Channel Four's new series Dates delves into the world of how you find someone you could plausibly fall in love with. But what comes before love? That's right, dating.
Team MyDaily has mined our personal experiences to share with you the worst date we've each ever had - but we're all still dating now, so it really can't have been that bad, right?
Sara McCorquodale, Editor of MyDaily, says: "My worst date ever was probably my first date ever and I'm kind of glad because it set me up for the rest of my life. I was 16 and seeing a boy called Dean. I knew he was nice. I knew he was handsome. But did I fancy him? No. It was weird. Even though he sent me flowers on my birthday and was quite openly dedicated in a very cheerful way, I would still have preferred someone grumpy who could play guitar.
"Anyway, for our first date he invited me to the cinema to see Notting Hill. I put on a Hello Kitty t-shirt (it was cool then), super baggy jeans and trainers but when I got there, the sight of him nearly killed me. He was wearing a three-piece suit and had a mobile phone clipped to his belt. This was 1999 and mobiles were offensively huge.
"Looking like the most oddly matched pair of tools, we uncomfortably watched the film and then he insisted we go to a pub. I'd had about five drinks in my entire life at this point and after three vodka Red Bulls and two shots, I was violently sick in the loo. Pretending this hadn't happened of course, I insisted I was tired and had to go home.
"The cab went to his house first and there he confusingly handed me a £50 note to cover the rest of the £5 journey. It was weird. It made everything feel a bit dirty. Plus the taxi driver clearly thought I was a knob when I handed it over. The next day I felt hungover, disappointed and, weirdly, a little bit like a prostitute. It was definitely the first time, but certainly not the last."
Katie Jones, Deputy Editor of MyDaily, says: Two girls, one guy and a lemonade: that pretty much says it all. After I graduated, my best friend and I were living and working in our hometowns as part of our 'gap years' and it's safe to say we didn't have much luck in finding nice young men to sweep us off our feet.
"This particular date was memorable because my friend ended up sitting beside me for the whole thing. There was some confusion over the timing and I was already in the pub having a pre-date chat with my friend when the boy in question walked in to meet me an hour early. He spotted me, my friend got up to leave but he insisted on her staying.
"I'm still not sure whether he was trying to be polite or if really, he fancied her. Either way, he wasn't a big spender. He bought us a glass of lemonade with two straws and at that point, I knew the date was doomed. The only word for it? Awkward."
Daisy May Sitch, MyDaily's Style Writer, says: "Rejection from a guy you're not even that into is the worst thing EVER. As far as dates go I am by no means well practiced - ho yes, she's a single gal. Still. But cool with it, obviously.
"That said, I've had those dates that have felt like pulling teeth, those that have been cultured with fine cuisine and super-fine kisses, and then those that have left me in total rage.
"Let me explain the latter - that pertinent memory of being 'let go' by a guy I was seeing in sixth form. He was head boy and had that tall geekish arrogance thing going on (he wore his collars up). We had mufti day flirtation, the cruise-by glances (god, I loved that mini metro) with hoards of friends lining the back seats and the first date cinema thing. The film, Hitch, ticked all the boxes but there was no heady-first-date feeling, even though he jumped a red light en route home. Wild.
"The texting continued, a couple more meetings and then - the unheard of - me cooking a romantic meal for two. *Cringes into keyboard* He pitched up on my doorstep with a bunch of roses in hand, mucked up his opening liner and made me close and reopen the door to which I gushed on cue. Oh god.
"After a mean spaghetti bolognese we sat back and put on a film - something to have on in the background, only we actually watched it scene for scene. Awkward yes, I was all out of chat, and he was lounged back suave as you like. This wasn't going anywhere.
"Before leaving he put one hand on my shoulder and said something along the lines of "this isn't going to work" in a way that was clearly going to shatter my heart into a thousand pieces. It was like that time Danny Zuko bumped off Sandy in her tidy white tennis dress. So patronising was his tone - the tilted head too - I hit every shade of blush, the dude had me speechless. I literally waited for words to rise to the occasion - they didn't. Embarrassed? For sure. Fuming? You betcha.
"The worst bit? His ooooh-she-was-so-into-me eyes across the playing field forever afterwards. Years later my 17 year-old self still finds it galling, but at least I know it was a MORE-THAN mutual thing."
Ellen Stewart, MyDaily's Celebrity Writer, says: "I guess I've been pretty fortunate with dates. I've never had a REALLY bad one. My friends have told me stories about how they went to the loo and came back to an empty table, or how their date - who they met on the Internet - was not the stud his profile picture made him out to be and was actually old enough to be their dad.
"So, no, I've never been on one of those. In fact, I haven't been on that many dates. Until fairly recently I'd been in a string of long-term relationships - and rumour has it you're not really meant to date other people when you've got a steady boyfriend.
"However, I've certainly had one of those awful "date nights" with a boyf where we've started bickering mid spaghetti carbonara, each of us going red in the face trying desperately not to let on to the rest of Pizza Express we're in the midst of a potentially explosive argument over who forgot to remind who that it was so-and-so's birthday on Friday. Those ones usually ended up with me loosing my cool and shouting and/or storming off to the toilet in a teary mess. Relationships are fun.
"Other than that, the worst date (if you can even call it that) was when I was 16, a boy rolled up to my house in his banged up Vauxhall Corsa we drove around for a bit. He tried to touch my boob. It was awkward. He drove me home."
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