6. Dave and Busters

In 6th place of this Battle Royale of the most cringe-worthy dating experiencing is another classic story from my archives. This one is brought to you by the high-energy adult playground Dave and Busters.

Nick was incredibly awkward, but he seemed so sweet. His profile spoke beautiful poetry of the love he sought in this world. A bit verbose for an initial look at the profile, but still sweet. Maybe I had just jumped to some pre-conceived conclusion.

But between the lag in responses, your lateness to our first date, my migraine and throwing tickets at a child, I have come to a solid conclusion… Nick, you really were As Awkward as You Seemed.

The Beginning.
I wasn’t intending on you being that awkward. Sure, you seemed like you were “playing the game.” Someone must have told you once that responding too quickly meant you had “no chill”, that you would seem too needy and desperate. But there is also a length of time where that response lag is blatantly obvious. And you were blatantly obvious….

–continue reading–

It was best we never went out again. I can buy my own Red Bull, sure. I just shouldn’t need one to get through a date.

Follow the countdown to the top weirdest story on the Battle Royale. We are heading into the top 5 stories soon!

7. Ryan FICO

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Coming in at seventh place is the story of Ryan FICO. I’ve told the tale of a Tinder profile often discovered year after year. But for those who have not read the original post, follow the link to see the story.

So… We Swipe Again

“When I first started online dating in 2015, I had some pretty hard and fast rules regarding the profiles I would say “yes” or swipe right on. When it comes to photos specifically, I use some loosely guided rules to govern my interactions.

  • Shirtless photo? Pass.
  • Photo with a bunch of women? Pass.
  • Photo with kids? Pass.
  • No photo at all? Hard pass.

 

This one particular person had a profile photo that seemed incredibly arrogant.”

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Revisiting this story reminds me of some details I had previously neglected. When discussing why our conversation fell by the wayside (I cited his self-given list of flaws), I had mentioned that I didn’t even know what he looked like! It was then that he sent me a picture. It was a photo of him with his sister at her wedding. He even gave me a link to his YouTube channel offering strangers of the internet financial advice. Then it hit me… I had seen this very photo before. It was a deja vu moment that I couldn’t even cop to. Had I dropped off the planet because I just wasn’t attracted to the man behind the FICO score? It’s entirely possible. He wasn’t my type at all socially and the lack of physical attraction could have very well sealed the deal. I hope Ryan ultimately found what he was looking for.

8. Matt Not In AZ

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Now we have entered the quarter final rounds. The top 8 will battle it out to be the saddest victor. Coming in at 8th place is Matt Not in AZ.

Let me give you some context for this story. It was October 2017 and I had recently gone through a breakup. I was visiting my friend Clara in northern California. Before heading her way, she convinced me to download Tinder again. You know… just for giggles. I wasn’t genuinely looking, I’ll be honest. But the potential to break my mind away from the thought of my previous relationship was tempting. So, I downloaded Tinder and began swiping.

Now, Tinder in my opinion is a game in its own right. But, the game we played was far more dangerous. One night while out on the town, we swapped phones to swipe for the other person. Clara and I are really close friends. But, although we have similar interests in food, movies and books, our taste in men has never been an area our interests overlapped. So this was going to be fun.

It probably did not help that we were out bar hopping. As fun as it sounds, I rarely recommending Tindering under the influence. Clara got several matches for me with conversations flowing shortly after. She is also an opportunist, though. So if a previous match sent a message, Clara had no qualms diving into a conversation with them either. Matt was one such conversation.

Just a friendly reminder that when the conversation doesn’t sound like my typical cadence, you can bet that Clara is responding.

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Tinder, might I add, is a location based dating app used to connect people based on geographic positioning. I must have matched with Matt prior to leaving for California since his distance was much, much further than the “within 20 miles” metric in my settings–a distance difference he clearly did not notice.

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Clara and I agreed– he had no business knowing where I was. All he needed to know was that his request was physically impossible.

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Not entirely sure how he jumped from getting Mexican food to spending the night… Let’s even say that I wasn’t completely turned off by the idea of meeting a stranger at 2:30am. Let’s go a step further to assume I am not repulsed and terrified by the idea of spending the night with said stranger. His request still does not grasp the fact that I am still not in Arizona!

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We did have quite a bit to drink that night. While walking the streets of the lively downtown, we ran into some of Clara’s coworkers who dragged us into a nearby dive bar. My first gin and tonic–heavy on the gin, light on the tonic– was served in a pint glass! And the drinks kept coming. Note the alcohol intake and still Clara had excellent grammar! Bravo!

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Alas, Matt still did not comprehend the fact that I was not in Arizona.

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Nobody says it better than Katarina Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You. Her eye roll says it all. But, alas, I was not the one responding.

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Instead, Clara gave him some pretty practical advice.

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Thunderbird School of Global Management was listed as Matt’s education on his profile.

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Ouch. His entire point was to defend his intelligence. Then, he uses the wrong homophones instead of “than” and “they’re” all in the same sentence.

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Oh good! Clara is just as sassy as I would have been! Excellent.

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What do you mean you “just noticed the distance”?? It was repeatedly pointed out to you in your quest to invite me over.

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Or perhaps both. I do not believe those two situations are mutually exclusive.

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Buddy… we had been asking ourselves the same. exact. thing.

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Clara is getting feisty at this point. She has had it with Matt and his perceived level of intelligence.

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Goodnight, Matt. And goodbye. Clearly.

10. Murdering Mormon

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Up next in the top 16 countdown is number 10… The Murdering Mormon. I realize that this nickname is just as odd as it is unnerving. But, allow me to explain. If you have read some of my other posts, you know that I tend to start conversations with the same telling question: If you had to describe yourself using only one word, what would it be? I get answers like “driven”, “motivated”, “funny”, “exciting”… Usually adjectives that would entice further conversation. Rarely do I get nouns and even more rarely are they scary. But, along came Jacob…

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Hm. Interesting first impression.

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And alarmed I was. Who opens up a conversation with someone online and immediately jokes (or at least I hope it was a joke) about being a murderer? His response turned into the world’s worst segues.

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At this point I am incredibly confused. I am not Mormon, but I am friends with many. It just comes with the territory of growing up in Mesa, AZ. Is being Mormon good for him? Is it bad? Do I meet some really creepy murder checklist if I say yes? Is it worse if I say no? Either way, the thread of conversation is splitting awfully thin.

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He had a totally reasonable chance to explain his question. In fact, the connection with a mutual friend actually made sense. But he had to go and ruin it with the line “Good cause I don’t murder Mormons.” And that answered my earlier questions. Being Mormon would have kept me out of the line of danger. No was apparently the wrong answer if I wanted to keep my life. So, I guess that puts me back on the hit-list. And once again, in an attempt to change the topic, we are hit with a totally unnatural transition in conversation. I ignored the inquiry into my weekend and doubled-back to his murdering comments.

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I don’t have any doubts in my mind why this man was single.

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The mere fact that I am uncertain if he’s actually joking or just really disturbed should be telling. Perhaps if I had better survival instincts, I wouldn’t goad a potentially psychotic (let’s be fair, he self-described as a murderer before saying anything else) individual. But I cannot help it. My thoughts will be told, consequences be damned.

Once again, an excellent conversationalist. Knows when to transition in an out of topics seamlessly…

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Perhaps I am beating a dead horse. Perhaps I should let it go. But I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this guy described himself as a murderer.

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Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it could save the life of an unsuspecting internet dater.

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Ohhh okay. He is joking. Totally just messing around. Making a mockery of the fact that women are always needing to be vigilant. Alright. I can sort of get behind that. Maybe he is just not very socially aware.

Wait.

“Serial killers fascinate me” is definitely not how that explanation should have ended. At least he thinks they are evil?

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Texting typos aside, it’s true. If a girl thinks that someone is a murderer or serial killer, she certainly will not swipe right just to tempt fate. I went out with, and ended up in a good relationship with, a guy whose profile listed 10 things about him. Number 1 was “won’t murder you.” Alright, playful insight. Addressing the situation in a joking way. I totally get it. Beyond that though, the topic of whether he would murder me just never came up. Just the fact that someone has matched with you indicates they show at least a little bit of interest. Don’t start a conversation with something that will instantly create a barrier between you and the other person. Especially if you already know that this is a common concern of the weary online dater.

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Weird may have been boring, but I think I would have preferred that to the persistent thought of his murdering past. I never did risk my life to meet him in person. We would have never worked, anyway. There are too many differences between our schools of thought and brands of humor.

The search continues

14. Bad Teacher

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In fourteenth place… we have the Bad Teacher story brought to you by Andrew. It started as a normal conversation. Certainly nothing to write home about.

 

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Nothing out of the ordinary. Just regular small talk to wade into conversation intended to get to know someone.

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“Thanks.” I acknowledged the compliment. In general, this is something with which I tend to struggle. I don’t know how to take a compliment and in that regard I’ve always felt socially awkward. Perhaps it’s social programming or widely held societal standards or just my inherent awkwardness at times. But it’s there. So, I acknowledged the compliment and tried to move on.

 

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I wasn’t buying his story, but I wasn’t intending to call him out on it. I had barely started talking to the guy. Back then, when I first started the online dating venture, I wasn’t nearly as bold. Before I could even ask him clarifying details about that particularly ambitious line of work, Andrew once again redirected the conversation.

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It was at this point my sassy side started to shine through. In general, I think this type of conversation is frustrating. There are so many implications with the “hot teacher” archetype. Regardless of my students’ assessment of my appearance (by the way, gross and I don’t want to know), they learn. I am just as vivacious with speech in my classroom as I am online. I really don’t accept any nonsense in my class. But the implication that is perpetuated by the “hot teacher” role, especially when used to flirt here, is that a student may have a chance to be with that teacher. Absolutely unacceptable, unprofessional and uncalled-for. And so icky. My profession is my passion and my livelihood. It is not some sick, twisted fantasy.

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And once again here, accept the compliment and move on. My frustration is building, though. I clearly am not engaging in this line of conversation. So, once again I try to pivot to a more appropriate topic.

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Yes! Okay! Now we have something in common. I love Game of Thrones– a show on which I could spend hours discussing. This will be perfect to expand our conversation.

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Annnnnnnd… there it is. Again. I grew up playing baseball (no, not softball–perhaps a rant for a different post). Three strikes and you’re out, buddy. It’s time to shut this down. Clearly he isn’t picking up the fact that this raunchy teacher-talk isn’t going to happen.

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Thanks, Andrew, for the conversation. Hopefully he learned at least one thing from this teacher: pick up better on social cues. On to the next…