Can we all admit that the worst part of being single is dating? People who say dating is fun clearly haven’t dated in New York City, or they’re masochists.
Dating has always been rough, but in 2015 we’re forced to search for love online. Online dating can be great, you have the opportunity to encounter people that you may have never met in your everyday life. But then there’s the not-so-great side, when you think to yourself, “Did I really want to encounter this person?”
In the 3 years I’ve been living in New York, I have gone on A LOT of dates. Some good (the ex-boyfriend I met on Tinder), some that I just knew weren’t going anywhere (the sweet guy I met on Bumble who was just too religious for me), and a small handful where I wanted to run for the hills (almost every OkCupid date I’ve ever been on).
What has been my worse date? Probably with a guy we’ll call Pierre. When Pierre first messaged me, I did my usual routine of checking out his profile. I read a guy’s entire OkCupid profile. Their questionnaire answers, their About Me section and the section where they indicate what they’re looking for on OkCupid.
Pierre’s profile indicated that he was looking for “new friends” which was a red flag for me. Who uses an online dating site for new friends?
I thanked Pierre for his message but told him that I didn’t think we were interested in the same thing, and ended the brief chat by wishing him the best of luck. He insisted he was looking for something long-term with the right person. Against my better judgment, I went out with Pierre.
We made plans to meet after work one day at a random Midtown bar near my office. Before we went out, I warned Pierre that I would have to leave by 9 pm. I had to get home to watch a basketball game (priorities, people!). I’m a die-hard basketball fan and I didn’t want to be rude by cutting the date short if things were going well.
When we both got to the bar, one of the first things Pierre commented on was the fact that I was planning on ditching him for a basketball game. We laughed about it and I told him I couldn’t help it, I love sports and no man will come before my hometown teams.
He told me that he didn’t follow much basketball but really liked American football. He’d been in NYC for 15 years from Europe and told me he was a NY Giants fan.
Jokingly, I laughed and said something about the Giants sucking. Clearly the wrong move because this lead him on a rant about how I’m ignorant and know nothing about the way sports work. WHAT? How’d we get here?
He went on about salary caps, how my team sucked and that I couldn’t say any team sucked because I could never do what those guys do. I didn’t know what to do so I let him rant.
When he was done, he looked me dead in my eyes and said he felt like an asshole. I agreed and then we just stared at each other. Well, more accurately he stared at me and I watched the basketball game on the TV above his head.
I was determined to leave this date, but the waitress was nowhere to be found. So I tried to distract from the awkwardness and asked him about work. He told me that he worked in Hoboken but lived in Queens. I said I’d never been to Hoboken, none of my friends have ever lived there and it’s a bit far from where I live, so I’ve never had the desire to explore.
This was the beginning of rant/argument #2. He insisted that Hoboken wasn’t actually far and I didn’t know what I was talking about. I wasn’t going to indulge in his crazy so I just let him keep going. The conversation steered to how he only spent any real time in Hoboken when he went to happy hour with his co-workers but he hated it there. It was too “bro-y” with tons of young kids.
I said based on that description, Hoboken wasn’t really on my list of places to go. He said I wasn’t missing much, but then changed his mind. He looked at me again and said, “You really have a way of riling me up.”
Oh, so now it’s my fault that you’re a bag of dicks? This guy was crazy and I was done! I told him I had to go and that was that.
I jumped in a cab and went home. I figured that he knew how bad of a date this also was and would never reach out to me again. I was wrong. A few hours later, I was the lucky winner of unsolicited dick pics from Pierre. One of the pictures included a ruler. This was his Hail Mary! Bad date, but it could be worse. It got worse.
Fast-forward to a few months ago. I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when a Gothamist post pops up. The headline: Pervert Masturbates While Staring At N Train Rider (NSFW). I froze at my desk. There he was, in all his classy glory.
Yes, I went on a date with a guy who thought it was OK to masturbate in public and then attempt to follow a woman off the train at 5 am. I had hit rock-fucking bottom!
I was horrified. I wanted to roll up in a little ball and disappear. Sure, I was embarrassed for myself, but my heart broke for this poor woman. I could only imagine how frightened she was being alone with this jerk on a subway car.
What could she do? At 5 am, any station she got off at would probably be empty. She couldn’t confront this crazy person, who knows what he was capable of? I’m glad she pulled out her phone and started recording.
Unfortunately, this was some months after our date, so I had deleted his number, deleted OkCupid, forgot his name and deleted all of our text messages. I immediately commented on the Facebook post with some of the information I remembered about him. I didn’t know what I could do but I was hoping what I did remember could help in some way.
To my shock, I started getting messages from other women who had also gone out with this guy. We pieced information together and were able to get his first and last name, his phone number and his LinkedIn profile.
I called NYPD to give them Pierre’s information and hoped for the best. I also messaged the victim and provided her with the information I knew. I let her know she should reach out if there was anything I could do. I have no idea if NYPD actually did something about this creep, but I hope the victim felt a little comfort knowing that strangers were trying to help her in someway.
I’ve since deleted OkCupid and now stick to Tinder and Bumble. I know, seems weird considering what a bad name Tinder gets but I’ve honestly met the nicest non-creeps on there. I now ask men for their last names before I go out with them and do not delete their numbers after a bad date. Apparently, you never know when you’ll have to play detective.
Shockingly, rock bottom hasn’t stopped me from dating. Maybe I’m a masochist? I guess if you ever go on another bad date, just remember this: At least he’s not a public masturbator. Or he might be and you haven’t found out yet. Join the club?