Dating Horror Story is a new column on MadameNoire that gives women space to vent and air out all of their horrible dating experiences. If you have a dating horror story you would like to anonymously submit, email our Love & Relationships editor at email@example.com. ***Names and details have been adjusted for anonymity.
Recently, I liberated myself from a man who was good looking and had all of the potential in the world, but failed to do the bare minimum in maintaining relationships. Mark*** came from a happy Black home, so I assumed that he wouldn’t give me half of the problems that many men who came from broken homes gave me in the past. Two years ago, I was introduced to Mark (age 32) by mutual friends, so I felt pretty secure about getting to know him since he came “highly recommended”, but he fooled all of us. Mark took me to a decent restaurant for our first date, and told me about how he wanted to do more than the blue collar job he had at the time, and I admired his eagerness to follow his dreams.
Since I’m in law school, a lot of my time was taken up by studying, but I did what I could to maintain friendships and my dating life. I didn’t realize the red flag that Mark showed when he didn’t understand the concept of me being in class and not being able to call or text him back for several hours. Quickly, it seemed as though he did not believe me about being busy with school (without saying it, but definitely implied), and would clearly feel some type of way if I did not rush to call him back just to have the same boring conversation “How was your day…I’m driving home…I think I’m going to eat XYZ for dinner.” After about two weeks he fell off and because he was not doing anything to progress, I let the situation die and moved on.
Almost two years later, Mark came back around because we were going on a trip with mutual friends, so of course he felt it would be safe to slide in my DMs despite having my phone number. Compliments, random responses to stories, etc. were all sent. I purposely was short in my responses because I did not really want to entertain him again. Once on the trip he went out of his way to tell me how he wanted to try again and not just be friends. I was single, and the idea sounded interesting, but I know that he is a ghoster so I told him that this would likely not go beyond the trip, and that was fine with me. After the trip he pressed the issue to continue seeing me, but still had the same ass boring conversation, and there were no efforts to go out on dates or do anything fun.
Once I brought this to his attention, he made an effort to first tell me how much he has struggled with planning dates because he never had to with his past girlfriends, and that he’s trying to be better since he has missed out on so much by watching his life fly by and not being more assertive. Sounds nice doesn’t it? No. He planned one date, showed up late, and did not have a reservation or game plan. He told me before that we MIGHT go bowling so I was dressed casual, but then he said he thought about going to a steakhouse even though the earliest time was not until after 9:00 PM. Ultimately, we ended up going to this crowded Italian restaurant where we still had to wait about 20 minutes, and even though I was annoyed I made the best of it. After dinner, he decided to no longer take me bowling, and take me to this random bar that played music so loud we could not really talk.
I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt since he said he struggled with planning, but the real problem is that he never planned anything again. For an entire month he kept telling me that he was planning a date, but it would not happen. Things got so bad, our mutual friends stepped to help him, but he still made excuses on not going through with it. I did not understand what was so difficult for him to pick any place in Los Angeles, even a damn happy hour, and we just go? Then I realized it was his passive aggressiveness that prevented him from doing anything that I asked him to do. He had expressed prior that he did not see the point in planning dates several days ahead of time, and that even women with children that he knows do not require that and so I shouldn’t. First of all, I’m not them so don’t compare me, secondly, all the women I know would laugh at that, and third, I’m in law school and work so my entire life is scheduled out. I don’t have time for last minute, same-day decisions. Despite all of this, I maintained being single even though I was giving him a chance to put in effort.
The final straw was when he begged for me to take him to my law school prom “barristers ball” but I told him I was not interested in going because I didn’t want the pressure of taking a new date around my colleagues. After a month of him staying around but not doing anything different, I finally caved in and told him that we could go. My friend was going wine tasting that Sunday, so we decided to make an entire weekend out of it and spend quality time together. Because it was being held out of town, our school had rooms at the venue to purchase at a discounted rate. Mark said that he would get the room (less than $200) and even though I wanted him to get the tickets, I offered to get them. Our school had a limited amount of tickets, so I missed the first sale, but was able to get two tickets the week before. I sent him the information to book the room while we were talking on the phone. During the week I told him how I bought two dresses to chose from, and how either one would need to get altered, and expressed my excitement about going. His messages began to get shorter by the end of the week, and I knew that meant something was wrong.
I went online to see if rooms were still available and they were, but you had to call. Because he never told me that he got the room, I figured he had not yet. Because Mark isn’t as familiar with planning things, I figured he would somehow mess this up, but I stayed quiet to give him the benefit of the doubt. I asked him the day before if he was ready and he did not respond. The morning of, I called and he did not answer. He text me back saying he was busy at work but would call me shortly. Once he called, he told me that we were still on as soon as he was off from work, and I could get dressed there (at the hotel) or here before I left. I assumed that he booked the room so I said I would get dressed there. I asked him if he booked the room and he said “uummmmmm…..ummmmmm….I wasn’t able to get the room. I completely forgot.” Boy! Where was I going to get dressed? What would have happened if we drove hours away from me to not have a place to shower, put on a dress, and do my makeup??? At that point between his non-dating ass and failing to do one job which was book a hotel room I was done. I told him “okay, let’s not go. I’ll reach out in a few days.” He had the audacity to get upset and say, “Wow are you serious? A few days? That’s okay, you don’t have to.” SO I didn’t and haven’t reached out since. Of course he stays in my social media stories. Overall, I did not realize that his poor communication and passive aggressiveness prevents him from being able to maintain all friendships and relationships even with the our mutual friends. I feel sorry for him, but when everyone keeps telling you to fix it and you don’t, you can’t blame anyone but yourself! Lesson learned!