I was in my college's dining hall, on the very first date of my life. We were eating under bad fluorescent lighting surrounded by handfuls of random fellow students. My date reached across our plates piled high with limp pasta and wilted salad and looked deep into my eyes. He told me he was in love and wanted to marry me.
Just what every girl wants to hear on a first date. I nodded, not-so-subtly removed my hand from his, and asked what his last name was.
This was, of course, only one of many bad dates -- which, in an era of heightened matches and lessened connections, is kind of par for the course. The good news is that bad dates carry lots of valuable wisdom that extends far beyond a few precious, cringe-worthy moments. In no particular order, here are my top-five lessons.
Sometimes, it's totally OK to get up and leave
I met up with a man I'd met online at Blue Dog -- where I should really stop going for first dates in general, since I love it there and these bad memories are ruining my happy place. This particular date had clearly lied about his age. It was so obvious, my head was swimming with where this guy might have been when JFK was assassinated, or what it was like to watch the moon landing on TV.