Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

The Worst Great Date Ever

I had a date on Saturday night.  A .  It was, in so many ways, the best I’ve had in years. It was also the worst date (first or otherwise) I’ve had in years.

And now I’m utterly confused and miserable. Because it was just so nice to spend time with a man who made me think, this is what I’ve been missing. It felt so goddamn amazing to just sit and talk with him.

No, that’s not right. Those words aren’t strong enough. Because the thing is, I can’t actually remember the last time I felt this much for any guy. Well, that’s not true.  I do remember and it was a long time ago.  And I’ve really missed that feeling. That genuine joy to just be spending time with someone.

We like the same music, used to hang out at the same bars (back in the day), worship many of the same writers.  And we even got into a heated argument about whether a specific book was a great work of art.  It was lovely, really, to be able to do that.  To talk about something I cared about on a date. With a man I’m actually attracted to. Who’s a good kisser (yeah, there was at the bar).

So I stayed a little longer than I should have.  I had a tiny bit more to drink that I usually do (just a tiny bit) and he proceeded to get trashed. And at some point I realized that he was a very unpleasant drunk.  I said something he didn’t like and he turned on me. And I do mean turned. It was like all of the charm and light just left the man I’d been talking to for the few hours prior and he became this angry stranger.

It’s a phenomenom I have some experience with.

The night ended bizarrely.  I had to go.  I had a celebration to go to.  He knew that starting off the night.  But when I brought it up he went a little crazy and a lot mean and stormed out to smoke while I settled my tab (I was buying my own drinks, not that that matters one bit). And then, just as I was getting ready to hop off my barstool to put on my coat and leave I felt him hug me from behind. A big bear hug.  He asked me to forget everything he’d just said earlier.  That he was drunk and sorry.

I told him it was cool. That I knew he was drunk and that I didn’t take any of the things he said to heart (did I mention he was a mean drunk?).

And then, on Sunday afternoon, he called.  It was a quick call.  He mentioned he was sick all night and blamed it on the bar food (I ordered us some food when I realized how much we were drinking).  I told him I was fine and so that it probably wasn’t the food. I think I probably said it was nice to hear from him.  Honestly, I don’t remember what else was said. Two minutes in he said his train was coming and he had to go but would call later.  And then he didn’t call later.

And I spent the day wrestling with whether or not I should email.

Because, of course, I should.  Here’s a man who I actually get along well with.  Who gets me, really.  Who I could probably spend every second of a week with without once thinking – what a moron.

But, of course, I shouldn’t.  Because I already know that he has a dark side to his personality and it lurks just under the surface. And that, just like so many of the men in my past, he’s used to getting his own way.  And when he doesn’t he turns into someone I don’t want to know.


Tags: , , ,

39 to “The Worst Great Date Ever”

  1. Dazediva says:

    Oh man that sucks big time … sounds like you had fun; you enjoyed the company until the dark side emerged .. and of course the guy had to actually be decent and apologise for the dark side … there should be an ‘off’ button for the dark side of men & women .. honestly .. *sigh* I feel your frustration

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yes, well that’s it. They always say they’re sorry. ALWAYS. At least in my experience. If I could get back all of the weeks/months/years I’ve wasted on “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to…”. Damn!

  2. em says:

    [… just like so many of the men in my past, he’s used to getting his own way. And when he doesn’t he turns into someone I don’t want to know.]

    very true :/
    love ur blog

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thank you. I guess you can relate, hugh? Sucks, doesn’t it?

      It always reminds me of – cheesy reference, I’m know, The Way We Were. . There are people (usually men, but not always) who’ve just always had things go their way. The ones with the perfect smiles.

      • em says:

        :))) sucks big time…
        in my case with 10 years dating I learn this…everything about handsome young gentleman[The ones with the perfect smiles.] is left turn Trouble…
        you can see the fucking Warning Sign “turn right” 10 miles away …
        bitter is sweet… someone who loves bungee jumping can understed this… :)

  3. “Because, of course, I should.” WHAT?!?!?! RUN, woman, RUN! I do totally get why you don’t want to but if you are truly looking for a REAL relationship, the kind that makes you feel good about yourself rather than questioning your own judgment, then RUN!

    • Simone Grant says:

      I hear you, I do. I didn’t write to him last night. The deeply rational side of me kept me from reaching out. But I SO wanted to. So very, very badly.

  4. Kate Morris says:

    Don’t know what to tell you. The mean drunk is a red flag. Telling you now. Just in case. But it does suck when you connect with someone and see a red flag. You want to ignore it. And I want to say something like “you can work through that” but if he’s this way this early on, I can only imagine what comes next.

    I say let it be. See if he stands up to his word to call. If he doesn’t, no loss. If he does, then you need to have a frank talk with him. Tell him all of this and your concerns. If he is worth it, he’ll talk through it. If he gets defensive and leaves, not worth ur time.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Simone Grant says:

      “But it does suck when you connect with someone and see a red flag. You want to ignore it. And I want to say something like “you can work through that” but if he’s this way this early on, I can only imagine what comes next.” That’s it – exactly.

  5. Jai says:

    Its hard to know what to think without knowing what he said. Getting trashed is never attractive. That’s why I never do first dates on Fri or Sat nights. I’d have let his excuse about the food making him sick slide. If he did drink too much he knows it. He was embarrassed and was trying to apologize. You have to at least give him that.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I do and I know. And if I was 10 years younger and he was 10 years younger we’d probably have plans for our second date. And even still, I want to call him and declare a do-over.

  6. From the other side! says:

    SimoneGrant…just picked you up on twitter and saw your blog this morning…a comment from the other side (man side of life :-))has to agree with Quirky…run! A gentleman is supposed to be on his best behavior on the first date, respectful, open, listen with intent, be polite, open doors, and over and above all…control your liquor! Food poisoning? Sorry, lame…I ask you…if this was a business deal and he was a professional, what would you impression be of your first encounter with him, likely you would decide not to be in business with him, so why would you be willing to open up, give him another chance to have the most precious thing you own…you.

    In a town the size of NY, can’t tell me you can’t find one decent guy that covers exactly what you’re looking for?

    Hey, if we were all 20 again, then maybe we try again, but as we get older, set your standards high, treat everyone with respect, and make your first impression lasting that you want to tell your grand kids about it.

    The key for him to have a hugely successful night with you, would have been to say, know what, I think I may switch to a coffee, because the night it going so well, and I don’t want the night to be ruined by me becoming an obnoxious drunk, and giving you the wrong impression, because I have been so looking forward to getting to know you!

    Now…something tells me you would be having a different blog this morning if that was the case? No?

    In life….never settle!

    • Simone Grant says:

      Welcome to the blog and I appreciate your point of view on this. I like your way of viewing this as a business situation. I try to remind myself to date as if each date were a business meeting, to try to judge people rationally (in addition to assessing the non-rational stuff like chemistry and attraction).

      As to whether I can find one decent guy in NY – well, that remains to be seen :-)

  7. pansophy says:

    This guy sort of ties it all together don’t you think? You are attracted to who you are attracted to and there is no escaping that.

    Bright, literary, creative (add other descriptors)… and darkness.

    You just need the former alcoholic version of him rather than the currently alcoholic version. Someone who, like you, confronts themselves and is looking to transcend their darkness _ that while it is always with them it does not rule their life or make their decisions.

    Not an easy find, but not impossible either.

    Going back to the article a few weeks back about cutting your loses, this is the time to run like hell and not look back. It’s the ‘former alcohol’ type that is aware of themselves and truly trying that you give additional chances to.

  8. Matt says:

    he sounds like a creep, sorry to say. “Where there is doubt, there is no doubt.”

  9. jamy says:

    I don’t know if I can add much to the other comments…but my first inclination was to say, give him one more chance and see if he gets drunk again. But, I’d be wrong. I have the same inclination as you–when I have a great conversation with someone, I want to ignore everything and try again. But he is showing classic abuser behavior–he beats you down and then picks you up. Insult, apology, wash, rinse, repeat. Would be acceptable if he ever did this again? No. Which means…well, you know what it means. :(

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yep and yep. My first inclination is to want to give him another chance. Maybe he was nervous about the date. And he clearly liked me (he told me so and I have an email from him in my inbox today where he says so again and asks me for another date). But I’m not a kid anymore and I’ve seen that behavior before. If I go out with him again, I know exactly what I can expect, sooner or later. Totally sucks.

  10. Lifebeginsat30ty says:

    Run, Simone, run!

    Everyone here seems to have already said this, but if he’s already doing this on the first date?!? It does suck though. Once went out with a man who said he didn’t remember things when he drank. Later on I realized this meant vast amounts of his life was missing from his mind. Did he stop drinking? Nope. Not good.

    Good luck on your new date!

  11. Jolene says:

    Holy crap, that sounds like one ever so promising date to START but SO many red flags at the end! I’d say, run like the wind 😉

  12. toywithme says:

    It’s in the rear view mirror now. If on the first date you need to consider a topic such as “chances” this is not a good indicator of what could be in store ahead. Nice & generous are wonderful qualities but even better if accompanied by common sense & confidence. I wish you all the best.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Nice and generous with common sense and confidence – damn! If I could find a guy like that I’d be the happiest girl in the world (not joking, not even a little).

  13. Veka says:

    Well, it sounds like you know what to do, but you don’t want to. I really hope you do what your head is telling you to do, because we all know that verbally abusive drunks (no matter how “nice” they are sober) are always bad.

    • Simone Grant says:

      This would fall under the broad category in my life that I call, “being a grown-up sucks sometimes”. It’s not a mature perspective, I know. But sometimes I just don’t want to do what I know is right. Although, nowadays I almost always do.

  14. SecretSquirrel says:

    I recently went through an opposite type of situation. Charming drunk. Always drunk though. I gave him a few chances, but every time he called, he was half in the bag. A few, late night drunk “I miss you” texts. But no follow-through on all his talk about how amazing I am, how he didn’t want me to “slip through his fingers.” He never found the time to meet again. I got another late night drunk text this past Friday. I told him to delete my number. I really thought this guy was gonna be dating material. I was wrong, but I’m glad I gave him time to show his real self or I would always wonder if I was too fast with the judgments and willingness to kick him to the curb. Now I know for sure the kind of tool he is and I can feel comfortable in moving on.

  15. Zoe says:

    Honestly, some of the sweetest guys I’ve met in my life have all had drinking problems and this guy sounds like another one of them. :( Not to say that there aren’t sweet guys that don’t have drinking problems, but there’s definitely a fair share of them that do!

  16. Veronica says:

    My ex was probably the same. He was my soulmate and at first I felt so grateful but then after a while, I got to see the drunk version, all mean and he was even saying things that broke my heart. It sounded like he wanted to break up with me, every time he got drunk. It took me sleepless nights to talk him over his drunk ‘stress’ and goddamn ‘gained’ back his belief in our relationship which’d been ruined by the alcohol (it sounds horribly stupid I know). He said he was sorry, and he loved me, that he was a mess, blah blah… after all. It was repeated 2 other times, the last one, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and we did break up. I think I didn’t “run” right on the first ‘show’ because we’d already been in a relationship, so I tried to stay calm, and patient… But it definitely didn’t worth my effort. And yes, he had the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen, liked books I like, listened to music I listen.

  17. Carrie says:

    Ha! You could win the Check Please! contest with that date, Simone! Stories of guys getting TOO drunk may not be rare but that was a good one. My husband had so much trouble getting “too” smashed around his old college buddies when we first got married I had to take his liquor license away for about 6 months.

  18. Vinny says:

    Funny how everyone missed your ending. He sealed the date by calling you and you sealed it by telling him to forget about what happened (not in those words). He felt ‘sick’ because he felt bad about what had transpired. End of story. Glad you both ended it amicably and abruptly! Some dates just go like that.

  19. poonam says:

    heyy this is kinda worst..i experienced the big giant sigh sftr reading this…lol

  20. Argent says:

    OMG. We dated the same guy! Only – my first date with him was SO over-the-top that I should have seen it coming. First date – seriously – are you sitting down? Here goes: We hadn’t met and he wanted to have dinner at a great restaurant about 35 miles from where I work. He “knew” I’d be “tired and want to freshen up before dinner” so he offered to book me a room at a very nice bed and breakfast. Just for me – he wasn’t showing up there. He booked himself a room at a different B&B a few miles away. I checked. He really DID. I was oh-so-flattered. We loved the same literature, loved the same music, talked into the night about deep and philosophical subjects. I knew art, he knew art. I knew opera, he knew opera. I knew literature, he knew literature.

    So, after work on that friday, I drive to the B&B and check in. No one’s there – the staff had taken the weekend off and left me the key in the mailbox. It was gorgeous and he’d booked me the most lovely room ever. He’d had the B&B sprinkle rose petals on the bed and place a bottle of excellent (and very expensive scotch) on the dresser. You’re asking at this point – is she BLIND? Oh yes. I was blind. So I “freshen up.” He calls to make sure I got there okay and checked in, asked if everything was to my liking. What was not to like?

    So I left for the restaurant and met him there. Oh yes, he was just as tall, dark, handsome, articulate and literate as he was in email and on the phone. Halfway through dinner and the scotch tasting he’d arranged (I didn’t know about THIS) we’re both a bit inebriated – me more than he is because I’m small and he’s not. He says: “You’re gorgeous. I bet you hear that all the time.” Okay – LINE ALERT. My alcohol-soaked brain took it as a face-value compliment. I got all oozy-feeling. So then he reaches forward to check out my earrings – because they were so “spectacular.” TOUCH ALERT.

    After a bit more flirting and drinking he says: “You know, I have my own room at ________ but I’d really like to come back to yours.” Ahhh – the old, get her drunk ploy. It worked. Like a charm. And oh yes, we had great sex, all night long.

    We have a second and third date – they go just as swimmingly. THEN he decides he wants a fourth date in the city; dinner at a pub. This pub is surrounded by 30 dozen other pubs. He decides, after eating that he wants to try the pubs. So we pub crawl – he’s drinking, I’m not. After pub #5, I’m attempting to keep up with him – he’s tall, I’m not. He’s walking fast. He turns and says something to the effect that he doesn’t want to have to keep waiting for me, and I’d better keep up with him or he’ll just leave me. I stopped dead in my tracks and he then comes straight up to me, drunk, puts his face in mine and says: “Woman, don’t defy me. When I tell you to do something, I expect to see you do it.”

    I left. We’d driven MY car, and I got in it and drove home, leaving him 95 miles from HIS home, without transportation. He takes a cab back to my house. I don’t let him in. He makes a scene. I threaten the police. He finally leaves – roars down the street in his fancy car after calling me several names that are unfit to print.

    Next day he called to “apologize” and he said: “I’m not usually like that, only when I’m drunk.” I replied: “And you’re drunk a lot, aren’t you?” I hung up and do you know this man just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t forgive and forget.

    Whew. It was after that experience that I took the 10 month break because I had to find some sort of balance within myself – my judgment obviously wasn’t in the right place.

  21. Robyn Coburn says:

    No one leaves their partner because of their partner’s good and fine qualities, or their little oddball quirks. They break up because the big deep flaws become undeniably present.
    A few years ago Barbara Sher published a relationship quiz. In it you recall and write down only the flaws of your past partners in relationships. Her theory, and it certainly proved correct when I did it, is that these flaws will all be the same or similar, even if everyone’s good qualities are wildly different. (And in passing the same as one of both of your parents’). So there’s a pattern that you can discover.
    From what you intimate here, sounds like you are seeing the pattern emerging already.