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Date with disaster

CONVERSATION KILLERS: A little bit of preparation can help you avoid a date where there’s nothing to talk about

THERE IS an old saying that the road to true love never runs smoothly.

From spilling a drink all over your date's outfit to running into an ex on a first date, disastrous dates are an experience shared by many in their search for Mr or Ms Right.

Below, Voice readers share their harrowing experiences of dates that definitely went wrong.

ALFRED HOLMES, 38, MANCHESTER
'She said she looked like Beyonce. I got a female Eddie Murphy instead!'

“I thought I had been speaking to a fine lady due to the way she described herself. She compared herself to Beyonce, who I adore. However when we met she looked like Eddie Murphy! We met in a West End bar and she was the opposite of her description. Her hair was styled in a short afro and her face was extremely dry, with pimples. Not my type at all. I’m attracted to appearance and personality. She leant over to kiss me and her breath horrified me so much that I became angry and told her she was Beyonce’s worst nightmare. I was left with no choice but to apologise and leave. We never regained contact. Despite my terrible dating experience I’m extremely happy with my wife and wouldn’t change her for the world.”

ANGELA MARRIS, 52, NORTH WEST LONDON
'I wanted romance, but he was more passionate about haulage firms'

“I had heard so many good things about dating agencies so I decided to get in touch with one. I asked for a professional man who owned his own home and didn’t drink or smoke, but instead I got a caravan driving smoker, who consumed high levels of alcohol on a regular basis. On the date, he detailed every single haulage firm he'd ever worked for, rating them for speed and efficiency. I just couldn't believe how dull this man was. I had not long had a divorce and I wanted someone who could distract me, but he failed miserably.”

TIM TERRY, 58, NORTH LONDON
'I knew my hot date was over when my bike broke down in freezing snow'

“I was managing a furniture shop in Peterborough in January 1979, when a local schoolteacher came in and gave me a New Year’s greetings card. In it, his female colleague, a P.E teacher called Pat, asked out me on a date. She’d written that I was to give the answer to the teacher who had delivered the card before he left my shop. So what could I do? Of course, I said ok. Besides Pat had visited the shop before and I thought she was a good looking and pleasant young woman. Subsequently, Pat and I went out on my motorbike on snowbound roads, to a pub about 10 miles out of town. We enjoyed each other’s company for a couple of hours and then set off back towards Peterborough. On the Peterborough by-pass, about 3 miles from Pat’s home, the bike ran out of petrol. She thought I was joking, but it really had. We pushed the bike along the icy, snowy dual carriageway in the freezing cold, for hours, eventually arriving at her flat.”

TAMAR BROWN, 32, SOUTH EAST LONDON
'He was too cheap to even buy me a £2.75 coffee'

During winter a few years ago, I went on a date with a guy who seemed nice. We agreed to meet in Stratford on a Sunday afternoon. I took the train there but before I left my house I had something to eat - largely because my mum always told me that you must eat something before you go anywhere because you never know what people are serving and you never know how long you have to wait to eat. It was a good thing I listened to her!
“I had been expecting a light afternoon meal and drink but when I met my date in Stratford, he didn't suggest anything so I suggested that perhaps we could go and get a drink at the Stratford Picture House bar.
“He was mumbling something about low funds so I suggested that perhaps we could get a coffee instead. The cost was about £2.75. To my absolute surprise, he said he couldn't afford that either so we ended up walking around Stratford in the cold for an hour. I was so cold at the end of it and furious with myself for sticking around, traipsing round Stratford in the dead of winter with a man who couldn't even buy me a coffee.”

ANDREW MOORE*, 43, NORTH LONDON
'My blind date brought four friends. I had to buy dinner for all of them'

“I went on a blind date and we met up at Nando’s at her suggestion. The conversation wasn’t flowing and she had previously said that she would bring a friend along due to being nervous. I wasn’t too comfortable with it but I looked beyond it. However another friend turned up and then half an hour later a third friend showed up, followed by another a little while later! Not only was I left to pay for my date but I had to pay for all of them and later drove them all home. She tried to contact me but after that disaster I was elusive.”
* Name changed on request

*HOW TO AVOID A DISASTROUS DATE*
Relationship scientist Dr. Gian Gonzaga from dating website, eHarmony.co.uk, tells us to avoid bad date...

* Trust your intuition: don't accept a date when the ‘phone conversation doesn't feel right.
* Take your date from online to offline as soon as possible: if you don’t, you could end up with a false illusion that you are in a relationship when you are in fact talking to a computer with a photo!
* Never text message others while on a date: keep your BlackBerry or iPhone off the table.
* Always meet your date in a public place: and don't drive together. Remember, safety first.  

DO YOUR HOMEWORK…
If you are on a date, make it personal and keep it light. Take the time to remember something your date wrote in their profile or said on the phone.  Think of preparing for your date like you would for a job interview for your dream job.

FIRST DATE CONVERSATION KILLERS:
Dr. Gian Gonzaga says if you want a great date, DO NOT engage in these conversation killers:

1.    Go on about your ex
2.    Exaggerate your huge wealth (or lack of)
3.    Keep recounting your dim and distant past
4.    Try to recruit your date to your cause
5.   Waffle on about your wild days
6. Discuss minute details about your health
8.    Go on about your dating life

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