A date may seem great, but beware of the disappointing deal-breaker.
“All I’ve ever heard her say is that she’d die before dating a guy who smokes,” Bianca Stratford says, speaking about her sister Kat, in the (awesome and hilarious) 1999 teen romantic comedy, 10 Things I Hate About You.
Like Kat, some college students and post-grads have dating deal-breakers of their own.
Lawrence Samuels, 21, a senior at the University of Rhode Island agreed that he wouldn’t date a smoker.
But the worst experience Samuels had with a date was less 10 Things I Hate About You and more Meet the Parents.
Samuels, who is a native of Providence, R.I., said he had been seeing a girl in college for no more than a month when she invited him over to her family’s house, which she promised would be completely empty.
So when he was greeted by his date’s mother, her younger brother and sister — with her older brother watching TV in the living room with his wife and children — Samuels immediately wanted to run back out the door.
“It went over well, but as soon as I could I got the hell out of there,” Samuels said.
Samuels called the experience a definite deal-breaker, especially because he had only known her for a short time.
“Real dating” in college is pretty non-existent, Samuels said, and college is mostly about “hanging out” and “hooking up.”
Rachel Barkin, who was a Penn State University undergrad, said she mostly dated older men who were out of college, as opposed to college guys, while she was an undergraduate. She said it was difficult to define “dating” in college.
“What’s a date? I mean if you count, like, ‘Do you wanna go to Taco Bell’ and then going to a movie at the HUB [student union], then, sure, I dated college guys,” Barkin, 22, said.
If dating has become irrelevant in college, then the practice can be a foreign and terrifying experience after graduation.
Larkin Silverman, who graduated from Bard College in 2009, said she had reservations about recently joining the dating website OkCupid.
“I think it’s actually really creepy and dangerous, however nothing in my life is changing this summer. My job isn’t changing, I’m not moving, my social circle is staying the same,” Silverman, from Philadelphia, said. “Best case scenario, I meet some cool people and worst case scenario, I have some great stories to tell.”
And after three less-than-stellar OkCupid dates, Silverman, 25, has collected more funny stories than prospective boyfriends.
She said the first man she met on the dating site took her to a “mystical farm” where the farmers believe in practices like harvesting by the light of a full moon. After some awkward and boring conversation on the farm with the date she refers to as “Farmer John,” Silverman said the real deal-breaker for her was his kissing style.
“He would open his mouth so wide and jam his face against me, and I just had this unhinged jaw stuck in my face. And he kept going on about my lips,” Silverman said. “I just kept thinking, ‘this farm is so beautiful, I just don’t want him to be here.’ ”
Bad kissing was just one of the deal-breakers Barkin experienced while on a first date with a waiter while a sophomore at Pennsylvania State University. Barkin said he was impressed when she slipped him her number after he served her table at a restaurant. He ended up calling her, but things didn’t go so well after that.
She said she was annoyed when he picked her up for the date on a motorcycle, ruining her hair. Then he immediately kissed her before they entered the restaurant, catching her off guard.
“It was awful,” Barkin said. “It was just one of those kisses where you know it’s never going to work out.”
During dinner, the man told her he recently had broken up with his girl, implying that he had done so in order to go on the date.
“Don’t talk to me about your ex-girlfriend, I don’t want to hear about it,” Barkin said. “I figured out that he had a girlfriend when he agreed to go out with me. It took a while for it to kick in, but then I was like ‘I need to get out of here.’ But I couldn’t really, because I was hungry.”
He kept texting her, but needless to say, Barkin never saw him again.
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