With Valentine’s Day here it’s easy to focus on all the loved up couples parading around on social media and living their best lives.
But let’s press pause on those for a minute and focus on those who are still searching for romance – or perhaps just a fling – and who are living life in the dating lane.
It’s those people who, let’s face it, have the best stories to tell and why this article is even able to exist in the first place.
We all know dating can be fun. Those first few dates where you hardly know anything about each other and are just excited to be in each other’s company can be amazing.
But that isn’t to say that all dating is fun, because sometimes you just choose the wrong person, or the wrong place, and everything goes t*ts up. Trust me, I should know.
Which is exactly why I’m writing an article all about dating disasters – because what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to put everyone off finding love (or at least dating) for a short time. You can thank me later.
One person who knows all about dating disasters is Lauren Crouch, from North London, who’s had so many she’s actually started a blog that’s dedicated to her experiences.
Speaking to UNILAD, Lauren – a dating writer – jokes she’s had so many bad dates she must be the ‘unluckiest’ dating writer in the world. One time, she went on a Tinder date with a man who insisted they went to Costa Coffee – a serious waste of eyeliner, as she put it.
But that wasn’t where the date went wrong. Nope, that was when the man asked (after 25 minutes) if she’d like to go back to his so he could cook for her – because he had a food delivery arriving.
At this point, Lauren said no because she didn’t feel comfortable going back to someone’s house who she had only just met. And also, why would she want to help unpack his food delivery on a first date?
After trying to persuade her with ‘lots of nice fresh vegetables and good fish’, Lauren again refused and the man said he had to leave to be home in time for the delivery. Wow.
After a 30 minute date which ended in him leaving for a food delivery, you’d probably expect Lauren never to hear from him again wouldn’t you?
But you’d be wrong, because Lauren then received these texts on her way home:
So not only did he leave 30 minutes into the date for a food delivery, Lauren’s date then had the audacity to ask for a refund on the £3.50 coffee that he’d just bought her. Just because it became clear she didn’t want to see him again. Mind = blown.
Rather than refusing flat out to pay him back (which I would have admittedly done), Lauren offered to donate £3.50 to a charity of his choice – even saying she’d bump it up to £5 to cover the cost of his bus journey.
An extremely generous offer, I think it’s fair to say – especially considering his behaviour. But her date was having none of it, and proceeded to send over his bank details demanding his money back.
Lauren said of his response:
It made me feel like I’d made the right call not to see him again. If anything, it confirmed that I was a good judge of character.
Which, I think we can all agree, is pretty spot on. Imagine being a couple months into a relationship and him saying after an argument, ‘hey, you know that Freddo I bought you? Yeah, I need the 35p back. Like, now’.
It’s not even the fact that he asked for the money – it’s the fact he asked for it after he’d been rejected. It just wouldn’t have happened if Lauren had agreed to go back to his or if she’d agreed to see him again.
Another person who knows the flip side of dating is Sophia, from Manchester, who thought she’d met a nice guy on her birthday night out last year. The two exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up for drinks a week later.
When they met up, her date (Michael) asked if she wanted to meet his mates in another bar and Sophia agreed. Everything was going well and she was getting on with them all, even saying ‘we were all having a laugh and a dance’. But then things started to go a tad pear-shaped.
Sophia told UNILAD:
One of his friends was from Italy and I was going there in the summer, so he started to tell me where’s good to go. All of a sudden Michael came storming over like, ‘she’s with me mate’. His friend told him to calm down and explained that we were just talking.
It didn’t end there though, and it appeared Michael wasn’t looking to calm down anytime soon if his next actions were anything to go by.
I (always loving a joke) took a piece of ice out of my drink and dropped it down the back of Michael’s drink and told him to ‘cool off’. We all laughed and moved on with the conversation.
Then all of a sudden Michael takes a swig of his drink, turns to me and spits out the entire drink on my face.
Yep, you read that right. On their first date, he thought spitting out an entire drink onto her face was a good move. I can’t cope, it’s enough to put you off dating for life.
And if that wasn’t, this certainly will be; Ruth Walker, from Newcastle, went on a first date with a man who talked about diseases – such as cancer – the entire time. Now, I don’t know about you but diseases don’t really scream first date material to me…
In an attempt to get him to change his tact, Ruth explained her dad had cancer expecting him to move the conversation swiftly on – or ask about how he’s doing. Her date did none of those things though, and instead went on to explain why he thought it was peoples’ own fault if they get sick, before going on to insult vegans and celiacs.
At this point Ruth knew it was time to leave – quick – but her date decided to order them both another drink, preventing her from doing so. You’d better believe she drank it as fast as she could though and got the hell out of there!
Ruth told UNILAD:
He thought it went really well, but I have never had such a bad date. He made me cross on so many different levels. I told him we weren’t a match and never saw him again.
The fact that he thought the date went well suggests to me he’s either on another planet, or maybe he’d had a few too many drinks and the alcohol wiped the disease chat from his memory? Either way, it’s a strong no from me.
Well, if those stories aren’t enough to put you off dating for life (or at least until you forget about this article in approx five minutes) I’m not sure what will.
The best of luck in your future dating endeavours, guys and gals! You’ll certainly need it…
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).