So we’re back to early 2016 with a bit of a short story, and one of the first matches I ever had on Tinder, a fact that does play into this story later. This story with this boy, (lets call him Dean) takes place over a quite few months, with a lengthy tinder flirtation and many failed attempts at a first date. We had conflicting schedules that often meant we were not able to meet up and hang out, though we spoke fairly consistently from April, 2016 until late October, 2016. We started becoming fairly familiar with each other, despite never having met, and our conversations were an almost daily occurrence. I would not necessarily say you While I was obviously seeing other people during this time, things with Dean never seemed to pan out time wise and kind of faded into the background. I had him on Snapchat and occasionally would receive a snap or chat but by the end of November, it fizzled out completely. I don’t even know if we still had each other on Snap, as he rarely viewed my stories, sent me anything directly or posted stories. Things went completely radio silent, and on the rare occasion he would view my stories, it would be a stupid video of myself and friends doing something a little bit weird. Rice exploding in a microwave, stupid dancing in the library at uni, nothing important that would indicate that I was dating someone.
We’re doing a bit of a time jump here to complete the story, forward to September 2018. I had been steadily dating a guy since July, and had forgotten that I had Tinder on my phone, I hadn’t responded to anyone I had been chatting with in months so it wasn’t exactly a buzzing hive of activity. But then, one night while at work, I felt my phone ping. Dean sent you a message.
Hmm. I thought, I don’t remember swiping on anyone new in a long time? Having totally forgotten, by this point, how often we had spoken back in the day. I opened it up to find what I still think to be the funniest message I’ve ever received. “Hey * redacted first name * 🙂 x How have you been recently??”
Stop it. No really, stop it.
How does one even respond to that? I literally could not even begin to imagine what this guy was imagining would happen, he’d message me 2 years after we had stopped speaking entirely and I’d fall madly in love with him immediately? As if 2 years going past hadn’t changed anything for me at all. If it weren’t for the total fluke of me having Tinder on my phone, even though I was dating someone, I wouldn’t have even seen the message. (to see how dating that boy ended, see the start of The One Who “Wasn’t Ready” for further details.) I responded the next night with one of my work colleagues, not quite sure how to handle such an odd and uncomfortable situation. He offered to message back something super suggestive and try and freak him out, I suggested we find him on Facebook and he message Dean pretending to be my boyfriend (which was extra funny, as this colleague is gay.) Eventually, the resulting message was – “Recently like… In the last 2 years recently? Yeah look, bit of a rollercoaster as I guess you’d expect for 2 years worth of stuff. Gotta ask though – cause honestly, this is a little insane. Why now? After 2 years? 2 years, mate.”
He let me know he had been going through some old messages and wondered why we had stopped talking (it was because he stopped responding back then) so he thought he would message me to see how I was, remembering that we had had a good time chatting and had been trying to plan a date – 2 years ago. That was also the last message I sent on Tinder – me asking if he wanted to hang out, him not responding for 2 years. He did apologize for how awkward and random it was, at which point I took it upon myself to message him back and tell him that I didn’t know where to start in telling him about the last 2 years, but that as flattered as I was at the thought of him messaging me after all this time, I was in fact seeing someone. I said a quick sorry to him and wished him luck, ending the message with one of my favourite sassy quips of all time – “And good luck with everything, yeah? I hope the girl you waited 3 years to message back is keen.” Sorry Dean…
So sometimes I have encounters with the opposite sex that aren’t on apps and that occur in real life. I am a very awkward person and from all of these scenarios I have walked away feeling guilty and uncomfortable for one reason or another. I also constantly feel like Chandler Bing, waiting to find his Monica – someone to put up with my awkward, goofy, well intentioned self. I’m very awkward and full of doubt about myself and others when it comes to dating, so seeing someone with a lot of confidence come to me in public makes me feel like even more of an anxious, nervous wreck. These are some of my finest moments from my real life encounters with the male species.
The first takes place in 2018. I had finished a shift at my job, it was nearly midnight and I had a group of friends at a bar not far from where I had just finished work. I got a call as I was leaving asking if I felt like coming out for a bit, and to my own surprise I said yes. When I got there, the bouncer at the door had to stop everyone, check their ID and take their photo to make sure you weren’t getting back in if you left the premises. When it was my turn, I handed over my license and turned towards the camera, only to hear the bouncer say “with a smile like yours, you may not pay for a drink all night.” Chuffed, and very embarrassed, I went to laugh and ended up rolling my eyes in the photo so I was almost unrecognisable. I got inside, found my group and started talking and dancing, trying to enjoy the night even though I was mentally and physically exhausted. I went to the bar to get a drink when suddenly I felt a presence next to me. I turn to see a half drunk, very attractive guy leaning against the bar, almost swaying towards me. “Wow. You have a great face.”
He slurred at me. I didn’t think too hard on it but to smile and say thank you. As I turned back to the bartender, he again tried to speak to me. “Do you have a pen?” I, being a hospitality employee, always have and always have had a pen on me at all times as a result of my training. I usually would finish a shift with multiple stuffed in my pockets and bag, ready to go again the next night. I handed him my pen and turned back to the bartender again, trying to get my order out when I felt a tickle in my nose. (Sidebar – It was spring in Melbourne and Hayfever warnings were at an all time high.) I put in my standard drink order, and felt something nudge my elbow – this boy was giving me back my pen. As I went to take it back, I felt the sneeze of the century come on… Just as he handed me a napkin. I sneezed into the napkin, wiped my face and went to find a bin when I realized what I had done. This poor boy was trying to give me his number and I had just sneezed into the napkin he did it on. He was someone I would have gladly accepted a number from in any normal circumstances, maybe just not the ones where my nose had exploded all over his digits. Oh my god. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole right there and then, and by the look on his face, he did too. I tried to apologize but was hit with 3 more of the most violent sneezes I’ve ever done (and I’m normally not a violent sneezer!) I watched him slink back to his group, took my drink and did the same thing. I sometimes wonder if that poor boy ever remembered me doing that, or if he were so drunk he just remembers the small girl with the manly sneeze… And sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night panicking about it because I never would’ve done that had I known what he was doing. Ugh.
Another accidental encounter happened in March 2019. The boy I was dating had been away for a while for work, and I was committed to being there for him when he got back, I didn’t want anything from anyone else, I just wanted him. While he was not my boyfriend, I did feel a commitment to him, as we had been together for a while and I really liked him as a person. So when one day on the train I was approached, not once, but twice I took it as my mission that I needed to be as unappealing as possible. The first boy to try his luck saw that I was reading a book and decided that was a great way to get my attention. I was sitting there with my headphones in, reading my book when he sat himself down opposite me and tried to catch my eye. One would think that that would be the universal signal that I did not want to be bothered, but this boy pushed ahead. “That is a great book. What are you thinking of it so far?” I looked up at him and told a small lie. “Yeah it’s great, my boyfriend recommended it to me and said I would love it. I doubted him at first but he knows me too well, I love it!” Game, set and match. The boy got up and got off the train at the next station. Feeling like I was off the hook, I went back to my book, only to hear another voice appear in front of me. “That was so funny what happened with that guy! Haha hi I’m Stewart.” Now, what I did next is something I will never forget because it was the most panicked of the panic responses I’ve ever had. I looked up from my book, looked this boy straight in the eyes and meowed. Twice.
I was once out grocery shopping at my local shopping centre when I was approached by a guy. I had my headphones in (I like to put on a podcast whenever I’m doing pretty much anything.) And was walking around the bakery department of Coles when he appeared. I was wearing active wear and (at the time) had very clear skin and eyelash extensions, so I looked a lot more alive and nice than I do on other days you may catch me outside my house. He had a great voice, a bit like Osher Günsberg, something I found wildly attractive (If you don’t know the Australian radio and TV legend that is Andrew G, please google him ASAP and listen to his podcast Better Than Yesterday with Osher Günsberg. It will change your life. I promise you that 🙂 ) and was pretty nice to look at. It was one of those weird movie scene style moments where we both reached for something at the same time – a box of cinnamon donuts. I smiled at him and tried to grab my doughnuts in peace, but we both went to reach for another box, to give the other person that box, and instead again went for the same one. I smiled and said he could take that one and I’d take that one, and hurried off to grab the rest of my items. We then passed each other in the pasta row, as I grabbed a box of penne, and then finally met again in the flour aisle as I went to buy pizza flour. He smiled at me, and tried to start a conversation, possibly not recognizing that I had my headphones in for a reason. As he said his hello, the podcast I was listening to became extremely funny. (If you’re looking for a podcast to listen to when you’re going about your life, a few good recommendations are Jensen and Holes – Murder Squad, Punch Up the Jam, My Favourite Murder, Complete Drivel with Christian Hull, Gilmore Guys, Jenna and Julien and Mum Says My Memoir is a Lie.) Anyway, my podcast became funny as Christian Hull told a story I wasn’t expecting to hear, and I burst out laughing as I turned to say hello to him. He didn’t seem to understand what was so funny about the way he said hello, and I didn’t want to tell him the story I was listening to, as it was quite inappropriate for a supermarket. If you ever see this, I certainly did find you attractive, and I am so sorry!
The last story actually takes place on a date I have already
written about on this blog (See The One
Who “Wasn’t Ready.” To connect stories.) I was sitting at Arbory in the
Melbourne CBD waiting for Logan to come back from the bathroom when a guy
approached me. I was wearing a footy jersey for Logan’s team as we had been to
a game earlier in the night to support his team, and then gone out for drinks
to commiserate the epic loss we had witnessed. I was sitting there sipping my
beer, looking over the river and the city when he appeared by the table. “Soooo is that your boyfriend?” he
smirked at me, nodding his head towards the toilets, pulling a seat out ready
to sit with me with his drink. Now, I understand having balls and wanting to
talk to someone attractive in public, but I also don’t understand how you could
be so forward with someone who was clearly there with someone else. I’ve said
it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m a very straight shooting, no tolerance
for bullshit kind of person, and considering I was really starting to like Logan
at the time, I didn’t want him sitting there flirting with me when I thought I
had a good thing going with Logan. I decided to play with this boy’s ego.
“No, that’s my husband.” I said,
keeping my left hand planted firmly under my leg under the table. I smiled at
him and waited for it to dawn on him. As the wheels started to turn in his
head, I decided to add insult to injury.
“It’s our first night out since the
baby.” At that he looked at my stomach (which was heavily concealed by
layers of baggy clothing) and then Kath and Kel style speed walked away from
Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, bud.
So, as some of you may have seen, I am very excited to announce that I have branched out beyond the world of bad dates, and am now also writing for a good friend of mine – Callum. There is an official announcement with more information and a link to his blog further down in my blog feed, but in keeping with the theme of this blog and as a big warm welcome to him, this is the story two of Callum’s bad date experiences – both of which I was directly involved in. So, let’s get started shall we?
Callum and I have known each other since year 7, and over the years have bonded over our affinity for Gilmore Girls, our mutual love of books (namely Stephen King), the experiences we’ve shared through our schooling life and our passion for writing. Back in 2010 when we first met, we were placed in the same class and quickly fell into the same friendship group when one of his friends decided he had a crush on one of my friends. Thus, the group was formed. The group contained myself and my “boyfriend” (let’s call him Grant), Callum and his “girlfriend” (re-named Madeline for this story), our friend who wasn’t “dating” anyone at the time (Thomas), and the couple who started it all – Paris and Doyle (Hey Gilmore Girls fans 😉 I see you.)
Callum and Madeline started dating just after Paris and Doyle did, and so our group became tighter and seemingly unbreakable as we did everything together. How long did this last, I hear you asking? Well. There’s a reason I put quotation marks around the words dating and boyfriend/girlfriend before, because none of us actually went on dates, and it lasted maybe a week for them each time they dated (Grant and I lasted a little longer and seemed to be the constant in this first story.) Callum and Madeline had a good run, but Madeline soon asked me for help as she could not figure out how to break up with Callum. Having seen me do this exact thing for my, soon to be, two best friends (who will remain anonymous), she asked if I would give it a crack for her. Big yikes. So I sat a slightly confused Callum down and told him she just couldn’t see it going any further, but I did it with my usual flare. “When a man and a woman love each other very very much…” I began, telling Callum that this was not one of those stories, and that Madeline was actually ending it and just too nervous to say so. Ouch. (Sorry Callum!!) Callum was very understanding, took a moment and was soon ok, and with that I thought it was over. But then, within a few days, Paris asked me to do the same for her and Doyle. 12 years old and already with 2 successful breakups under my belt, I thought I was the perfect person to do this as I was close enough to both sides to justify a private chat with Doyle, and knowledgable enough on the art of breaking hearts I sat him down and explained that it just wasn’t working with Paris and that I was sorry but this was it for them. Doyle took this a lot harder, though soon recovered (no use moping around after someone you were with for little over a week, if you ask me.) And with that, I well and truly thought this was the end of my breaking up days, hoping that the only ones I would be involved in from then on would be my own. This is the part of the story though where the narrator would normally say something like This was not the end of those days for her, but rather the beginning of a long line of broken hearts.
Year 7 camp came around and everyone was as excited as could be. We loaded into the bus listening to our iPod shuffles and playing MASH (AKA – PRAM where you predict what your future will hold.) It was on this bus journey that both Madeline and Paris confided in me that they wanted to get back with Callum and Doyle respectively and that they hadn’t enjoyed the few days between me breaking them up and now. Ugh, teenagers, am I right? We arrived at our lunch stop and they all got back together as I sat and listened to love songs and pictured Grant as Zac Efron. BUT THEN on that final day of that very same school camp Madeline and Paris, mere days after getting back together it had become too much and they were looking to employ my breakup guru services once again. With a heavy heart, and while waiting in line for the giant swing, I cornered Doyle first and got the breakup over and done with as quickly as I could before moving on to Callum. My conversation with Callum, who I’ve always been quite real with, went as follows.
Me – “So… Do you remember last time we had a chat like this?” Callum – “Yeah?” Me – “Yeah…” **nods head, gives sad smile** Callum – “Oh… Ok…” End scene.
We move on to the next relationship he was in, with a girl we still refer to as “Everybody’s Favourite Ex-Girlfriend” and the on-again-off-again plague of 2011. To abbreviate and try and cut down on how often I have to type that phrase, I’ll refer to her as EFEG. EFEG and I were “friends” in that way you’re friends with people you’re stuck in a room with 8 hours a day, 5 days a week – surface level, superficial and short lived. Now, for a while I had known EFEG and Callum had a crush on each other, so when it eventuated that they became “boyfriend and girlfriend”, it wasn’t a huge surprise. Their obvious differences would boil over in only a matter of time, and once again I would take Callum’s side, only this time I would help HIM deliver the final blow to their relationship. While I liked EFEG (to an extent) I was more than happy to offer my services to a now emotionally exhausted Callum (their relationship was turbulent after all.) Her behaviour had even started wearing thin on me, and I wasn’t the one “dating” her. In what must have been my favourite breakup ever, Callum handed me a letter and asked me to deliver to EFEG on his behalf – which I did with a big smile and a spring in my step. And I stood there with Madeline (who was still my friend at the time) and pretended not to watch as her heart was ripped out. Smothering a giggle and pretending to offer sympathy when she nearly kicked over a shelf of graphic novels in our school library, their relationship was over and the world felt right again. They eventually got back together, much to my chagrin, and broke up again with a little help from the heartbreak whizz. This cycle continued a few times until one day they called it quits for good, and I slept easy that night knowing I could cross off 2 of my best clients from the growing list of people asking me to help them end relationships they didn’t know how to end.
Not one to usually take sides, I did make a point during their breakups that I was going to remain friends with Callum regardless of her feelings towards him and, probably much to the annoyance of EFEG, we are still friends 9 and a half years later. Neither of us will ever know what she thinks of us and this situation, as we have both removed ourselves completely from her life. I did it shortly after their last breakup, seeing no reason to be nice to someone who holds a grudge against you for being friends with someone after a teenage breakup, and Callum did it after she moved away from our school a year or so later. I guess that goes to show, some friendships from high school aren’t made to last – but some are. And hell, we’re even writing for a blog together now.
Attention Bad Date friends! I am branching out! For all things book and movie related, head on over to The Book and Movie where I will be doing the odd review or comparison between (you guessed it) a book and a film. My longtime friend is the genius behind this blog, and it is with great excitement that after years of talking about this, we are finally writing together!
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to announce that as of today, the Book and Movie family is officially one member bigger. Please welcome long time friend, fellow book nerd and creator of baddatediary.com, Gilmore.
No, Gilmore isn’t her real name (you’ll soon figure out why that’s the name we chose to use), but for her own reasons, she has asked to stay anonymous.
Having spent a good portion of our highschool lives discussing books or writing in some capacity, I’m super excited to finally working with Gilmore directly.
After I can make a few adjustments, fresh Gilmore content will be up for your reading pleasure. Until then, please feel free to make Gilmore welcome and stop by baddatediary.com if you’re in need of something to cheer you up (or something to face-palm about, if you so desire).
So, I know what you’re thinking. Everyone is used to
something – whether that be the way they kiss, the way they hug, the way
they’re used to doing their washing, the way they’re used to walking around the
house in their underwear… We’re all used to things being a certain way. And I
know, maybe this one is just me being fussy, but also – maybe it’s not. And
maybe, just maybe, this is one of the worst one off dates and date experiences
I’ve ever had.
So. The scene. I was 19 and on Tinder, the boy (let’s call him Jess after another great Gilmore Girls boyfriend.) was nice, if not a little dull, and possibly a little naïve for my taste. He was older and tried to play off that because he was older and had gone to a private school, he was obviously smarter than I am, even after living an incredibly sheltered, privileged life. (Which; by the way, if that’s you and you think you’re more mature than me because you went to a private all boys school – click away now. Go on!) We organized to hang out, and in the back of my mind any time I’ve organized a date with someone who seemed to be a little bit weird or different, I have thought of this blog. I have been dreaming of this blog for years, before I even started dating or writing down my bad dates, before I knew what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to write and share my thoughts and feelings with the world. When I turned 18 and went on my, now infamous, first bad date (See – The One with the Freakshakes.) this blog was born in my mind, and I started collecting more stories to share. And this date was one of those ones that, from the second I saw him, I knew he would be one of these stories. So, onto the date.
We decided to get coffee and hang out, and from the second I saw him, I felt that “I’m so much wiser than you” attitude reigning down on me. Great. I ordered my coffee (my usual summer order – an iced almond milk latte) and he commented on the extra cost of the almond milk – not the first guy to have an issue with this, and definitely not the last. I told him outright I was happy to pay for my own coffee, never under the impression that a guy should have to pay for everything on a date, and definitely not lost on the fact that I too was earning money, so I was able to pay for myself. This almost seemed to sadden him, he sat there quietly and simply muttered “Oh, well… I was going to but FINE…” Ok, not a big deal, I’ll pay for my own coffee, and at this stage I didn’t think I would be staying long and mentally started preparing an exit strategy. The conversation was stilted, and everything I said, he had a wise comment to add, thinking he (at 24) needed to give me (at 19) advice on how to conduct my life. Most of the time, his advice was not only uncalled for, but was just him stating the obvious. I would talk about work I was doing for class at Uni, and he would comment “Oh well you HAVE to get an education, can’t rely on the public school system to teach you everything.” Or I would tell an anecdote about something that had happened at work, and he would remark how “simple” hospitality sounded. (Shout out to my hard working hospo buds. Y’all the real MVP’s.) By the time I downed my coffee, I was seriously considering climbing out the bathroom a la Rachel Greene, or trying to access the kitchen to use the back door and get out. This guy had a smart arse comment to add to everything I said. I told him I needed to use the bathroom, and he said he did too, so he followed me. When I came out, after not actually using the toilet, there he was waiting for me. I went to the counter to pay for my coffee and he commented to the server how strong willed I was for wanting to pay for myself. After I had paid, I stepped back and, for reasons only known to him, he placed a hand on my butt and pat me like a dog. I stepped further back, away from his hand, and heard him remark “she should too, considering she decided to order something more extravagant…” while the server looked blankly between us, obviously recognising that this was a bad first date. I walked out to go to my car, trying to get ahead of him, but low and behold, my short legs didn’t get me far ahead and he followed me again. Not wanting him to see which car I was walking to, I stopped short just across the road from the car park, and turned to say goodbye. As I motioned that I was crossing the road, he wrapped his arms around me and said “You’ll have to teach me how to do this…” before he shoved his tongue in my mouth and (I kid you not) flapped it up and down, tapping the roof of my mouth and then my tongue, and then the roof of my mouth, and then my tongue. I tried to pull away but that only lead him to pull me in closer, sliding a hand down my back and up the back of my dress to (once again) uncomfortably pat my butt. Eventually, I pulled away and mumbled something about needing to go and ran to my car. Once inside my car; and after watching him get in his car and drive away, I started laughing. And that laughing turned into hysteria, with tears streaming down my face at how awkward and awful the whole situation was. Not so much a sad cry, more just one purely out of shock at how sexually aggressive he became after spending the date belittling me and my entire existence. And he expected me to teach him how to kiss? I got home and already had 3 texts from him telling me how great it was and how he wanted to do it again, to which I simply said I was busy all the days he was free and that it likely wouldn’t work out. Did that stop him from messaging me a year later and trying to reconnect? No. And when I said I was busy and didn’t think it would work out, did he then send me a “break up” message about how he had had a really good time, but just couldn’t see it going any further? Yes. He was just one of those guys who had to have the final word on everything and had to make his (always horrific) opinions the loudest voice in the room.
To date, I have a Bachelors Degree, a job I love and lots of
experience in 2 industries I have loved. If he were ever to see me again, I
wholeheartedly believe he would try and claim some of the glory for my own
success because of all the unwarranted advice he gave me back in the day. He
just had to be one of those people who had
to have the final say.
To quote Emily Gilmore, “Tacky, horrid
Sometimes this kind of thing happens. There are plenty of
people in the same area on dating apps, so there’s bound to be an overlap at
some point. I know I have matched with guys who have matched with my friends,
and vice versa. I’ve seen my family friends on there, I’ve seen people I work
with, I’ve even seen my friends’ boyfriends’ and ex boyfriends’ (yikes.) But this story takes place
across a couple of months during 2017, I was on 2 apps at the time and not
really enjoying either of them. Tinder was proving to be a bit boring, and Happn
wasn’t big enough at the time to find anyone I had thought I’d find (cute
strangers on the train, guys I walked past in the city, etc.) Instead I met
Jason from The One Where I Had to be the
Bitch, and decided Happn wasn’t for me.
I matched with Tim, and while we did get on and have some
decent conversation, we never planned to meet. Our brief chat on Tinder and a
few days of sending random, stupid snaps back and fourth on Snapchat and that
was it. He seemed to have an underlying mental health concern as sometimes,
late at night there would be the odd story that sounded like a cry for help,
but then he would be right back to his normal self. Tim and I faded away, as my
own mental health concerns felt a little triggered by him and his strange up
and down moods, so I left some distance between us to try and deal with my own
concerns (as I hoped he would, too, as it is hard seeing someone struggle so
much.) Not one to delete someone off social media unless they intentionally hurt
me, though, I did keep Tim on Snapchat.
Then about a week after we stopped talking, I matched with
Lucas on Happn. Lucas was one of 3 boys I matched with on Happn before I
deleted the app, and was someone with whom I had a similar experience to Tim.
Lucas was perfectly lovely, had a good job, had a good head on his shoulders, it
just didn’t seem to work out because of the timing of the next series of events
anda difference in our personalities. There did seem to be something a bit
weird about Lucas, he was too nice, a little too charming and he said “his” instead of “he’s” and “your” instead
of “you’re” – it all just became a bit much after trying (and failing) to
coordinate plans with him. Not to throw any shade at someone I’ve never
actually met but his personality begged a few questions… Cue Carl from The 40-year-old virgin now. So, needless
to say, Lucas and I kind of faded into the background, but I kept him around on
Snapchat just in case he turned out to be a serial killer (I wanted to be
questioned on a true crime podcast about my limited knowledge of the boy.)
Pause. For some context, my radius on Tinder is 20kms, and with Happn you only
need to walk past someone else with the app to see them, so the radius doesn’t
really exist. Tim lived about 3 suburbs away from me, while Lucas was only a
few streets away from me at the time. About a week apart, both boys posted a
story with a girls’ hands in the background (a classic table shot of them out
to dinner and drinks respectively, with a girls’ hands on a glass or holding a
knife and fork.) It’s not uncommon that guys post about dates and that’s when I
delete them, not because I’m upset but just because that’s when I realize they
serve me no purpose, they spark no joy.
Back to the story. This is where
things started getting weird. I noticed in Tim’s snap (which was posted first)
that the girl was wearing a ring I really liked, and in turn I made a mental
note to try and find that ring. The following Saturday night I saw Lucas’ snap
about being out with a girl, but noticed a weird detail – there was that same
ring. Different nail colour, a tan, different bracelets, same ring. Odd but
also another reminder that I really wanted that dang ring. (Sidebar – I did end up buying the ring; I found it and now wear it
every day, but every time I see it I think of this story.)
So, more time passes and both boys keep posting stories with a girl in them. A
girl (facing away from the camera) standing on a pier looking out to sea, a
video taken from a bed of a cat bouncing around with a girl giggling in the
background, more photos of hands holding things at a table, and then the worst
(and best) thing to possibly happen. After about 2 months of watching them post
these things, then came the selfies… With the same girl – enter Wendy. Wendy was
dating these 2 boys simultaneously – which I wouldn’t have seen as a bad thing
if it weren’t for the fact that it looked like things were starting to heat up
between her and both guys. I briefly stalked them both on Facebook, finding
that she was in both their profile pictures, and that neither of them were in
hers. Ok, maybe they were both aware that she was dating both of them, I know I’ve
dated two boys at once, maybe there was no issue! But then started coming the
more disgusting snaps. Tim was obviously starting to fall in love with this
girl, and Lucas was starting to make grand gestures. I kept both boys on Snapchat
purely for the comedy – it was almost like Rear
Window but a little less voyeuristic. There was something lightly concerning
about the stories that started appearing. Tim would post stories about how much
he loved Wendy and how she had saved him and made him a better person; how she
changed his life and he loved her so much (Oh
Tim, no…) The posts kept coming about how she meant the world to him and
how she had changed everything for him. They started taking a turn, though,
when he started posting about how glad he was that he had met her and that he
wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and no one else… Yikes…
Then were Lucas’ posts. Lucas took Wendy on mini-breaks to the Peninsula Hot Springs,
to the beach, to a music festival. They went on a road trip, they were going to
nice restaurants and fancy looking bars. He bought her big bouquets of flowers
and would spend time with her friends and family (don’t you love people who put their entire lives
on Snapchat?) but in his own special way, Lucas showed a deep affection for
Wendy. While he wasn’t as vocal about how much Wendy meant to him, seeing him
do all these extravagant and kind things really showed that he cared, and the
lack of other females and openness about sharing his dates with Wendy seemed to
show he had nothing to hide.
These posts would all be about a week or more apart, as if she saw Tim every
second week of the month and Lucas every other week, alternating like clockwork
she would appear in my Story feed with each of the boys. Curiosity eventually
got the better of me, so one day I harmlessly sent a snap to Tim, after seeing
a particularly lovely story about his night in at home with Wendy watching TV.
I sent him a DM saying that I know it was probably weird, but that it was so
nice to see him so happy (because, in all honesty, it was. It was nice to see
him happy, but difficult being in the position I was in, because I knew she
wasn’t as serious about him as he clearly was about her.)
Tim responded and thanked me, telling me how lucky he was to have met her, and
as only a low end meddler, I simply told him to be careful of himself. People
on the internet can be a little shady (and while I was also a person from the
internet, I wanted him to be careful.) Tim almost laughed it off, told me he
hoped I, too, was doing well, and then disappeared. The snaps from both boys
briefly stopped including Wendy, and while it did initially seem a little bit suspicious,
life gets busy and it looked like both boys were consumed by hobbies and the
other facets of their lives that they had since forgotten as their
relationships with Wendy took over.
A month after I had last messaged Tim, I received another message from him, following up on this situation. Tim was messaging me to thank me for telling him to be careful. It turns out, the following day at breakfast with Wendy, he had asked her to be his girlfriend officially. He wanted to make things real, put it on Facebook, meet her friends and family, the whole shebang. Wendy had frozen up a bit and said she needed to take care of some things before she could give him an answer. Upon pressing a little more, Wendy had gotten up to go to the bathroom and Tim had seen a message flash on her screen. He wasn’t proud of it, but curiosity got the better of him, so he took a look. It was a message from someone whose name was apparently a series of emojis (a rose, a sparkly love heart, a kiss face, the heart eyes, you get the gist.) And the opening line told him everything he needed to know. Lucas had apparently texted her saying “Hey baby, My mum said yes to dinner with your family, we’ll be there. Tuesday, right? Speak soon xx” Tim was apparently shattered, but did the natural thing and walked out as she came back, leaving her stuck with the bill. After a few hours of desperate calls and texts, Wendy gave up. She said she had been set on Lucas for a while and couldn’t work out how to end things with Tim. I apologised to Tim telling him that I hoped he was ok and could work through it all, and with that I decided not to tell him I’d known, instead leaving him to heal in peace. I blocked him not long after that when his mental state lead him to send some questionable things to me, but I do still hope he found happiness whatever that may be.
Sometimes the situation just calls for it. This is another story of how lying bites you in the arse, especially if you’re not aware of a connection that would catch you in the middle of said lie. I always advocate for a truthful, honest approach but I guess that’s not the highest of priorities for everyone.
I met Jason on Happn, and don’t especially remember how or when we matched, but we started speaking and after about a week of general chit-chat he started getting a little pushy about meeting. Jason popped up in my recommended friends on Facebook one day and I noticed we had a mutual friend – the partner of one of my cousins. Some light investigating showed that he had been in the same year as her sister at school and, during school, was friends with the sister’s boyfriend – though they weren’t as close anymore. They only stayed in contact through their friend group and weren’t necessarily the closest of the bunch, with Jason making new friends through Uni and work, drifting a little bit from the group, but I at least knew he was a real person and not a catfish. This connection later proved to be a way to catch him lying. For the purposes of this story I will call my cousin’s partner Jenna, her sister Elise and Elise’s boyfriend Eric, as these will be key players a little later on. Jason happened to get rather pushy about the whole idea of planning a date, and after a few days I eventually gave in to get him off my back. He wasn’t over the top pushy about anything, he was just a little excited about planning a date. I only had one day free that I could potentially do, though I had to go to a class later in the afternoon so I made a point of saying to him that I had only a limited window this day, and that I would need to leave at a certain time. This didn’t seem to suit Jason, as he was only available for a limited window in the middle of the day himself. Ok, no problem, if it gets this awful experience over and done with sooner then I’ll skip my class, no hassle. He wasn’t the most fascinating person to hold a conversation with, so I wasn’t exactly excited about the date (but remember, I’ve been planning this blog for a really long time, so I was willing to go through with it. And who knows, maybe he would surprise me? Spoiler Alert – he did, but not in a nice way.)
Come the day we were supposed to meet and Jason was opening all my snaps but not responding. A bit weird, but I wasn’t supposed to meet him until 11:30 and he may have just been busy. He had said he would text me when he was available and we could meet, but our default time was 11:30, just in case. Cool. Jason had said that he was busy that morning so I wasn’t too worried. 11:30 came round and he still hadn’t said anything but I was supposed to be meeting him at a café near my house, so I decided to drive past and check to see if he were there as we had planned to meet outside. The (non-mafia style) drive by proved fruitless as he wasn’t there, so I decided to go back home, as I could be at the café within 5 minutes if he suddenly got there because he was late in traffic. 12pm rolled around and still no word, so I sent him a message to check that he was ok and to let him know that I would be leaving for my class at 2 and would still be able to make it if he really wanted to hang out, my time would just be a little more limited. I also let him know that my lecturer had told us that morning that we couldn’t miss this class as it would contain vital information about an upcoming assignment that we all needed to know. At about 1, Jason finally texted me back (after opening the message I sent him on Snapchat instantly after sending it.) and the following lie ensued – “Hey * redacted * sorry, I’ve not even checked my phone today I’ve just been so overwhelmed.” First, before we go any further I’ll say I know that’s not true as he had been on Instagram, had seen the story I posted almost instantly after I posted it, had liked a photo I posted, had commented on Elise’s latest photo of the group at a festival and had opened every single message I sent him within seconds of me sending it. But let’s carry on. “Late last night my friend Eric messaged me to let me know his girlfriend’s dad had died very suddenly that night.” Pause. Remember when I said you needed to remember some key players? Eric is Elise’s boyfriend. Elise is Jenna’s sister. Jenna is dating my cousin, both of whom I am very close to, so this came as news to me. Jenna’s family have been like family to us since they were in school as they have been so close and together for so long that we’ve come to know them quite well. My heart sunk in my chest thinking about Jenna’s dad dying, but some part of me felt this wasn’t the full story. But again, we’ll carry on. “He died last night and we’re at the funeral today.” Pause again. How fast are funerals usually organised after someone dies? I didn’t think if he had died late last night, as Jason claimed, it would be organised by 11:30 the next day. Carrying on. “I was so so close to him at school, he was like a dad to me at times, so this is a really hard day and I’d appreciate it if you respected my privacy and left me to be with my family today.”
A quick scan of Jenna and Elise’s profiles, and a frantic message to Jenna sent, I found out that not only was her dad alive and well, but that Jason wasn’t close to the group at all, he had in fact been ousted after he drunkenly tried to come on to Elise in front of Eric. I told Jenna the story, and agreed with her that not only was this excuse pathetic but also disgusting that he would go this far to get out of a date. I decided to check in with old mate, seeing as this was SUCH a hard day for him and his family. “Hey Jason, I’m so sorry to hear that. Can I just ask, is your friend Eric * redacted * ?” Not an unreasonable question given the situation, and not at all unreasonable if he were actually using Elise and Jenna’s dad as an excuse, clearly missing the connection and shared surname of myself and my cousin. My surname is only common because of the size of my family, and not because it’s a common name like Smith or Jones, but clearly Einstein had not clicked yet that this connection existed. Hoping he had another friend named Eric, I waited. Ding. “Yeah, that’s him! My best mate in the whole world, his girlfriend is Elise * redacted. * How do you know them? I’ll talk to you after this, I’m just at the service now.” OH. BOY. You did NOT just bring Elise into this. “Yeah, crazy small world, my cousin is dating Elise’s sister Jenna. I actually just spoke to Jenna and she told me her dad is fine… Do you have another friend Eric who also has a girlfriend named Elise? It’s just kind of crazy that you say this cause I just spoke to Jenna and she said her dad’s fine. I’m not upset that you didn’t want to go on this date, I’m actually just kind of concerned that you lied like that when I quite clearly know Jenna and Elise… They’re a bit upset about this too.” What happened next is something I will never forget, never forgive, and never stop laughing about. He had this to say- “Are you f*cking kidding me? You heartless c**t. How dare you insinuate that I lie to you about this, what kind of sick f*ck lies about this??” This sentiment was exactly what I had been thinking. What kind of sick person lies about someone else dying to get out of a date? I sent him a message to clarify that I know Jenna and Elise and had checked with them because I had genuinely been worried about their dad. This was his delightful response. “Are you f*cking for real? You cold, loveless bitch how f*cking dare you, you’re not even worth my time if this is how you’re going to treat someone who just lost a friend. This is un-f*cking believable. I hope someone close to you dies very soon and you have to put someone in this position because then maybe you’ll realise what a c**t you’re being about this. You know what skank? No wonder you’re f*cking single, you’ll never be loved if you’re going to continue acting like such a righteous, stuck up slut. You’re not even pretty, go f*ck yourself. You bitch, you actual f*cking slut I cannot believe you. You deserve the pain I feel right now for Elise’s dad. Never speak to me again, you c**t.” At this, I sent him the screenshots of my chat with Jenna, sent Jenna the screenshots of my conversation with Jason and blocked his number. Jason did in fact try and contact me a few times after that, and I reminded him that I was a cold, loveless bitch who wasn’t even worth his time.
Yeah, look (listen)… This one is a bit sadder than it is funny or amusing. And I’m not proud of this one because I had real feelings invested and real hurt feelings from a story I plan to tell in future that influenced this situation. But I’m choosing to tell it, and to tell it far earlier than I had ever planned, because I hope in one way or another it strikes a chord with someone, and potentially saves someone else from feeling or doing this exact thing. Deep breaths. Here we go.
In 2019, and after finding out my ex had been cheating on me a lot and was leaving me to be with the girl he cheated on me with, I took some time off to gather myself, then got back the apps, not intending to meet anyone but to just get back in the swing of dating and to show myself that not all men are bastards as my breakup may or may not have lead me to believe. This is when I met a boy on Hinge (who we’ll call Logan in homage to my favourite Gilmore Girls boyfriend (don’t @ me)) who was actually pretty sweet – a DANGEROUS trait in boys on dating apps, but we’ll get to that.
I was just getting back on the horse after my heart was ripped out and shit on repeatedly by someone I was crazy in love with, when Logan appeared on the scene, and boy did that happen fast. He messaged me for the first time on a Tuesday and we had a date organised for that same Friday night that week by close of business Thursday. We got on ridiculously well, conversation was easy and natural, we had a very similar sense of humour; neither of us took anything too seriously and had a banter filled, flirty, jokey text exchange. Sounds pretty great huh? Oh, you naïve fool, you. He showed up to my house for our date (I made us dinner and we had a decent chat after, just getting to know one another and keeping an eye on the footy scores) and it was actually all pretty good. Over the next week the text exchange continued, of the same vein as the one the week before – against all odds, things were looking alright. He invited me to go out the following Saturday night after repeatedly and kind of forcefully trying to organise all week to hang out on various nights because “he was excited to see me again.” Even going so far as to message me all night while drunk on a boys night out, wanting to come hang out one night when I had a family dinner I hadn’t told him about, and wanting to hang out when I was getting my hair cut. He also almost came to drinks with a group of work friends because he was so keen to get another date on the books. Things between us seemed to be on the right track, and that Saturday night we opened up to each other and became even closer, something I have always struggled with, and still struggle with because of experiences such as this. But who am I to question it when a boy tells you (repeatedly) how amazing, cute, funny and great you are, how he’s starting to like you and enjoys your sense of humour. (SPOILER ALERT – this is never the case, and only someone damaged like me falls for this absolute wad of bullshit.) Conversation was natural, jokes were fun, everything felt easy and it probably propelled us in that direction a lot more than either of us expected. Through the night there were times when he would look at me and just smile, he kept reminding me how cute I am and how well he thought things were going, even occasionally commenting that he could see us continuing and wanted to do more of the same things with me. Eep.
But then there were the flickers in his eye of the not so nice. DISCLAIMER – Please do not mistake me saying that for me seeing something dark or dangerous in him – he doesn’t and I know he probably didn’t intend for things to transpire the way they did, but I also never suspected any serial killer qualities in him – despite the numerous jokes I made to that affect both to him and to others, I wasn’t worried there would be some Ted Bundy-esque side of his personality that hadn’t reared it’s head yet. He was somewhat recently out of a long term relationship, something we spoke about in depth that night and bonded over how our hearts had been so broken by people we had given so much to (Danger, Will Robinson.) Things could so easily go from light and fun to deep and meaningful, and I felt like we bonded really well. I’m not someone who enjoys physical contact when I’m on a date, I find it kind of uncomfortable and considering it was a second date, it was a lot for me to be as physically involved with someone, as well (and no you dirty minded freak I don’t mean sex, though we did sleep together that was only a very minor part of this story, and was not the “bad” element to it, though in the end it did leave me feeling used.) I had an incredibly physically and emotionally abusive boyfriend when I was young and have always struggled with being touched by people as a result, even if that person is someone I see as inherently good I am still scarred – a scar that even 7 years on has not faded. So when on the train home after a few drinks I decided to put my head on his shoulder and snuggle in a little bit, it should’ve been a sign that I was comfortable and happy in his presence. It’s not something I’m especially used to but it did feel right and ok with him. (By now if you’re not screaming “YOU ABSOLUTE FUCKING IDIOT” then maybe you, too, are on the same deluded path I was.) Back at his car, after we drove around chatting for a while longer, he dropped me home and said his goodnights and then I didn’t hear from him for 2 days. Normally, our conversations came naturally and quickly, Logan wasn’t the type to wait a certain amount of time before contacting me again. He was prompt on responding and even started a conversation right after our first date where he told me he wasn’t really looking for it to be a one or two-time thing, and he hoped I hadn’t gotten that impression, as he wanted to keep seeing me. (Cue hysterical laughing from the peanut gallery.) He insisted that he thought I was pretty cool and was keen to see me again, so this action on his behalf felt… Off. Monday night I was at home watching a recording of The Bachelor from the week prior when I get the text. “Hey * redacted first name *, Hope you’re well! This fucking sucks, and I’m really sorry to do this to you, but…” It did go on after that but that’s when I stopped reading. He was the boy who didn’t understand how someone could intentionally hurt another in the way my ex had intentionally caused me so much pain. He was the boy who thought I was “so fucking beautiful.” (a sentiment I have never heard before – not previous to meeting him and not since meeting him.) He was the boy who made me think that maybe trusting people isn’t the worst thing. My, how the mighty have fallen. A quick back and fourth of texts where he told me he didn’t mean to hurt me and “felt bad about it”, and me unloading just how much it hurt me… He removed me from Facebook and was (within the week) posting Instagram stories basically every day with another girl. They went on hikes, went to the Queen Vic Night Markets, played footy in the park, the whole kit and caboodle, mere days after he told me how he couldn’t keep dating anyone because he was still so hurt and not over what had happened. Ha. I later found out he had seen this new girl the very next day (hence the distance from me) and chosen her, but not even had the decency to tell me the truth, instead lying to me (aren’t people just the best? I love being a respected adult.)
Now, a quick note to you, Logan. I know I said I wouldn’t include you on here, but hey. You got to lie, so why shouldn’t I? I’m writing this, not as revenge, but rather in hopes that someone out there sees this and at least remembers not to do this when they one day meet 2 people they “really like” and need to make a choice. Lying always bites you in the arse. You are the worst kind of person on this blog. I’d rather be able to laugh about 10 guys calling me chubby or telling me how ugly I am, because their opinions weren’t and will never be the ones I value. I value the opinions of the people who help me open up and teach me to trust. I value the opinions of people who not only tell me I’m beautiful, but make me feel it. I value the opinions of people who make me comfortable and happy and safe when I’ve always really struggled with that. I valued your opinion and you let me down big time by telling me how much you liked me and almost forcing us to get so close, only to lie to me and not even care about it, after all that nonsense you sprouted about how great I am and how much you liked me (which I now recognise as another lie you told.) Not today, Satan.Not today. In the spirit of honesty, let’s have some on my end. I went on a date the week after we last saw each other. I just don’t go posting it everywhere to rub it in, because at the time I genuinely felt for you when you said you weren’t ready because of what your ex did to you. I’ve been there. I’m still not entirely over all the abuse I copped at 14 from a sociopath with a pocket knife, as my fear of being touched will show.
If any of you out there are ever in Logan’s position, tell the truth to both sides and don’t drag one through hell for fun. You don’t know what wounds you’re opening up by being so forward and pushy, and you don’t know how your thoughtless, disrespectful behaviour will come back to haunt you. Maybe it’ll be when you’re caught in the act, or maybe it’ll be when the girl you lied to makes money off your story on a blog about the weirdos she met on the internet 🙂
So, for another short, bad app instalment, we’re going back to 2016 and to my first encounter on Bumble. For those who are unfamiliar, Bumble is an app where (in heterosexual matches) women are supposed to make the first move. You have 24 hours after you match to say something, and they have 24 hours after you say something to respond. Sounds stressful, yeah? Yeah. Very. But at 18 when all I wanted was to push myself and my boundaries, this seemed like such a smart move, and with my misplaced confidence and my ego still in tact (my, how the mighty have fallen…) I decided this was for me. Don’t worry, I do hear you saying “This is so stupid of you.” And you know what? You’re not wrong, it was very misguided of me.
I again armed myself with an artillery of dad jokes, puns, cheesy pick up lines and; combined with the witty things I expected to come up with on the fly about people’s individual profiles, I felt ready to take on the world. I’ve always prided myself on having a quick wit and an alright sense of humour; things I not only learnt from Lorelei Gilmore, but have successfully used to attract some of my better dates (so, you know, rarely the people you’ll hear about on here 😉 ) I also have a coffee addiction comparable with the coffee queen herself, and after this encounter I swear there was not enough coffee in the world to make me feel better.
I matched with a boy (let’s call him Luke) who I thought was pretty attractive. 6’1, 22 years old, tanned, buff, dark hair, hazel eyes… Sounds pretty great when you put it on paper, right? But then he opened his mouth.
I sent him a pickup line I thought of when I saw a particular photo of him walking out of the ocean, and what he sent in response was pretty appalling by my standards. I complimented his physique, noting that he had obviously put a lot of effort into it – and I admired that. But then he responded with “Well I’m touched. Maybe I could help you with some exercise options? Nothing wrong with being chubby but surely you’d like to be happier.” ALRIGHT bud, is that really what you want your lasting impression to be? As I’ve said before, I know I’m not a supermodel and that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – but there really is no need to be so passive aggressive about something so soon after matching. I am a fiercely private person by nature, I never link my profiles to my social media and I never give away too much information about myself because of my own personal trauma and issues. I usually try and keep my dating profile photos conservative to highlight the parts of myself I don’t hate. I’m also not chubby, I’m proportioned to my height and (as someone who struggled with anorexia for a long time) so the comment comes from the place all opinions in the beauty and fitness industries do. That misguided sense of righteousness. That “holier than thou” attitude when it comes to dealing out advice and giving constructive criticism. Could this even be considered constructive? Maybe to some girl, and maybe to the Pyramid Scheme I now look back and think he was trying to sell to me, but hey. I didn’t fall for it, I simply laughed at how confronting such a message was. Is this really what guys think is appropriate to say to women? Cause if this is what men think will work on a girl, can someone please recommend a nice Convent? I’m thinking of making a change.
Luke was swiftly blocked and forgotten, and my first Bumble experience went under the rug because I was too scared (and ashamed) to tell anyone what had happened until now, 3 years after the fact and many, many bad dates later. I gave myself another small break and went back to Tinder. At least there, there’s a chance the guy will message first! But is that always a good thing…?
Let’s jump ahead a little to break up the bad dates and tell the story of a really bad dating app experience. It was late 2016, I was back on Tinder after another stint off it and I was swiping late at night after a particularly shitty shift at work. It was about 5am and I couldn’t sleep, anxiety had me well and truly in it’s clutches over a myriad of small things that somehow became one big thing. So my late night swiping got a few matches, but wanting to avoid seeming like a booty call, I made a mental note of who I was planning to message with some witty openers later that morning and called it a night. I woke up at 12pm, less than bright eyed and bushy tailed, but ready to send my now well thought out openers to my select few. As I was typing out the first message (some less than marvellous dad joke, no doubt) I got a notification that I had matched with someone who I didn’t recognise. At the time, it didn’t seem like a big deal. I have been known to swipe the wrong way sometimes or accidentally super like someone while trying to wipe donut glaze off my phone screen screen, though I assumed he would be one of those guys who match with you and either never message you or never respond. I put my phone down and got ready for another delightful shift but when I arrived at work, I saw a message from this guy. Cool, I thought, I guess he was interested after all. I’ll check that later. So I got into my shift, was about the go on my break and remembered the message. So far, my dad jokes and cheesy pick up lines were met with lukewarm responses and the odd laugh, but this message was different. There were just 3 little words on my screen. “U butt ugly.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a jaw dropping, stunningly beautiful supermodel by any means and I certainly don’t live under the impression that I’m going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but there was something so cruel about matching with someone only to tell them how ugly they are to you. Just don’t swipe right? To be fair, I didn’t swipe right on him intentionally, and I’ve definitely heard that some people do live by the “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen” mantra, but I’m not one to fall for that. My fragile self esteem and broken self image don’t work with someone who thinks that’s how to treat another person. I don’t want or crave approval from drop kicks on dating apps. This one was more just a laugh out loud kind of bad; the kind of bad you tell your mates about, have a small cry about and then remind yourself who the f*ck you are and get over it. No real heartbreak, or heartache, attached to someone who clearly thinks so little of you. Also, this from a boy who looks like a famous mass murderer? Uh-uh honey, not today. I took great pride in blocking him, but not before I showed the people that I worked with who seemed to get a rise out of it, too. I’m sure there were some story behind him messaging me that, maybe I reminded him of his ex girlfriend, or a girl who rejected him in high school. Maybe I am just so radiantly beautiful he couldn’t control it and what he tried to say came out in moron 😉 and maybe, just maybe, he was an immature 19 year old who was attempting to insult me into liking him.
There is absolutely no part of me that wonders where this guy ended up, or whether he found success on an app, as in mid 2019 he ended up liking and commenting on one of my (better) photos on Hinge, telling me how stunning I am and how bright my smile is. You’re not wrong, my dude, I am stunning and I do have a very bright smile. You look far too much like Richard Speck, which on it’s own is suspicious enough, but 3 years ago I decided – you’re just not worth the effort. **flips hair and saunters off **