Five Worst Case Scenarios

(These men didn’t lie about their height)

The five minutes before you meet your date are an angst-ridden time. Time to check your reflection in a shop window and scour your bag desperately for breath mints. Time to scratch your head and bite your nails and hyperventilate into your wallet. Time to text your best friend stating that, if it ever comes to a court-based situation, his name is CasanovaTwelveInch and he likes cats.

Your date is probably feeling much the same. However many dates you’ve been on; however experienced in the art of making painful small talk with painful strangers and stifling any urges to sit there howling into the abyss as soon as they pop to the loo; it never really becomes less daunting. There are many ways, after all, in which it can go wrong:

5) Your date doesn’t turn up The primary reason to fear being stood up is the thought that he or she arrived, took one look at you, and ran. Feel grateful he or she did it then, rather than first chowing their way through a smorgasbord of rare truffles, caviar and swan meat, and leaving you to pick up the bill.

4) Your date is a murderer – Admittedly unlikely this one, which is why it’s only number 4 on my list,  but if it did happen, it would be pretty poor form. Look out for weapons, body bags, and the aggressive narcissism typical of a psychopath. (If they spend more than twenty minutes monologuing about their cleansing ritual, the ‘murderer’ threat is reason enough to leave.)

3) Your date has lied on their profile – This one is likelier – although I believe the threat is often overstated. Whereas the prototypal online dater is a short, bald, grossly obese fifty-year-old masquerading as a tall, piliferous, Adonis-bodied twenty-five-year-old, most of the people I have met haven’t lied that much. OK, so guys add a few inches onto their height and women shave some cream cakes off their weight. But it’s in nobody’s interests to lie – you can only maintain the facade for so long. You can hardly keep the stilts on during sex.

2) No physical attraction / Nothing to talk about – An OkCupid match question, this one – which is worse, nothing to talk about or no physical attraction? It baffles me how anyone could pick the latter. Unless you’re the most implausibly unpicky of pansexuals, you hang out with people you’re not physically attracted to all the time.  What about when your mother’s coming to town? Ever cancelled a date with her because things are starting to sag?

On the other hand, if there’s nothing to talk about, you will want to get it over with as soon as possible. And by ‘it’, I mean ‘your life’. Feign a sudden bout of gastroenteritis instead.

1) One or both of you falls madly in love – and madly is the operative word. Love is the most destructive and dangerous mental illness human beings ever had the poor sense to sanction. OK, so it has its upsides, but then so do manic episodes and crack cocaine. Wonderful, yes, but brain-fryingly, world-warpingly, heart-stabbingly insane.

(Sometimes the love thing is a best-case scenario too. It’s like how Victoria Beckham has been known to top best-dressed lists, and worst-dressed lists, at the same time.)



About Abi Millar

British freelance journalist living in the Netherlands
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15 Responses to Five Worst Case Scenarios

  1. Alasdair says:

    Ah, yeah, but if I’m not attracted to her, then I’m basically buying drinks for a dude. Or my mother. And that’s not cool. I can go to the local five-a-side team or cycling club if I want to meet people I don’t want to sleep with…

  2. Abi Millar says:

    Just make sure she gets a round in too and pretend she’s a friend. Or your mother. (Definitely don’t sleep with her if you’re pretending the latter.)

  3. Nathan says:

    What’s wrong with buying drinks for a dude? Or for your mother, for that matter? My mum’s a teetotaller, which means that I’d pay twice just to see her get pissed.

    Great list, at any rate! Although with respect to item #1, I’d say that the difference between worst-case and best-case is the largely the difference between “one” and “both”.

  4. If most people lie on their profile (and OKTrends reckons that men add, on average, two inches), and women start assuming that the figure is inflated, what incentive is there for the rest of the users to be truthful?

    • Valid point. I told the truth on all of the personality questions, and OKCupid thinks I’m some sort of man whore! Maybe it’s better to tell a few lies.

    • El Kapitan Pingoloco says:

      Welcome to the rest of life, it’s not just OKCupid that has this problem, and those of us ‘pathologically-against’ exaggeration and dishonesty are left annoyed at people who jump on a negative bandwagon; to really intelligent eyes it just looks weak… which doesn’t engender respect, now, does it? Some people say it’s more intelligent to go with what works in the world, but then again, on a longer-term view, it’s more intelligent to help mould the world into a more honest one – honesty is ultimately more efficient if you add all scenarios up, or I believe so, anyway. I guess it depends how much one thinks!
      Also, imagine having this world-view when it comes to dating… oh how easy it is to get cynical. Right, it’s stopped raining enough for me to pretend the grey skies aren’t there, I’m off for a cycle. The road is honest!

  5. Alex says:

    Ah now, how truthfully (and eloquently) you write of the nature of love. And amusingly I find, such words coming an avid user of a dating website! I suppose this apparent masochism and hypocrisy is really very human after all… I’m inclined to suggest you at least monetise your pain and trouble by putting ads on this blog! (Well, I’m only half-kidding?)

    In any case, kudos for a most interesting (and refreshingly sardonic) blog… from a fellow blogger.

    • Abi Millar says:

      Thanks! I wonder how much it’s possible to make through pimping out your pain?

      • Alex says:

        Well, Google AdSense pays surprisingly well for ads that don’t rape your screen (as the lingo goes). I have no idea how many page views per day/month you’re getting, but if you’re curious, let me know and I could produce a rough figure!

        I do hope it’s not *all* pain.. but this is a good “hedge” in any case. (Fortunately my strategy of taking precisely nothing on OkCupid seriously seems to work well!)

      • Alex says:

        Hey, that’s not bad! I commonly hear of CPM (cost per mile) rates of ~£15, so you’re looking at at least £50/month, even when you subtract the visitors the ads scare off. But yeah, don’t quite the day job, as the cliche goes.

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