First Dates Can Be Fabulous But the Fails are More Entertaining

drinking couple

How karaoke played a part in my worst first date

My bad first date involved this hot guy at the gym. We started chatting by the water cooler one day. Mundane stuff. Exercises. The weather. Work. But it turned out we a lot in common, including a love of Japanese food. Next thing he invited me to a sushi bar that evening. Dressed to the nines I arrived at this restaurant to find him seated in a tight-fitting t-shirt that made my mouth water as much as the delicious aromas drifting from the kitchen. After we’d enjoyed a fabulous meal a waiter handed him a microphone. The karaoke had started. He burst into ‘Thriller,’ complete with his approximation of Michael Jackson’s sleekest moves. Except he was completely tone deaf and danced like a giraffe on an ice rink. He was convinced he was the greatest singer and mover since Jacko, putting his heart and soul into his performance, while the other diners winced as if their sushi was far too spicy. Somehow his rippling torso became the last thing on my mind. He put me off Japanese cuisine for some time. But if he were to cancel a couple of sessions at the gym and take singing lessons, then that would be a completely different story! Kirsten, 23

Discussing ‘our children’ created an embarrassing date

There are funny dating stories and there are plain awkward ones. I’d met a girl in a busy wine bar at the weekend, then arranged to hook up for a first date over refreshments the following Tuesday. I ordered two glasses of wine and we sat in a corner. She edged in closer to me and I thought she looked even more attractive than I remembered. She asked me to pose for a selfie. Snuggling beside her I grinned while she took the snap. I watched her fiddling around with her phone, then she proudly displayed the results of her image manipulation app. ‘Look,’ she beamed. ‘I’ve merged our faces together. This is exactly what our children are going to look like.’ I nearly choked on my next mouthful of wine. Talk about jumping the gun? I was out of that bar as if I’d heard a starting pistol. If I’m going to guess what my future kids are going to look like, I’d rather it wasn’t in the company of someone I’ve known for the same length of time it takes to decant a robust red wine. Fortunately, we happened to bump into each other in another wine bar a week later and she ended up showing me all sorts of wacky distortions with her phone, including one that transformed me into Shrek! She insisted she was only winding me up that first time. It was time for me to unwind. Darren, 26

Who do so many bad date stories involve alcohol?

My worst first date? There was this really cute female who I used to spy in the university library every Tuesday. She’d huddle into one of the booths and spend her time poring over volumes. Then after an hour or so she’d re-emerge, but always glance in my direction. As time went on these became more lingering looks until I just knew she was interested. So after she’d finished her studies one afternoon I intercepted her and asked if she fancied meeting for a coffee en route to the library tomorrow morning? She was very amenable to the suggestion. The next day we met in the coffee shop. When we ordered our drinks the young lad behind the counter had difficulty understanding her accent. Immediately my date launched into a tirade about people getting jobs who don’t even bother to pick up the local lingo. I was mightily embarrassed as we took our seats, treading on eggshells in case I offended her. Later she apologized for her outburst. Far from being some weird xenophobe, she admitted she’d been so nervous about making a good impression she’d knocked back a few shots before leaving her flat that morning! I chuckled at the thought of her seeing double in the coffee shop and making that uncharacteristic faux pas. We’ve been going steady ever since. Chris, 21

How mistaken identity made a funny first date story

When my friends and I chat about embarrassing dates and dating situations one of my own bad date stories always springs to mind. I was meeting a girl from work I’d fancied for a while and had eventually asked out. I wanted her to see a different person to the office guy so I took the chance of leaving my glasses behind. My eyesight’s reasonable. I spotted her waiting outside the bar and thought I’d impress her with my confidence. So I marched straight over and planted the smoochiest of kisses on her inviting lips. She didn’t respond too well. She slapped me and stormed off. Taken aback, I heard someone laughing. I saw another woman, giggling as she drew closer, becoming less of a blur. It was my date. She gave me a peck on the cheek, insisting I’d given her one of the funniest of funny first date experiences she could have asked for. Josef, 19

In conclusion, there can be a fine line between a terrific first date and a worst first date. All sorts of situations can arise, from people unexpectedly announcing the deepest of feelings to complete apathy. Anything can happen, from karaoke fails to clumsy accidents, from catching individuals on a bad day to one party overindulging in Dutch courage and causing a scene.

But the good thing is that people are always willing to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. And if they do, that’s a strong indication they’re prepared to see beyond those horror incidents. Next time, if there is a next time, you can start from scratch and create some cute first date stories.