Hi, I’m Alex. I’m 27, single, and each week I’m gonna share the best, funniest, most ridiculous – and obviously the worst – parts of my dating life so you can feel a bit less sh*t about yours!
Yeah, you read that headline right. God, where do I even start with this one?
Let me set the scene. It was eight years ago, I was just 19 years old. Hopeful, optimistic, working in hospitality.
I was about halfway through a shift at a high-end cafe in the ‘are those poached eggs free-range and organic?’ part of Sydney when a tall, blonde guy walked in wearing his AFL uniform with a bit of dirt and sweat across his face.
It was all working for him (and for me).
He ordered a bacon and egg roll, and I spent the next few minutes clearing tables acutely aware that he was looking at me. I was chuffed.
I wrapped up his order and he went on his merry way, and I chalked it up to 'that was a nice distraction from people whistling and clicking at me'.
Five minutes later, he walked back in – it was like something straight out of your favourite ’90s teen movie. We made eye contact, he waved me over, and said “as soon as I walked out of here I regretted not asking this – would you like to get dinner?”.
Are you JOKING?! This stuff didn’t happen to me (or anyone outside a John Hughes film).
I scribbled my number on my notepad and tried not to squeal at the barista who was watching the whole thing.
On that fateful night, he suggested I drive to his place and then we could walk up to the restaurant near his place. That seemed fine.
We were going out to dinner, so I dressed accordingly. I had a casual but cute outfit on and thought, hey, it’s the first date, I’m gonna make an impression and wear my favourite red lippy.
I arrived at 6:30 pm, got a tour, and then asked what was for dinner.
“I actually thought it would be cute if we wandered up to the shops, got some stuff, and cooked dinner here.”
So we did.
I got to find out what he was like picking vegetables and fruit – a vastly underrated way to determine your compatibility with someone, might I add.
“What are we making?”
“Tuna and veg pasta bake.”
In hindsight, this should’ve been the first red flag.
Now, I am not at all bagging tuna and veg pasta bake. It can be delicious – a favourite weeknight dinner among households across the nation I’m sure. But think about this – for a first date? No. The tuna breath, the stodginess, it’s just not a recipe that inspires any level of romance.
Despite his poor dining choice, we toddled back home and I think at one point he even held my hand while we were walking. How cute.
We unpacked the groceries and got set up. At this point, it’s 7:30 pm.
I wasn’t expecting a Michelin-starred meal. There’s something charming about being cooked for, but this guy was on about the same level as Kendall Jenner chopping a cucumber.
There’s nothing wrong with not being a whiz in the kitchen, but this was like watching a car crash in slow motion.
After 45 minutes of him dicing a butternut squash, and me having to intervene to chop the rest of the vegetables because I wanted to eat before midnight, he was ready to assemble the dish.
He dumped the unseasoned squash, beans, and some broccoli into a dish, mixed in some tuna and overcooked spiral pasta and then sprinkled some cheese on top, and I really hoped that Julia Child wasn’t watching this happen from heaven.
We sat down to dinner, it felt very domestic VERY quickly and all of a sudden, it started.
Absolute frenzied shovelling of this sad meal into his face at a rate that didn’t seem conducive to good digestion.
I was almost hypnotized by how efficiently he just guzzled forkfuls of this stuff – it seemed like he was barely taking a breath and he absolutely did not break eye contact with his plate for a solid five minutes. Even while we were chatting.
Between snorting gulps of the extremely underwhelming meal we talked about what we liked and didn’t like, family (as in, "where are they that you have the house to yourself for the weekend?"), and having table manners.
I was eating – slowly – mainly because I didn’t want to stomach the food when he said “you’ve got a lot of makeup on”.
Now, if you’re a makeup-wearing person, let me just say: I had a foundation base on, minimal bronzer, no contour, only mascara on my eyes, and a cherry red lipstick that I look amazing in.
“Oh, yeah not really, I just like wearing lipstick, the rest is pretty normal.”
“Yeah, I’ve always thought that wearing red lipstick makes a woman look like a whore.”
Reader, I wish I could tell you that what I did next was to throw my glass of vinegary wine directly at his face and walk out of there, but I was 19, and if it’s possible, my self-esteem was even lower than it is now.
Instead, I sat uncomfortably through the rest of dinner. I tried not to make eye contact, and when it was over, I even offered to help wash up.
I know, I hate myself too.
Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.
Or if you have a story idea, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.