, Mississippi, I think. People had been unfathomably cruel to him, they had burned crosses and driven his mother to alcoholism. They had killed every pet he had ever owned. This guy had been tortured psychologically. It was a lot to take in. As we moved to the dessert course, we talked about the next stage of his life when he moved to Chicago for college. But, his family demons followed him there and he spent the last ten years caring for his mentally ill mother while getting a PhD in math. He told me that he thought life was full of evil and hatred, and then he suggested we go get a drink. I’m not sure what I wanted to do at that moment, but I didn’t feel right saying no to this man after he’d been so forthright. We ended up at a bar where he then guided the conversation to the topic of Israel vs. Palestine. In a rare moment of conversational censorship, I told him that I didn’t think we should go there. He ordered a beer and insisted. “c’mon just tell me what you think”. I said that I didn’t know much about the subject, but I felt like each side had some right to their positions. Boom — it was on, for him. He began to yell that I was just completely naive and “What you don’t understand is that the Palestinians are dogs, they’re DOGS’. He began poking me in the chest and yelling, I kept asking him to drop the subject… he got louder. The older Chinese crowd around us didn’t bat an eye at the ferociousness of the argument, but I still felt very freaked out. After trying again and again to change the subject, I finally said I want to go home. We left the restaurant, and I realized that he didn’t have a car… so I had to drive him to his home. A half-hour drive full of blessed icy silence ensued. When we arrived, I had to get out and get his briefcase out of the trunk. He tried to kiss me there in the foggy street. I pushed him away. I drove home feeling like a shitty shitty person.

• A guy had a bedbug bite on his wrist, and he was like “I think this is a bedbug bite??” Although ultimately he could probably have told a worse story about me that night.

• A good friend of mine walked into the bar with his girlfriend, spotted me and came over to say hi. Names were exchanged and, realizing I was on a date, he wrapped things up quickly and went and sat down in another part of the bar. As soon as they were out of earshot, my date says, “God, I can’t believe that people are ok with doing that”. I thought she was saying that she considered my friend coming over and chatting for all of five minutes was rude, so I started to defend his behavior. “No, no, no”, she cut me off, ” I don’t get how anyone could be with someone that’s not the same race as them.” That’s right! My friend’s were an interracial couple and my date was a stone cold racist. It’s also worth noting, this is the one and only time I’ve ever used the, “I have to go to the bathroom” trick to cut and run on someone.

• Dude who had never met a real-life Jewish person before me and thought feminism was bullshit because ‘all the feminist girls in high school hated him because he had sex,’ and then went on to talk – at length – about all the sex he had in high school. He was 29.

• He wore a pink polo shirt (collar popped) and worked in finance. He talked with prime rib in his mouth and told me he could use some “BJ action”. That was that.

• I was recently on a date where during the middle of dinner he pulled out his phone, opened up Grindr, and showed me a photo of a penis another user had sent him.

• Was on a so-so date with a guy at a bar in Hollywood, and we started talking about meditation, which I had mentioned being a fan of in my profile. He said he’d been a practicing Buddhist for a long time, but that now he was onto something new. At that moment he asked if I’d like another glass of wine, and the conversation was getting slightly more interesting, so I said sure. When he got back from the bar, he launched into his new thing, which was… Scientology. (Yes, it’s Hollywood, but I didn’t see it coming.) The switch in my brain flipped from “this is a man I am evaluating for sex purposes” to “I will now use this opportunity to find out everything I can about an insane cult from a man who would like to get in my pants”, so I spent the next thirty minutes or so asking questions about what it entailed, how he got into it, what he believed, etc. Topics discussed: the auditing process, past life regression, being reduced to hysterical sobbing during a session of some kind, Earth as a repository for lost souls, superior alien societies. It was fascinating, I have to say, but it was also profoundly depressing.

• My first online date was with a guy for coffee on a Monday evening at a coffee shop just down the block from my apartment in Philadelphia. The day before there had been a particularly bad Eagles game on and the whole city was pretty much calling for Donovan McNabb’s head, which I still Love McNabb, but whatever. Not even within five minutes of sitting down to drink the coffee, my date went on a 15 minute rant about “that n-word McNabb” and how having a black quarterback is the reason the Eagles can’t win. I was disgusted, obviously, and just completely shocked that this guy would come at me with such racist bullshit within 5 minutes of meeting. I spilled my coffee and said, Oops, guess that means I should go. And left.

• Went out on two fine dates–not magical, but fun. He emails to break up with me because he can tell I’m out of his league. (I’m not, except in terms of mental health, apparently.) He tells me I should enjoy the exquisite chocolates he had ordered for me for Valentine’s Day before he decided to break it off. They arrive, and I do enjoy them! I still have the red velvet box. Anyway, after V-Day he calls and says that he acted too hastily and that he *does* want to go out again, if I’ll give him another chance. I think, what the hell, I have done one or two insecure things in my time, I should give the guy a break. So, we go out again, we’re sitting at a bar, and about 10 minutes into the conversation, he leans in to ask earnestly “Where is this relationship headed?” At that point I had the presence of mind to say, “Nowhere, I’m afraid.”

• I think the worst was this guy who really wanted to go out on a particular night, the night I volunteer at a cat shelter. So I told him I couldn’t, but how about the next day? He agreed, but he was already mad at me so he said he’d meet me for ONE DRINK. So I meet him at a bar, and he proceeds to be very very silent. Well, not completely. First he says, “I thought you’d have a Spanish accent. You’re barely Hispanic.” OK, white guy. Go ahead and tell me what I am. I try to have a conversation with him about the interests he listed in his profile, but it’s like pulling taffy (I imagine. I never pulled taffy). So I try the usual: What do you do? He gets angry and says, “Why do you women always want to know what people do?” OK, I move on. “Where did you grow up?” He responds, “Somewhere near Philly.” And that’s it. I ask him if he has any siblings, and that was the question. “I have one brother, but I don’t talk to him anymore because his daughter is one of those goddamn LESBIANS.” OK! Then my drink is done and he says, “You want another drink?” I said, “You said one drink only! So I’m gonna go!” I can’t believe he wanted to have another drink with me. Maybe this was a good date for him. He actually emailed me and asked for another date, and then emailed me again after I said no, asking me to explain in detail why I didn’t want to go out with him again.

Oof.

• I was in high school, talked to the boy on the phone for hours. He was sweet, intelligent. He never sent me his photo, though, because he didn’t have one. Digital cameras weren’t super developed, then, most photos were scanned, so I accepted the explanation. Anyway, one day, we meet. I pick him up in my car. Lo and behold, he is really, really ugly. Terrible acne, overweight, just… kind of repulsive. We just drove around a park, basically, because I didn’t want to have dinner or spend much more time with this guy. Near the end of our drive, we’re stopped somewhere, there hasn’t been much conversation for a while, just awkward silence, and he asks me, “Do you believe in true love?” For some reason the question just made me feel terrible, like I had lost my religion, and to this day I can’t put my finger on why, but all I could said then was, “I don’t know.”

• Possibly the worst one was the woman who tried to have sex with me in my loft while her son was downstairs (i.e., just over the balcony) watching TV.

• What really set the tone upfront was that in the “where are you from” portion of the evening, I told him where I grew up — in a small town that shares a name with a small liberal arts college (where my mother ran the admissions office). Anyway, it turns out he was rejected from this school and the reason my name sounds familiar must be b/c I was “related to that bitch who ruined [his] fucking life.”

• I was living in a “dry county” in the rural south and had a date with someone I met through an online service in the nearest large town, seventy miles away. Since I was going there anyway, my brother asked me to pick him up some beer. The date consisted of me meeting the woman at her apartment, and finding she was already pretty drunk. We went out to eat at a steakhouse (she insisted I drive her Camaro), where she berated the waiter so badly and for such a trivial reason that I found the manager while she was in the bathroom and apologized. We had time to kill before our movie, so we went to a bookstore. While at the bookstore, I mentioned that at some point I needed to go to a store and buy some beer (see reason above). To which she replied, “I’ll buy you beer if you fuck me.”

• On our first and absolutely only date, dude meets me near my workplace so that we can travel to our dinnerplace (we hadn’t decided that beforehand, for some reason). We agree on a restaurant in another, distant-ish part of the city, and dude decides he wants to walk there instead of taking the subway. Though my boots have annoying heels, I try to be a good sport and agree. He goes out of his way to take the ‘scenic route’ because he wants to see a new part of the city, which would have been fine had I not been wearing boots with annoying heels and not been increasingly willing to eat my own arm due to hunger. Anyway. After some really terrible, one-sided conversation about his business, we near the restaurant, and he announces that he’s actually not all that hungry because he had a late lunch. At this point I’m ready to abandon ship, so I’m actually kind of relieved… but THEN. He insists that instead of dinner, he absolutely HAS to take me to his absolute-favorite-in-the-whole-world gelato shop, which just happens to be a couple of blocks away. Stupidly, I agree, thinking that maybe things would go better on this ‘date’ if we could just sit down somewhere indoors like normal human beings. So we enter this tiny, tiny gelato shop, and I notice that there are only two chairs – stools, really – in the whole place, placed very close together in a tiny corner with a tiny little counter, and I start to get nervous. Dude beelines to the gelato counter, and proceeds to ask to sample every single flavor (not exaggerating), while the poor college student who’s the only person working shoots him death glares. I turn away from dude to look at some display of artisan chocolate or something and surreptitiously gnaw my hand. I turn back around, and BAM – it’s a kiss ambush. Like, his face is all up in mine, and I freeze in shock/panic. He takes that as a positive sign, I guess. I don’t know why I didn’t flee at this point, but I think it had to do with the shock, and the fact that he had already ordered two gelatos (yes, he ordered for me; no, he didn’t ask what I wanted), and at that point I was so hungry that I was ready to tear into some of that artisanal chocolate with my teeth like an animal. Dude ushers me, still stunned, into the tiny little corner onto one of the tiny little stools. He takes the other stool, and then puuuulllllls my stool closer, right between his knees. I am frozen in horror and somehow time has both sped up and slowed down and I don’t even know what. He then mentions that his absolute favorite flavor of gelato from this place is mango, which he’s ordered for himself but not for me. We should share! I’m just staring at him blankly at this point, until I see his spoon (which he’s already used) coming at my face with a load of mango gelato. He feeds me gelato. He actually presses the spoon to my closed lips until I open my mouth. At this point, I busy myself with drinking water to avoid being fed further spoonfuls of gelato and fake an emergency phone call with a nearby friend. I make my excuses, and run out of there to her place, where I manage to obtain real food and booze and laugh and cry and laugh. I have to take some ownership of this bad date – I should have been way less polite and more assertive about my own needs.

• So I set up a profile on the OKCupid (as you do) and arranged a date with a woman who seemed a good match: around my age, occupied with intellectual concerns, pursuing a humanities PhD at a nearby university–all traits that landed her squarely within my highly selective wheelhouse. We made arrangements to meet at a stuffy Cambridge watering hole. I arrived early (which is to say five minutes later than we’d planned) and found myself waiting another fifteen or so for her to arrive. This worked out in my favor, ultimately, since it bought me enough time to down a quick vodka & soda and loosen up a bit before she arrived. When she did finally come I already had a fresh drink (now my second, which looked like my first, because I’m full of tricks) and I was seated at a chaise lounge within sight of the stairs that led to the second story bar. When she came up the stairs I knew immediately it was her (from her pictures, obviously), and she knew immediately that I was me, either because of my pictures or because it might have been mentioned that there could have been a remote chance that I’d be the guy reading a collection of prose by the late-18th century French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé (sorry, world) or perhaps because of the way she recoiled when we first made eye contact, twisting her face into a pained look suggesting disgust mixed with disappointment, as if to see me in person had been to realize she’d been sold a false bill of goods. And she was not happy about it! (I, on the other hand, was mortified.) This fraction of a second set the tone for the rest of the evening (which was to be predictably brief), and we soldiered our way through a single drink together (which as I may have mentioned was actually my second, thank god). She was not only visibly displeased with our little arrangement but went out of her way to make this as evident as possible: she was pissy, sour, and completely uninterested in making the best of this awful situation, something I was trying (and failing oh so miserably) to do. In short, it was the most excruciating half hour of my professional dating life. As soon as we both realized there was most certainly not going to be another round she started angrily protesting the inattentiveness of our (actually perfectly attentive) waitress (I guess because I was so off-putting that the bill had to be paid RIGHT NOW) and she got up and stormed off to the bathroom. I took the opportunity to sneak over to the bar and pay up and ensure we’d both get out of there before she snapped, and when she stormed her way back she shrieked “Ugh when is our waitress going to come ugh!” and I politely informed her that it had been taken care of and we could both be on our way now. So we walked out together. I lit up a much-needed cigarette and was pleased to see her do the same since at least this was one thing she wouldn’t be judging me for. We said our goodbyes and then awkwardly/uncomfortably started walking in the same direction, which prompted her to ask why I was “following” her, which prompted me to curtly reply that I have to take the red line in the same direction you do THANK YOU VERY MUCH, which she followed up with a confused and stumbling recognition of the fact that we were now committed to three more subway stops together (pardon me: “T stops”) and that’s when she demonstrated a sudden change of heart, because she started talking this nonsense and tripping over all her words as she said “Oh so we’re going home together! I mean, er, I don’t mean “home”, “together”, I mean, no, of course not, that would be just awkward! Because my brother is in town and all, but I mean, you’re right on the Red Line too, and your place is right there, and you live alone, and I mean…”–and this is when my heart stopped, because here we were, only moments after the single worst dating disaster I’d ever survived, and this genuinely horrible person who only thirty minutes earlier went out of her way to make it abundantly clear that she thought I was completely horrid got it in her head that hey, you know, she didn’t mind a little slumming, so now we were going to sneak away for some quick casual sex. And I was going to have none of this, clearly, but by now I was totally defenseless since the train doors had already closed behind me and I was trapped in a subway car with a woman who legitimately terrified me and I had no idea how I was going to escape this situation because the logistics just didn’t line up in my favor at all: her stop was before mine, which meant if I didn’t explicitly rule out the possibility of sex before reaching Downtown Crossing I’d have a real problem on my hands by the time we reached Park Place together. Meanwhile, the train pulled into the Kendall Square stop, and in brief flash of genius I hatched an escape plan: I thanked her for a lovely evening but told her I must be getting off now because I’d forgotten something at my Kendall Square office. I fled with just enough time before the doors closed but with plenty of time to turn around and bask in the look of shock on the face of this awful woman who couldn’t believe she’d just been denied a booty call. As I darted up the station stairs towards freedom I smiled fondly at the thought that this look on her face was the last I’d ever see of her. The next morning I received a cold, formal email saying she was very sorry but she didn’t want to see me again. “Sometimes people just don’t click,” she told me.

How You Start Thinking: Maybe It’s Me?

• I once got my fingernail stuck in my date’s blonde curly Sammy Hagar weave trying to brush snow from his hair. I went on a date with a blind guy — he ended up PHONE STALKING me for months, MONTHS. He sang songs on my answering machine, either telling me how he deserved another chance or telling me what a huge bitch I was. I had another guy phone stalk me telling me that “I am going into politics and need a wife and I decided that it should be you!” and didn’t stop calling me until I let another man answer the phone. I met men who told me they were single and then three dates in told me they were married. I met a man who said he was 45 but was probably 70. I met a man who showed up faking an English accent, wearing satanic goat-head jewelry, and wearing a girdle – I only know about the girdle because the cops shook him down. Since I am the common denominator in all these disastrous dates, I think the problem is me. I must have had a terrible screening process.

A Brief Sad Story

• I’ve met one person through online dating (I’ll be meeting my second in a few days- almost exactly one year after meeting the first person- anniversary!). We met at a bar, and she was super attractive (I really wanted to bang her but also wanted to be a gentleman so I deferred to conversation). We talked for 6 hours. It was great. She came over to my place on that weekend where some friends and I were having a fire. She texted me at 2AM from inside my house asking if she could stay over after taking her friend downtown. Sure! She stayed over and we had awesome sex. We continued having awesome sex every day that week. And we actually had a lot more in common then sex. Like birds and stuff. Then she mostly disappeared. She wrote me a big ol email about being busy for a while (she was finishing her thesis) and I was dumb in ignoring the writing on the wall. I ignored the not very obvious ‘we’re not going to have sex anymore’ because she’d left a pair of her thongs in my bathroom. And a pillow. And this book on the history of graphic design that she said was her favorite. So I figured we’d at least meet up again. A few weeks went past, and I emailed her to see if we could meet up to exchange our stuff. She had my binoculars. Then she moved to Iowa with my fucking binoculars. But I still have her pillow and book. But not the panties. They had stains in them. That’s actually not that bad a story, because good sex was involved. But I would totally have negative sex (can you do that? is there a way to cancel out having had sex with someone?) for a week to get my binoculars back. I can’t even tell if that thing in the tree across from my house is an owl or a fucking piece of wood.

Drama

• I went on one of the best dates of my life. Afterwards we went back to his apartment for scrabble, drinking, and… whatever (I don’t kiss and tell). So when I go to leave and his girlfriend (current? ex?) had followed us the entire evening and was waiting downstairs. She accosted me. Something along the lines of, “You can’t call me back because you’ve been fucking this whore,” among other things. It was very dramatic.

• I met a guy online, he came over and we had sex and it was fun so I invited him back — even though I could spot his red flags waving from the very beginning. It developed into a “fuck-buddy” type relationship. But after the second time I noticed cash missing from my wallet after he spent the night, I told him to stop calling me.

• It was a simple dinner date at a pricey restaurant. The atmosphere and food were great! The company not so much. During the course of the evening, I learned that the person in the profile didn’t actually exist IRL. The guy across from me at the table wasn’t actually interested in any of the things he listed in his profile, and he wasn’t interested in any of the things we discussed prior to the date. He just went along with it, hoping that at the end of the date I’d end up in his bed. He was terribly rude, condescending, kept talking about his job (he was an investment banker…), dismissed anything I said as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. Overall a really pleasant gent… The check never comes, realizing he slipped the waiter his credit card beforehand so that I didn’t have a chance to open up my wallet and pay for my share. We leave, he then asks me back to his place. I decline and hop in a cab and head to a dive bar to meet up with my friends and tell them about the date. A few days later I receive a text about how ungrateful I was for a great meal and the least I could have done was put out. I was the snob and I totally missed out on being with a great guy who could have provided me financial security blah blah blah. I didn’t respond to that, which made him even more mad. I then received a barrage of text messages, each more vulgar than the last. I was a whore, slut, cunt, bitch, fag, gold digger, trailer trash who fucks for tracks (His words not mine. I’m not even a singer or trying to be so I don’t know why he said I fuck for tracks…). Unfortunately, I’ve since run into this guy several times at various events and establishments and it is the most awkward thing ever. He grills me from across the room, and my current boyfriend has exchanged words with him on more than one occasion. He’s still single if anyone was wondering.

Folks Who Can’t Stop Texting and Calling

• I met up with “Josh” for coffee and then a movie. He was in an ugly homemade tshirt that loudly proclaimed his religious preferences to the world in about 12 different fonts and 13 different colors. We shared similar religious views, but I’m not used to seeing them blasted on clothing. I was in a denim skirt and summer blouse. He seemed rather needy, but not awful. We said goodbye after the film and he vaguely mentioned doing something the next day. I told him I usually used Sundays to run errands and the like. By the time I pulled out of the parking garage, I had a text message. Not too bad. Four more text messages by the time I made it the 30 minute drive home. That’s not great. The next morning I went to church, to my parents’ house for lunch, a quick shopping trip, and worked out at the gym. After church I forgot to turn my phone back on until I got home from the gym around 3pm. During that time I missed 17 text messages, 5 phone calls and 3 emails. I replied to an email with a “this isn’t going to work, you seem a bit intense for me.” He replied with a 6 page email that detailed every bit of our date from his point of view. Highlights include: how pretty I was, how my toenail polish made my toenails shiny, how smooth my legs looked, etc. He even went so far as to say how disappointed he was I didn’t comment on his homemade tshirt (I thought I was being polite). The entire missive expressed again and again how compatible he thought we were and how amazingly well he thought the date went and how I had to go out with him again. I sent back an email with a single line: “I will not being going out with you again. Don’t contact me anymore.” Then I printed the email and his contact information to give to my best friend in case I turned up missing in the next week.

• I met an attractive woman i’d been speaking to online. We went to a martini bar on Bowery and proceeded to have three (i think) pretty damn strong drinks. We got in a cab to go to her place, and attacked each other in the back seat of it, groping a bunch. We got back to her place, and she asked me up. I declined, on account of it being the first date. She texts me as I’m walking back to the subway. I ignore it, figuring I’ll get back to her in due time. By the time I get home, I have 6 voice mails, starting flirtatious, and declining into her crying and screaming “why are you ignoring me!?” Keep in mind, we’re talking maybe over a course of half an hour. I waited until the next morning to e-mail her telling her that I didn’t think it was going to work out.

• My worst date was with a guy named Joe* who I met on OkCupid. At first, things seemed normal: we met up, went to a bar, had a beer or two and chatted. All the standard stuff. The only slightly off thing was that Joe seemed sort of insecure – when we first met up, he even acted offended that I seemed “less than impressed” with him. I wasn’t disappointed, I just really needed to blow my nose. But whatever. However, as the night went on, Joe started pulling tricks from The Game. He started throwing in backhanded compliments, making fun of the fact that I’m in grad school, that I’m tall, that I like Stella Artois… pretty much anything you could use to describe me, he could insult. However, he did in this weird, jokey way, and sometimes apologized afterwards, so I wasn’t exactly sure what was up. Things took a turn for the the what-the-fuck when he started asking to touch my butt and for me to touch his dick through his pants. I was a little tipsy and new to dating again, so I went along with this, for a little bit — he kept telling me to “Live a little!” and “Be a little fun, for once!” Then he upped the ante by asking me to take a cellphone shot of my butt in the bathroom. Yes, really: a shot of my naked butt, in the bathroom, to be texted to him. What. the. fucking. fuck. After about half an hour of being shamed for being boring, I tried to do so, but no luck: I am physically incapable of taking a proper ass shot. I was happy about this, to be honest. As this night was obviously not leading to any great romance, when he suggested we head back to his place, I was like “Why the fuck not?” For putting up with all this shit, I might as have my orgasms, no? (Judge all you want – I had just gotten out of a hellish relationship that had been short on the orgasms toward the end. I wanted a fucking orgasm from a source that didn’t have batteries, damn it.) As the clothes came off, I saw that Joe had a tattoo of an old man’s face on his chest. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Apparently, his grandfather. After some mediocre doggie style (because I was not going to be face to face with a laughing old man while being fucked by a younger one), I made my escape. Woo! I had had my first adventure in Single New Yorker-dom! And it was done. Or so I thought. Joe texted me daily, then weekly, then monthly, for the better part of a year, begging me to “at least be friends” and “come to his comedy show”. PSA for the dudes: if a girl NEVER responds to your texts, give up. She’s not coming to your fucking comedy show or anything else, ever. *Name changed to protect a hapless douche.

• I met a guy online and we started talking, which eventually moved onto Skype (pretty quickly, because we seemed to get along well). However, this soon–in less than a week–turned into long, drawn out conversations about our hypothetical (although to him, not hypothetical) future together, including children, holiday plans, and disturbing things he wanted to do with breast milk. I stupidly continued talking to him, because we DID get along on many points, but finally enough red flags were enough (he didn’t have any male friends, he often talked about how aggressive and angry he could become, he was hyper jealous of any interactions I had with others even though we had literally just “met” two weeks earlier) and I “dumped” him. He still texts me from time to time to this day and I haven’t responded in 6 months.

Sneaky Secrets

• I got a message from a guy on a dating site in which he sounded really great. Smart, funny, etc. So I go to check out his profile, and am smacked in the face by his photo. He is the identical twin of a good friend of mine. The two of them live together, but because they’re both so busy I’d never met this twin, and he had no clue I already knew his brother. We dated for several months, and my friend/his brother still doesn’t know how we met.

• Realizing that the beautiful woman I went to hook up with was a drunken, mentally handicapped, Russian immigrant with a husband/caretaker who wanted to watch. I mean, A RUSSIAN! C’mon.

The Nonconsexual Polyamorist

• I became involved in a serious relationship for about a year with someone I met online. Turned out that he was involved, in varying degrees of seriousness, with a whole bunch of other women (many of whom he met online!)/just generally leading several secret (from me) lives/drank too much. He seemed really normal when I first met him in real life, too. During a pretty rough/low self-esteem period of my life, I also briefly dated a guy I met online who was generally rude, seemed to believe that he was incredibly cool for having a BA from a prestigious college but working a handful of blue-collar jobs (y’know, like this was something very unusual), and employed the phrase (in total seriousness) “You don’t find drugs. Drugs find you.” I had sex with him on our second (and final) date. During the post-coital lounge, he told me that he had asked me out again only because he was curious about how I would react, because I seemed so strange. A few days later, he told me he didn’t want to keep dating me via gchat.

• I’m sure that this isn’t even all that horrible by online dating standards, but one potential date took like FOREVER to finally pin down on a date – I’m talking 3 or 4 months of back and forth and scheduling and health problems and whatever. Anyway, we finally go out (I pay and also drive to the other end of town to pick her up). I ask her out again and she says yes (I paid and drove again). Again a 3rd time at a really nice place for her birthday (yup, I paid and drove). Again a 4th time (we split the bill but I still drove). And still not even so much as a kiss. So at the end of date 4 when I’m wondering aloud when we are gonna maybe lock lips, she gets all surprised and tells me she that I thought that she knew that she already had a boyfriend, and she thought we were just going out as friends.

The Glass is Half Full-ish!

• We met at a popular coffee shop / bar. He talked about his (recently) ex-wife the whole time, with breaks where he’d answer calls from his mom. I mean, like, FIVE calls from his mom. He drank about five beers, and then announced that he’d forgotten his wallet. The upside was that he was a clerk at a video store I frequented, so I got some free rentals out of the deal.

• One guy wasted five years of my life in an interminable engagement that was like slow soul death! :D

Death Wish

• I had been on a few dates with a guy I met through eHarmony. He had been divorced for over a year, but still super bitter about it. We’d only been on maybe 2 dates, but did quite a bit of text/online chatting, and I knew he hated his ex- wife, and also hated women for the most part. (No excuses on my part for why I kept talking to him. He also pumped gas while the car was still running, which really confused me, and made me think he had a secret death wish/wanted to kill me.) We had a phone conversation one night where I said he needed to decide if he wanted to date me or not, instead of sometimes calling me and sometimes not, and his response was “Bitches be crazy.” I informed him that I was neither a bitch nor crazy, and hoped he had a great life. He got married 4 months later, and then had a kid. He tried chatting with me online a few times after those things occurred to tell me he acted the way he did because he was scared of the things he was feeling about me. I took that to mean he’s still crazy.

It So Rarely Works When You Decide to Use Them For Sex

• I once went out on a date with a rather striking fellow (he looked a lot like David Duchovny in his profile pic, and in real life, too!) who seemed nice but a little insincere. That is, everything he said and did seemed to be previously thought out and scripted according to some bizarre Game Theory. I’d been on dates with the “pick-up-artist” type before and had some mild success getting them to come out of their pre-planned shells using various techniques (calling them out on it, “negging” them right back, etc) but this guy was unshakeable. I gave up early on in the date, but remember he was pretty handsome and I was pretty lonely so I figured what the heck, I’ll take him home just for the night. What proceeded from there was the weirdest most paint-by-number sexual encounter I’ve ever had. The one thing that really sticks out from this well-polished routine was the way he undressed- he made sure to dramatically lower his shirt with his back facing me, so I could watch him flex his big ugly kanji tattoo. (It means “truth”, he would explain to me afterward while I stifled a fit of giggles). He also barked like a seal while in the throes.

Asking For A Ride Home Is Not A Good Look

• The guy was clearly ten years older than he said he was online, wouldn’t stop with the male-gaze, ASKED FOR A RIDE HOME after the date, and then when dropping him off (which I could not do fast enough), told me to come on in, because his girlfriend was out of town that weekend. I peeled rubber out of the driveway and I haven’t been on an online date since.

Dream Date

• He asks me to meet him at his favorite restaurant. His favorite restaurant in the entire city. And I say yes, without asking where. ‘Where’ turns out to be the LongHorn Steak House in Fenway. LongHorn + Fenway is not my idea of a dream date when there are local amazing options that are NOT in Fenway. But still: adventure! Open-mindedness! Date night comes around and I get dressed like I’m going on a date. Not too much leg or cleavage, but dressed up. I’m a jeans, t-shirt, ballet flats girl but I wore a dress and I wore my one pair of heels on this date. And when I arrive, my date is already there. I did not recognize him at first because I did not expect him to be wearing a sweat suit, nor did I expect him to have brought his roommate. We proceed to have a strange meal where he relentlessly flirts with his roommate and then makes both sexist and racist jokes. As the awful and awkward meal ends, he informs me that he ‘does not offer to pay for meals on dates’ but will pay if I ask. I do not ask. I take care of my share and assume we have both had a terrible time. But apparently it was only me. I continued to get emails for the next few months.

The Bad

• Post-date, we were fully naked and very nearly having sex when he simply got up and left without a word.

• a nice looking seemingly well heeled man who told me (non stop talking about himself) that he ‘knows people’ and was ready to ‘take out’ his kids nanny. why? because she accused him of child molestation. which of course, was a lie. i thought he was joking, after all we had just met. he was not.

• Dude drank 4 pints of Guinness in 30 minutes, lied about being able to speak foreign languages, and claimed to have raped his brother’s girlfriend while she was passed out. The last was a thing he stated with pride. Then he texted to ask “how’d I do?”

• The single worst had to be the doctor with the Napoleon complex. Upon telling him after three dates that things weren’t really going anywhere, he called me 14 times (in the space of an hour) and came to my apartment. The voicemail messages continued while he was knocking on my door, and explained that he didn’t understand why I wouldn’t answer him when he could clearly hear my phone ringing in there. Charming!

• “I was dating this guy who I met online that seemed really cool, until later on I found out about his four secret kids and his massive coke addiction.”

• It ended in my roommate buying me pepper-spray and having someone walk me to my car after dark for a few weeks.

• After chatting for a week, it seemed like it would be fun to go out with him on some weekend night. After an hour or so of our dinner date, we decided to walk to a nearby movie theater. On the way, he assaulted me, and the only reason I got away was because someone walking past saw him and starting angrily making his way towards my asshat of a date. Took me quite a while to get over that one and willingly get back on the online dating wagon.

• “As soon as I arrived at the meeting place, the guy sent me a text. Apparently, he had been standing across the street so that he could check me out from afar. Well, he didn’t like what he saw, and sent me the equivalent of “you are one ugly chick! Just go home.'”

• “Second date. I go to his house to watch movies. I wake up alone, as he has already gone to work. I’m getting dressed and look up to see a white board upon which he’s written his personal life mottos. Some highlights: ‘Act like a king and you’ll be treated like a king.’ ‘Make them come to you.’ ‘Do not care: Effective way of getting what you want from people.’ I left and never spoke to him again.”

• “He was a lawyer and we met at an Applebee’s and then he proceeded to watch a basketball game the entire time. After I had traveled a pretty big distance to meet with him. I found out later he lived across the street from my parents and he was abusive to his dog.”

The Truly Horrific

• “It went wrong when he date-raped me.”

• “Well, there was that time I was raped in a hotel room by a federal marshal.”

• “He took photos of me naked in his bed and posted one on Facebook without permission. I told him to take it down, and he said I was being crazy and irrational because it was an ‘artistic’ photo.”

And in Conclusion….

• I can barely bring myself to acknowledge this, but I have lived the worst stereotype of online dating: a man who turned out to be a pedophile. God, I can hardly type it. He was a teacher at a prestigious private school. For our second date he took me to his classroom, and for our third, he wanted me to come to a school fundraising dinner. By then I had gotten a weird vibe and THANK GOD I didn’t go, because only a couple of months later a fellow teacher discovered a school camera he had used to take vulgar pictures of his students. He was sent home (!!!! not to jail!!!) and before the police could arrest him, disappeared and faked a suicide. He was later spotted in Arizona after being featured on America’s Most Wanted. You’re welcome, you can end this survey now, we should all die.

The Small Ray Of Light At The End Of This Dark, Dark Survey

• Eighteen of you met your current partner or spouse online and seem delightfully happy. So, there’s that.


Photo by Ricky Flores