It comes with the territory: as a single person, you’ll rack up some bad dates, some really bad dates, and some totally mortifying dates — and those stories are the ones most of us love swapping later on. So listen in as some of our readers share their most, um, memorable rendezvous mistakes with you...

Awarding the Heimlich
“On a first date once, we were eating chips and salsa as an appetizer. He was telling some joke and when I laughed at the punchline, I inhaled the chip a bit too hard... and it lodged in my throat! Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe at all. There was salsa pouring out of my mouth, and I was doing that ‘choking’ signal towards him. So he came around and started beating on my back. After a few scary seconds, the chip finally dislodged itself. I don’t even want to think about what I looked like at that moment, all stained with salsa. It took me the whole night of apologizing to feel comfortable around him.”
— Stephanie, Atlanta, GA
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Killing the mood
“One time I agreed to go to a haunted house for Halloween with a guy, despite the fact that I hate haunted houses. No matter how cheesy they are, I get irrationally afraid. This one was set up in the woods in Louisiana. It wasn’t so bad at first: they had the requisite bowls of stuff you put your hand in, the rocking chair with a witch rocking in it who lunges at you. Then, just when I thought we were coming out of the woods, I heard the rip-start of a chainsaw and ‘Jason’ from Friday the 13th, hockey mask and all, comes tearing toward us. I freaked. And I mean freaked! I started running full-speed through the woods, shrieking like a wounded animal. I could hear my date saying, ‘It's OK,’ but I kept running until I hit the parking lot... and a concrete parking bumper. I tripped, then skidded on my face and hands. It was terrible. We spent the rest of the evening picking gravel out of my skin.”
— Molly, Chicago, IL

Dropping the ball
“I was dating this guy and it was the first time I was meeting his family, so I was really trying to fit in. So when a game of football on the beach nearby started up, I jumped right into playing the game, even though I’m not really into sports. How hard could it be? Well, let’s just say I was terrible. I missed throw after throw. When my guy made a toss in my direction, I attempted to redeem myself with a brilliant catch — but instead felt the ball completely jam my fingers. Not wanting to appear weak, I tried to shake it off. But then we moved on to tennis. Not only was I terrible at that, too, every time the ball hit my racquet, I felt excruciating pain. Finally my fingers got so swollen I had to go to the hospital, where we discovered I’d shattered the bones in my fingers! It was really embarrassing to have my souvenir of the big date be a cast up to my elbow.”
— Regina, Fairfax, VA

Double-indemnity dating
“I was pals with this guy Chris, and it seemed our friendship might be developing into something more. So we decided to have an actual date, and I invited him to meet me at a dance music concert. But when I arrived, Chris showed up…with a date. He’d come straight from yoga and had brought along his instructor, who also thought he was on a date with Chris. When the instructor and I finally put the pieces together, we tried competing for Chris’ attention. I mean, that’s just plain weird! But the best part? By the end of the night, the instructor and I became friends and had a better time than Chris did.”
— Lance, New York, NY

Splitting your sides
“I felt like a sexy, powerful woman as I pushed my date down on the couch and gave him a passion-fueled stare. I felt sexy and powerful, too, when I leaped to plant a big kiss on him. Can’t say I felt particularly sexy or powerful, though, when my pants split right down the middle.”
— Caroline, Los Angeles, CA

Doing a spit-take
“I went to Philly for the weekend to see an old friend. We’d kept in touch and agreed to meet to see if maybe there was something more there. But while we were eating brunch, I ‘gleeked’ a stream of saliva into his orange juice while telling a story. It was so embarrassing. Adding insult to injury, he said, ‘Well, at least I can say I swapped spit with Carrie this weekend!’ Believe me, that was the only spit-swapping we did!”
— Carrie, Nashville, TN

Playing for the wrong team
“I became friends with this adorable guy who was very affectionate, always taking me out to dinner or on long romantic walks. We even talked about future plans, like how the next summer we hoped to have picnics, play frisbee, the works. I was so sure he loved me. He even said at one point, ‘Sorry, I just get kind of nervous because I'm trying to impress you.’ Finally, after many outings, I decided to go for it and leaned in for a kiss. Well, he was quite surprised and said, ‘Sweetie, I thought you knew: I’m gay.’ I was so mortified. Fortunately our friendship survived, but I definitely had to have my gaydar adjusted.”
— Jenny, New York, NY

Kimberly Dawn Neumann ( is a popular New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Redbook, Maxim and frequently online. A certified dating/relationship coach, she’s published The Real Reasons Men Commit and is the founder of