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No two dates are the same. There are great dates, awkward first-dates, dates you never want to end, dates you only want to end, boring dates, and dreadfully toe-curling this-is-my-horror story dates.

As February inevitably brings its barrage of Valentine’s Day and dating fever, I spoke to Her Campus readers to collect a series of bad (and funny) date tales so that if you’re dates are less than the hallmark romcom standard, you know you’re not alone.

The date who forgot their table manners

Picture this. A cute brunch date with perfectly poached eggs and coffees with elegant patterns dusted on top. You’re both getting on, conversation is flowing well but then he commits an absolute breakfast sin. He picks up that tiny bowl that keeps the bean juice from mixing with everything (quite possibly my favourite invention), puts it to his lips and drinks from it like he’s confused it with his mug.

Perhaps he took the song about beans being good for your heart slightly too seriously.

They never saw each other again.

The date that doubled up as a walking tour

We can choose the venue, the time, our outfit, but there are some things we can’t control about a date. The weather being one of them. There’s a high chance when dating in the United Kingdom that you’ll have to endure plenty of drizzly dates, however it is less than ideal when your date basically invites the rain to attend like a third wheel.

A Her Campus reader shares a first-date story where the pair planned to get to know each other over ice cream. However, the date descended downhill when he refused to sit in the ice cream parlour and that walking with the ice cream would be far more romantic. They completed laps around the same portion of the city centre in the rain. Now I don’t know about you but kissing in the rain is one of the most unrealistic romantic tropes and when you’ve only just met and are only planning to walk and talk, it’s only going to dampen the mood.

A relationship didn’t form from that date, but they did get in about 10,000 steps, so there’s that.

The date you didn’t realise was a date

This one starts off with a friend asking another friend to meet for drinks. Then one of those friends tells her other friends about the plan who quickly spell out to her that she’s agreed to go on a date with someone she didn’t realise was romantically interested. The day of the date-not-date rolls around and as she wasn’t sure how to approach the subject, has done nothing at all to rectify the situation. She decides it would be harsh to not show up or cancel and so invites a mutual friend to join the date.

Turning up with what probably seemed like a chaperone is one way to concoct a whole bunch of awkwardness but was one way of avoiding that conversation.

The ‘that’s my girlfriend, not my sister’ date

A Her Campus reader went with her girlfriend to a trampoline park – the perfect place for an active and energetic date, but really it was off to an unstable start the second she invited her teenage sister to tag along (is it still a date if you invite your sister? For the sake of a good story, we’ll allow it).

An important part of this story, so I’m told, is that the sisters look unquestionably similar, but her and her girlfriend did not.

They arrive at the reception to confirm their booking and safety waivers. The computer system listed all their names showing that two of them were related and the staff member, without hesitation, assumed that the couple were the sisters. This could’ve easily been brushed off and forgotten about had the actual sister not found it hilarious and mentioned it non-stop for the full hour of trampolining. Hard to bounce back from that.

The date your ex still ruins

It’s the first first-date post-lockdown. A food and drinks date is a simple and easy option to get to know someone with (hopefully) minimal awkwardness. That is until you arrive at the bar and realise your ex is also on a date sat on the table opposite you. There’s an eye contact that lasts too long and the uncomfortable feeling that you’re being watched. Dates can already make you feel vulnerable, as if you’re being observed, but when you’re actually being observed by an ex it can kill the entire mood right from the start.

The date that wasn’t worth the wait

When you’ve been crushing on someone for a long time and they finally ask you on a date it can be hard to not let our imaginations stifle the reality, however one Her Campus reader shares a story where the disappointment made her question that excited anticipation entirely.

It had all been planned out: he was going to come to her hometown they’d spend some time getting to know each other and then watch the new Star Wars movie together.

Time ticks by and he still hasn’t arrived. He’s four hours late. By the time he does show his face, she’s walked to the cinema twice and they have nearly missed the movie altogether. He offers little as an apology and makes no effort to split the cost of the date.

Her lasting impression of that date? “Never again,” she states.

Holly Peters

Exeter '22

I'm a Masters student studying Creative Writing who doesn't need any encouragement to talk at length about the recent band I've just discovered, my dogs or Paul Rudd movies.
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