Things to Do

The Worst Date in DC: It Doesn’t Have To Be With You!

5 ways to make going on a date with you better than dying alone.

A little over one month ago, Washingtonian launched The Worst Date in DC, a column that runs on Fridays. In it, we feature real Washingtonians’ most tragic attempts at romance in this town, a venture that thrills us in terms of laughter, retweets, and what we see on Chartbeat, but also horrifies us in its reminder of the bizarre, rude, annoying, and socially inept creatures who crawl our town.

But in the midst of the holiday season, we thought it appropriate to come bearing good news: the worst date in DC does not have to be with you! We’ve uncovered five secrets that ensure your next date will actually prefer saying words to you at a shitty bar on 14th street for 90 minutes than literally dying alone.

We only ask that you save these secrets for your next date in the District. As you travel home for the holidays, ambient pressure from your family and engaged friends may convince you that you’d actually like “to give it one more shot” and “just grab coffee and see where it goes” with your high-school whatever. Don’t do this. Remember that you had nothing in common, and that their aunt clogged your Facebook feed with weird stuff during the birther movement. Return here, your adopted home, and find someone to make your old prom date jealous.

Read on for tips on how to keep details of your next date off of this website.

  1. Don’t show up on a hover board.
    If you own a hover board, that’s fine. Actually, it’s not fine, but I appreciate your right to use your discretionary income how you please. But when it comes to transporting yourself to the location of your date, you should pretend that you do not own that hover board. You should stuff it in the back of your closet alongside all of the other dumb things you’ve bought with your discretionary income. Your mindset should be such that you would rather meet your date with your body on fire because you’ve just been on the Metro. Your date will respect that. Your date will not respect your hover board.
  2. Don’t deliver a monologue about why you are late, particularly if it involves the purchase of UTI cream.
    Running late to meet your date? Send a text letting them know; arrive to the bar and apologize briefly, but then get over it. We’ve been surprised by how many submissions we get with this same complaint: that a date arrives late, and delivers a breathless monologue about the elaborate reasons why, which have included an emergency trip to CVS to buy UTI cream. I’m not sure what would compel you to tell anyone this. I’m not sure if you’ve watched Cara Delevingne in Paper Towns one too many times and assume that people really are attracted to bizarreness and “refreshing” candor and a propensity toward saying sentences that defy any logical response. If you really did turn up late for this reason, it’s cool. Stuff happens. But you tell your date that your Uber was stuck in traffic, or that the Red line was on fire. Then move on.
  3. Don’t tell your date that you are a comedian.
    I don’t care if you really are a comedian. It will make it doubly weird when they don’t laugh at your jokes. If they do laugh at your jokes, then you can tell them that you are a comedian.
  4. Don’t stick your hand in your date’s drink.
    Who are you people? Why am I even having to type this right now?
  5. Don’t tell your date your favorite body party by affixing it to your gender. (Examples: ass-man, vagina-guy.)
    In truth, you should probably not talk about your favorite body part in a romantic interest on a first date. That’s weird. (Unless they ask you specifically, and then you might want to consider that person’s sanity.) But you should definitely not relay it as some inextricable fixture of your identity. Really into ears? (I don’t know what your thing is.) Cool. But you are not an ear-girl. You will never tell your date that you are an ear-girl.

Ultimately, only you can control how you act on a date, and I hope that you never do these things.

And in some ways, as a fellow human being, I hope that you never encounter someone who does these things. But in other ways, as a cog in the content mill, I hope that you do. Send the experience my way at, and stay tuned in the new year for a new batch of the worst dates in DC.

Staff Writer

Elaina Plott joined Washingtonian in June 2016 as a staff writer. She has written about her past life as an Ann Coulter fangirl, how the Obamas changed Washington, and the rise and fall of Roll Call. She previously covered Congress for National Review. Her writing has appeared in the New York Observer, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar.