ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL

Fridays rock. You know what doesn’t? Being the girl in this story. What the hell could I possibly be referring to? Read on, boys and girls, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

In all of the awkward, unpleasant and – let’s face it – downright gross things that have been sent to me since I launched this feature, I think this one ranks pretty high up on the “oooooooohhh, that sucks” scale. And that’s hard to do, since you people have had some pretty twisted dates.

What makes this one stand out? Well let’s just say you don’t ever want to be used as a litmus test for someone’s sexual orientation, if you can avoid it at least. But I’ll let Carrie from Philadelphia take it from here…

Will, the writer: “As soon as I started talking to Will online, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was off. He was very good looking, seemingly intelligent, but he also seemed pretty guarded. Like, he’d ask me a lot of questions about myself but never really offer much detail on his own life. He told me he was the youngest of six siblings, came from the Midwest and that he’d only been living in Philly for a few months.

We agreed to meet for drinks one afternoon, and when I saw him I was impressed by what good shape he was in. This guy was a babe. He kissed me hello, we sat down, and he immediately began throwing back drinks. Correction – he began downing straight whiskey, no ice. It seemed a little aggressive for so early in the afternoon, but figured hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

An hour or so into the date, he was visibly more relaxed. He suggested we ditch the bar and go for a walk, which I was fine with since I was worried he’d pass out or puke if we stayed much longer (*Miss Wingman note: Wouldn’t be the first time, Carrie). We’d only walked a few blocks when he reached down and took my hand. I wasn’t complaining, but when he leaned in and kissed me it caught me off guard. This was a full-on, get after it kiss in the middle of the sidewalk. In broad daylight.

When we pulled apart, I must’ve looked shocked, because he apologized. Then he took a deep breath, dropped my hands and started thanking me. I said thanking someone for a kiss was unnecessary (not to mention awkward). But he said he wasn’t thanking me for the kiss, It was more. What came out of his mouth next I could never have anticipated in a million years. Seriously, FML.

“No, I’m thanking you because now I feel like I can finally put something to rest,” he said. “I’ve suspected that I’m gay for years, and just wasn’t able to act on it coming from my hometown (by the way, the guy was 26 – not especially young). So when I moved here, I started dating guys, and I knew for sure. But, I wondered if I could maybe have been bisexual too?”

He wasn’t done. “Maybe it was wishful thinking, but if I was also attracted to women, it would make things easier – for my family, at least. But, if I can kiss someone as gorgeous as you and feel…absolutely nothing, I guess that’s my answer. Nope, definitely not into women.”

I think I stood there for a full minute blinking, not saying anything and just starting a lot of sentences without putting actual words together. Finally I told him that, while I was glad he’d has this epiphany (seriously, FML), I didn’t think it was particularly cool to use someone in this way. I felt deceived and, if I’m being honest, even if he meant it as a compliment, my ego was bruised.

He apologized a million more times and said he wouldn’t have done it if he’d felt there was any other way to get to the bottom of it. He’d even tried hooking up with a female friend in college but thought he only wasn’t attracted to her because she was more of a buddy than a girlfriend.

Needless to say, after that we exchanged awkward goodbyes and called it a day (*Miss Wingman note: You mean called it a gay. Duh). I hope wherever he is now, he’s happily out in the open. And done kissing girls.”

Carrie: Wow. That story gives new meaning to the phrase, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Or more accurately, “It’s not you, it’s your vagina.” I don’t even know what I would’ve done in that situation, but I feel like it would’ve involved a lot more of me asking paranoid questions, like “Wait, are you sure you felt nothing? Do you want to feel a boob to make sure?” If for no other reason than to soothe my own ego. Ouch.

And while yes, I agree that it was a little deceptive of him to take you out under those pretenses, I have to remind myself that not everyone comes from a background where it’s completely fine to be out in the open. Even though 26 seems a little late to be jumping on the penis train, I can appreciate how hard it must be for someone to deny a huge part of who they are for their whole life. It’s something that the rest of us will never understand, but of which we should still be respectful.

That said, you totally should’ve kept in touch with him after that. My gay friends are, by and large, way more fun than my straight friends. Who doesn’t love adding a new shopping/drinking/boy scoping friend into the social mix? (And no, that’s not all they’re good for, obviously).

But perhaps the bigger takeaway should be that the next time you see an impossibly good-looking, well-dressed, shy guy on a dating website (who also takes exceptionally good care of himself), maybe you should wonder why. Now go fix your gaydar antennae, walk that one off, and get back out there! (Insert encouraging ass slap here…in a straight girl kind of way). Cheers –MW.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: CAUGHT RED HANDED

It’s Friday again, Wingman faithful (you didn’t think I’d forgotten, did you?). And you know what that means – dating disasters, romantic misery and horror stories of all shapes and sizes. What could be better than that? Well, maybe if you were reading this with a happy hour cocktail in your hand…

This week’s tale of cyber dating woe comes from Amanda in Manhattan, and it involves a move so shameful it almost makes me lose faith in people’s morals these days. Almost. So sit back, relax, and be happy you’re neither of these people (or the other person, yikes).

Jason, the sales guy: “I met Jason through one of the lesser-known dating websites very recently. Like, two weeks ago recently. We chatted back and forth several times before he asked me to meet him downtown, which in hindsight I realize was nowhere near either of our neighborhoods. And was probably his attempt at being cautious. Perhaps you can see where this is headed already….

When I saw him, he was very attractive, confident and liked to talk. We chose a bar with cafe seating that wasn’t entirely on the sidewalk, but the front of the restaurant was all open. I sat facing the people walking by, he sat with his back to the street, facing inward.

After about 40 minutes of casual banter, where he told me he thought I was pretty and suggested a bar we should try “the next time we go out,” I was convinced things were going well. He also inadvertently turned his body sideways in his chair, and was now partially facing outward, leaning his back on the wall. I guess he forgot to keep his face hidden, because all of a sudden he saw something that made him go white.

He whipped around, put his hand up to obscure his face, and slumped down in his seat. He was stammering so badly he couldn’t even remember what he’d been saying. I asked if he was OK, and he said he thought he’d seen someone he knew – an old boss he hated – and was trying to dodge her. I bought it for a minute until, visibly shifting in his chair, I noticed a girl approaching our table who tapped him violently on the shoulder. Her face was way too pissed off to be a coworker, this girl was seeing red.

“Jason?” she hissed. Incredibly, he was still trying to hide in his chair, and only turned around to face her after she yelled, “Are you kidding me?!” loudly enough for everyone around us to hear. Now succumbing to the fact that he’d been caught, he turned to me and began to explain. “Uh this is my…” is all he could get out, before the girl spat out that she was his girlfriend. Correction, his LIVE-IN girlfriend. I wanted to die right there on the spot.

She was hurling a steady stream of obscenities at him and demanding to know who I was, and what the hell he was doing. Maybe it’s because he’s a salesman and thought he could talk his way out of it, but he just kept asking her what she was doing in that neighborhood. It’s like he was accusing her of being the one in the wrong. (*Miss Wingman note: Bad move, buddy. Bad, bad move).

For all her rage towards him, I have to give this girl credit that she heard me out while I explained that I had no idea he wasn’t single, and I’d never have gone out with him had I known. I also outed that we’d met online and, upon hearing that, her eyes got so wide I thought she might actually haul off and hit him.

It was then that I took my cue to get the hell out of there, and apologized to her repeatedly as I beelined for the sidewalk. Obviously, I never spoke to him again, and I can’t even believe that a guy could be that bold and shameless. I guess as far as dating horror stories go, it doesn’t get much uglier than your date being caught in the act by his girlfriend.”

Amanda: Oh contraire. Actually, it does (brother and sister story anyone? pregnant girl? we’ve had some doozies), but yours is pretty damn impressive. I’m sorry that you got caught in a real life “Jerry Springer” episode, but I’m even more sorry that I wasn’t sitting at that cafe watching that whole thing go down. There’s nothing more awesome than real life drama unfolding when you’re within earshot. It’s like free entertainment.

As for your date taking the Shaggy method of denial (“It wasn’t me”), that’s on him. I can only assume that, if his girlfriend even allowed them to travel home together after that, that she was tempted to push him in front of the subway train. Actually, come to think of it, if you haven’t heard from him again, maybe she did.

I give his girlfriend credit for recognizing that you were just an innocent bystander to his betrayal, and I almost (almost) have to give him credit for having the balls to think he could even pull that off in the first place. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in this line of work, it’s that people’s behavior never ceases to amaze me. So, I won’t even begin to go into what brings someone to pull a stunt like that. But rest assured, you probably weren’t his first, and I doubt you’ll be his last.

Whatever you do, don’t let this experience keep you from getting back on the online dating horse. Just remember next time to bring a purse big enough to carry a helmet. And maybe some running sneakers, too. Better luck next time. –MWTHAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: THE DEAL BREAKER

Maybe it’s because it’s Friday the 13th, therefore the dating horror stories are especially freaky. Or, maybe it’s because my readership is older than I thought. But either way, today’s ODHSOTW is the first one of it’s kind, and I’ve never heard anything like this before. Thank God.

And for what it’s worth, I’ve heard a lot since starting this feature. We’ve had run ins with exes, people double booking, couch pee-ers (not a real word, fine), people who’ve forgotten they slept together, and now this. If I were you people, I’d say it’s getting harder and harder to justify that Match.com account right about now, but who am I to judge…

This week our short-but-sweet tale comes from James in New Jersey. His story may just beat out the brother and sister who were paired up by a dating site. And by “may just,” I mean “definitely.” Enjoy.

Sarah, the accidental double date: “I guess I should’ve known something was up when most of this girl’s online dating profile pictures were head shots. But she was pretty, and we shared a lot of the same interests. So, when we agreed to meet at a bar in her town, I was still pretty optimistic. She said to meet at 8pm, but when I got to the place I looked around and didn’t see her. It wasn’t all that crowded (it was a Wednesday), but I scanned the bar and did a mental inventory of what I saw: college kids, old couple waiting for a table, pregnant chick, guys watching the basketball game. No date.

If you were surprised that I said a pregnant chick was at the bar (she was sipping water, in case you were wondering), you probably wouldn’t be as surprised as I was when that pregnant chick turned around to face me and it was HER. I repeat: the girl I was there to meet was quite obviously pregnant. As she smiled and walked over to me I actually said out loud to myself, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’

I don’t remember much between noticing her belly – not huge, maybe half term, but still pregnant – and sitting down at a table for small talk. I think we exchanged pleasantries, sipped some water and told our waiter we needed a minute. A minute? I needed a bottle of whiskey at that point.

We managed to order and chat about my job, the weather and how her friend had recommended the restaurant. But I couldn’t avoid the elephant in the room any longer, and she could probably tell because thankfully she came to my rescue. “So you’ve probably noticed that I’m pregnant…” she said.

I actually choked on my food, like you see people do on TV. “Um…yeah,” I said tentatively. I told her that I didn’t want to say anything, because guys know that even if a woman’s about to give birth, you don’t ask her if she’s pregnant for fear of being wrong and offending the girl.

She said no, it’s OK, she was definitely “with child,” and that she’d decided to do artificial insemination after she realized that she wasn’t getting any younger. She told me that she knew that by the time she found a man, got married and started a family, it’d be at least four or five years and that she was already well into her thirties. She didn’t want to wait around any longer.

I smiled, nodded, and politely explained that while she was great, I just didn’t sign up for that. I felt like a jerk (ironic, she should’ve been the one to feel bad for not revealing this sooner), but she said that she wasn’t upset, I’d stuck around even longer than most people she met on dates. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Thanks, nice to meet you, good luck with your labor. Catch you on the flip side.

I know people always say women are crazy, but this chick takes the cake. Women of the world: if you’re going to multitask, wait until after you’ve had the kid to get into the dating scene. Ambushing a guy with a pregnancy before you’re even dating is just bad form.”

James: Sweet Mother. You just hit a walk-off homer, I can’t even touch that. I know I’ve said this before, but this time I really, really mean it. Game over, you win. –MW.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

Have a dating horror story to add? Drop me an email, misswingman@gmail.com. And remember, the only upside to a bad date is if you use it for our selfish amusement.

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