A Date Almost Took Advantage Of Me—And It Still Terrifies Me

scared girl sitting alone

I should have listened to my gut and gotten myself out of the situation earlier, but I didn't.

Every time I read a horrifying story about date rape or sexual assault, I shudder. Like most women out there, I've always wondered to myself, "What if that happens to me?" I've always thought about what I might do differently.

To keep myself from feeling terrified, I've always imagined that I would feel some sort of adrenaline rush that would help me fight off my attacker, like a butt-kicking heroine from an action movie. I would kick him right where it hurts, knock him out on the ground, then run out of there, call the cops and get him arrested. I would basically be a hero in my own life. 

And then I found myself in that situation, and I realized how truly difficult it is to be a heroine against an attacker who is at least twice your size. I realized how quickly things can go from normal to scary and how easy it is find yourself in a situation with someone who might actually hurt you. I got lucky, and I'm so grateful for that, but I will never forget the terror one date made me feel. 

While Match.com has worked successfully for many, many people out there, it didn't really work for me. I tried to give a lot of different people a chance, but this led to a string of laughably bad dates that were worthy of a sitcom. I met up with guys who had obviously used different pictures for their profiles, guys who came on way too strong, and guys who were the opposite of my top. Although every date was bad, my date with someone we'll call Tim was by far the worst.

On Match.com, Tim seemed perfect for me. Through messages and texts, he came off as funny, sweet and confident. His pictures presented him as a skateboarder-type who loved the beach. He was easy to talk to, so we texted for about two weeks, and when he asked me to go on a date, I happily agreed. 

Things started out pretty good. Tim lived about 25 minutes away from me, and agreed to meet me at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in my town. He picked me up in a nice car... and that was when things got a little weird. For starters, it was immediately obvious that Tim had been using very old photos on his profile. He had gained a decent amount of weight and looked much older than he had on Match.com. I shrugged it off, because I know the feeling of being ashamed of your weight and I figured he was self-conscious about it. I could deal with it. 

But when we sat down to eat, it quickly became apparent that I could not deal with his personality. Tim talked nonstop about himself, how much he wanted a girlfriend, and... me. He would stare at me silently with his mouth slightly open, and then say things like, "I can't believe how beautiful you are," or "What are you doing on Match.com? You're perfect," or "I feel so lucky right now."

It sounds nice, but after the sixth compliment (which he had interrupted me to give me), it was way too over-the-top and was starting to make me feel uncomfortable. On top of the endless compliments, he told me repeatedly how badly he wanted a girlfriend. He bragged about the money his father gave him, his grades in school, his job and many other things. When he did ask me about myself, he would cut me off with a weird compliment or another story about him. 

Yet, when he asked if I wanted to hang out for a little longer, I agreed. I have no idea why, but like I said, I was lonely and desperate. I decided he was just lonely and nervous, and that's why he was being weird. As someone who strongly believes in second chances, I thought he deserved one. 

We decided to go to his house to watch a movie. As soon as we started driving, I regretted my decision to go with him. He immediately started bragging about how he was "the best drunk driver in the world," then telling me a story about how he had recently driven so drunk that he had slammed into a tree with no recollection of the accident. His dad bought him a new car and he was extremely proud of it.

While I was telling him about my job as an editor of a website, he interuppted me in the middle of a sentence to ask me if I had ever made out with a girl. I cringed and wondered if I should ask him to turn around. But I'm polite to a fault, and we were almost at his house, so I figured I would stick it out for an hour and then make an excuse to go home. 

When we got to his house, he took me to his room, which was in the basement (he lived with his parents still). I felt a little bit better knowing his parents were home, but when he closed the door, I still felt slightly uneasy. I glanced at my phone and realized I didn't really have service. I decided to wait 20 minutes, then I would pretend to get a text and ask him to take me home. 

Things didn't even last 20 minutes before everything went downhill. Tim turned on the TV, sat next to me on the couch, stared at me, and said, "You're so beautiful. I can't beleve you're even here. I can't believe I'm on a date with someone this gorgeous." I felt incredibly uncomfortable, but I forced a smile and said, "Thanks." Then he leaned in to kiss me. I kissed him for about five seconds and knew it was all wrong, so I pushed him away.

"Not right now," I said. "I just met you." He apologized, turned away, but turned back a minute later to try again. I pushed him away, but he wouldn't stop, so I kept pushing. Finally I said, "Can we please just watch TV?" I was too late—at that point, he seemed to turn into a different person. He wouldn't stop staring at me with a very weird look in his eyes, and he kept licking his lips and trying to touch me no matter how much I tried to push him off of him.

I felt so scared I wanted to cry. I considered my options: I could try to make a run for the door, but this guy was at least twice my size— there was no way I could ever fight him off. I could try to scream, but what if he silenced me? I could try to call 911— but no, I didn't have service. Plus, a little voice in the back of my head asked: Was I overreacting?

As he continued to try to kiss me and touch me and I continued to push him away, I folded my arms across my chest and moved as far away from him on the couch as I could. At the same time, I tried to smile and be polite—I was scared of making him angry, because I didn't know what he would do.

He started begging. "Please, please, please," he literally whined. "Please let me touch you, please let me kiss you. Just unbutton your shirt. You're so beautiful, you're so sexy. I can't take my hands off of you." I swallowed a giant ball of fear and kept pushing him away, asking him to please stop. 

All of the sudden, he unzipped his pants and pulled everything out. I immediately recoiled, and said, "Please, I don't want to do this. Please stop. Can you please stop?" He ignored me. I felt like the walls were closing in on me, and I've honestly never been so scared in my life. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. This guy was bigger than me, I was alone in an unfamiliar area far from my house, I hadn't told anyone where I was. I tried to play it cool and I tried to keep him from getting aggressive. 

When he started masturbating, I was so disgusted that I felt like I might throw up. I tightly crossed my hands over my chest and stared hard at the TV in front of me, trying to ignore him as best as I could. I wanted to get up and run, but I was scared of him—if he was just going to masturbate in front of me, fine.

I was praying that the release would get rid of his sexual feelings, and then he would leave me alone and I could go. As he whispered how sexy I was and played with himself, trying to touch me and kiss me, I sat there staring at the TV and continuing to push him away. 

Finally, he was done. I couldn't tell you how long it took—I was so terrified that I was just trying to focus on not crying and not reacting. When he finished, he let things happen into his hand, then shook it off onto the floor, and zipped up his pants. I had never been so disgusted in my life. As soon as he stood up, I said, "Please take me home right now." I stood up, I grabbed my stuff, and I made my way towards the door. 

He stood there, a horrified expresison on his face. "Oh God, I messed up, didn't I?" was all he could say. I nodded and repeated that I wanted him to take me home. "I'm sorry," he said. "I'll take you home right now." 

In the car, I sat in the front seat with my phone in my hand, my arms crossed over my body. "I'm sorry," he said again. "It's just that I haven't been with anyone in so long, and you're so beautiful, I couldn't help myself." He acted like my looks were the reason he had came thisclose to taking advantage of me. He spent the entire uncomfortable car ride apologizing and saying how much he messed up, but I didn't talk at all. As soon as I got home, I deleted his number and never heard from him again. 

I know how lucky I was. So many women have been in this situation and have had so many worse things happen to them. I know that my situation could have been a lot more violent, a lot more traumitizing. I'm incredibly grateful that I got this lucky, but at the same time, I can't think about this without wanting to throw up. I can't think about Tim without shaking. I can't think about that night without remembering how out of control I felt, how terrified and disguted and upset I was. 

Writing about this was difficult, but I feel like these things need to be said as a warning. I did a lot of things I shouldn't have done that night: I let a stranger drive me around. I went back to his house, far from my house, without telling anyone where I was or what I was doing. I stayed with him even when he made me felt uneasy. I should have listened to my gut and gotten myself out of the situation earlier, but I didn't.

All I can say is, again, how thankful I am that more didn't happen. Please remember this the next time you go on a first date, and please be careful. Learn from my mistake— trust your gut.