my worst date ever--and why it was the best thing to happen to me

Sometimes, when a relationship ends, all it takes to move on is a few nights out with your friends, sleep, and a couple of good crying sessions to one or all of the following: The Notebook, old episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Felicity, or the soundtrack of Magnolia. But sometimes, a break-up does just what it sounds like--breaks you in the way that takes your breath away, so that listening to any song (yes, even "Firework" by Katy Perry) somehow reminds you of your ex, and music in general becomes more of a torture device than an aid to your recovery. With this type of ending, in my experience, time is the only true healer, and faking that you're "over it", and trying to go out too early with someone new will probably involve you rambling on about the mistakes you made in your relationship, or will likely result in this:

 

And then, without even realizing it, you're out one night and find yourself flirting with someone without even the thought of your ex crossing your mind. This happened to me several years ago, and the fact that I was attracted to someone and laughing at his jokes with my head completely clear of the fantasy that my ex would walk in and fly into a jealous rage from seeing another boy flirt with me was intoxicating. Maybe a little too much, because I set my hopes ridiculously high that this boy who made my stomach flip for the first time in a year would end up being the One. And, judging by the title of this post, we can all surmise that this is not how the story ends. Because the One would probably not tell endless stories at dinner without once allowing me to finish a sentence. And the One would also probably not ask me about a camp I volunteer at, and then cut me off mid-sentence to explain why he loves to collect horror movies and why the ones with killer clowns are superior. He interrupted so much, in fact, that at one point he announced "You probably think I am pretty arrogant! I have been talking about myself this whole time" to which I responded "Well..." and he then launched into another story about how smart he was. Side note: people who are really smart, funny, good-looking, etc, often don't have to announce these qualities about themselves. It's like explaining why a joke is funny.

After dinner (and a pitcher of sangria) we headed to a dive bar, and then back to his place (don't get any ideas, I was there for 20 minutes). We walked in, and lo and behold, the man had a cat. Don't get me wrong, I actually love cats (I know, I know), but when the guy you're on a date with who has been pretty rude the entire night suddenly announces that he has a cat, and asks if you'd like to see a trick the cat can do, it's a little bit off-putting. But when that trick is dragging the cat around on a blanket during which the cat tries to mate with said blanket, it's downright creepy. There are several other embarrassing details I could share about this lovely evening, but suffice to say, we did not see each other again (despite many texts accussing me of thinking I was "too good for him".) Yet I still look back at this night fondly, somehow, because while that was hands down one of the worst dates I have ever been on, it got me back into the dating world. The funny thing about all of these details--the endless stories, the inappropriate use of cat for tasteless humor, the horror movie collection--is that when you make that incredible match with someone, the traits that can seem annoying to others may be completely invisible to you, or even be part of why you love the person. We clearly didn't have an incredible match, but he allowed me to get back in the dating world. And when you start things off like that, things have to get better. (And they did!)

Do you have any embarrassing dating stories? Come back later this week for more date recaps stories and pictures of the wedding I attended this weekend...which included four straight hours of dancing.

 

And follow me on twitter @brooklynn15!

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