Twitter's Top 7 Dating Disasters, in 140 Characters or Less

PHOTO: FirstDateHell founder Rhodri Marsden, whose dating woes have prompted hundreds of Twitter users to share their first date experiences.PlayRhodri Marsden
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Was your date last Friday a complete failure? Tweet it.

Hundreds of disillusioned British daters are sharing their stories beyond their circle of friends at brunch the next morning by posting them on a Twitter page called FirstDateHell.

These humorous -- and often wacky -- stories are rapidly gaining momentum on Twitter, with more than 2,000 followers to date.

FirstDateHell -- and its sister site, which archives the jaw-dropping tweets -- were founded by London-based columnist and tech writer Rhodri Marsden. The creation of the Twitter page was prompted by Marsden's own tales of dating woes, which began with the recollection of one particularly awful encounter at a local pub.

"I've just walked past the Firefly, where I went on a date in 2002 that was so bad I heard myself say 'So what's Wigan like, then?'"

Marsden's comedic tweets about his incredidbly awkward date, complete with awkward silences and uncomfortable stares, brought such a variety of side-splitting responses with his 17,000 Twitter followers that it prompted him to set up FirstDateHell as a platform for others to broadcast their dating woes.

Since the beginning of FirstDateHell earlier this month, the page has received hundreds of comments and stories about similarly traumatic dating scenarios, ranging from the bizarre ("There was the speed dater who spent the allotted three minutes talking to me via his imaginary friend") to the painful ("I went out very briefly with someone who stubbed a cigarette out on the back of my hand. After asking to. And me saying no.") to the downright illegal ("I went on a date and he took me on a burglary").

Dating Woes Take Over Twitter

Marsden chalks up FirstDateHell's success to a particularly British sensibility.

"I think us British can be so emotionally feeble... we can have such a constipated communication problem. So we have trouble saying to people's faces "Look, this isn't working, nice to meet you, but I'm going home." Instead we sit there for hours with someone dreadful. As a result we might become terribly unhappy, but boy, do we pick up some good stories," Marsden said in an email to

Twitter's structure as a social networking platform with 140-text character limits and relative pseudonymity has been crucial to FirstDateHell's success and user experience.

"The Internet doesn't always lend itself well to extended pieces of writing, but you couldn't accuse any of these of being long-winded; they're stripped right back to the punchline and, crucially, they leave a lot to the imagination," Marsden said. "That's why some of them are so funny … you're obliged to fill in the missing details yourself."

Given FirstDateHell's blockbuster movie material, are there plans to expand the page further?

"There are publishers interested. I'm not sure that I particularly relish the idea of becoming the 'crap date guy,' but there's probably not a lot I can do about it. It's too late now," said Marsden.

Top Seven FirstDateHell Tweets

1.DewGirl99 (Minnesota): "1st date asked me at dinner if my breasts were real. Said he would only date me if they were implants. Told him he would never know."

2. Kristainchicago (Chicago): "First date. asked my age. Me: "32, why?" Him: "Well, I really want kids and at 32, your ovaries are dying."

3. Squarish: "One of my recent worst was when I went back to the guy's place & he put 'Top Gun' on & recited it word for word."

4. Redcath: "He called 10mins before 2ask if I was running late, picked fight with stranger for looking at him, said aliens are in the Bible"

5. ElaineRonson: "Had a date with with a yogi. Bought me an ice-cream; took me to see his Buddha shrine; told me he'd taken vow of celeibacy; then jumped me."

6.elle_c_emm: "Met guy at his flat, opened door in blue check fleece dressing gown and an electronic tag on his ankle, "Shall we just stay in?"

7. Eirlysbellin: "I went on a blind date wearing a bright pink blazer & jeans. I turned up to find my date wearing exactly the same thing. "