The Worst Bad Dates


At what point would you give up on finding love? Or at least take a break from it? A handful of bad dates? Six months’ worth? A year? And how horrific would they have to be for you to finally throw in the towel and declare yourself off the market and on a break from it all?

Those were all thoughts that went through my mind when Olivia’s character from Plus One first came to me. After that, I started getting bombarded with all these absolutely horrendous dates that she’d been on. There was the cat pee guy. The plumber who discussed his work over dinner. The thirty-five year old who lived in his mother’s basement and brought porn along for their first date.

Wretched, right?

Now, I’ll admit—I’m not the authority on this subject. I’ve never really had a bad date. In my defense, I’ve been with my husband since we were wee little babies at the age of fourteen.

But still.

I hear stories—awful, horrible and (forgive me) sometimes hilarious stories—from friends who are fully immersed in the oftentimes dreadful dating scene.

But even with all these bad dates, you can’t give up hope, right? There still has to be that glimmer in your subconscious that thinks, Maybe it will be different with this one… Otherwise, everyone everywhere would have given up on dating a long, long time ago.

And, yeah, I’m a hardcore romantic, in case that wasn’t clear.

Once Olivia’s character was fleshed out completely in my mind, I wanted her to have hit rock bottom on the dating scene. To be completely fed up with the crap that goes along with it. And I wanted her to have kissed a lot of frogs before giving her a chance at her prince. (In case it wasn’t obvious, Ian is one hell of a prince.)

But I think the one thing that worked for Olivia was, even when she’d declared herself on a break from all things men and dating, in her heart, she didn’t give up. Even though she was taking a break from the true dating scene, she was open to the possibility. Of a connection. Of meeting someone when it seemed like she’d gone through the entire state population of Minnesota in her quest for her prince. Of love.

And, really, that’s what it’s all about, right?

What was your worst date? And did anything ever come of it? Post in the comments and on Wednesday I’ll pick one winner to be the happy recipient of a shiny $10 gift card to your choice of e-book retailer.


Olivia hates the singles scene, so when her best guy friend, Ian, offers to be her plus one to a series of weddings she has to attend, she agrees. Although she doesn’t want to complicate their lifelong friendship, she can’t pass up the chance to have a steady date without the dating drama. What she doesn’t expect is to now find Ian so incredibly sexy.

When Ian sees his old friend Olivia dolled up for wedding #1, the boyhood crush he once nurtured transforms into smoldering attraction. It doesn’t take long for their no-strings arrangement to turn physical. But as Olivia’s desire to stay “just friends” becomes clear, Ian’s feelings are deepening. In the time they have together, how will Ian convince Olivia that one plus one can make for a lifelong pair?

Plus One available for purchase at: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Brighton bio pic Brighton Walsh is a storyteller at heart. Whether through words or pictures, she’s been weaving tales for as long as she can remember. After decades of cultivating her writing, she finally decided to give life to the voices in her head and set forth to write her first novella. Love is her first love, and writing about it is a dream come true. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her nose buried in a steamy book or partaking in some retail therapy. She lives in the Midwest with her swoony husband and two energetic kids who (fortunately) know nothing about the naughty things she puts down on paper. She frolics around online frequently and loves to chat, so stop by and say hi. website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | goodreads

7 thoughts on “The Worst Bad Dates”

  1. Amy R says:

    Congrats on the release! I don’t think I have had any bad dates. I did have a bad boyfriend, though. I was a junior in high school and we had been dating a week. He told me we would take things slow. Of course we would – I was a junior in high school and had only known him a week! Then the next day he wrote me a long letter about how much he cared for me and that he thought we should take our relationship to the next level and his mom would buy us condoms. Well, I said no and then a day later he dumped me for one of the “sure thing” girls in school. I was heartbroken and humiliated (well, as much as I could be over a guy I dated for a week when I was about 17). Needless to say, I got over him pretty quickly, though.

  2. Justine says:

    Congrats on the release! I would say my worst date was going on a harbor cruise in the freezing winter weather for our first Valentine’s Day together. He wanted the cruise to be a surprise so he didn’t tell me anything about our date. He was running late to pick me up so we almost missed the boat. He should have just told me to meet him at the dock. We were both teeth-chatteringly cold. The on-board dinner was fine, but not great. On another date, he wanted to be romantic by dipping me backwards, but then he dropped me on the sidewalk and I scraped my elbow. I forgave him long ago for both incidents, though, because we’ve been together for almost a decade now.

  3. Katie says:

    Heh…cat pee guy (which might be worse than the guy I knew who smelled like stale oatmeal).

    My worst date was probably the first date I had with an ex, which wasn’t even supposed to be a date (it just sorta happened as the evening progressed). I was supposed to meet up with a friend of mine, but she decided to go to “rave” with her b/f and his friend (who was a co-worker of mine as well), so I got invited/drug along. This “rave” was at some stranger’s house (presumably posted on the Internet) in the middle-of-nowhere Washington State. An hour’s drive, after which my soon-to-be date proceeded to lock his keys in the car with the engine running. None of us had cell phones (it was a while ago), and the owners of the house weren’t letting strangers in, which made sense, except for the fact that they basically invited random people to their “rave.” Finally, after about an hour of begging, they let me in to use the phone to call AAA, who couldn’t come out for some reason I don’t remember. After another hour or so (the engine is still running, mind you), some guy admitted to being a former car thief, and offered to break into the car for us. To his credit, he even did it with minimal damage to the car (minus removing the whole lock from the passenger door).

    This is the same ex who managed to get us locked out of his house so we had to sleep in my (thankfully undamaged) car one night. We also had to walk into downtown Seattle to catch a bus after a Mariners’ game because he didn’t know where to go to catch the bus back to Tacoma (protip: follow the large crowd).

    Funny, all my bad dates are from the same relationship…

    Congrats on your book release!

  4. Well, I don’t want to go into too many details, but never go on a date fixed up by a call-in radio show DJ. It was a country station. He was a former rodeo rider. Now, you’re thinking about the covers of all those romance novels right? Maybe a dash of Sleepless in Seattle? So was I.

    Nope. Nope. Nope.

    I’ll sound mean if I give any more details, but stick with blind dates set up by people you know, not by radio hosts.

  5. Ava says:

    Yay, Brighton! So, SO happy for you!

    Oh, worse date? I’ve never been on one. Does that count? *Snort*

    Congratulations on your release, pretty!

  6. Joy Whiteside says:

    How about a honeymoon in Australia and hubby more interested in tv

  7. Brighton Walsh says:

    Thanks for playing, ladies! Loved reading your dating mishaps, and they gave me a few snorts.

    Getting dropped on the sidewalk from a dip mishap made me laugh out loud. Congrats, Justine! You got yourself a free copy of PLUS ONE! E-mail me at brightonwalsh(at)gmail(dot)com and let me know what format you prefer!

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