Sometimes clichés come into existence because there is simply no better way to describe a situation. So when we write that modern dating is an absolute minefield, you’ll know it's because meeting an absolute tool is a very real danger many of us face.
More people than ever are navigating this treacherous ground thanks to the rise in dating apps and online agencies that allow you to "match" with people you’ve never met and arrange a blind meet-up in the vain hope that they might be able to hold a conversation without doing anything weird. One false swipe and we risk losing our minds, our cool and our dignity on a humiliating night out with someone totally awful. And paying for the privilege, too.
Of course, this isn’t always the case, and like any game of roulette, there is a chance it's all going to be fine. You could be one of the many people who meets their life partner through Tinder, if that’s the sort of thing you’re aiming for. You could, according to this 2017 study, end up having a happier relationship with someone you met on Bumble or Happn than anyone you encounter in real life. You could wind up with that great night in bed you’ve been dreaming of for ages without any red flags being waved whatsoever.
Or it could be completely terrible.
On the bright side, so long as you are safe and well, bad dates tend to make for better stories. To demonstrate this, we asked nine women to share their most dismal dating disasters, from the blind drunk model who sulked when he couldn’t smoke heroin in the cinema, to the holiday home sweetheart who stood back and watched while his date rescued drowning children. They really are quite something.