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The last Thursday of every month Adventures in Dating features a guest blogger to share their dating mishaps, triumphs, tips and tales. This month we are honoured to have Tina Laronde.

Hello! I’m Tina. Before I met my (now) husband in the summer of 2011, I had a brief period of singledom during which I encountered quite a few different characters.

It all started when I was 17. All the way back in 2007. I was casually seeing a guy who I would end up staying with for the next six years of my life. When I found myself single for the first time in almost a decade I turned to the only place I knew I could meet someone fast. The internet.

All of these stories take place during a time in my life when I was incredibly sad, angry, vulnerable and lost. Looking back, I can admit that I made some very stupid (and scary) mistakes and that I shouldn’t have let a lot of this stuff happen to me. I’m happy to report that I am in a much better place now with a wonderful partner but who cares about that? You want the juicy stufff….

The Good

John

On our first date, John and I ended up walking through the pouring rain before settling down at the Highlander pub to enjoy a drink. We sat on the patio and talked and laughed for a long time as the rain poured down all around us. I remember thinking how attractive he was and how refreshing it was to finally meet someone sane (see “The Bad” and “The Ugly”). After he dropped me off at home, we exchanged a few text messages and he ended up coming back so we could have our first kiss.

We ended up seeing each other for about a month or so before it ended. John had to move back home to finish school and neither of us really wanted to deal with a long-distance relationship.

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The Bad

Paul

Paul was the first guy to show interest in me after my big breakup. Unfortunately for me, I was so scarred and broken from the past six years that I really had no sense of self-worth or confidence which would have led me to kick this douche canoe to the curb!

Paul and I spent a long time going back and forth on MSN (showing my age!) and text messages. We had long, “meaningful” conversations and I was completely smitten. It was such a change to have someone treat me with respect.

The first time Paul and I met in person, I was drunk. It was two weeks after my breakup AND it was my birthday. I was having the time of my life when somehow Paul ended up at the same bar as me. The events of the night are kind of fuzzy now, but I do remember hanging off of him and laughing a lot (what a great first impression!).

The next day, Paul seemed weird. He said the he had something he wanted to tell me but that he didn’t want to upset me. Being in the low place that I was, I practically begged him to just spit it out. That’s when it happened. He told me that he liked me and he was attracted to me BUT he felt that he would be even more attracted me if. I. LOST. WEIGHT.

I was stunned.

My friends were stunned.

Now, please hold your judgments as you remember just what kind of a state I was in at this point in my life.

I did it. I worked hard and I ended up losing a bunch of weight.

Now, as you all know, it takes time to lose weight, and during this time Paul and I were still “together”. We talked constantly and hung out together, but there was one more thing about him that was a little…off. You see, Paul’s last serious girlfriend had cheated on him and in the process caused him so much unbelievable heartache that he vowed never to even kiss another girl until he knew for sure that she would be his wife.

Wait…what?

That’s right. We were “together” for almost six months….without so much as a kiss. Eventually I found my voice and kicked this one to the curb…on his birthday! Oops…

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Mike

Now, Mike was not nearly as bad as Paul. Maybe that’s because Mike went a little nutso before we could even meet for the first time!

In the summer, Mike and I spent a lot of time communicating through text. It obviously wasn’t anything serious but he seemed to be a bit more into it than I was.

We had planned to meet  on a Friday night, but on the Wednesday just two days before we were supposed to meet, something happened. Mike asked me if I was talking to any other guys. Not wanting to hide anything, I told him that yeah, I was chatting to a few. No one I was really interested in but some potential friends.

Well, that was it. Apparently I was a liar and a cheat and there was not a chance in hell that Mike could ever, EVER be with someone like that. I had betrayed his ultimate trust and he never wanted to talk to me again.

Um…ok? When did text messaging someone mean you were monogamous?

Joe

Compared to the two above and the one below, Joe was a breath of fresh air.

We went out exactly one time. He picked me up and we went for a moonlit walk around Dow’s Lake listening to the waves and the sleepy quacks of the ducks. Romantic, eh?

Well, it would have been if Joe wouldn’t have spent the entire time telling me all he different reasons why women didn’t like him! Seriously, why would you point out your perceived flaws on a first date?

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The Ugly

James

James. The James Era of my life is an incredibly ugly time.

While reading this, I beg of you to remember the kind of heartache I was facing, the vulnerable state I was in and how truly lost I was.

Here we go:

Like the others, James and I started getting to know each other online. He was funny in a dry way which was, and still is, right up my alley.

We decided to meet up one evening. The first thing I noticed was how big he was. No, not fat. BIG. Like…steroid big (this is important later on). I got into his car and tried to avoid the fact that the backseat was so littered with empty cigarette packages that you couldn’t even see it anymore. We ended up at a nice, drive-up lookout where we just sat in his car and talked. It was…weird. He had mentioned, more than once, that I was lucky that he wasn’t a murderer or going to feed me into a wood chipper. I just kind of laughed it off.

We saw more and more of each other over the coming weeks but James was always just a little bit weird. He would often have these outbursts of anger for no reason at all.

For example, one night, he was at my place when the doorbell rang. It was my downstairs neighbour and she needed him to move his car because she was in labour (a valid reason if you ask me). Well, apparently this was NOT something that James would deal with. How dare she inconvenience him in such a way! James got so angry that he got into his car and just floored it out of the driveway. Squealing tired and all! He didn’t even tell me he was leaving! What?!

Weird things like that kept happening. It was like any little thing that he didn’t like or that slightly interrupted his life was an earth shattering, life ending ordeal. One time he ended up telling me that he wished I would die in a ditch and that he was sitting outside my house.

A few days after that lovely thought, I was driving with a friend when a creepy feeling washed over me. I looked at the car behind us and saw that James was following us. He was laughing all alone in his car and stayed with us for a good ten minutes before turning. He then sent me a creepy text about how nice it was to see me.

Even creepier still, a few weeks later, James e-mailed me at work. He tried to tell me that he needed legal advice and that’s why he was contacting me. By this point I was terrified. He knew where I lived, where I worked and had already said something about watching my house. I went to my superior who ended up sending James a reply e-mail advising that if he wanted legal advice that she should contact her. He never did.

The last str
aw came on Canada Day. I was out with friends and James wanted to hang out after I got home. I said no, obviously. He. Blew. Up. He called me every name I’ve ever heard and threatened me and said really terrible things to me. I manned up and said a few choice four letter words of my own and I never heard from him again….

*Note: All of the guys names have been changed. For their protection? No, for mine!

What are you good, bad and ugly dating moments?

Written by Tina
Tina is 31 years old and lives in Ottawa, with her husband, daughter and two fur-babies. Find more of Tina on her Instagram account.