in: dating + single

What I Learned From a Rotten Date (or Two… or Three…)

Krystal Baugher

A rotten date always comes with a delicious lesson. Krystal Baugher recaps the lessons she’s learned in hopes that we can learn from her experiences.


We went out for drinks downtown. We were having a pretty good time, stories, laughs, a casual flirting back and forth. It was late, already after bar close. He wanted to move his car parked at a meter to avoid a ticket. He was tipsy enough that I decided to just wait on the sidewalk. He got in, drove away, and never returned. It was three in the morning, dark, on the outskirts of downtown Denver and there was not a person or car or dog in sight. Well, until the homeless guy on the bike showed up and started circling around me, whistling. I was so freaked out that I went and hid in the lobby of an apartment complex where I called a cab.

That was my best friend’s worst dating story.

She luckily survived to tell the tale, but it left me wondering about my bad dates, none of which have been that extreme, but surely along with the rotten-ness there were lessons I learned either about myself or the dating world in general.


Take *Brad for example. Brad and I scheduled a brunch date. He arrived 30 minutes late and throughout the entire meal referred to his “incredibly terrible and painfully nauseating hangover.” He asked me if I liked sports and I said “no.” He obviously didn’t care whether I did or not since he brought up the Detroit Lions in every other sentence. Worst of all Brad groaned a lot during the entire experience. Like, when he wasn’t talking about the Lions, he was groaning.

Lesson Learned: Schedule dates in the evening with people who clearly have more things in common.

Then there was *Chad. This was the kind of guy that every woman he knew must have had a secret crush on. He was tall and sported a chiseled jaw. He was into artsy stuff, but had a pretty hot shot job in the education field. The problem with Chad was that he went after injured birds (freshly broken-up women) in an attempt to help them forget about the pain for a brief period of time (but not necessarily to help them recuperate). And when I say brief, I mean very, very brief. The minute-man issue wasn’t nearly as problematic as the fact that he turned from a regular man speaking, into a man using toddler-talk. Yes, he goo-goo, gaa-gaaed and not just in the bedroom…everywhere.

Lesson Learned: Rebounding, though a necessary part of all break-up recoveries does not need to be rushed and the minute anything weird comes out of the person’s mouth, run.

After Chad there was *Will. We went to a movie then out for beer. I don’t know what got into him but out of nowhere, he took a swallow, could handle no more and then spit it up all over me. It was a pale ale explosion! Then he just stared at me. I stared back. Finally, I asked, “Are you going to help me clean this up?” All he could do was shake his head in shame. As I was walking out he finally found the courage to say, “Aren’t you going to pay for your beer?”

Lesson Learned: Find more financially stable people who can both keep up and keep it in.

Finally, there was*Bill. This guy was “sex-positive,” though his definition was quite different from my own. Mine is more about open-minded empowered, self-expression and pleasure. His was more about having sex with as many people as possible. Sure, sure, that’s a lot of people’s desire, but most people don’t keep every experience tracked in separate “sex” folders on their phone (and has the nerve to show them to strangers).

Lesson Learned: Be very clear about beliefs, desires, and consent beforehand.

When I first joined online dating I really wanted the ability to “review” my dates like one would review a restaurant or movie. But then I thought a little more about it and realized that even if someone wasn’t “on their game” with me it didn’t mean they wouldn’t really connect with someone else. Just because I don’t like football, or baby-talk or beer spewed all over me doesn’t mean everyone else has the same opinion. That’s the beauty of dating: learning about what works and what doesn’t. Every time I’ve met someone new, I’ve learned a little bit more about the good, the bad and the ugly, and the magic of both the dating world and myself.

*All names have been changed to protect these bad daters’ identities.

[image via Rachel. Adams on flickr]

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About the Author:

Krystal Baugher Krystal Baugher

Krystal Baugher lives in Denver, Colorado. She is the founder of Mile High Mating, a website dedicated to helping people go on more dates, have more sex, and find more love in the Mile High City and beyond. Find her on Facebook and Twitter and at Mile High Mating.

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