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Dates Gone Bad

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Dates Gone Bad: Red Flags to Take Heed of That It's Time to Move On - breething.comPicture

I recently had the opportunity to share this story on a webchat with some very special ladies and I’m here to share this story with you.  It’s easily the most embarrassing and without the worst date I have ever been on (and there have been some doozies in my day).  At the time, it was anything but funny, but looking back on it all you can do is laugh!

Let me preface my story with a bit of advice.  If a friend is willing to set you up on a date, I say awesome, but in the next breath I say, be careful. With the wonders of modern technology, do your research!  I know I bashed this in a previous post, but the more I think about it, if Facebook was around at the time of this ridiculous event it would have been in my best interest to check this guy out.  Also pay attention to “red flags”.  Lastly, if a friend has pictures of him from more than a year ago, it’s safe to say that he has probably changed…sometimes drastically.

Red Flag No. 1 – Red Stripe is a better name for a beer than your suntan!

A dear friend of mine that I’ve known since preschool decided to set me up with a friend of her’s that she had gone to church camp with over the years.  I’m big into my church camp so I thought that we’d at least have that in common, so I agreed. She sent me a few pictures via email of this guy and the pictures proved to be promising, but I was still nervous.

Because I am of English, Welsh and German decent I am naturally a pinkish-pasty whiteness year round, so I thought, “what the hey, I’ll lay out in the pool for a bit before the big day and at least I’ll have a bit of a sun-kissed look”.  Silly me laid on the raft that partially submerges your body and then… I fell asleep.  About an hour later I emerged from the water with red stripes down my legs and a red patch on my chest.  My arms were a nice bright pink color and my poor nose looked like it was fried rather than lightly baked.  Luckily a bit of makeup was able to mask some of the “fried” parts, but there was no helping the racing stripes up and down my legs.

I still decided that I wouldn’t cancel on the guy and so I laid out a cute outfit despite my nerves.

Red Flag No. 2 – If he doesn’t show, then go!

We were supposed to meet at the lake at Oglebay (a local park and resort).  I got there early because I was nervous and probably drove too fast and so I walked around the lake once just to help shake off the jitters.  I then parked myself at a table near the dock where families were boarding paddle boats for a ride around the lake.  It was a beautiful evening and I enjoyed watching the families and hearing the laughter and shrieks of delight from the kids.  I forgot my watch and this was pre-cell phone days (yes, I am that old) so I asked one of the workers at the concession stand what time it was after I had waited for a little while.  I then returned to my seat and continued watching the paddle boaters and kids chasing after ducks and geese with broken pieces of hot dog buns and popcorn.  And I waited.  And waited.

The guy that I had asked the time of came out and started a casual conversation with me and asked if I was meeting someone.  I confessed that I was and that it was blind date, so I wasn’t exactly sure what he looked like.  He assured me that the guy would turn up soon and went back to tidying up the place.  So I continued to wait.  And waiting some more.  The the guy from the stand came over with a box of popcorn.  “On the house, while you wait”, he said.  I smiled, probably turned about 50 shades of red (on top of my sunburn) and thanked him.  I ate the entire box while I continued to wait.  And then I just gave up.  As I walked past the concession stand, I thanked the worker for the popcorn again and glanced at the clock on the wall just inside.  I had waited for nearly two hours.

(Note: Don’t try this at home…it’s not worth it, even if the popcorn is good!)

Red Flag No. 3 – If his car breaks down, don’t be his Princess Charming!

So as I said, this was pre-cell phones so I went home, completely disheartened and pretty mad.  I sent an email to this mystery guy letting him know that I had been to our meeting spot and had waited for him and that he never showed. Instead of greeting me for a “romantic evening”, he must have been sitting at his computer because I quickly got a message on AIM (that is AOL Instant Messenger for you young-ins) from him saying that he was sorry that he didn’t make it, his car had broken down.  He said that he wanted to make it up to me and could I meet him for lunch the following day.  I figured my pinkish-pastiness would probably return by then, so I figured it was a safe bet and I agreed.  And then…he asked if I would pick him up at his house, since he was without a car.  And I agreed.  (Face meet palm!)

Red Flag No. 4 – Sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by its cover.

The next day, I arrived in a nice neighborhood full of beautiful homes and so despite my nerves flaring up again, I felt hopeful. I parked the car and knocked on the door and when it opened, I may have gasped.  I’m pretty sure you could hear my thought bubbles of the pictures my friend had sent popping one by one.  Before me stood a guy who had obviously gained quite a bit of weight since the pictures had been taken, wearing a pair of dirty, holey jeans (and I’m not talking about your average A&F jeans), a ratty t-shirt and sported long, scraggly hair.  He looked like he had just rolled out of bed and tossed on something from his dirty clothes bin.  He greeted me with a smile and I think I did the same.

And then the phone rang.  He waved me inside and pointed to the family room while he went and retrieved the phone.

The house was gorgeous and well kept, such a stark contrast to his appearance.  I went through the formal living room as I made my way to the family room with a wrap-around couch and a large screen TV.  I sat on the couch as he entered the room, cordless phone in hand.  He sat down next to me and immediately put his arm around me, pulling me closer to him.

I’m pretty sure a strobe light went off as well as a red flag at this, but I think I was in too much of shock to actually move. He smelled of cigarettes.

He quickly ended the phone call saying, “Sorry, that was my mom,” and sat down the phone before he turned to me and kissed me full on the mouth.  He tasted like cigarettes too.  From there he proceeded to try to make out with me, even though he had probably said less than twenty words to me in person, and he tried to pin me down on the couch as he groped his way.  Finally the warning bells and whistled started to pierce my brain and I had had enough, so I pushed him back.  I quickly stood, straightening my freshly laundered and date appropriate outfit as I told him that I was not ready for that kind of date/relationship/whatever-he-had-in-mind and grabbed my purse and headed for the door.  He apologized over and over as I made my way back through the beautiful home.  I didn’t even look back as I walked out.

Instead of heading to where I was supposed to be having lunch, I drove through the nearest drive-thru fast food restaurant so I could gargle some pop.  I called my best friend and we went shopping instead.  I’m also pretty sure that I didn’t give all of those details to my mom (until right now – Hi Mom!) but I was embarrassed, humiliated, violated and down-right freaked out by the whole incident.

I have since gone on other blind dates, including one that lead to 1.5 year long relationship, but somehow I still didn’t learn to watch out for those red flags and so that relationship fizzled only after my heart had been trampled on.  I think I’ve learned my lesson.  But in case I haven’t and you hear that I’m in a relationship – ask me if I’ve had any warning signs recently – if I immediately deny that I have, then send me to this blog post as a reminder of what I do NOT want in a man!

Thanks in advance!

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