After this happened three times, Amanda figured he was probably a scary old guy or something. My first hint that something was off was that he texted to say he’d be 20 to 25 minutes late just before our designated meeting time.When he arrived half an hour late, he was sweaty — and smelled disgusting, like some horrifying amalgam of patchouli and body odor.Sites such as Tinder Nightmares, Bye Felipe, and Not Ok Cupid document abysmal messages sent from weirdos, but what about when people appear to be perfectly normal until they show up for a date?The following are some truly awful first dates, culled from women showed up and made an effort for this nonsense — and lived to tell the depressing tale. My friend Mara* went on a date with a guy in New York who can only be described as someone who could star in his own personal rendition of American Psycho. Mara told him, “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; it’s not working.” To finish things off, he started talking about how he never goes out anymore, because people always want to fight him, and that he attracts a lot of “bad energy.” She tried to leave the restaurant solo, but he left with her. He walked all the way to the train with her, but thankfully didn’t insist upon taking the same train. “I have needs.” She was so shaken, she worried he’d follow her home, so she followed a very meandering route and kept her eyes on the rearview mirror.Thankfully this was less because of anything ghastly and more because there was no real spark.That said, I do have a couple of particularly terrible stories, and so do all of my friends, and their friends, and — well, you get the idea.
He told Mara that she should do ayahuasca, and accused her of “not being in the moment.” Then, when she said, “Thanks for this, but I’m going to go,” he got hostile. She was living in Santa Fe; he was in Albuquerque, about an hour’s drive south. They had tons of things in common, and he was cute and smiled a lot in his photos. With some trepidation, Amanda met him at a taco place. Most disturbing was that he’d portrayed himself to be a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, but he was actually super glum. I had lined up a date with a man who gave great profile picture. We’d exchanged a handful of messages — enough to make me think he was smart and sane, and I was excited to meet him.
But every time they discussed meeting, he’d pull out at the last minute. From the minute he walked in, she knew something was wrong. Within five minutes, he admitted that he’d been hesitant to meet Amanda because he was married. We agreed to meet for coffee at a place in New York, where I would be writing all afternoon.