This is a user submission to IRL. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions of IRL or its affiliates. All names and entities have been changed to protect the privacy of the parties involved.
My recent break up has been the most distressing experience of my life in the past few years. I felt lost, alone, and broken.
Days after being trapped by unpleasant feelings, I decided to download dating apps to keep myself busy.
I tried hard to make my profile stand out, by offering details about my interests and passions, by putting as many photos as possible, and by explicitly indicating that I am looking for new friends only.
My first match became my first date
The next day, I had my first match—a young woman who was on her business trip and would leave the country the next day.
After about 30 messages, she suggested a date. As her photos looked great and I felt that we would have enough topics to talk about, I said yes.
An hour before the date, I went to the shopping center as I wanted to buy her something as a farewell gift.
I was really looking forward to the date and was sincerely trying to make a new friend.
Eventually, although I did buy an adorable bear, I did not give it out; it still stays with me, functions as a reminder.
I reached her office just in time. When I first saw her, she looked completely different from her photos. I almost would not have recognized her if she did not call and wave to me.
I felt shocked but still walked towards her. After a brief chat, I suggested that we should eat local food for dinner because tomorrow would be her last day in Malaysia.
However, she said she wanted to go to a restaurant nearby for one last time. I agreed.
A dodgy restaurant
We arrived at the restaurant, which is located on the second floor, painted black, and without any signboard, after a short walk.
Although we were the only customers at that time, the waiter gave us only one menu. She took a look at it and ordered something quickly.
While I intended to take a look at the menu, the waiter took it away immediately.
I felt insulted. However, instead of questioning the waiter’s behavior, I thought she had ordered something for both of us.
In no time, our food had arrived; it was a plate of cookies, biscuits, and candies. My thought at that moment was, “Oh, is that all? I am quite hungry”.
Shortly after the arrival of our drinks, the waiter gave me the bill. I was shocked by the amount—it was nearly RM700!
As a PhD student who receives a monthly stipend of RM2000, this was the most expensive meal that I ever had.
I questioned the waiter how it was possible that a plate of biscuits and drinks worth that amount of money. He answered that the amount was right, as we ordered a bottle of RED WINE.
I turned to her and asked her to settle the bill first as I only had RM100 with me. At first, she had no intention of paying the bill and asked me to use my card.
I told her that I do not have any card as I am still a student. Unwillingly, she handed the waiter her card and took my money.
Shortly after the waiter walked away, I felt cheated and was extremely uncomfortable with the current situation.
I told her that I got to go because I felt offended that she ordered the wine without asking for my opinion in the first place (I do not drink at all).
When I walked past the door, I vividly heard the waiter say that her card was invalid…
I deleted all my apps
By the time I reached home, I deleted all of the dating apps. I also blocked her number as I was afraid that she would call me.
When I told my friends about what had happened to me just now, they said that I was very fortunate as she did not work with the waiter to force me to buy the whole bill.
One of my friends said that there was a similar case that happened recently and a guy was being forced to pay a bill worth RM2000!
I cannot imagine what will happen if I stay and finish the meal. However, I felt extremely thankful that she did not set a trap for me.
Thanks to this incident, I have woken up strong and am ready to move forward. I named the bear “Reminder” in order to remind me that online dating just does not work for a guy like me.
For more stories like this one, read: Don’t Make These Mistakes on Your First Tinder Date and Who pays for the first date? Him, her, or dutch?