50 First-Date Horror Stories From People Who Suffered Through Them
A lot of us can agree dating these days is not an easy task, and finding "the one" might seem like an impossible thing to do. People are constantly lying about themselves on dating apps, showing up and acting crazy, or just straight-up ghosting their dates. And meeting someone in real life doesn't always work out like in the movies and can even be dangerous.
From these tragic events come pretty unhinged dating stories, and that's why when an internet user asked "What's something that happened on a first date that made you decide against a second date?" it went viral with people sharing all kinds of absurd things. Some stories are quite funny, while others serve as a perfect example of a "red flag" that you should run (and far away) from.
He took it out.
And I don't mean this in a funny "unexpected Seinfeld" kind of way (although I suppose it IS that).
I mean he leaned across the table and whispered "I'm out."
I said "excuse me?" For some reason my first thought was "out of the closet."
He said "out, under the table. Look under the table."
And, like an idiot, I LOOKED."
Then he said "that's what you do to me."
I said "this is what you do to me" and I left.
I'm a people pleaser so, to this day, I'm proud of myself for walking away in the middle of dinner.
We talked with Professor & Ph.D. Director Jennifer A. Theiss about first dates and dating in general, and we asked her why she thinks a lot of first dates end badly: "First dates are challenging because they are characterized by uncertainty. We have questions and doubts about what our partner will think of us, how we might feel about them, whether or not there will be more dates in the future, what we should say, and how we should behave. High levels of uncertainty can make it difficult to communicate effectively and make sense of a partner's messages and behaviors. This makes for an uncomfortable interaction on first dates, which many people presume is evidence that they are not a match and might discount their partner as a result, but really it is a normal and expected aspect of these first encounters with a new potential partner."
I picked her up and she asked me if we could stop by her moms house so she could "run in and grab something." I said sure. Made the stop. She went inside. 5 minutes later she comes out hustling towards the car with a carseat and her mom chasing after her yelling. She opens the car door and throws the carseat(which i now see has a baby in it) and starts yelling at me to drive. I freaked and just turned my car off and took the keys out of the ignition.
Her mom called the cops and they came and questioned all of us for a good while. Turns out she had lost custody due to drug use and was trying to use me as a way to get her kid back. We never made it to dinner and I just went home after the cops left.
The guy told me he would still be together with his kids mum if she had apologized for what she did wrong. Out of curiosity I asked what she did wrong? Was expecting something like she cheated, ya know something that actually needed apologising for.
Nope. Apparently she kept nagging one day and wouldn't shut up, so, he tied her to a computer chair and went out for three hours and left her there.
I said it doesn't sound like she was the one who needed to apologize and left.
Jennifer A. Theiss also gave some tips and tricks for first dates: "Because uncertainty is high during first dates, one of the goals of our communication is to reduce that uncertainty so that we can form impressions and make decisions about whether or not we want to proceed with future interaction. Seeking information is the primary way that we might go about reducing our uncertainty, and the main way that we go about obtaining information is by asking questions. My advice for first dates is to ask a lot of questions. The answers you receive from your partner will likely provide substantial information that will quell uncertainty, either positively or negatively. They might share information that gives you a positive impression and reduces your uncertainty in ways that make you want more contact, or they might share information that reduces your uncertainty by confirming negative or undesirable qualities that you are sure you don't want in a partner."
He tried to control the whole date. What I dressed, ate, if I wore make up or not, how I wore my hair.
He had this long list. Let's just say I answered the door with bed head and baggy PJs. Told him to buy a blow up doll to control, don't contact me ever again and closed the door.
Went on a date with a woman from the office. Thought we had good chemistry and got along well. She couldn't find her phone so I tried calling it and someone from the restaurant answered. I went back in for her to get it and the waiter showed me I was saved in her contacts under "Free Food."
Jennifer A. Theiss shared the main red flag to look out for while on your first date: "One red flag is when your date asks no questions about you. This lack of curiosity on their part suggests that they aren't attempting to reduce uncertainty by learning more about you, which may mean that they are not thinking about the potential for future interaction or a long-term relationship."
Nothing obvious or overt but from the minute we sat down to eat the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I felt unsafe. He was polite, listened, very polished, but could not shake that feeling. I drove to the restaurant to meet so he did not know where I lived. After dinner he asked for another date and I just said no I don’t think we are a good match. Gave him money to pay for my half, said goodby when I got to the door turned around and he was staring at me with an expression I never hope to see again. I ran to my car, moved it to another spot, and waited until he left before I left so he could not follow. Restaurant was on an isolated road so that was safer then having him catch up to me. Found out about a year later he was sent to prison for the assault and rape of 2 different woman . It happened on first dates. Never used a dating site again
He asked me how big my baby was and if I birthed him vaginally or had a c-section. His explanation was that he'd never slept with a mom before and had heard a baby can stretch out a vagina. I excused myself to the bathroom and promptly left the restaurant.
It seems like everyone's had a bad date at least once in their life, and Jennifer A. Theiss shared her own with us: "Not horrible, per se, but I once asked someone on a first date what they were looking for in their ideal woman (lame, I know). He said his ideal woman was petite with brown hair, brown eyes, and olive skin. I have blond hair, blue eyes, pale skin, and I'm definitely not petite! We didn't have a second date!"
The waitress was a lovely young black woman. He referred to her as being attractive for a ‘colored’. He touched her which is not ok. You don’t touch your waitress.
Made aggressive ‘looks’ at another table where a family was dining (they were what looked to be Indian) and commented loudly that they were what was wrong with America.
Had multiple tequila shots.
His cologne stank to high heaven.
I was so embarrassed.
I was raised to be patient & polite but finally I was like ‘wtf am I doing still here? I stood up and left leaving my half eaten meal on the table.
He yelled insults at me as I was leaving then when I was out the door texted me.
He tried to change my order with the waitress because I didn’t order what he’d recommended.
If you're uncertain what you're doing wrong in the dating world, Jennifer A. Theiss shared her thoughts on the main mistakes people make in dating these days: "With most people using dating apps to find potential partners, they are often making judgments about whether or not to pursue someone based on limited (and highly curated) information that is provided in a person's profile. Often, a potential partner is quickly excluded based on physical appearance alone or a few pieces of basic information. Most daters would benefit from casting a more wide open net and not being too discriminant during this early vetting process. Give yourself the chance to learn more about a potential partner by going on a first date and giving them the opportunity to share more personal information about themselves. There may be a lot of potential missed connections when people are quick to exclude people based on limited information about them."
If you want to learn more about Jennifer A. Theiss and relationships, you can give her book "The Experience and Expression of Uncertainty in Close Relationships" a look.
Very recent- asked when I would get a real career. I love what I do, I'm a union stagehand in a major entertainment city. I have been in my industry for over 20 years, toured the country, toured the world, make a comfortable living. Yeah- no. That's pretty demeaning and I'm out.
Went to dinner with a girl who I'd been crushing on for quite some time. It seemed to be going well, and we ended up back at her place, watching a movie or something. Out of nowhere, her boyfriend (of whom I was not aware) came back from out of town and stopped in unexpectedly. He and I had a super awkward conversation for a few minutes, then the two of them disappeared into another room for a minute or two.
She came back, and said something to the effect of, "I don't have a place for you. I'm sorry." I just kind of got in my car and drove home, with one of the strangest feelings that I'd ever felt. At some point, a few minutes into the journey, I couldn't contain myself and busted out laughing.
We also spoke to the online user Whitneywestmoreland who started this interesting thread, and they shared why they think first dates are awkward: "First dates can be awkward because, let's face it, you're trying to determine if you're romantically compatible with a relative stranger. Having said that, I think many of the stories shared in that post were uniquely awful. They weren't necessarily something you would expect on a typical first date."
They also shared some tips for your first date: "As cheesy as it sounds, be yourself, be honest and don't waste your time or theirs if you don't think it's going to work out. Most importantly, if the other person isn't interested in you, don't think of it as a 'rejection.' Don't take it personally. You're looking for a match. Just because two people don't fit together, there's no reason for either one to feel spurned. People put far too much stock into the opinion of someone who barely knows them."
Met a girl at a friend’s party. We were both in our mid-20s. Ended up spending three hours talking, and she was so funny, charming, gorgeous, and carefree. I asked her out and got a wonderful “I would love to!” from her.
I show up about four days later at the restaurant she picked, one within walking distance of her place. She arrived about five minutes later.
“Nice place,” I say, as I get her chair for her. “Since it’s so close, do you eat here often?”
She scowls and responds, “You know, you ask too many f****** questions.”
I was floored. Everything continued downhill from there. Within about 20 minutes, she just got up and left.
I felt as if she had failed to tell me the other night that she had an evil twin, and that’s who showed up this evening.
Later, when I ran into my buddy, I asked what the heck was up.
“Oh yeah,” he said, “she’s a piece of work until she gets a few drinks in her. Then she’s adorable.”
Thanks. Thanks a lot, buddy.
She kept writing to her friends on WhatsApp a play by play of the date instead of listening to me, so I stood up, paid my dinner and left because I found it disrespectful af
Whitneywestmoreland talked about some of the red flags they look out for: "These are red flags for me, but any guy who brags or likes to talk about being an 'alpha' is an automatic 'no' for me. If he brings up his ex repeatedly, he's clearly not over her yet. There are other red flags (if he seems too controlling, jealous or possessive) but those aren't as immediately obvious."
They also shared an amusing story about their horrible first date: "Only one. I was staying with my parents for a bit, after college. I came down to dinner one day to find my parents sitting at the table with a random guy. Every extra chair had been removed from the table except for the one next to the guy so I would have to sit next to him. It still took me entirely too long to figure out this was their attempt at setting me up. No prior warning. Nothing. It was an awkward dinner with mom, dad and Yashar."
She took her hands off the wheel and said, “You think I’m craaazzyy?!” I literally jumped out at the next light.
The date was going great but we were talking about family, friends, and all that and I realized that I’d slept with her sister. I didn’t really know what to do but you can’t just say “oh your family looks fun and I slept with your sister not too long ago. Show me more pics of your dog, is she a lab mix?”
I cut the date short after dinner and hoped it’d just fizzle out, but they found out. It was cool though, just an awkward coincidence.
The online user opened up about what they think the main mistakes in dating are these days: "I couldn't begin to tell you the mistakes people make in dating nowadays. I'm sure it varies. I've had friends comment on how, back in the day, you would meet people face-to-face and...while you may not have been initially attracted to someone, their personality/sense of humor would often win you over. Now that a lot of dating is done online, people are often automatically dismissed based on appearance alone. So two people who may have connected, had they chatted for 15 minutes, never get the chance to meet. The same applies when you dismiss people whose jobs don't pay as much as your own, because you assume you wouldn't have anything in common. When a lot of focus is put on superficial matters, you're going to dismiss a lot of people right off the bat, and that severely limits your options."
I asked about his hobbies and he said "I play the bagpipes". I thought that was really cool and asked him to tell me more. He says, "Are you sure?" I said "Yes"
He proceeds to go on about bagpipes for the rest of the night. How he felt playing the bagpipes was his calling in life, how he needed to carry his grandfather's legacy (who also played the bagpipes), how his dream was to play bagpipes for the queen, his favourite brand of bagpipes, the anatomy of bagpipes...every topic was somehow turned back to bagpipes.
To be fair, I did say yes to him telling me more. I hope he's doing well and found someone just as passionate about bagpipes.
Had in his bio that he was 6’9. First thing he said when he pulled up “so I’m actually 6 feet and the 9 inches is somewhere else” 😂 LIKE FIRST THING. before asking how my day was anything
He was super pushy about me having a third drink and got mad when I refused.
ETA: I totally see why lots of people are replying saying he probably drugged my drink, but I do not think that is the case, as I never left either of my first 2 beers unattended and he had been pestering me to order a third beer, which is what I refused.
I am fairly sure he was trying to get enough drinks into me to lower my inhibitions, not to drug me himself, but regardless his behaviour was inappropriate and a huge red flag. The fact that he got angry when I refused to drink more was the reddest flag.
A guy cracked a joke about feeding my cat arsenic. I didn’t even finish the date, just got up and left.
1)He tried to force a kiss.
2) He tried to get me to agree to marry him the next week. No, he wasn't an immigrant.
3) He said women were stupid and would believe anything he told them. I am a woman.
4) He said it was OK to drown puppies. It was "actually humane."
5) He swore that it was impossible to get AIDS if you were straight. Found out a week later that he knew the whole time he was HIV positive.
That's just some of them...
Edit to add:
Y'all have me laughing here! No, not all the same guy. These are various different men throughout my lifetime, and in no particular order. I was writing them down as they came to mind. Can't believe I nearly forgot the one on #5. Scariest of them all. He tried way too hard to get me to go home with him. Glad common sense won the day. I was 16, he was 18.
I asked what she did for a living over nachos on our date.
"What?!! I don't work, I'm white!"
Said that in a Mexican restaurant in front of our waitress.
I apologized to the waitress and paid our tab. Walked out. I don't care if she got home safely.
Farmer dude: (showing my age) added me on MySpace. Chatted awhile, I can appreciate a country boy. Seemed pleasant. Wanted to meet at McDonalds. Cool, I’m not hard to please, let’s get some Big Macs and chat. We talked for about 10 minutes and clearly it wasn’t gonna work - he was almost completely silent. Wouldn’t ask questions, wouldn’t eat. Just sat there. I told him it was nice to meet him, but I had to get home. Later that night I got about 20 messages telling me how he was into BDSM and wanted me to come over and “puke that Mac sauce all over his balls.” Yeah, that’s a block.
Counting Crows dude: Met the guy on a Counting Crows online forum (lmao again, showing my age) and he happened to live 1/2 hour away. Cool, let’s grab drinks at [local bar] and see where it goes. I get there, can’t find him anywhere, figured I was stood up… then the lights dimmed and he walked out onstage, drunk as hell, slurring every other word/proceeded to play “Round Here” and stopped halfway through to vomit on himself. Now I can never hear that song without cracking up… *Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hLLLLLLLLLLL (just throws up everywhere)*
Odd that both instances involved puking to some degree.
He chewed on my hair while we were watching a movie in the theater. Will never forget feeling someone tugging on my hair, going to flick it back, and feeling it be soaked
i was newly out, and i had had a crush on her for ages, so when she asked me out i was so excited. she was pretty, smart, very laid back, and had a great sense of humor, so things were going great initially.
end of the date comes around, and she very casually drops the bomb on me that she’s a involved in an open investigation for vehicular manslaughter. she even hinted that it was purposeful and did not seem regretful. that was the end of that.
He told me that we were going to a birthday party. He refused to tell me for whom and said I didn’t need to bring anything.
It was a birthday party for Jesus at his dad’s church. I’m atheist and I was incredibly uncomfortable and angry. I don’t like being lied to.
Didn’t go on another date
He used his pocket knife to cut me a slice of cake, and later scraped some dirt clumps off of his shoe with the same knife. I asked him if he ever cleaned his knife, and he replied, "no, why?"
He also confessed that he was madly in love with me the same day. We had just met.
This story is always fun to tell
Basically, we got back to her place after dinner and were getting slightly freaky on the couch. As things started escalating, she pulls out a giant glass jar (like the ones with the finger loop thing that pirates put rum in) half full of a clear liquid. My dumbass asked her if it was moonshine or vodka or something. She then proceeds to explain to me that it’s pure GHB and that she has a fetish about getting drugged off of it before having sex, and she said that with a completely serious face. For those of you who don’t know, GHB is a date rape drug. She then went to the restroom and I noped out of there so fast that I practically levitated off the couch. Never spoke to her again.
This is back before the term “catfishing” was a thing.
Lilly was supposed to be a 22yo woman, with me being a 24yo guy at the time and used to being surrounded by quirky people, so her online messages never set off any major flags.
I drove by her place to pick her up at night, so i never saw her til she was in my car.
First, Lilly informed me she preferred to be called by her demon name, Lillith. Lillith was 50% demon, 40% vampire, 5% werewolf, 3% human, 2% other.
She was also super tiny, under 100llbs/45kg. And instead of being 22, she just had her birthday last week and turned 17. Also, was suuuuper pregnant, 7 months along, which made her belly bigger than the rest of her. With child #3.
There are so many other details, but those are just the bits from her self-introduction.
One was the time I took this girl to dinner and she could not stop staring at our waiter. I'll grant her one thing - I'm a guy and can admit this guy was probably totally hot for anyone who prefers men. Square-jawed and muscled college athlete type. I get it.
But I didn't appreciate that she literally craned her neck every time the kitchen door swung open to see if he was walking out. Eventually I gave her enough cash to pay for my part of the meal, told her I'd noticed (as though I couldn't have), suggested to her that she could get his contact info when she paid the bill, and left.
Edit - thanks for the awards everyone, this was a first date I hadn't thought about in decades and now I get awards for it at least. Cheers everyone, and may all your first dates go more smoothly.
His card was declined for $11 at a coffee place he suggested (which he had me drive 6 miles to get to because he wasn’t comfortable going out of his neighborhood). When I offered to pay for it he insisted on swiping the card a second time, for the same result. He was terribly embarrassed the rest of the date and it was just very uncomfortable.
Or there’s that time that conductor at the Houston orchestra who also fancied himself a home chef invited me to a lavish dinner party with his close friends which was an extraordinary meal and just really lovely… only for him to present me with some “gifts” afterwards: a leash and a gradient set of butt plugs. I had no idea a gentleman could ruin an evening so deftly til then.
Told me that aliens cause jet lag and that I have the ghost of a fisherman following me around named Samuel (on top of the 20 other batshit things she said at dinner.
This was last night.
He insisted on paying for our dinner instead of going Dutch, and then totally stiffed the server. I tried to leave a tip and he got pissed at me because he was paying and it was his decision to tip or not.
She ordered a $100+ steak and lobster meal and got shitfaced, I had to pay for the whole thing because she didn't even bring her purse. Almost made me crash while driving back to hers because she was horny and wanted me to finger her while I was driving so she put her leg across me and accidently kicked the steering wheel (and pouted when I told her to wait.) Threw up when we got to her place. Told me to sleep on the couch (wasn't expecting to stay the night at all).
So I snuck out in the middle of the night and texted her saying thanks but no thanks, and she proceeded to insult and berate me, then switch to saying she's willing to work it out if I am, then switched back to insults again when I still said no thanks.
She was 10 years older than me but acted like she was fresh out of highschool...
While we were having lunch we ran into some friend of hers I didn't know and he stopped to say hi and their brief conversation somehow brought up that she owed the guy a meal because he'd paid for their last lunch together, so she offered to pay for his lunch to square it away and he agreed. He ordered something to go and they told the waitress she'd pay for it, they both said their goodbyes, and the guy left us alone to go wait for his lunch at some other table.
So far so good, though their conversation was a bit strange it did seem like it came up organically, it didn't needlessly drag on, and the guy was nice at all times and also polite enough to make himself scarce as soon as possible instead of inserting himself into our lunch date with the excuse that he was waiting for his food.
So we continued our conversation and everything seemed fine, until some time later after the friend had already left and it was time to settle our check, and I realized this girl obviously expected me to pay for the whole thing including the lunch she offered to pay for her friend as a way to pay him back for the favor he did her.
Now, even if the friend hadn't ordered a pretty pricey meal that cost more than the rest of our check put together (and he had done exactly that), it didn't sit well with me how she had shamelessly decided to pay back him back with my money in what seemed like a deliberate scam.
So I paid for the whole thing in order to avoid making a scene, but later brought it up and told her that it wasn't cool. She made it clear that she saw nothing wrong with it and said I was being cheap and childish, so I thanked her for her honesty and told her we were done and I wasn't going to be calling her again, she tried to argue that I was overreacting but I held firm and blocked her a couple of days later because she insisted on texting me to convince me that I was wrong and we should go out again. Some people really live in an alternate dimension.
Back in college a guy my jerk sister’s rat fink boyfriend set me up with took me to the public library. I’m a good sport who likes to read so that wasn’t a deal breaker. What was the worst was fighting him off when he tried to get a grope in the YA section, listening to him brag about frisbee golf and then making me WALK a mile from said library for Chinese. He ordered $60 worth of food I didn’t want and had the gall to pretend to search for his wallet when he had a square wallet shaped lump in the back pocket of his jeans. After admitting he wasn’t going to pay for the food he ordered he talked about all the “activities” we could do together in his dorm room. I didn’t say anything. I just paid for the food and let him walk me to his dorm. When we got there I said goodnight and left with the entire Santa sack of food. Had a good cry on the walk home once I was out of earshot of his swearing. My sister and her boyfriend chewed me out for being a b***h until I showed them my fridge full of egg rolls and explained that I hoped they liked Chinese because my monthly food budget they mooched off of was spent. In defense of the Chinese place they made excellent orange chicken but that was by far the worst date I’ve ever had. I hope his frisbees melted in the sun.
He got us pulled over, car was searched and he had a brick of coke in the trunk. I almost got arrested. He finally vouched this was a blind date and I was innocent.
Told me the wounded knee massacre was "exaggerated " and "not that big of a deal". He didn't know anything about this particular historical event mind you, he was just very sure that I didn't know what I was talking about and that Native Americans were just blowing things out of proportion. I don't even remember how the topic came up, but man. What do you even do with that.
He told me him and his dad intentionally ran over the stray cats in the neighborhood and there was more they were plotting against.
Anger. When I was looking to get married, I went on a lot of one-dates-and-we're-done. There were a lot of angry women in their early 30s.
My wife says the same thing about her experiences with lots of angry men in their 30s.
Fortunately, we ran into each other and have been together about 25 years now.
He referred to every woman as a c**t and we aren’t in a country where that is common and harmless.
His ex was a c**t, his aunt was a c**t, some random author he was telling me about for some reason was a c**t, etc.
C**t doesn’t really bother me but the way he said it was very aggressive and angry.
After that he decided to argue with me about sports and politics and berate me for my choices in those areas.
No need for a second date after that!
The date felt more like a job interview to fill a position, rather than an actual date. He gave off a vibe of someone who wasn't into getting to know me as a person, but just listed his wants and needs. So at the end of the date, he asked how I thought it went and I said I didn't feel a click / match. And he said, yeah, he was missing the 'wow-factor'. So I laughed my a*s off (slightly offended) in the car home, Gosh, no idea I was auditioning for a contest.
I was happy we only went for drinks, but even that felt a bit too long.
When a guy told me I was pretty but I would be unbelievably gorgeous if I lost 20lbs 🤔
So many. But I’ll say the one where the guy was kind and polite, but wanted to move way too fast (not sex). Grabbed my chin and tried to turn my head for a kiss while we were watching a movie (Surrogates, with Bruce Willis, if you’re wondering), he didn’t try again after I pulled away though. Also mentioned he should get to know the state where I grew up and my family lived, since he’d be meeting them soon. He had also catfished with a pic of his older brother, which was sad to me since he was really cute himself. He insisted on walking me to my car (I had parked near the attendant in a garage, glad I made that decision), and while I was getting in asked if he could tell his mom he had a girlfriend (we were both in our early 20s). Poor guy.
Since he was just over-enthusiastic and not an outright creep or jerk, I did email him telling him why there wouldn’t be a second date, saying he came on too strong, but wished him well. I hope he found someone. I also kind of wondered if there was a cultural thing I wasn’t aware of (he was Indian), but can’t say either way.
ETA: by “cultural thing” I meant if meeting families so soon was an expectation, not the trying to kiss or move fast part. Sorry for any confusion!
The girl who spent the first half of the dinner date talking about her irritable bowel syndrome and then switched to her love for god after the main course.
He farted and smelled it, then proceeded to rate the smell of the fart
He just kept making a weird amount of jokes about tapeworms?
Edit: Wow, thanks for the upvotes! Also this happened while we were eating sushi, just incase anyone was wondering
Phone going off with messages from multiple other females which he showed me for some strange reason, felt like he was trying to make himself more appealing or me jealous on a first date weirdo. 🚩
And anyone that texts ‘u up’ in the middle of the night after a first date no thank ya ma’am.
The guy saying he was 6’2 on tinder and then when I met him he was short than me, I’m 5’7. I don’t mind that but why you lying about something so obvious LOL
He was clearly desperate to put a ring on ANYONES finger. Intensely overly romantic despite not knowing me really at all.
Put on Etta James “Sunday kind of love” (date was a sunday btw) and tried to sing it at me while looking excessively earnest into my eyes.
He was also in the military and we were both like 19. Go figure.
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