First Date Horror Stories

First dates. They can be that magical moment when you realize you have a connection with someone, or they can be the stuff nightmares are made of. The fine art of first dates can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship or wreak havoc on the ego of even the most confident among us.

 We all have first-date horror stories. The guy who spent an hour longingly reminiscing about his years as an eagle scout, or the woman who takes three 
calls from her ex-boyfriend and gushes about his huge sailboat. I even had a client tell me that a blind date walked in and, without saying a word, walked right back out. Ouch!

While we can laugh at these stories, have you ever wondered if you are "the bad date" who gets laughed at over happy hour with friends? No, you say, of course not. But, I regularly talk with singles who are able to get the first date, but have no idea why they never get a call for a second.

There are many reasons why two people connect. But, just to be safe, follow these tried-and-tested rules to make sure your next first date gets the proper opportunity for a second one.

First-Date Do's and Don'ts


Get in the right mindset

Somewhere along the way, dates have turned into an interview for marriage. Gee, that isn't intimidating or anything! This is a date. It's two people getting to know each other in a safe, social setting. You are not looking for a spouse or even a significant other. You're just looking for a second date. Your new mindset? Have fun, keep it light, and stay in the moment. At the end of the date, don't forget to ask yourself if you want a second date?


I love the story about a so-called "successful" date one client had. The connection was there, and the conversation flowed all night. "I can't believe he didn't call!" she said after a week had passed since her "amazing date." But, when I asked her to tell me more about the other person, her face went blank.

It's true the conversation flowed ... from her.  Listening is a key rule for the first few dates. It's a sure-fire way to make a positive first impression, and it will immediately show that your date - not you - is the center of attention. No matter how easy this sounds, asking open-ended questions and actually listening to the answers will get you everywhere.

You get to choose, too

Sometimes we are so excited that someone is interested in us that we forget to see if he or she is, in fact, a good match. We allow ourselves to be "chosen" by the other person, instead of choosing that person ourselves.

We need to know what we are looking for in a date, and we need to have the confidence to be able to choose (or not choose) a person based on our own beliefs, values, personality, etc. The minute we let someone else choose us, we are handing over the power in the relationship, which almost guarantees future resentment, anger and frustration. You need to be willing to know what you are looking for and choose someone back.


Drag it out

I don't know when we decided that every date needs to last hours. I don't think anyone wins from that situation. Your first couple of dates should be short and easy. Set up a lunch or coffee date. Talk, ask questions,  laugh and leave. Your date will find you a lot more intriguing if he or she 
knows you have a life to get to, and it will give your date a reason to call and ask you out again soon.

Dress inappropriately

Wear an outfit that makes you feel great and gives you confidence.  If you are out with friends and want to wear a shirt that's maybe little too low-cut, that's fine. But it is not appropriate for your dates. The idea is to have someone interested in all of you, not just parts. Also,  don't wear something that looks good but makes you feel stiff or awkward, as this translates to your behavior and body language. Remember, your objective is to get to know the other person and have fun in his or her company; you can't do that if you're distracted by your clothes.

Drink too much

You're a little nervous about dinner with your new date, and you figure a glass of wine will take the edge off, right? There is nothing wrong with a drink or two with your date (depending on personal limits, of course). But nobody wants to talk to a drunk person across the table. Not only 
is it a turn-off, but you are more likely to share things you wouldn't normally share. You will wake up embarrassed the next day, and you probably won't get a call for a second date.

Reveal everything

As you are getting to know someone, keep the conversation interesting, but keep it light. No one needs to hear about former relationships or how many children you want the first few times you go out together. Find fun and neutral topics that will give you a peek at this new person without sharing too much, too soon. We all move at different paces and "putting it all out there" right away can be intimidating for some people.  People who would be potential dates.

There's no denying that first dates can be intimidating and nerve-wracking;  there can be a fine line between putting your best foot forward and being yourself. But, by keeping these simple tips in mind, your next first date can easily and quickly morph from an anxiety-ridden situation into a fun, relaxed event that hopefully leads to date #2.

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tags: online dating horror stories, dating horror stories, darting advice


Internet Dating Horror Stories
Is it just me, or is the internet dating scene a breeding ground for the most evil, hateful bottom-feeders in existence?

I am no stranger to internet dating. I first signed up in the summer of 2006, when my first serious relationship finally ended after a long, slow death. I was  on the rebound with a vengeance and it suited my needs perfectly. But then 
something weird happened- I felt, almost unable to let go.

As I was getting my life back together, it seemed like it was a comfort thing, a tool to get my fix for attention and adoration from all my "fans".  After years of being put down all the time and "changed" it felt nice to have strange men compliment me and compete for my affections. It made me feel good to be liked for who I am, and, in all honesty, helped me (inadvertently) get back a  self-esteem that I had long forgotten about.

The years passed by and with each short relationship, I drifted away and came back to online dating several times. It almost seemed like an addiction, how I would get high on myself and think "I don't need this shitty site, look at me!" only to leave and be called back to it once more, dependent on my need for "love".  Begrudgingly I would set up a new account in the hope that I would find someone who actually liked me.

See, this is the weird thing about internet dating, is that all these people are mixed in with you, talking to you, and competing with you. It becomes a place where people victimize others, manipulators come out of hiding, and the social outcasts become the dominant force. Give a man a mask and his true face is revealed!

Suddenly I was getting hatemail from anything to short messages just to tell me I was ugly, to these elaborately laid out essays on how I was a jerk because I didn't like short guys, or because I preferred one trait over another. Men who messaged me previously, whom I didn't respond to, or whom I rejected, would flame, report and send me the most evil messages I have ever heard. Some of these hate-letters I received on Valentine's Day, of all days.

First of all, since when is it "incorrect" to have physical preferences?  Honestly, I have found the majority of the best looking, most charismatic guys on the particular site I use are shorter than 5'10; Unfortunately for me,  inherently I posses a gene that prohibits me from being attracted to men who aren't significantly taller than me. It's definitely not personal, just a  preference, but I get flamed for it a lot.

And then the dates... Some of the dates I have been on are scary to even talk about, to be honest. Some people, let me tell you, are just plain lying. I have met men who looked nothing like their picture. I've met guys who were completely  awkward and abrasive. I have been on dates with guys who insulted me, yelled at  me, and made fun of my appearance, among other things.

Let me just say, I am not an ugly person, on the inside or the outside. I treat everyone close to me with respect and courtesy, and if they need help, I will do whatever they need as long as it's within my capability. I have been called "pretty" and would consider myself a fairly attractive woman. So when I get insults like these, it really hurts my pride and makes me feel crappy,  mostly because I know it's untrue and I feel stupid for letting it bother me.

Also, I would like to touch briefly on how unimaginably crazy some people on these sites are. Ladies, please be careful! Please! As an experienced person in the realm of internet dating, I want to personally warn you that some of the men on these sites are predators: Plain and simple. I have been stalked, harassed, physically beaten, yelled at, abandoned (left stranded), threatened and mentally abused by men I have met on these sites. No joke.

There have been a lot of good experiences, as well as bad ones, and I suppose the good is what has kept me coming back to the site so many times. I want to have faith that I will meet someone decent to spend time with, because I have met some really amazing people. I have a new group of friends from various walks of life and experiences, whom I adore, thanks to one of the most popular sites. I have had many friends come in and out of my life, and I appreciate them all  for being there, as long or as little time I had them.

As for the men I have dated, I have met some very amazing men whom I wish things would have worked out with. There have been men who weren't quite a fit, but whom I respect greatly and know they are wonderful people. There have been some I tried to convince myself I was made for, even.

The years have passed and I finally have come into my own as a person, and I am realizing that, in one way or another, we are all broken. Maybe that's what has brought me back again and again, the knowledge that on these sites, these people understand that part of me, the broken part. They understand loneliness and solitude, and a longing for something that seems unattainable. I am also finding that, the more I love myself, and know myself, the less I need to care about what these strange men think of me or their love-hate-filled letters. I find myself appreciating the compliments I get, but not really "needing" them as I craved them before. I am discovering that the more I understand myself, the more insight into the actions of others; I see through their actions, and most of all, the easier it becomes to separate the ones who are worth my time, and those who are not.

Overall, I think the whole internet dating scene is a great venue for meeting friends and business networking above all. As far as romantically, I have personally never dated anyone from those sites for more than 3 months in the 3+ years I've been using them, so I can tell you from experience that I would not foresee long-term potential from this medium, for several reasons. However, I do believe that everyone is different, and I know of several people who have gotten  married to people they met online. That has not been my personal experience in  the least, however, I am a keeper of the faith.

I do believe in love, and believe me, I love being in love. I refuse to be a slave to it, though, and settle for less than what I am happy with for the sake of being "attached" to someone. I truly believe you need to love yourself before you can love another, and when the time is right for me, my Knight will come and  seek me out. Until then, I'm putting away my internet profile ladies and
gents,  because in all honesty (and in my opinion)- It sucks.

 Samantha Hlavacek 
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tags: internet dating, hooking up, online dating horror stories