Guy Shares How His Date Got Mad At Him For Coming With A Bike, 53 Others Share Their Stories About Nightmare Dates

You’ve made a reservation at the trendiest restaurant in your neighborhood. If dinner goes well, you know of a bar around the corner where you can suggest going for drinks on the terrace. You spritz on a little perfume, brush your teeth and hope that the butterflies in your stomach start to calm down. Then you’re off, onto a first date where you could potentially meet the love of your life. Or have a new story to tell as your “worst dating experience ever”.

Dating can be painfully difficult, so almost everyone has a few horror stories in their back pocket to share at parties. 2 weeks ago, Twitter user Andie Dyer asked followers for their bad date stories, and boy, have some of these people been on awful dates. We’ve compiled a list of some of the worst down below for you to read, so if you’re in a relationship, you can be glad you’ve escaped the cesspool that is modern dating. And if you’re single and looking for love, please don’t let this list discourage you. Enjoy these stories, then if you’re interested in reading even more wild dating experiences, we’ve got the perfect Bored Panda article for you to check out next right here.

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In theory, dating is so simple. Find someone you like, let them know, see if they feel the same way, and if they do, you two can be together. If they don’t, well, onto the next. But especially at this day in age, where people seem to get pickier and pickier, and online dating allows us to see infinite options of people, dating has become an extremely complex dance.

Back “in the day”, it was also usually assumed that everyone wanted the same thing. Most people wanted to be married and have a family, so it was implied that dating was heading in that direction. I’m not saying the old heteronormative dating standards were a good thing, and it’s definitely not true that everyone wants to have a family. But today, because there is a much wider range of what is acceptable for daters to be looking for (from open relationships, to never wanting to get married, to having casual flings, etc.), it can be more confusing than ever trying to navigate the dating pool.


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Prior to the 20th century, dating mostly involved gentleman callers and “courtship”. Essentially, relationships were formed on the foundation of being a good societal match, rather than really falling in love. But by the 1920’s, young daters began to have many more choices. As Jodi O’Brien notes in her book Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, Volume I, “Different institutions were becoming more prominent in the lives of young men and women, such as school, college, and workplaces, which exposed them to a large pool of potential dating partners. As a result, the purpose of dating was primarily to have fun, not to find a marriage partner.” But just because they had more options does not mean that they were dating in the way millennials and Gen Zers do today. “Couples would form after several dates if they were interested in having more exclusive relationships,” Jodi writes. While that can happen today, it’s also common for daters to see each other for months or even years before becoming exclusive, as they may not be in any hurry to settle down.


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Since online dating and dating apps came onto the scene, finding a partner has never been the same. It’s not necessarily easier to fall in love, but it’s definitely easier to see the dating pool and schedule more dates. Sociologist Dr. Marie Bergström told the Guardian that online dating has changed relationships in many ways, one of which being that we no longer imagine “random encounters” leading us to fall in love. She notes that this idea used to be very strong, as Hollywood often portrays love as something you just bump into one day, but now, people are more likely to be actively searching for their “soulmate”. “[Online dating] pushes you to be proactive – to go and search for this person. You shouldn’t just sit at home and wait,” Dr. Bergström says.


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The idea of dating your best friend has also been around for generations, but online dating might have made that less attractive. Before we could hop on the internet to meet people, our social lives tended to be more intermingled with our dating lives, as a great way to meet people was by being set up on a blind date through mutual friends. However, one 22-year-old student interviewed in Dr. Bergström’s book, The New Laws of Love, said she likes to keep her dating life private. “There are people I could have matched with but when I saw we had so many mutual acquaintances, I said no. It immediately deters me, because I know that whatever happens between us might not stay between us. And even at the relationship level, I don’t know if it’s healthy to have so many friends in common.”


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Online dating has also become so popular that the stigma around it has nearly vanished. As of 2021, there were over 234 million people using online dating apps or services around the world. And why not try them out? You can open your phone and scroll through hundreds or thousands of potential partners, depending on where you live, and easily contact them with the click of a finger. Dating apps also allow nervous users to avoid the fear of an in-person rejection, and users don’t have to wonder whether the person they’re messaging is in a relationship already. But there are downsides too. Having so much choice can be overwhelming, and daters can become fixated on finding the “perfect” match. It’s also easy for these apps to focus heavily on physical appearances, as many people will swipe left or right after only seeing a few photos. I think most of us are a lot less judgmental when we meet someone in person, but without hearing their voice, seeing their body language or knowing much about them, online daters often scrutinize others for their appearances.


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Regardless of how someone met their partner, staying in a long-lasting relationship can be challenging. In fact, about 41% of all first marriages end in divorce. These rates only increase when it comes to second and third marriages as well, with about 60% and 73% ending in divorce respectively. Certain countries have it worse than others though, with about 50% of marriages in the United States failing. The country where divorce is most common is Russia, with poverty being cited as the leading cause of failed marriages. There are many factors that affect how likely a marriage is to last, including how old each partner was at the time of the marriage, their education levels, their religious affiliations, whether or not their parents divorced and whether or not they’ve been married before. At the end of the day, a successful marriage takes hard work from both parties, but when a relationship really isn’t working out, there’s no shame in opting for a divorce.    


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If you’re really having a difficult time in your dating life, you might have considered reaching out to a dating expert or matchmaker. To hear some insight from experts, Elite Daily spoke to a few professionals to see just why dating today is so challenging. Susan Winter, a New York based relationship expert noted that hookup culture isn’t making anyone’s dating life easier. “It’s made it hard to define what we’re doing with a person. We find ourselves asking, ‘Is this a date?’, ‘Are we a couple?’, ‘What are the rules?’ ‘What are the expectations?’ ‘Am I one of many?’ ‘Dare I text them first?’ ‘Is it OK to let them know I like them?’ ‘If I express a concern, will they dump me?’ There’s no need for a ‘committed relationship’ if a person is primarily seeking sex. Hookups are effortless, therefore the rigors of being a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ have been eliminated.”


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Nicole Richardson, a licensed marriage and family therapist, notes technology for making dating more difficult. She mentions how we can easily hide behind screens and avoid any real vulnerability and intimacy. “Like social media, online dating has allowed us to invent the person we would like to be, even if that person is not truly who we are. This is often subconsciously done (I’m not talking about intentional catfishing here). By creating a profile of who you think you are or perhaps wish you were, you are potentially attracting the wrong person and setting yourself up for failure without even intending to.”


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According to Logan Ury, Director of Relationship Science for the dating app Hinge, fear is another hindrance for daters. After having a few bad experiences, it’s common for people to develop FODA, or Fear of Dating Again. “Here’s how to overcome FODA,” Logan says. “First of all, understand that it’s normal to feel nervous on a date. It’s likely the other person is feeling the same way. You can break the ice by mentioning that you feel a bit out of practice. This confession will help you relax, and may even create a point of connection if your date expresses feeling the same nerves. I also recommend focusing on the other person by asking thoughtful questions and follow-ups. That’s one of the best ways to relax and get out of your own head! Finally, take your time, getting to know someone. Many of the best connections come from the slow burn, not instant chemistry or fireworks.”


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We hope you’re enjoying reading these horrible dating stories, but we also hope that you’ve never experienced anything along the same lines. When you’re with the right person, dating should feel natural and easy, but it can take a long time to get to that point. Remember to upvote your favorite responses, and let us know in the comments if you have any dating horror stories you’d like to share. And if you’re single and ready to mingle, please don’t judge your potential suitors if they want to ride a bike to the date. Maybe they just want to limit their carbon footprint to give your future children the best planet possible!


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