The date from hell


In our Dating Diaries, real people talk about real dates … what went right, what went wrong, what they learnt from the experience. And the biggest question of all: was there a second date?

Janine is a 45 year old office manager. She is divorced with two teenage children, a 19-year-old, and a 17-year-old. She is looking for a long- term relationship.

Who did you go on a date with? Ian, 51, a psychologist.

Where did you go?  We went to a bistro attached to a local sports club near my home.

Who picked the venue? I picked the venue, after Ian told me that he would take me to absolutely any restaurant in the city.  I thought that was a little over the top, so I picked something with good food and reasonable prices for our first date.

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How did you meet? On an online site as paying subscribers.

What did you like about his profile? Ian was articulate in his writing, seemed funny, and had similar tastes to me in books and music and interests. I felt very positive about meeting him, despite the fact he told me he had 7 cats, 4 dogs and a parakeet.   

Did you chat much before the date? We messaged for a few days, and then I gave him my number. He was a good conversationalist on the phone. We spoke twice during the week before we agreed on a date, and a few times on the day of the date leading up to it.

What did you wear? I wore jeans, nice low-heeled boots, and a pretty top. I was not over or underdressed.

 What were your first impressions when you met in person? Ian called to say he’d be running late, so we changed the time. He then called again twenty minutes after the agreed time to say he was lost, and then again twenty-five minutes later to say he was still lost! He finally arrived nearly an hour late. My first thought when seeing him was ‘Oh no!’ Not only was he carrying a backpack, but he reeked of alcohol.

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What did you chat about? As soon as we were seated Ian opened the backpack to show me that he had packed an overnight bag, including toothbrush! I explained nicely that he would be returning to his own home after our date, but he leaned in as though he hadn’t heard me and proceeded to kiss me. It was revolting. He then asked if he could be my boyfriend. I didn’t want to cause a scene in the restaurant, so I said I think it might be too soon to consider such things, and that I had to go. He apologised and begged me to stay for one drink. I agreed. Rookie error! Ian kept trying to hold my hand and asking me if I thought he was attractive. He might have mentioned wanting to take me to Rome. He was a lecherous creep.

How long was the date? About 90 mins longer than it should have been.  It was about 90 mins.

Any embarrassing moments? Yes, the time between when we arrived and left.  I was mortified that other patrons might consider that we were ‘together’.

Have you had contact since the date? To my great surprise, Ian sent me a text the next morning, which read “I think you need to give us time to allow your feelings to develop”.  I blocked him.

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What did you take away from the experience? I was little traumatized. At no time had I felt unsafe, but I had clearly got it very wrong and it created a lot of self-doubt. I also left hungry.

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