By Garnet Johnson-Koehn (Hamilton, ON)

The worst date I ever had was with my partner, and it nearly killed our relationship before it began.  At a party she'd thrown, I offered to stay behind after everyone else had gone home and help clean, a subtle way to get an impromptu date.  We got to talking as we tidied, and eventually I worked up the courage to tell her I was definitely interested in her, but that I'd just escaped a truly ludicrous relationship, and was a little wary of rushing in too deep, too quickly.  I'd like to go out with her, I'd just have to take it a little slower, I said.

Or at least, that's what I thought I said.  Unfortunately, it seems I'd managed to express myself so badly that what came out was 'yeah, I guess we could be friends with benefits, you seem kind of cool, but I don't really have any interest in you as a partner and equal.'  Needless to say, I wasn't exactly winning her over with my charm and honeyed words, though of course I didn't know that at the time.  I was utterly baffled when all the chemistry in the room vanished in an instant, and instead of maybe having a first, chaste kiss, I found myself standing alone on the sidewalk, waiting for a cab in front of a darkened house with a locked door. 

To call it a disaster, frankly, is to undersell it.

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