When I described this date to my friends, the immediate response was “you should have known.” Apparently, there were warning signs that I should have picked up on and then this whole night could have been avoided. I have broken down the warning signs and mistakes I made for your benefit, so that you may be able to avoid such a terrible experience yourself. At least I did not suffer this horribly awkward experience in vain.
1. You can learn a lot about someone by the place they suggest
This guy suggested a dive bar. I am not against dive bars, but I did not know this was really a dive bar, as opposed to a great place that pretends it is a dive bar (because there are a lot of those). Dive bars are not ok for first dates. He said that they had bocce ball, corn hole, and horse shoes. That actually sounds like fun for a first date. Maybe that is why I did not pick up on the first warning sign.
2. Look at ALL of their profile pictures
I did not recognize my date right away because his main profile picture was about 4 years old and 40 lbs lighter. Hand to God! Also, I could tell that he was self-conscious about it because he did not take off his coat while we were inside. If you need to lose some weight, who cares! If you feel self-conscious about it, fake it ‘til you make it! Granted, I did not look through all of his pictures closely. I should have. Then I would have had a clue. However, it is just bad form to use old photos that look nothing like you.
3. Trust your gut
Truthfully, he sounded like a spaz on the phone. We mostly texted to set up the date, but the day before, he called me to confirm the time. He talked over me and didn’t let me finish what I had to say. He seemed really nervous. I just kind of blew it off because some people are not phone people and our emails were great. However, there is a difference between not being a phone person and being really insecure and/or a weirdo.
4. Be On Time.
This is a big pet peeve of mine. You cannot be late for a first date without texting to let the person you are meeting know that you are running late. It is rude. It can start the whole date off on the wrong foot. I got hit on at the bar by another guy (cute, wearing a purple polo) while I was waiting. When my date finally showed up he seemed annoyed that I was talking to someone else. I don’t know what your opinion is, but it is no fun waiting on someone for 15 minutes and you are allowed to strike up a conversation with someone else.
5. Do not assume sarcasm when texting
He said via text that this place had great karaoke and he was going to show off his skills. I thought he was joking. No way in hell am I going to make a complete asshat of myself singing karaoke on a first date. He wasn’t joking. I made up a lame excuse to get out of there about 45 minutes in and he said (perfectly seriously) that he was really disappointed that he didn’t get to show off his karaoke skills. First of all, does karaoke require a skill? I mean it is not like you can put it on your resume. Karaoke is hobby, like running (although who in the hell runs for fun, but I digress).
The other little bit of this is he sang in the choir in college. For those of you who don’t know, singing karaoke if you are a professional/amateur singer, in any capacity, is simply just not done. All of your singing peers will think you are a goober (and probably everyone else too).
6. Have an Escape Plan
Now I know that I gave him a lame excuse to leave early. Usually, I have something planned later on in the night or I make something up because you need to have an escape plan. Honestly, I just forgot and by the time I realized I needed one, it was too late. I knew it was lame and he knew it was lame, but I hoped that we could mutually agree to pretend that it was legitimate to save face. It worked. Until I got home and received the following crazy ass text messages.
I was trying to be kind because he seemed a little fragile. Then he pissed me off. Oh, and by the way, EVERYONE has baggage. EVERYONE has had a bad dating experience. A LOT of people have had multiple, terrible, and humiliating dating experiences.
So I obviously need some help coming up with a better excuse to leave when I have forgotten to establish an escape plan. Please share what you use, or what you have used before.