I had a dating disaster with a chino-wearing misogynist – and he dumped me
‘Women are crazy, nothing but trouble,’ my date said.
‘I despise them. That’s why I work in an all-boys school.’
No smiles, sarcasm, or tongue-in-cheek jest. Just plain, old-fashioned misogyny.
I was shocked and convinced I’d misheard him. Then the panic and realisation set in – I had to get through a meal with someone that clearly wasn’t right for me.
It felt like a huge waste of time to go through the motions when alarm bells were roaring in my head.
At 32, I’d tried everything to find love; speed dating, blind dates organised by hopeful friends and the back-to-basics approach of trying to meet someone on a night out.
But, unfortunately, nothing was working, and as friends started to couple up, I soon hit the ‘I’m going to be on my own forever’ notch on my panic metre.
Before Covid changed work habits, research found that most Brits found love through work or friends, but at the time, I had a career in HR, so office romances were not particularly smiled upon. Not to mention, no one wanted to date someone in HR.
So, I decided to give online dating a go. This was pre-Tinder, but dating websites were becoming popular, and it felt like the easiest way to meet the incredible men I never seemed to bump into on my daily commute to Canary Wharf.
After various pep talks from friends about being more open-minded, I went on a frenzy of dates to increase my likelihood of meeting The One. I was on a mission, and my need to be completely sure about someone before arranging a date had flown out the window.
One gu y, Andy*, looked attractive in his photo and seemed nice enough when we started to message, so we arranged a date in Crystal Palace for Sunday lunch.
In hindsight, I realised you should always be suspicious of someone who only adds one photo but at the time, I barely thought about it, so caught up was I in my quest for true love.
On the morning of the date, I imagined a cosy pub complete with a huge roast dinner.
However, he messaged me with the venue, which I then googled; it was a vegetarian café. But I was an open-minded serial dater, and the lack of roast chicken and a pint would not hinder my search for love.
My friend drove me to the venue, and as we approached, we saw a guy with short ankle-swinging chinos making his way inside. ‘Can you imagine if that’s him?’ she laughed.
Of course it was.
I’ve heard it only takes seven seconds to make a first impression. When I entered the café, and he didn’t get up to greet me, ankle-swingers aside, I realised I didn’t fancy him within about five.
His damp handshake didn’t help, nor did the fact that he looked nothing like his photo.
As with all first dates, small talk was the order of the day. He was a teacher, and we discussed his role and mine, and it was all OK. Until he brought up his hatred of women.
Cue my nervous laughter and attempts to persuade him that women were actually great. But it was pointless as he admitted the only women he trusted were his mum and sister.
The cafe had one toilet, and it was easy to see if it was in use. So, as I needed the loo, I told him I would pop in there once it was free.
As soon as it became vacant, like a whippet out the trap, he flew from his seat and in he went, leaving me thinking about what he’d do or say next. When he returned, I told him curtly that since he was done, I’d go next.
We struggled through chat and a meat-free fry-up, during which conversation kept getting stuck and awkward.
I don’t like long silences, so I kept trying to ask him questions and see if there was a side I hadn’t found yet.
If there was, I didn’t uncover it. We discussed being single and he told me how he refused to approach women when he was out as they should come to him.
Again, this didn’t ignite a need in me to see him again.
When the bill arrived, we agreed to split it.
However, as I counted out my half (those were the days when you actually paid in cash), I was 20p short of the right money without having to use another note.
‘I guess you’ll have to break your twenty,’ he shrugged, instead of covering the tiny amount!
When we left the café, it was raining and I couldn’t wait to get home, curl up on the sofa with a box set and forget all about my horrendous morning.
I was sure we both knew the date had been a disaster, yet he asked me if I wanted to walk around Crystal Palace Park. Apologetically, I explained that, as it was wet, I’d head home.
We had an awkward kiss on the cheek, and I had to stop myself from sprinting towards the station and away from a disastrous date.
On the train, I received a message. He told me that he didn’t enjoy the date because I was arrogant and up myself. I’d been dumped by the misogynist who slated women.
Needless to say, I took a break from online dating. Then, a year later, I met my now-husband in the gym!
*Name has been changed
So, How Did It Go?
So, How Did It Go? is a weekly Metro.co.uk series that will make you cringe with second-hand embarrassment or ooze with jealousy as people share their worst and best date stories.
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