There are plenty of ways to ace the first date: You feel the chemistry immediately. You both love the food at dinner. She compliments your jacket. You make her laugh. Better yet, she makes you laugh. You end the night with a kiss if you’re lucky—and a second date if you’re really lucky.
But there are also many ways a first date can go horribly, horribly wrong: You show up late. The conversation gets awkward. Your card gets declined. You go in for the kiss and she shakes your hand instead.
For every good date, you’ve probably had about five hideous ones. In the face of what can feel like an endless struggle, 18 women tell us the worst dates they’ve ever been on—so no matter how bad you feel, at least you didn't do what THESE guys did.
“When I was studying abroad my roommates set me up on a date. He decided to go the cinema and when I met him he kept touching his neck and looking at his watch. I thought, ‘God, he must be bored already’. He kept doing this the whole way through the film so when we came out the film I just straight out asked him what the deal was with the watch checking… He told me he’d be checking his pulse to see how aroused I was making him to see if he was attracted to me. OH! BUT WAIT—he then handed me a note with a list of reasons why he liked me, including ‘you make my heart beat on average of 130bpm when I’m around you.'” –Jeanna D.
“I had a first date that was going really well…and then he asked me how many people I've slept with, when the last time I'd had sex was and how it came about. No second date.” —Charlotte J.
“A first date came to my house as I’d offered to cook dinner, it was all going romantically and wonderfully until he kept vanishing to the kitchen every 30 minutes to call his mum and let her know how it was going.” –Olivia T.
“He was so offensive about my job within hospitality during the date, so it was a no go. However, I'd known him before the date so had planned to crash in his spare room anyway but then we got back, and he was obsessed about watching Aladdin. So much so, that after talking through a bit, he would rewind it and rewatch it, making me sit in silence. The cuddly dolphin on his bed should have been a clear giveaway.” –Jen E.
“He took me to a Mexican restaurant which I was hyped about – it was notorious for its good food and even better cocktails. We were getting on fine and then when the waiter came he ordered nachos… with no guacamole, no salsa and no sour cream, quite literally just the chips with melted cheese on top. Oh, and a vodka lemonade to wash it down.” —Chloe W.
“He seemed perfectly nice, I wasn’t madly attracted to him, but he seemed like such a gentleman. We left the bar we’d met in to walk to another one and on the way, there was a huge pile of leaves next to the path. OUT OF NOWHERE, he pushed me into them and then FELL ON TOP OF ME to fake roll around in them like he was copying some cheesy rom com. I was like ‘WTF WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! GET ME UP!’ because I was legit lying on the floor in the cold in a pile of potentially shit filled leaves.” –Rosie F.
“I was meeting a guy on a really hot day, so we went to a large park for our first date. I couldn’t see him in the parking area so called him. He said, ‘See that fat mess walking across the park in a neon top that she shouldn’t be wearing? I’m in the red BMW near her.' Insulting a stranger—first red flag. Red BMW—second red flag.” —Kelly S.
“I went on a date with a really tall guy–I’m 5’2 and he was 6’4. He literally measured my thigh with his hands while I was ordering a drink at the bar to ‘see if they would fit around him.’ At the end of the date he picked me up, but I wasn’t expecting it, so my arms were pinned down by my side and my legs were just dangling as I was held in mid-air. Then he kissed me while I was floating there… He texted me immediately after leaving to say how much of a connection he thought we had… NO.” –Katie W.
“So, I went on a date with this guy to see Avatar, everything was going well, and I didn’t get any bad vibes. Half way through the film he gets up and tells me he needs the toilet. FORTY minutes go by and I think yeah…he’s not coming back so I text him. He tells me that his dad’s been in a hit and run and he had to go home so I’m like fuck I hope he’s okay! I get home, go online and see that this guy has been sitting posting Farm World requests onto his Facebook wall! And then I went to college the next day and he’d told everyone I’d sucked him off in the cinema.” –Niki A.
“He took me back to his apartment after dinner... to watch him play FIFA. He genuinely thought he was a godsend at FIFA. I texted my friend to have her call me with an ‘S.O.S. You have to come quick!’ scenario. I feel like this is a general consensus amongst most women: Your ‘talent’ at video games does not make us want to become intimate with you. It probably just reminds us of our brothers.” —Brielle, 22
“A Rihanna song comes on and my date said: ‘Getting beaten up by Chris Brown was the best thing to ever happen to her career.’ Mind you, I oversee a domestic violence shelter.” —Heather, 27
“I got coffee with a dude who kept insisting we go back to one of our houses and get me inebriated somehow. Not him, just me—either weed or alcohol, and he wasn’t even subtle about it. He kept asking every 10 minutes if I wanted to go back to my/his place and ‘try some vodka gummy bears or smoke a bowl,’ but he made it very clear that he didn’t plan on getting intoxicated.” —Jenna, 23
“First off, he didn’t tell me it was a date. I legitimately thought we were just hanging out and playing Scrabble because he asked me to via Twitter. Then he invited his ex-girlfriend to hang out with us, which I later found out was his way of showing her he had moved on. I felt used.” —Dylan, 23
“We were supposed to go to a movie on a Friday night. He said his friends kind of wanted to go and asked if any of mine would want to join. It was already Friday night so my friends had plans. He asked if I still wanted to go, so I said sure. I figured he meant just the two of us and he would leave his two other guy friends at home. I figured wrong, and me and him sat in between the two of them for the duration of the movie. It was the worst. Never went out again.” —Maddie, 23
“One time I went on a blind date and the first thing the guy said to me was ‘Is that your real hair colour?’ I had been dyeing my hair a dark red for a few months and he actually mentioned something about it… like how do you respond to that?” —Alexis, 22
“The worst thing a guy has done on a first date is blow his nose at the dinner table. 1) How rude! 2) Now my burrito is ruined because of your snot.” —Lauren, 23
“After dinner, he took me back to his apartment and queued up Machine Gun Preacher on Netflix—kind of a jarring movie for a first date.” —Jessica, 24
“I once met up with a guy from OkCupid for coffee, and rather than engage in the usual getting-to-know-you chit-chat, he avoided eye contact and kept commenting on people at other tables with snarky remarks about their appearance or topics of conversation. Hearing how judgmental he was within 10 minutes of meeting him was a major turn-off, and I was happy to get out of there when my mug was empty. I’ve been on lots of Internet dates and usually enjoy the conversation, even if I’m not attracted to the guy, but this was the first time I counted down the minutes until it was over.” —Leah, 27
This article originally appeared on Men's Health