Sometimes, being single feels like a 24/7 scarefest—like you’ve been given a free ticket to the most terrifying haunted attraction on earth (where the attraction isn’t even mutual). If solo and dating experiences were inspiration for a nightmare-inducing display, what would it look like? ENTER IF YOU DARE/DATE.
Blind Date Hayride
The torture begins on a daunting and uncomfortable hayride around the property. You’re alone, until a curious mystery man arrives—the nephew of your aunt’s best friend’s brother’s cousin. Since you both are still alive in 2021, they thought you’d be a great match! You quickly learn he is 24, thinks the earth is flat, and can’t stop talking about his “crazy” exes. You reluctantly contribute to the troubling dialogue by saying, “I guess finding a good partner is like finding a needle in a haystack.” He doesn’t get the idiom. Your aunt texts you 15 times in a row on Facebook Messenger to see how the date’s going, sending chills down your spine. Watch out! Despite your apparent lack of interest, he still goes in for a kiss. You jump up and find a spot on the hay bales furthest from him. As you sit, something sharp stabs you in the back of the thigh. Congratulations, you’ve found the needle in the haystack. Sorry, no refunds.
The Interrogation House
As you walk into this dark, cacophonous den, you’re immediately confronted by frightening friends, grim family members, and gruesome internet strangers who have teamed up to hurl hideous questions at you from every direction. “How are you still single?” they scream. “Whatever happened with that one guy?” they hiss. “But what if you die… alone?” someone resembling your mom whispers creepily from the corner. Then, like footage from a Netflix cult documentary, they surround you and begin to chant: “Are you even seeing anyone right now?” It is evident they want to adopt you into their posse of procreators, future divorcées, and people who fight about leaving the toilet seat up. You have to do something now or they will perpetuate the interrogation. “Yes! I am seeing someone!” you shout. “A therapist!” The haters gasp and scatter away like roaches. Whew, that was close. Unquestionably, you have made it out alive. This time.
The App Trap
The ding your phone makes when you get a dating app match blasts through the halls at a deafening level. As you cautiously step into a large theater, you’re immediately bombarded with seizure-inducing flashes of distressing profile pics and devastatingly cursed bios. Beware of the barrage of hair-raising suitors—the horrifyingly dull Jim looking for his Pam, the astounding sophistication of someone who’s fluent in sarcasm, the “bad boy” who is literally just bad at everything, and, most disturbing of all, an onslaught of unsolicited fish pics. Then, out of nowhere, thousands of small nieces and nephews appear, lost, searching for their owners after being used for a photo. What in the Children-of-the-Corn is happening right now? Be prepared to be assigned a compatible match whose bio says nothing except: “ask me anything”! (Here’s a question: Why?) This is actual hell. You may think it’s time to go when you see an EXIT sign that reads: “No one new around you!” but you cannot leave until you update your settings and lower your standards. Shudder.
The Domestic Dungeon
You enter an apartment that appears similar to yours. For a moment, you feel at ease—then, in the spot where you get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, you notice the eerie silhouette of a body. The large, dark shape is on your side of the bed, hogging all the sheets, making an evil noise (a “snore”) that makes you want to scream. You run to the bathroom to hide, but the door is locked! Nooooo. Someone is on your toilet right this second—using your Squatty Potty! A loud noise clammers behind you. The mystery shape appears in the kitchen and starts pounding your variety pack of White Claws, leaving only the grapefruit ones behind. The horror. You have lived alone for too long to handle this wretched invasion. You ask it to leave, but the six-foot-tall (well, probably closer to 5’10”) monster claims you’ve been dating for five weeks and this is fine. Hurry, end things now—before it uses your toothbrush or makes an ass imprint in the couch!
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