Adventures in Date World

Oh, dudes. About a month ago, I decided to dip my toe back into the dating pool after my most recent Gentleman Caller and I decided to backtrack to our former status of Friends. As I am well and truly addicted to the interwebz, it is only natural that I would turn to my beloved computer to provide me with dates. With no small amount of trepidation, I created a profile on okcupid and began fielding emails and accepting dates from all and sundry. A few highlights?

The Mouthbreather
On the screen, he was a sexily swarthy, backpacking medical professional. In reality a paranoia-riddled mouth-breather.In an attempt to make socially appropriate small talk, I ask him what his favorite movie is. Between wet-mouthed gasps, he breathily informs me that he loves The Hunt for Red October. And have I seen it? No, but I’ve heard it’s good, I demure. Well, I really need to see it, he insists. He’s seen it, like, 25 times.

Second attempt at small talk: what do you do, I implore. Well, I work in a hospital doing technical stuff, but I don’t scrub in, he tells me. Yes, but what do you actually doooooo? I’m not going to tell you. It’s not that I don’t trust you or anything but there aren’t that many hospitals that offer my service, so if I tell you what I do, you’ll be able to track me down.
I can assure you, sir, I will not be tracking you down. Ever.

The SlackerWe meet in for a late afternoon coffee and I have high hopes: he’s a hiking, traveling engineer who’s lived in Switzerland. I am equally awesome. Surely this will go well, right?We begin with requisite small talk: how was your Tuesday, engineer dude? Well, I’ve been unemployed for five months. I spent today sleeping.
Got that? Not going the gym. or reading. or sending out resumes. or rescuing puppies. After five months of not working, he spent his Tuesday sleeping. You sure know how to impress, mister.

My New Arch-NemesisBased on his photos and crazy witty emails, I arrive at this date convinced that I might actually like this guy. I begin to hate him once I’ve been sitting at the bar waiting for ten minutes. He arrives late and doesn’t apologize or mention the fact that he’s kept me waiting. Upon opening his mouth, I discover why all his photos were close-mouthed. There are two discolored, buck-toothed reasons that his photos were close-mouthed. Perhaps these teeth are also the reason for the condescending, nasal timber to his voice.

Over the course of an hour, I discover that he unwinds by writing code and watching IFC fighting. Friends? Most of his have moved away and he hasn’t really made any new ones. I begin to employ guerrilla tactics: after single-handedly maintaining the conversation for 45 minutes, I sit quietly in hopes that this will force him into asking me a question. Nope? Nope.

I nurse my one vodka gimlet while he drinks two beers and eats his way through a burger and fries. When the bill comes, I throw down my credit card to cover my drink. When the waitress comes, he asks her to split the bill 50/50.

And some email highlights:
a 21 year old dude who points out that our age difference would probably prevent a serious relationship but he’d love to be my Mr. Right Now.

* responding to my noted dislike of pantyhose “But I bet you like stockings, right? ;D”
* an invitation to join a three-some
* An email with only this sentence “you have a cute nose”
* An email with only this sentence “yur rilly hot”Of course, there were a few perfectly lovely guys in there in the middle that just weren’t quite right for me. But after eight dates in three weeks (!) I think I’m hanging up the gloves for a while.

Please friends! Tell me I’m not alone here! Tell us about your worst date!



Holy crap, what is it with computer geeks and IFC ?

And asking you to split the bill 50/50? What a jerk!!

I'm trying to think of my worst dates (and there were many) but I guess I've managed to submerge them until years later when I need some therapy.


Please, tell me you refused to pay for his dinner !!!

I'll think about my worst date.


My english is not so good, but I would love to share this horror-date-story… After seeing that nice, smart and funny guy like 7 times, I decided that it would be nice to invite him to my house and cook diner. While I was in the kitchen, he waited into my living room. When I returned into the living room, he was watching a porn he brought along. I threw him out of my house and never saw him again.

Lola Sharp

(OMG Maja!)


All I have to offer is my condolences.

On the bright side they sure are fodder for a great post today!

Sarah Von Bargen

Lawgirl: I know, right? I'm happy to split the bill 50/50 if I, in fact ate 50% of the food. But not so much if I ate 15% of the food.

Maja: that's crazy!


I just signed up for OKCupid last week. I'm moving in 6 months so I thought I'd make new friends in the city I'm moving to. So no dates yet. But this one guy messaged me and we talked a good amount last week, but over the weekend I've found myself trying to get to know him better and I get answers like "I'll tell you after we meet!" and "Who wants to know?" Cute at first, really annoying now. Dude. Give me a reason to hop in my car and travel 4 hours to meet you. Don't think that's gonna happen for a while…if at all.
It's a shame too, he's cute and when we were messaging he seemed really awesome. ugh.
I'll let you know if I ever meet him.


I've never had the occasion to "date" thusfar in my life. I've dated 3 guys in my 21 years, and all of them I've met in a really convenient, no-big-deal way, became friends with, and then started going out. The couple dates I went on (with a guy I ended up dating for a time) actually went as well as I can imagine them going: we saw a kung fu movie, had have-joking dinner at IHOP, went to Borders Books, and topped the night off by cuddling under a gazebo by a lake. Swoon.

Anywho, I sort've wish I had crazy stories, but I don't. It's actually a little disappointing because yours were so funny.

Sarah Von Bargen

Vanessa, this is my first real foray into 'dating' as well … I've always just had long term relationships with guys that I met through friends or in classes.

It's so weird to go get a drink with someone you've never really met and then decided in an hour and a half if you like them!


Sarah, while this definitely would be time consuming and costly, I'd be interested to know if the types of dudes and dates directly correlate to the type of dating site? For example, I've had friends that found true love on eharmony and could not stand the guys they were meeting on match…could be an interesting sociological experiment….

Sarah Von Bargen

Cara, I think that's a definite possibility, I've heard really good things about eharmony as well. But since I'm planning on traveling in September, and honestly enjoying being truly single for the first time in ages, I'm totally gonna rock those free sites πŸ™‚


I used OkC, and the first two people I had dates with were actually wonderful (3 months later I'm still dating one of them). But that's what you get when your only communication before meeting is about Adam West and Batman πŸ˜‰

I have received some terrible messages, though. From people with usernames like "GreatestManAlive" and the like. Yeah. I've also heard some terrible horror stories.


I have gotten 3 emails from this guy, all of which were one liners, and honestly he didn't seem like my type, not because he was only 5'6" but many reasons here is the last email I got from him…he knows how to win over the ladies!I turns me on when people insult my education and motivation!Especially when they can't spell "conversation" or "bachelors".

" I figured it out
so Im not 6foot tall… I think we could have an interesting convestaion. do you have anything interesting to say. You ahve a bacheleors degree and you are in creative arts? Does that mean you skimmed through school or do you have some substance?

Nick "


Okay, it has been about 3 weeks since I have joined OkCupid and it's okay so far. I found out about the site through an article in College Candy, and honestly I did not realize that the site was this popular. In the short 3 weeks I have had my fair share of older pervy men sending me messages as well as arrogant jerks bragging of their accomplishments.

Today I have a date with a guy that I have been talking to on OkC, so we'll see how it goes!


I can relate to this post. I have done the online dating thing several times, on different occasions and not a single time has it resulted in a relationship. I have made several close guy friends, but the amount of crappy dates I had to sit through first was AWFUL. I finally got to the point where if it wasn't going well I would say so and get up and leave. Oddly enough, those were the guys that would contact me again.

you might ask why did I keep going back? I kept hoping that each time would be different. I'm officially done with it and would not recommend going that route. Friends of friends is the way to go!

Darcy Reviews

Just to defend the slacker, I've been unemployed for three months now, but on the job search for 6 months and it's not always easy to get the motivation to do stuff. I'm a pretty motivated person and spent a few days just not doing anything. I think it's part depression and part not having a regular routine.

Maybe he was just a slacker. But at least he went on a date with you that day.


My foray into OK Cupid was brief. I kept getting messages like "R U A REAL GRL????". I wasn't brave enough to continue. I'm sure you handled all of these awful dates gracefully, at least they make great stories!

Erin Lee Ware

one of my worst dates involved my date and i going to a bar to meet his friends for drinks. after introducing me to his friends, he left me to go fetch us some drinks. wellll, a half hour later (sans drink), i go looking for my date, only to find him at the bar, chatting up a couple of girls. ummm. highlight of that date? my husband was one of his friends. that's the first night i met him πŸ˜‰ perhaps all these "bad dates" of yours are just begging you to look around the room???


I did a little okcupid-ing. I received a million messages and went on two dates. One guy was very nice the other jammed his tongue down my throat in the most unsexy way ever. So gross. At this point I'm fairly over it, but would possibly try it again in the future.


My worst date was a semi-blind-semi-online setup kind of deal. He was reasonably cute in his pictures, and I knew a little about him, since he's a fairly well known Seattle pop-artist. Oh, swoon. He picked me up in the car that used to be his grandmothers (no joke), and yep, bad teeth. Right off the bat he asked if I wanted to go hang out at his apartment before the show we were going to. I declined and suggested we go out for a drink instead. We went to the venue, and over our first drink it somehow came up that he didn't know what a glacier was. What??? He then proceeded to start telling terrible sexist and homophobic jokes. He ended up more or less wasted off of two drinks, and as the band started I slowly moved further and further away from him- and eventually ended up dancing with a group of strangers. When the show was over he asked if I wanted to go out for another drink- I said "umyeahnothanksgottagohome" and proceeded to run two miles home in the rain. HAH! He e-mailed me twice after that, but I never replied. A year later I found out that he was dating my (gay) drug addict of a co-worker. Love!


I've met three guys from OkCupid, and two of them have become long-term fixtures in my life. I even married one of them.

I think part of my success is luck, and part of it has to do with personalities – the kind of girl I am and the kind of people I want to spend time with – but part of it? I've had my profile for about six years, and I never expect anything to come out of it. I'm pretty relentless about "screening" people before meeting them; if any red flags pop up, I don't meet them. Period. I highly encourage reading between the lines of a profile, and obviously not expecting perfection from anyone you meet.

I'm also a little disappointed that the engineer has been labeled a "slacker," considering he went to the trouble of earning a pretty tough degree and living abroad at one point. His sleeping all day might not be laziness so much as depression caused by, y'know, five months of unemployment. :/

Hip Hip Gin Gin

Oh my god, Sarah 50/50 guy? The hell? You didn't even eat!! If that is his first date best behavior I pity the fool who dates him long term.

My worst date was one I went on with a friend and was not aware was a date until after the fact. As if that isn't awkward enough he spoke to me all night about his various and numerous mental health issues. Mind you I have two psych degrees and do not judge him for the actual issues one iota, however personal medical history is NOT first date conversation. One of the most uncomfortable nights ever.

Although not as uncomfortable as the date who kissed me and made what can only be described as porn noises. It was a simple kiss you all, I don't know what he was on.


You are SO not alone. I'm a big fan of OkCupid, and I also took a month one summer to accept all number of dates. There was so much bad (21 year old engineer who was Mr. Moneybags and let me know was probably the worst). But, I think, my most tragic is sadder than the worst.

Near the end of the month, I went on several dates with two different guys at right about the same time. I liked one more than the other; unfortunately, the other guy liked me a lot. And when I finally turned him down, he actually cried. And then he called me crying. After, I think I spent two hours walking around town literally gasping with sobs because I felt so bad for hurting him. Of course, I now think he was a bit whack for crying after just 4 dates with me that weren't the most amazing ever. But I do feel a bit bad for him, and I hope he found love.


Oi, I had some really awful experiences on okcupid. It became exhausting. I finally decided to just go out in the real world (after avoiding it because it seemed so "hard"), and met a nice guy. So easy, and I already know he's not a gross breather and that he has nice teeth.


last fall. i went out with a boy who seemed douchey, but i made excuses for him in my mind. when we got back to his apt we watched dvr'd tour de france for two hours. two hours in he gets up, unplugs his laptop from on top of the tv, and tells me he has to use the restroom… 40 min. later he emerges. laptop in hand. whatTHEhell.

if that wasn't a red flag, i went out with him again. while eating a spicy thai dish at dinner he says, and i quote, "my butt is going to be crying later tonight!"

i couldn't make this weirdness up!

but i finally met a sweet boy, who has yet to mention his bodily functions or abandon me for an hour in the bathroom with a laptop… fewf!



Eight dates in three weeks! Good lord that seems like a lot (and a lot of fun/ funny stories)!

PS penn…. that guy sounds like a whole mess of crazy. Good thing you got out after on ly 4 dates… think about what would happen if you waiting a month or so!


This is why, if I can help it, I will not be turning to the computer for a date.

The mouthbreather's worries of you tracking him down are weird…. I would have not been too thrilled to hear him say that… In fact, knowing my smart ass I probably would have said something that either, in the long run, offended him, or grilled him as to why he doesn't want me finding him anyway…


I've been on OKCupid since May and between May-January met up with, roughly, seven guys. I have had to filter out dozens, though, and I have received a good amount of passive-aggressive/perverted/creepy messages. I'm now on a "friends-only" status with my OKC profile because I did meet someone and we're exclusive. Interestingly enough, I met him in a bookstore πŸ™‚


Oh wow Sarah do I ever feel your pain…I have tried the online dating thing a few times now, and while I think it's definitely worth trying (I mean, it's certainly better than sitting at home watching the Biggest Loser and moping about not having a date), unfortunately there are just as many losers on these sites as in real life, maybe more.

I got this message last night on Plenty of Fish "not gonna lie, i wanna get down and dirty tonite. don't have a pic up for a variety of reasons, none of which matter right now, add me on msn and we can talk some more about how this could play out. i'm 28, 6'3, 210, decent build, tall and good looking. i'm serious, you be too. peace"

riiiiiight. I'll get right on that.

Worst date would have to be the guy who insisted on going to the art gallery, even though it was currently showing a feminist exhibit. We're talking walls of vaginas here people. ON A FIRST DATE. Plus, he had lego hair (you know, when it looks like you could just pick it up in one piece and put it on someone else?). The real kicker though was when we entered a different, more interactive part of the gallery, that happened to have a house made of mattresses. He started jumping on it, and when I refused to join him, he accused me of "not having an inner child".

Seriously, arranged marriage is looking better all the time.


I did the internet dating thing for a while in Welly and yep I did meet a mix of characters… things to look out for are:

The guys that look NOTHING like their profile (had two of them) – they were not bad looking just completely different from what I was expecting so totally threw me..

The guy who told me his name was 'Steve' obviously liked me so much that he showed me his view from his office at the end of a date where his name tag says he is called 'Michael' – This is after I have spent 4 hours climbing eating dining and getting lifts from this guy…

A guy so laid back with no opinions what so ever who is quite happy to let me pay for everything….

Hmm but they are not always that much better in the real world… I have lots of current dating horrors but that's another story…


so i haven't really had a lot of dates…some mundane, but nothing like you've experienced. however, my ex decided to give me lots of house cleaning supplies for my birthday one year…as in window cleaner, shower scrub, dish soap, all purpose cleaner. and trust me, my house wasn't dirty. wtf?


That's one thing I like about the US – the dating culture. Here in New Zealand we don't really do that. I've either had long, intense relationships (one lasted a year and a half, the other two years) and I'm only 19! After my recent-ish break up and moving to another city where I know zero people (I AM loving Wellington, though!) I've decided that when I choose to jump back into the world of gentlemen admirers, I am going to INSIST on dating first, before jumping into another long relationship!


I had a lot of dud dates from OK Cupid too. Also some nice guys that I just wasn't interested in. And just when I was about to pack it in, I met the guy I've now been with for a year. So, good guys are on the site…. It can just take a bit to find them.


"Yur rilly hot." I hope you said silently to yourself, "well, at least he's right about that." All I can offer is that all of your adventures and your outlook on life – including this time being single – WILL totally pay off. You'll meet the lid for your pot and meet some super cool friends in the process. I promise.


Excellent post! Good to see you getting out there, as crazy as it may be! Sure as hell makes for some good stories. I met my current boyfriend on a blind date. We got set up by a mutual friend. Sometimes these things work out, sometimes they don't, but the fun is in the journey. At least you can be reminded of the traits that you don't like in a person!


You are so, so, SO not alone! I've done the online dating thing too and oh boy, do you get some great stories out of it. Love this post, and can relate to it SO much! We must talk further about this. πŸ™‚


Hey Sarah – Colin Thomsen here, Jan's son. My mother told me your blog was great so I checked it out and this post cracked me up.

A couple of years ago I myself went through a brief but eventful spate of online dating, though in my case it wasn't on any paid service – I used Craigslist. I had a thriving social life but I just didn't know many single women and I'd never been one for the bar scene (and besides, have you ever in your life known someone who met their partner in a bar?). So I posted a couple ads, and responded to a few more, and went out on a handful of dates.

I ended up with…a lot of stories. Some good, most bad. After a while I stopped posting ads, and then stopped responding to others, and just started reading them for the purely morbid glee of it all, in exactly the same way that you can't help but gawk as you drive past a car accident.

These experiences were part of the inspiration for a short film I made with a friend of mine:

You should check it out. On a sidenote, it features my mom, and her cat.


This post was too funny! Although I'm sorry you haven't had much luck.

I had a friend who did the online dating thing, and she talked to a guy who told her he wanted her to be the mother of his baby. They didn't need to get married or even be together or anything. He just wanted her to have his child.


Hi, I once went out with a guy I met on a dating site. He was very smart with IT. Had a great job. Multilingual. Well-read. Adventurous. Rather Risk-taking. We dated for a short time until I witnessed him beat up a guy who crossed him (I thought, hey, Im not waiting around to see if Im next). 2 years later, I heard thru a mutual friend that my Date is now in Jail. For attempted strangulation murder of a woman. Cold chills!


I met a guy off plentyoffish – typical hot surfer looking guy, an actor/dancer. When we meet, he has VERY VERY obvious veneers, he tells me he's a male stripper, and he asks me one question, and that's it. The entire conversation revolves only around him. I ask everything.

Oh, and he had stupid tattoos and said he was a vampire. Ya.

The Sequin Cat

I dated a little bit in Paris, thanks to OkC. Some good, some bad… like the one-sided conversation (me doing all the work) in an industrial bar in the charming latin quarter (complete with glow sticks in the drinks and flashing traffic lights). Needless to say, he was the one responsible for the selection of the bar.

Or the "28 year old" (I'm 23) who revealed he was actually 33 a few weeks later when we added each other on facebook.

Ah, funny times.


Whoa. Those are some doozies. My worst date began with Mr. Charming informing me that there were three types of women he didn't date:

"#1 Women with children, because, well, you know…#2 Divorcees because they're too dramatic… #3 Foreign Nationals because they just want a green card."

I politely smiled, guiltily raised my hand and lied through my teeth, "all three," and made a graceful exit.


Ah, I'm dipping my toes in the online pool, but not really feeling it. I keep getting messages like this gem: "How are you? I really want to live in New Zealand really bad. Can I come stay with with you? I will help with rent, food, cleaning all that junk."

Ummm. No.


I'm taking a serious break from online dating. Because frankly? It's way too much work to even try to attempt conversation with simpering idiots.


haha these stories were hilarious.. i esp liked the mouth-breathing medical employee. i was on okcupid for a week.. got some disturbing messages (hey baby im in town tonight, wanna see my abs?!) pass. before i deleted my account i emailed a quirky med student-(i dont think these ppl have time to real-life date). His emails made me laugh out loud and he wasnt your typical frat-boy douche..we've been dating for almost a year. πŸ™‚

The Fabulous Gloria Blackwell

Pace yourself, lady! 8 dates in three weeks! How about 1 date a week? There are a lot of unsavory characters out there but there are good ones. It will just take some dating-endurance to find them. Try a marathon pace rather than a sprint. (And try to have some fun…it is just dating after all!)


I've dabbled in the okcupid pool too. Took a break because it seemed I'd never meet anyone normal!

Let's see…the indian documentary maker who wouldn't let go of my arm and kept making excuses why I couldn't leave the cafe for FIVE hours, then called me five minutes later enquiring as to whether I'd felt the same connection he did?

um, no.

Or the author who was oh so dreamy, but turned out he was an author who writes books about CATS and all he talked about for 2 hours was CATS and made me buy all the drinks because he forgot his wallet. Bet he buys his cats drinks.

Or the totally dreamy childrens rights lawyer who told me as soon as we met that he had previously tried crack and heroin (not a huge deal) then as we got a bit drunker, told me he still does it sometimes for 'fun.'

Thanks ok cupid.


Not a date … but the other week I woke up to find my companion had Jesus tattooed (very badly) on his arm, and lived in a flat compound with a broken gate lock so I had to climb over a fence to leave in the morning..


Oh dear lord, I'm having flashbacks reading about your 'dates'. I have given up on online dating for awhile, but I used to send my close circle of friends updates about my mis-adventures in online dating called "MotW". This stood for Man of the Week or Monster of the Week, depending on what mood I was in after said interactions.

The one thing I learned from all of my time in the online dating world was this:

No grammar, no love!

I think I should have buttons, t-shirts and bumper stickers made up, don't you?

God love ya! Good luck. πŸ™‚


I have to be on at least my second bottle of wine before I can tell you about my *worst* date (plus I honestly think I can win some money with the story, some day)…but I did have more than a few baaaaad dates before I settled down with my guy 3 yrs. ago.

1) 5 minutes into a first blind date, asked whether I want to get married or not. When I responded that I couldn't quite imagine that scenario at that time in my life, one was created for me: "what if you fall head over heels…"

2) Dinner before a concert, where date declared himself so enthralled with my conversation that he'd prefer to skip the concert and keep talking. Instead drank himself into a stupor, and opted to stay and keep drinking while I walked myself back to my car.

3) Date left after 20 minutes because I have a tattoo on my shoulder. So much for new skirt, huh? I laughed all the way back home.

Good post. Very relatable!


Wow – I am so glad I am still married to my college sweetheart. I can't even imagine how difficult it would be to be out dating right now, and the thought of hitting the bar (or website) looking for women to try ridiculous lines on seems so futile.


Cheers for this post – I found myself nodding knowingly while reading it … when I wasn't belly laughing at the dating horrors you've chronicled.

I'm a little late to the party with this comment, but I stumbled across this article in the Guardian, and remembered your dating adventures. I passed it on to my friend moxywoman (who commented earlier ^^upthere) and she and I agreed that perhaps this might provide new dating, er, adventures:

London Review of Books Lonely Hearts

Laura Elaine

Poor Sarah V – those sound dreadful! Please don't give up hope though. I have a feeling your right dude is not lurking around on the interwebz though.

I went on a date once where the guy was so painfully awkward. I have a small scar on my knee and one on my finger from a bike accident when I was a kid. (Wow, that actually sounds kind of bad ass now!) Anyway, he sees them and exclaims "Wow…you got a lotta scars!" Just the thing a gal wants to hear, right?
He later asked me how many guys I dated. I was still a virgin and had 3 boyfriends between high school and my freshman year of college. Whore alert! He thought I "really got around."
Basically, he made disparaging remark after disparaging remark about me, in the attempt to make small talk. Sigh. I left feeling like a deflated balloon.


I'm kinda late to the game on this, but it just happened and I felt the need to share. I just joined okcupid and I've been getting some messages, mostly vaguely creepy. Some gave me the impression that they have a standard message that they send to every girls. One guy was especially creepy though. His user name is something like 'Chubby cox' and his message was 'Holly boobs! is friends with benefits an option?'


Two pre-Internet dates:

1) Angry Russian ex-pat who spends entire date trying to “neg” me before that was what we called aggressive attempts to crush your date’s self-esteem. He wasn’t good at it, though. He criticized my shape, implying I was too fat, and what i chose to eat (pasta). I was 5’9″ and about 110 pounds soaking wet. If anything, I needed to eat a couple of cheeseburgers.

2) Hapless adenoidal dweeb who got first date’s location wrong. Gave him a second chance, let him pick a nearby place, but also arranged with my friend that we’d have cocktails-only if he showed, and we’d move on from cocktails to eat a nice dinner if he didn’t. He called an hour after we started eating to ask where I was. He’d gotten the restaurant HE SUGGESTED wrong. I declined a third attempted date.


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