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8 Romantic Dates Gone Horribly, Horribly Wrong

Romantic dates are great in theory, but sometimes, even the most lovey-dovey of plans can end up in disaster.  Documented evidence below.

The Lockout

"I live in New York, and I was dating this guy from San Francisco whom I’d met at a wedding. Since we lived across the country, we didn’t get to see each other much, so we’d always plan these epic weekends when he came to the city. One weekend, he was coming for a work conference, so he got to stay at a fancy hotel. We made big plans to get all done up, dine at their very fancy restaurant, and then go hear some jazz on the town.

"I got to the hotel right on time, wearing a black dress, heels, and a sparkly necklace—but when the hotel clerk called his room to come down, there was no answer. We tried again a few minutes later, and he wasn’t picking up, so I texted him and called him on his regular phone. Still nothing. Eventually, I asked the security guy to bring me up to his room, but when I got there and knocked on his door? Nada.

"The security guy looked right at me and sighed, then said with a sympathetic look, 'Girl, I’m so sorry to tell you this, but you are getting stood up. Here, come to the bar and I'll buy you some whiskey.' He then gave me a pity pat on the back. I tried to explain that, no, there had to be some reasonable explanation, and he said, 'Look, I’m a guy. Take it from me: If he wanted to be here, he'd be here.'

"I was so upset and distraught, I rushed out of the hotel and back home, totally bewildered. Around midnight, I get a slew of texts: 'OHMYGOD I'm so sorry, I fell asleep waiting for you, had a long week at work. Don't hate me, come back.' But it was too late; the romance was ruined. I met him for brunch the next day, where he told me that he really had fallen asleep from exhaustion, and I believed him. But still...." —Rachel, 30

RELATED:  The 13 Emotionally Torturous Stages of Falling in Love

The College Crush Bust

"I’d always had a crush on this cute guy in college, but nothing had ever happened. One day, about four years after we’d graduated, I got a Facebook message from him: He lived in D.C. and was coming to New York for the weekend and wanted to see me. I immediately jumped to conclusions, as one does: 'Omg, our New York Times wedding story will be so perfect. I'm going to marry my college crush after four lost years!'

"We decided to meet up in Brooklyn for a Friday night dinner date because he was staying with some friends there, and he picked a very casually romantic place, with dark wood, low lights, fine whiskey, the whole bit. We were texting the whole week, mostly about random stuff, but we’d usually end with, 'Can’t wait for Friday.' Clearly, I told everyone about my future husband.

"Fast forward to our date, and he's standing outside when I arrive: 'Hey,' he says after a quick hug and kiss on the cheek, 'I know this is last minute, but I saw on FB that my friends from high school are randomly eating across the street, and I haven't seen them in so long—mind if we go join them instead? You'll love them.' I really didn't have a choice, so I said sure—and it turns out that 'across the street' was a sports bar with cheap pints and good wings.

"I spent the evening smushed into a booth with two strangers, my long-lost fling, and a pile of buffalo wings. Not exactly the romantic, NYT wedding-section-worthy night I'd envisioned—and told all my friends about. Oh, and after all that, we didn't even kiss." —Laura, 29

The Name Game

"I met this guy at a bar during happy hour, and we had one of those randomly amazing Wednesday night dates, where we stayed out until 3 in the morning and I was accidentally hungover at work on Thursday, thinking about him the whole time. The feeling was mutual, I guess, because he texted me and told me he wanted to take me to a super nice restaurant that Friday night since we'd pretty much only gone to cheap bars when we first met.

"I was so excited, I left work a little early on Friday for a 'doctor's appointment,' a.k.a. to go get my hair done so we could have a romantic night to remember. I was looking hot by the time I arrived if I do say so myself—short skirt, flowy top, and good makeup—and when I arrived, he kissed me in a cute way and told me I looked amazing. Win! We ordered a bottle of red wine, and everything was going smashingly.

"But during our main meal, he looks at me and goes, 'I have to ask you a really embarrassing question, but…what’s your name?' Um: What?! Was he serious? I stared at him for a second, practically without blinking, and then he explained that he missed my name when we met and put me in his phone as 'hot girl from bar.' Shockingly, I proceeded to date him for three months after that, but yeah, his question definitely ruined the magic of that night." —Abby, 27

The Not-So-Chill Spill

"I somehow finagled a date with the hottest guy I knew, a friend of a friend, and decided on a super romantic wine/bookstore near DuPont Circle in D.C. We snagged two seats at the bar, and it seemed like a perfect night was ahead. Side note: When I say hot, I mean really hot—he had an amazing body from 'casual' rock climbing and a model-worthy face and locks to match.

"Thing is, he wore 'ladypants,' and, this being 2008, not too many women were wearing skinny jeans, much less heterosexual men. Anyway, I dazzled him with my knowledge of fine French wines—thanks study abroad year!—and we start to have a great conversation. So great, I gesture to make a point and I knock over his wine. Onto his lap. And his ladypants.

"He bolts up and runs to the bathroom, and I'm mortified by his over-the-top reaction. Literally, he cried over spilled wine. I sparked up a conversation with the bartender during the 15 minutes he was in the bathroom, and even the bartender agreed. Anyway, red wine-stained ladypants returns, and the romantic vibe is dead. A week later, I met my husband and everything worked out for the best." —Kate, 29

RELATED: The Text Message That Can Get You Laid

The Goodbye Bust

"I lived in Seattle for a year and then got a job in NYC. Two months before I left, I started dating this guy who was really hot and awesome. We both knew we didn’t want to do long distance, so we were in it to win it with the time we had.

"The night before I left, he told me he was going all out and planning a very special evening and told me to dress up. He showed up at my apartment looking super snazzy with gel in his hair. When we got to the restaurant, we sat down, and he told me he’d ordered this special bottle of wine ahead of time from a vineyard and had asked them to serve it to us. They weren’t bringing it, so he got up and talked to them about it, and he came back super irritated because they had forgotten about the plan.

"Next, he had apparently ordered special menus with our names printed on them and had asked the restaurant to bring them right away, but they forgot those, too. He got more annoyed, and then I got more annoyed at him for being annoyed on my last night. Truth is, I didn’t even really care about his big romantic plans; I just wanted to hang out.

"We ended up getting in a big fight over the fact that he wanted things to be perfect and I didn’t seem to care, and we went home in a huff. What was supposed to be a romantic last night morphed into our biggest fight—not to mention our last, as we did not continue the relationship when I moved.” —Julie, 29

The Cocktail Fail 

"I’d been dating this guy for about two months when he asked me to go out for drinks at this swanky cocktail speakeasy. He was a bartender, so we’d mainly just been hanging out at his bar, and I thought that the step up to swanky cocktails was going to be a romantic thing.

"When we got there, he seemed weird, so I asked him what was wrong. He said we shouldn’t see each other anymore. I was shocked and obviously asked him why, and he said, 'I’m a two-month guy, and it’s been two months.' Rough. #CocktailFail." —Anne, 30

The Munchie Man

"I was dating this guy for a couple weeks, and he invited me over to his place for dinner on Valentine’s Day. He didn't make any mention of the holiday, but I assumed that he had something planned and it would be at least vaguely romantic, given the day of the year.

"I showed up, and he was in his sweatpants watching TV and smoking a joint. He told me we were going to order delivery and invited me to curl up next to him on the couch. Then, he informed me that he had the munchies and got out a half-eaten bar of chocolate from the drawer. The kicker? He offered me some—but with the disclaimer, 'You can have it, but it's not for Valentine's Day or anything.' So sweet!" —Megan, 26

The Great Big Burn

“My boyfriend and I hadn’t seen each other all week because we were so busy at work, so we planned a relaxing, romantic stay-in night on Friday to cook a fancy risotto dish. I got home earlier than he did, so I decided to go all out and light candles, put on soothing music, the works. He was really happy when he got home, and everything was going great—so great that I forgot I’d put the risotto on the stove.

"We started making out on the couch, and soon, the entire apartment filled with smoke and the smoke alarm went off. It smelled so bad in there that we couldn’t even stay in the apartment, so we were forced to go out to eat after all. We still had a great time, but it wasn’t exactly the cozy night in we’d planned. And when we got home from dinner, the apartment still smelled like burnt rice—and continued to do so for the rest of the weekend." —Sarah, 29

RELATED: 8 Relationship Milestones That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

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