Because my views on life are 15%–23% informed by rom-coms, I love hearing about relationships that started out with laughably bad first dates.
So I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about the terrible first dates they had that still somehow led to a great relationship.
And reader, after looking through the responses I got, I feel a lot more hopeful about my prospects.
Here are 16 stories about people truly finding love in a hopeless place:
1. "He meant to take me to a fancy Italian restaurant but forgot they were closed on Sundays. So we went to a nice Mexican restaurant (he didn't know that Mexican food isn't my favorite and I get super sick after I eat it). After dinner we stopped at a store to get ice cream to have a movie night and I excused myself to the restroom. I spent 15 minutes with the runs and pain in my stomach (he was fine; like I said, Mexican food doesn't sit right with me). He had sent me a text saying he was sorry it didn't work out and would go home since he had thought that I had ditched him."
"Six years later we are still together and have been living together for two!" —dayyyyooo
2. "I went on a date with this guy who brought me for a six-hour hike up a mountain in November. I slipped and fell multiple times, almost falling right off the mountain. Pretty sure in my Bumble profile I wrote that I was in search of the best Bloody Mary…and pretty sure I wouldn’t find it up there.
"Today, that man is my husband." —mgarrityr
3. "We had a great, romantic first date walking along the Seine in Paris (we were both studying in Paris) and he was supposed to bring me home on his scooter. Just...when I pulled my leg over to climb the scooter, it turned out that I had stepped in dog poop and I stained the seat of his scooter with it from my boot... So embarrassing!"
"But we ended up dating for five years 😊" —lynze345
4. "My first boyfriend lived two floors above me in the dorms, and we’d met each other a few times/sat at the same table for dinner with our groups mingling. We never really spoke directly — but I thought he was so cute and sweet. He messaged me on Facebook and asked if I’d like to meet him in the Hall Lounge to watch a movie together. I wrote back, 'sure, I’ll bring some popcorn.'"
"So I show up with popcorn and sit down on the couch, excited to have a date. He came in, barely glanced my way, and then went back to stand just outside the door. I finally ventured outside and asked who he was waiting for, thinking I misunderstood and we were waiting for others. He said, 'I’m waiting for Kaylie.' I said 'right…I’m here?' And he looks confused and repeats my full name. It clicks and I ask, 'You mean Kaylie B from the fifth floor. The redhead? I’m Kaylie B, from the fourth floor.'
And his whole face dropped. 'I’m sorry, yeah. I thought I messaged her…My mistake. I’m sorry to waste your time.' So now I’m sort of embarrassed too, but it was funny so I said, 'Oh, welllll — you got me and I made popcorn soooo you can call her to come join us but I’m not leaving.' He was really embarrassed but we watched the movie and had an alright time/played cards.
Anyway, he asked me out two days later…took me for ice cream and I joked 'Did you get the right one this time??' We dated for almost five years. He was a good guy. I’ll always be glad he asked out the wrong girl! He taught me a lot and was a wonderful First Love experience." —bright_eyes33
5. "The date itself was great! I was just SIX HOURS LATE. 🤦🏻♀️"
"I’d driven from northern Utah to southern Utah for a job interview, planned it out to be driving back through Salt Lake City right at exactly the right time but the interview went long and I hit traffic and didn’t calculate for delays like stopping for gas or grabbing lunch. Luckily, his parents lived close by so he stuck around for me.
That was six years ago and I’m writing this out while wearing his shirt as I put our toddler down for a nap." —UCR885
6. "Our first date was at the movies, pretty typical for a small town and 17-year-olds. The kicker was that he was worried I might stand him up so 'to be safe' he brought a friend. So our first date was the three of us awkwardly watching a movie together."
"Ten years later (and recently engaged!) we still laugh about it, and whenever we go to the movies I always ask if Brian is coming." —kenyajade13
7. "The first time I met him in person I went to his apartment only to realize minutes after arriving that I had locked my keys inside of my car. First, how embarrassing. Second, at the time I couldn’t just get the spare because my dad had it who was at work and there was one in the safe at my parent's house. They didn’t know where I was, they thought I was at work and would’ve been in so much trouble if they found out I was meeting a guy. Let alone someone I had never met."
"Well, I had to call a locksmith and he charged me $200 for something that took five minutes. To make matters worse, he wouldn’t take my card so the guy I had just met paid. This whole time I was thinking of just disappearing and never talking to him again because of the embarrassment. I clearly couldn’t do that after he paid.
It’s been three years and we are happily together." —2009soloporhoy
8. "It was my first date about a month after a long-term relationship breakup. I went back to my hometown to visit my parents for a week and thought cruising the apps and getting a few dates set up would be a good way to jump back into dating."
"I lined up three dates and backed out on two, but the third guy I vaguely knew because we had gone to the same high school, he was just a few years older. Got insanely nervous for the date, couldn’t eat anything, got hammered (reminder: empty stomach), made out with him AT the bar (barf), and went home with him. Had ourselves a 'situationship' for about eight months (trips together, etc.) and finally admitted to each other how much we liked one another — we were both just too nervous to say anything sooner.
Happily doing long distance now!" —Rebecca Schroeder
9. "After three years of being single and lots of Tinder dates, I matched with one guy and arranged a date. The day of the meetup he kept pushing back the time to meet. Turns out he was drunk and high and his friends wouldn't let him leave, but he didn't want to cancel. When he was three hours late I told him to leave it, super angry. I told my friends all Tinder guys are the same, flakes, and couldn't be bothered to arrange to see him. But my friends knew I was ready for a serious relationship and pushed me to give him another chance. we arranged for another day, met, and met a few more times."
"Three years later we moved to a different country, and have just welcomed a gorgeous baby girl." —sorayasophiam
10. "I was living together with a guy for six months. I said I loved him, which freaked him out due to his major commitment phobia, and he dumped me on the spot. I felt like shit, wasn't eating for weeks, and survived on coffee and cigarettes. My friend suggested I meet up with her friend I also knew from our previous job. I went thinking it was going to be just two people catching up, he was sure it was a date. I ended up bitching about my ex and dating, how men need to sort their commitment crap out, how I'd rather be alone and so on. He ate two entire pizzas while listening to my rant and also complained about his own dating struggles. We ended up gossiping about our entire dating history and sex life until 5 a.m., no sugar-coating because at this point we both knew we won't be dating so why bother. He offered to walk me home and his stomach was making the loudest, most awkward noises the whole way there, so I asked if he wanted to come up and use the bathroom."
"Cut to me in my thin-walled studio apartment trying not to focus on the sounds of what must have been a very explosive number two. He left very quickly after that, as far as I thought never to contact me again. However, the very next day he actually asked me out and said he was blown away at how similar our views on relationships are and that he'd never had such an honest conversation about it before. He also said that the fact that I didn't make a big deal out of him needing to use the bathroom that bad made him realize I was understanding and welcoming, someone he can feel comfortable with.
"Anyway, we now think of that day as our 'zero' date and laugh about it a lot. The no-bullshit, honest way of communicating has become our staple and it's amazing, we've been together for almost two years now and recently engaged." —cypresslicorice
11. "We got food at the WORST restaurant either of us have ever seen. The chicken had the taste and texture of rubber. We took about two bites each, then threw our takeout containers in the trash. As we were sitting on a bench outside, some kids came up to us and asked where they could get a Fortnite gift card. We also found a single baby shoe on the pavement."
"Currently sitting on his bed listening to music while he does work on his computer :)" —dee
12. "First date with my husband I had a migraine at dinner and later ended up projectile vomiting inside his truck as he took me home. Got me in the shower to clean up while he cleaned his truck."
"Got married two years later." —bridgelee841
13. "I moved to a tiny, rural town for work. Dating there was rough. I got my vehicle stuck in the snow in my own driveway. When the snowplow guy came to help, he had a friend with him. This friend also happened to be the ex-boyfriend of the woman that my ex-boyfriend just went 'Facebook official' with the day before on Valentine's day (2013)."
"This guy was amazing at getting my vehicle unstuck and then he left. He added me on Facebook a few days later and we spent the next few weeks talking CONSTANTLY. We finally went on a date to his favorite restaurant overlooking the ocean a one-hour drive away. So two-hour drive, one-hour dinner and he barely said a word. It was terrible. I figured he really mustn't be into me. After the date, he told me how his favorite thing was how comfortable it was to just drive and not feel pressure to fill the silence with me. Turns out he is a super calm and quiet guy.
And now almost eight years on, we are still together and happy. Also our exes are still together, too!" —sarahjaytangerine
14. "My now husband and I met on Plenty of Fish. We lived an hour away from each other so we had our first date/first time meeting in a town halfway for us both. We met at a Pizza Hut and ordered our pizza and then spent a few hours talking and getting to know each other. When we walked out to our cars to go our separate ways he went in for a hug and I SHOOK HIS HAND. He looked so confused and I was dying inside from the cringe."
"Worked out good for us I guess. Six years together, four years married, and he likes to shake my hand when he leaves for work in the morning and giggles to himself." —gabrielleelizabeths
15. "My now husband of almost 10 years — together for 14 years — didn't show up for our first date. We were in high school and he was going to pick me up to go to a movie. I put on a cute outfit and waited at my living room window for hours (literally) and he never came. The next day at school he said he was nervous because he didn't have my number to confirm the time of the movie. He asked me out a few more times after that but I declined — I felt like the trust was broken. Soon after I moved cities and didn't see him anymore. Three years later, after we had graduated and gone separate ways, he messaged me on Facebook and we met for dinner."
"The rest is history. Now we have a lovely home, two beautiful little girls, and an amazing dog. Funny how that works." —lfa305
16. "It was meant to be a one-night stand. I tried to leave quietly in the morning. Couldn’t figure out how to unlock the front door. Went out the back door and had to climb the fence. Got stuck on the fence and had to rip my pants to get unstuck. Found out later he watched the entire thing and was laughing the whole time."
"Still together 14 years later, still can’t cleanly hop a fence." —emilyd44374716c