I think everyone can relate to a good “Worst Date Ever” story, because there is something universal about having dates gone horribly wrong. The date itself is an inherently awkward occasion full of an awful mix of judgment and resulting insecurity. As a result, even minor slip-ups tend to seem unbearably magnified to the point of being tragic at the moment and tragically humorous later on.
We all dread the nightmare date. As we dress ourselves in our hip, cool, but not too cool and not too hip clothes, and try to balance the perfect smell of cologne and deodorant, we are attempting to dress for success in a desperate attempt to mitigate our contribution to a possible nightmare date. Yet no matter how hip / cool we look, or even how well we plot our dates, the nightmare date is a fact of life.
Never fear however, for although the nightmare date is an omnipresent risk we take as we put ourselves out there into the dating scene, I can personally attest that as I grow older and wiser I value my past nightmares far more than my mediocre successes. Honestly, how many people would be interested in a story about the girl I went on two dates with and then realized that the 15 minute commute to her house slightly outweighed the lukewarm feelings I had about her resulting in our break up? It’s bland. But a real nightmare date is the kind of thing friends stay up all night swapping stories about.
“So I met her on the bus and the date was going amazing until I noticed that she seemed really familiar. When I asked her about it she confessed that we had met freshman year in college and that she had spent the last three years while watching me from afar and planning a way for us to meet again. Roughly fifteen minutes later I was out of the bar and cruising the internet for resources on restraining orders.”
Or the time, “I was talking to her all night over dinner and we just clicked. We both loved museums, 80’s cover bands and small animals. As I was driving her back to her place to continue the dream date, I turned to look deeply into her eyes, and right as our eyes locked and the magic was about to take hold, I felt my car go right over a rabbit. Nothing annihilates the mood on a first date with an animal lover like murdering Thumper.”
Now I have no difficulty recalling how freaked out / traumatized I was by these disastrous trysts, but still what I really recall about them was how much fun these stories have been to tell to my fellow combatants who in turn show off their own dating battle scars. I have always strongly felt that a good experience is wonderful in the moment but a really stellar botch job makes a good story that lasts forever and in the world of dating this couldn’t be truer. There are really only three possibilities for a date: loving the moment you’ve spent with a person and hopefully setting the stage for more, realizing that the person just isn’t what you were looking for and being out $40.00 and an evening, but more aware of what you want, and finally having a date blow up so bad that after you have come to terms with the ghosts of the nightmare you will have created a story that everyone can relate to and that you can enjoy telling for the rest of your life. So my advise to all those out there is to date undaunted by fear of a disaster, you may find yourself unsatisfied that evening, but you will be utterly satiated with the laughs you share later.