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Valentine’s day is fast approaching and the air around us is starting to look a little bit rosy for those in love and looking for love. The romantics gather round for a reason to go on a date on the 14th; singles pat off the dust on their social skills to hit up their old and new acquaintances or strangers on dating apps. Hearts begin to flutter at the thought of spending a romantic day together and the thrill of romance increases one’s expectations. One may start to expect the day to begin with a smile, playful banter, an enjoyable conversation and an ending with a promising goodbye, a gift, an intimate exchange or an invitation to stay together longer. But sometimes (or most times), reality does not go according to expectations.

On the other end of the dating spectrum lies the bad dates which make you cringe in embarrassment, have you wallowing in sorrow or clenching your fists in anger from remembering them. Those are the dates that leave a bitter taste in your mouth – the prospect of finding a romantic partner to spend your day with turned out to be a disaster waiting to happen. 

My friends here can testify to experiencing the flip side of a date that went terribly wrong:  

*Warning: not for the faint hearted*

  1. Negative chemistry

“My dating life is honestly a whole saga of train wrecks. I have one experience that I’ll let y’all in on. I would say that I’m quite easy going and chatty, especially with people I do not know well.  But there was this one guy that I really liked and got REALLY nervous with on a date. Turns out our chemistry was a literal negative value. Like, 15 minutes of silent awkwardness. So embarrassing. And it gets WORSE — I became best friends with his best friend and learnt that he has been texting 5 girls and I was labeled as the ‘main hoe’. Girl HUH? So that was the kicker.”

  1. Cheaters cheaters pants on fire

“I was dating this guy and things were going all smoothly (or so i thought) until one day i received a call from my roommate telling me that she and him had sex (more than once) while i was already going out and talking to him. They hid it from me for a few months…Long story short, I just wanted to be over this traumatic experience ASAP, so I decided to cut them off from my life as much as possible, ended things with the guy, and as for my roommate, we aren’t talking anymore and coexist in the same room like strangers… Pretty bad situation, but i can’t move out of the dormitory because my school is too far from home. And now I can say I’m fairly scarred by the dating world.” 

  1. Jake Gyllenhall’s Junior

“I met this guy through instagram and we often replied to each other’s stories. It led to a couple of ‘debates’ regarding problematic depictions of women in the media. He was really nice and sweet in our exchanges when we shared about our differences in certain topics and we decided to go on a date eventually. 

However, the moment we met up on our date, he was cold and uninterested in starting a conversation. I had to initiate most of the conversations and he would only reply with one to two words. When we settled on a place to eat (which he played no part in deciding), we came to a topic on a girl’s view towards sex and the conversation became really heated. He shared that all girls enjoyed giving blowjobs to a guy based on his and his friend’s experience. I told him that not all girls necessarily enjoyed doing so, and were often portrayed in the media to be more submissive in a relationship  where a girl enjoys a one sided pleasure catered towards men. Nonetheless, i agreed that his group of friends did have their own sexual preferences and drive, that it was understandable that they enjoyed giving blowjobs and such. 

But he kept insisting that their experience validated his stance on ALL girls and completely disregarded my opinions. He started attacking me when i shared about my friend’s experiences and said that when i asked my friends about their sexual experiences, I imposed onto them by asking them questions that led them to answer in the way that i want. Whereas his friends were honest with him as he was not being ‘biased’ with his questions. I lost my appetite as the conversation went nowhere. He continued to act disinterested in the rest of the date by checking his phone constantly and turning to look at other girls while they walked past. Towards the end, he even had the audacity to ask me to go to his place with him to chill, making puppy eyes and whiny voices to convince me to do so. But I said no because the date was horrible, and we went our own ways afterward, never dm-ing each other again. From the way that he was dismissing my opinions, to the way he gaslighted me and my friend’s experience and tried to play it off at the end, he and Jake Gynllenhaal would’ve made a great pair.” 

  1. Not worth the ‘work’

“This was one of the worst dates that I’ve ever been on. Happened 4 or 5 years ago and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the trainwreck that it was. Met this girl on Tinder and we hit it off pretty well with a few similar interests and topics to talk about. The only gripe that I had with her was with her slow replies which took 4-5 days to week. I brushed it aside as I was busy with work as well, but one day after work, replying to her message, I asked her casually, ‘How’s work been so far, busy?’ and all i got was a curt reply that said, ‘I don’t like this question because it makes me feel obligated to reply to you and I feel pressured.’ Ok…?

That should have been my first red flag. It was an innocuous qns but it felt like I had touched a nerve so I apologized immediately. It was clear that she wasn’t interested and I took the hint and backed off. That was supposed to be it. But she asked me if I was down to get drinks sometime and I agreed. Fast forward 2 weeks later, to the date at 7:15pm that was set to be near her workplace (for her convenience), I was hungry and waiting but she turned up 45 minutes later, didn’t apologize nor suggested looking for a place to dine. Instead she told me to follow her on her work errands and, I kid you not, she brought me to a mall’s car park to insert car fliers for 30 mins. I was all dressed up for the date and in retrospect I should have left right away but at that point in time, I was more amused than angry and decided to be polite about it. 

By the time we went for our dinner, it was already close to 9pm and I was STARVING. She was completely inconsiderate the whole time, checking her phone constantly (citing work), ordered one too many beers and soju (even though I stated that I wasn’t drinking too heavily due to work on the next day). She got drunk and puked, and I had to clean up after her and apologize to the restaurant staff. I ended up sending her back home and you can be sure that that was the last time I have ever contacted her. It was a total disaster and an unpleasant experience from start till the end. Felt completely blindsided by how rude and inconsiderate she was when we just met. I don’t know why I even put up with it in the first place, it’s definitely a date not worth the work.”

Sometimes dreams can turn into a nightmare and I think the same can be said about the dating world. As much as there are many amazing dates out there, there are also tons of horrible dates that have happened, and both of these experiences will become a memoir of how we view and treat love.

andrea leong

Nanyang Tech '22

Constantly tired, could lie in bed all day and still be tired. If someone is to write a story about her, she would like to be identified as a pebble size rock. And her friends would be the protagonist of the story, carrying her around in their pockets while they travel around the world. – Inspired by Suga & V's conversation
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