The days of Internet dating being the domain of basement dwellers, antisocial misanthropes, virgins and folks who are unlucky in the looks department (mix and match any and all of these) are effectively over, and today it seems like everyone is meeting and dating -- and venting about meeting and dating -- on the Internet.There's nothing inherently wrong with online dating, and in some ways it's more convenient than going out to bars and clubs or hoping to meet someone in the produce aisle at the grocery store. But sometimes paying (or not paying, on free dating sites) for the convenience has a barely-hidden price tag, where you pay for truly rotten first dates in safety, sanity and, occasionally, a series of phone calls to the local police department.
Here are my five Internet first-date horror stories. They all happened to me, so by all means, have a bucket of chuckles at my pain. Yes, it's pretty funny -- until it happens to you.
See also: - Can't win a date with Marnie Stern? Who's your dream date from the Denver music scene? - Non-traditional dating site Grouper launches in Denver today - Five jaded tips for online dating -- don't get Te'od!
5. Just a juggalo.... Sometimes my shocking lack of popular-culture knowledge gets me into really bad situations. I met a guy on Match.com who was decent-looking if a little heavy-metal-y rough around the edges; he claimed to be really into music, in town for a few months for work, and seemed really enthusiastic about meeting me -- in fact, he seemed really, really enthusiastic about everything. We chatted back and forth online for a week or so, set a date for a Friday night, and shared a couple of phone calls, during the last of which he told me he was "a gigolo." "That's cool -- I'm not looking for anything really serious right now," I replied.
First date night arrived, and he showed up at my door dressed in weird, scary clown-covered clothes, open can of cheap beer in hand, and he was so jumpy I thought he had the cops after him. He mumbled what I thought was a greeting, slurped down his beer, crushed the can on his head and pushed past me to the kitchen, where he proceeded to fish through my fridge for another beer.
Yeah -- there are "bad boys," and then there was this guy.
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He complained loudly about the bottle of local microbrew he found, using a pejorative term for homosexuals to describe it, but kept sucking it down and pacing around doing air guitar. In my usual dulcet manner I asked him if I could get him anything to make his visit more comfortable. He joked that his meth intake was a good diet plan, and asked if I was ready to go to the concert that I didn't know we going to -- Insane Clown Posse -- explaining that it was hard to meet girls who were "down with the clown."
He was not a gigolo -- he was a juggalo, a term I had to phone-a-friend to have explained to me, which I did about ten minutes after I kicked his ass out of my house. He took a whiz in my yard on the way out, called me a c*nt, and almost took out my mailbox with his scary clown sticker-covered truck. I should have known what a juggalo was, but now I'm forever sorry that I found out.
4. Baby mamas, bringing the dramas When you're child-free, it can be tough to date someone with multiple, small children, and all the jokes about babymamas are told for a reason -- because that sh*t happened to someone. I met an aspiring rapper on Yahoo personals who was so incredibly fine that when he told me he "just got outta somethin' wid his babymama," I didn't care, didn't wanna know, and just wanted to meet up with him for a coffee as soon as I could.
We met. He was just as fine in person as his photos made him look online, and I kept fumbling for words and aiming my iced latte straw at my chin instead of my mouth. We had a brilliant, sparkling half-hour of conversation and everything was sweet as French vanilla ice cream until his phone rang. And rang. And kept on ringing. He excused himself to answer it, and that was forgivable the first time. By the third time I was getting annoyed, and even more pissed off when the female on the other end was yelling at my date so loud I thought she was on speakerphone.
I didn't catch the whole conversation -- just the part about "you out with some bitch, and you better bring home dinner and some diapers!" Now that's a massive mood-killer. As it turned out, there were actually two different women calling him (tough to tell since they were both yelling) because he had four kids with three different ladies, and at least two of them were not pleased that 'ol boy was out on a date. I left the coffee shop server a tip, and told him he needed to save his coins for child support.
3. Age is just a wrong number Meeting someone online who seems just perfect is a great feeling, right in your gut. This dude was tall, plump, red-headed, green-eyed, single, childless, in my age range, gainfully employed, had a place to live, transportation and good manners: jackpot. He seemed a bit shy at first, even for Internet chat, but when I met him on POF.com he seemed to meet every qualification I had for a first date -- with plenty of extra to spare. We met up for coffee one evening after a series of above-average phone interactions, and as soon as I saw him, I immediately commented on how young he looked for being 35 -- very, very young, actually. And his out-loud-text-speak, mannerisms and pop-culture references seemed....young. I stared at him quizzically and finally blurted out, "No really--how the old are you?"
He stared at his shoes for a moment, then finally stammered that he was...nineteen.
Of course I asked him why in the sober hell he'd lied to me about his age. I've met plenty of dudes who lied about their ages, but always to make themselves younger -- not older. He finally fessed up and told me me his buddies had told him to pretend to older so that women would sleep with him, and he and his cohorts believed that girls their own age were averse to screwing them because of their ages. I told the poor, hapless kid that I doubted that was the reason that he and his idiot squad weren't getting any tail, and told him I'd make a lousy prom date. It was a lousy feeling, right in my gut.
Continue reading for more terrifying tales.
2. Dumpster diving All the care and concern that you have to put into dating people on a normal dating site needs to be doubled -- maybe even tripled -- when swimming in the well-muddied waters of alternative lifestyle dating sites like Adult Friend Finder. Bored with my matches on traditional sites, I hit AFF and I was immediately hit on by a nice man. He called himself a nice man, he chatting about nice man things, and we made a date for the weekend, after which we spent the entire week conversing back and forth about nice topics -- the weather, TV shows we liked, beaches, rain, puppies, kittens and rainbows. I was starting to wonder if maybe this guy was just as boring as the schmucks I'd been meeting everywhere else; I was looking for someone with a spark to them, maybe a bit dark with a few skeletons.
We met at a wine bar, we sipped, we chatted, and this first date was starting to get a bit of a garden-party feel to it when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he looked me in the peeps and asked, "So, have you ever fucked someone in a dumpster?"
Nonplussed, I asked him what kind of dumpster -- like one behind Bed, Bath & Beyond, or one behind a Kentucky Fried Chicken? He didn't miss a beat, and replied, "A really filthy, dirty, dark one, at night, behind a restaurant." I stopped being bored and started being terrified, as I listened to his spoken word fan fiction about getting blown in garbage dumpster full of...garbage. I eyeballed the exit door, then ran.
Sometimes being bored is not so bad.
1. Dil-DOH! Everyone has at least one terrible, awful, rotten first date fuck-up story that they retell at parties, and mine has batteries included. I met this guy on craigslist, and I was impressed that he seemed like a guy who really didn't belong dating on craigslist. My first impression after meeting up with him a week or so later was that he was an all-around decent chap -- good-looking, college student, job-and-a-place, well-groomed and articulate. We were having such a good time over dinner that I invited him back to my place for coffee, dessert, whatever. We got back to Casa del Jenn (roommate was gone for the night), I put on some romantic music (Type O Negative) and he asked to use the bathroom. And he stayed in there for an unusual amount of time.
Ten minutes went by, then fifteen -- I knocked and asked him if everything was okay, and he said he'd be out in a minute. A half an hour later, I was worried that he'd gotten his d*ck stuck in the sink drain. He came out, finally, and acted really nervous. He kept checking his phone and spacing out of the conversation, so I asked him if he was all right. He said he had to go because he had to work early in the morning -- even though he'd told me he worked nights. He barely said goodbye as he rushed for the door, jumped into his car, and took off down the street.
I checked the bathroom: Nothing was amiss. Maybe he wasn't a fan of my shower curtain, or he stole some Benedryl.
Then I got an e-mail from him, that same night, and he was pissed. Apparently he had discovered a vibrator in my medicine cabinet, and was so disgusted and appalled that he locked himself in my bathroom and wept. He confessed that his ex-wife had preferred toys to than his jimmy, and he figured I was "just like her." I felt bad about accidentally leaving a vibe in the bathroom until it hit me...
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This f*ck-ass had gone through my medicine cabinet, couldn't handle his man-business, and cried like a bitch over a vibrator. I was wrong about this guy from the beginning: He was exactly the type of person who belongs dating on craigslist.