"Do your closest girlfriends know what you seek in a dream guy? Melissa Lim’s didn’t seem to have a clue! "
“I ordered the most expensive dish on the menu and two glasses of premium wine. Before the bill arrived, I hauled my sexy, shapely figure towards the exit.”
During my single years throughout my 20s, I was set up on many dates by friends who wanted nothing more than to see me in a happy, loving relationship. My busy publishing job meant I rarely had time to trawl Duxton, Dempsey and other dude-packed places, so to a spontaneous, up-for-anything kind of girl like me, blind dates felt like half the battle won. Getting a date in the first place was the hardest hurdle, right?
But no matter how often my friends matchmade, nothing ever got oﬀ the ground, and it was always deemed to be my fault. After every disastrous first date, I would complain to the girlfriend in charge, only to be told that I was too picky, too talkative, too quiet, too... something. “Maybe you didn’t smile enough, Melissa? Your Resting Btch Face can go a little too far,” oﬀered up one friend.
But let’s look at the sorts of men my friends introduced me to. In 2008, there was Gary*. I had to attend a fancy event for work, needed a date, and he obliged. With his best suit on, he picked me up and got me to the venue on time. So far, so good. During the event, however, Gary drank his body weight in beer, threw up in the restroom (he proudly told me afterwards), and hit on two of my colleagues. In the taxi, before dropping me oﬀ at my home, he pawed me, begging me to touch his crotch. Yes, he said “crotch”. Way to make a woman swoon, Gary.
A couple of years later, there was Jason*, a graduate with a well-paying job. Having dated a handful of moochers in my early 20s, I thought that meeting men who were educated and employed was a bonus. But Jason had a mouth. The first thing he said was “I didn’t think you’d be so tall!”, followed by “When I was told you were Asian, I figured you’d be tiny, but your hips are really wide and you have broad shoulders. You’re big!”.
“And you’re an idiot, Jason! I’m not big; you’re short. And lose those saggy man boobs before you comment on my physique!” was what I wanted to say. Seething, we didn’t talk much through dinner, but I ordered the most expensive dish on the menu and two glasses of premium wine. Before the bill arrived, I hauled my sexy, shapely figure towards the exit. It’s a wonder I squeezed through it, eh, Jason?
The time-wasting continued with *Chris, who used to have a crush on the friend who set us up. He could’ve done with some help in the hair and trouser department, but I could overlook that. What I couldn’t block out was his incessant talk about our mutual friend during the date: “Tell me something about her I wouldn’t know…” and “She’s the cutest, funniest woman I’ve met”. By the end of the night, I wasn’t sure if Chris even knew my name.
So, to my three friends who fixed me up in the past with good intentions, I’d like to say that my experiences with these guys didn’t just rattle me emotionally; they made me start to question whatever small hope I had of there being any decent single men left.
If I’m glad about anything, it’s that my first dates with these clowns didn’t turn into second dates. I could’ve lowered my standards like some of my friends advised me to, but I upheld my “impossible” expectations instead.
Last year, I finally met a man who fulfilled every single one of them. Incidentally, the date was set up through a friend as well, but this man treated me with kindness and respect, not just on our first date but every date that followed. Best of all? He adores my wide-hipped, broad-shouldered body.
*Not their real names.
Ever been set up on a disastrous date? Tell us about it at email@example.com