Our Readers Tell Us About Their Strangest Dates Ever

happy valentine’s day! (not)

Today is Valentine’s Day, the one day in the year when it’s socially acceptable to publicly display your love and affection for your special someone. And if we’re being honest, it’s not always all flowers and chocolates. Whether you’re single or in a committed relationship, a recap of how well, or bad, your love life is going is at the center of all conversations for the next 24-hours. There’s also the pressure to find the perfect gift, the stress of planning the most romantic date, and the sheer amount of PDA that makes you want to cringe. And, for those who are single, dealing with the anxiety-inducing thoughts of maybe being alone forever (although we all know that it’ll never be the case, hopefully.)

If you’re not already reminded almost daily of how alone you are, today might feel like a very long day. In the words of The Beatles: “All you need is love. “Yet, many still wonder why it is so difficult to achieve. Each in our own way, and especially after having spent months in lockdown at home, the quest to finding a significant other has become a tougher task than it used to be. Stepping out of your comfort zone, meeting new people, and making small talk for hours doesn’t come as naturally anymore. And, given how easy it is to be disappointed, shooting your shot isn’t always worth it. 

“I just go on dates with myself now. It’s less pressure, very easy to sort out timings and agree on the wheres and whens. It’s also practically impossible to be upset at yourself after a meal out alone,” says Ahmed, 23, from Tunis, who reveals how much better he’s been feeling since he officially retired from dating. 

For the most successful, or should we say lucky of us, there’s a segment of society out there who don’t seem to grasp what flirting is like in 2023. Now more than ever, these infatuated social interactions have moved online, meaning that your options are indeed endless, however, riskier as the art of finessing or bullshitting reaches the peak of its powers in the digital world. We’re not only talking about making yourself look as if you’ve got better chat than you actually do, but also, you guessed it, catfishing …  

Lana, 27

“I remember being in California once, and there weren’t that many POCs to vibe with, let alone date. Eventually, I matched with someone on Tinder. We exchanged contacts, and finally decided to meet up. I remember greeting the guy—who arrived an hour and a half late— and he was a catfish. Blame my curiosity, but I still hung out. We went for a drive, and chilled in his friend’s basement. Honestly, it was a disaster. He was the most awkward person ever. It was the first time meeting and he said that he’d take a bullet for me?” 

Ghalia, 21

“I went on a date once, and the guy that showed could not have looked any different from his Tinder profile. I ended up stuck having to have dinner with him and so I just went on a monologue about my ex to get myself out of the situation. Still think that he somehow didn’t get the message though..” 

Fatima-Zohra, 26

“This was our first date and he was convinced that we were about to get married, he even wanted me to download a tracking app ‘for my safety.’ I guess he couldn’t bare the idea to lose his future partner. That’s my experience with men so far…” 

Sarah, 22

“I went on a Tinder date once and he randomly starts telling me about how he loves Arab girls with ‘hourglass bodies’ and starts staring at me.. Before that, he had already told me how he wasn’t a fan of Lebanese cuisine.. I shouldn’t have accepted the date because that was a red flag right there.”.

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