Valentine's Day is the holiday that a lot of people dread. Whether you're in a relationship or single, Valentine's Day can be a source of major anxiety. With this in mind, instead of bringing you stories of epic, enviable love, some of our staff are sharing five of their worst date stories (in no particular order, we'll let you be the judge of which is the worst).

Salad Finger Steve

I met this guy at a bar on New Year's Eve and ended up giving him my number. We texted for a few weeks and eventually, he asked me to go on a date with him. He's a big, burly, wrestler type of guy and not really my usual type, but it's a new year and I want to try new things (open minds - open hearts and all that). We go for dinner and he orders a Caesar salad and then proceeds to eat it...with his fingers. I had just watched the film 'Hostel' a few nights prior and the main murderer in it only ate with his hands so, needless to say, it was a "no" from me.

Sock Hop Simon

When I was in University I reconnected with a guy from High School who was a few years older than me (I had a pretty big crush on him back then). We hung out a few times and really hit it off and so I invited him to a live music show that my friend's rock band was playing. I kid you not, this guy shows up to our date dressed like he's going to a '50s sock hop - complete with high waisted pants and a bow tie. I was mortified.

Interview IanMy worst first date was my first go at Tinder! We met in Edinburgh and went to Cafe Nero, that should be been my first red flag! Anyway, we took a stroll along Princess Street and had a chat about how I was looking for a job. He was very eager for me to come back to his place so he could "help with the hunt". I'm stupid and so I say yes; I didn't even fancy him! Fast forward 30-minutes to me sitting there on his sofa looking at Indeed on my laptop and this one comes strolling through into the room with nothing but some reading glasses and a tie on! "Ready to interview,"  he says. Boke!! I saw the time and had to get home for dinner.

Heritage Harry

I go out to drinks with this guy I met at school. He seems nice enough initially, but it as our date progresses it starts to become pretty obvious that he's unusually interested in my ethnicity. He starts asking me about my heritage and calling me "exotic looking" which is a red flag for me.

As if that stuff wasn't awkward enough, he then begins to get a little too close for comfort and starts asking if he can touch my septum piercing and my dermals. Ew, dude, no. This amazing "date" wraps up with him playing me his favourite country song, even though I've told him I don't really like country music. He tells me to listen carefully to the lyrics and at the end of the song the singer says something about "kissing the girl". This dude literally tries to make his move at this moment. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Cringe!

Bonus Round: Catfish Catherine

I met this girl on Tinder back when I was 23 and it was a fairly new dating app. We had a few good chats on the app and then decided to go on a coffee date. I get to the café and look around but I don't see her anywhere. I order a coffee and sit down at a table. The next thing I know, this 16 or 17-year-old girl, complete with teenage acne is sitting down across from me. Let me be clear, this was not the girl in the photos, I had been catfished! I felt like the room got so small and everyone thought I was some kind of predator. The worst part? She still had braces!

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