‘Bad Dates Of Melbourne’ Is The Addictive Dating Distraction We All Need
With over 130,000 fans on Facebook alone, Bad Dates of Melbourne is the type of dating content many millennials can relate to. From the good, the bad, and the ugly, the Facebook page has been delivering memorable date stories since 2017, some that will make you cringe and others that will teach you a life lesson.
Created by Alita Brydon, Bad Dates of Melbourne started as a hobby of hers before blowing up and becoming a hub for people to share their own dating horror stories (as well as the odd wholesome one every now and then).
“I’ve spent years telling my funny bad date stories to friends and they always told me I needed to write a book. One day it clicked – the stories were bite-sized content perfect for social media. I set up the Facebook page and started to share my anecdotes and stories. It wasn’t long before people started joining in. If you’ve swiped on the apps, there’s a good chance you have a wild bad date story too,” Brydon said.
From dates who catfish, ghost, or are wildly different IRL to online, to dates who shit themselves (really), Alita, or Ali as she’s known to her BDOM community, has pretty much seen it all. With the page getting up to 30 submissions per day, in a world of online dating the minefield of stories and content never seems to slow down. But there’s some solace in learning about other people’s bad dates too – suddenly your dating life may not seem QUITE as grim.
And then there’s the wholesome side to Bad Dates of Melbourne. Sometimes you think you know where a story could be heading, and a surprise twist shows that the date ended up working out in the end. Take this one for example:
We spoke to Alita Brydon, the creator behind the highly addictive Bad Dates of Melbourne, about her page and what she’s learned about the dating world along the way.
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On how many submissions she gets and how she manages to keep on top of everyone’s bad date stories:
“Bad Dates of Melbourne gets between 10 and 30 stories a day. It’s a big effort to stay on top of it all, and most of the work happens behind the scenes in the inbox: reading submissions, talking to people, and asking questions. Unfortunately, BDOM has to adhere to Facebook Community Standards, meaning the more ‘descriptive’, adult stories don’t get a run on the page. Luckily, as admin, I get to read them anyway… so if you want to hear the story about the toy that went missing, the innovative things people do with furniture — or generally just hear about bodily fluids flying everywhere — you’ll have to tap me on the shoulder and enquire in person!”
On what dating trend comes up the most in people’s submissions:
“The most common bad date story is what I call a ‘Wife Alert’. I don’t wish to take away from how impactful and upsetting these stories are — but a lot of the signs that your dating app match is hiding a wife are the same — so the stories are similar in how they are told. The clues include your date being unavailable to talk on the phone, that they’re consistently busy on weekends, that they’re from out of town, that you’re unable to go to their home for whatever reason — and so on. It’s pretty upsetting — and however often you think it happens — times that by five. If your date shows up late, pretends to forget their wallet, shits themselves, and ghosts you: welcome and commiserations! You’ll fit right in at Bad Dates of Melbourne.”
On her favourite BDOM story:
“It’s hard to pinpoint a favourite story – some are impactful because they’ve touched someone’s life in a positive way – some are memorable because they’re hilarious. I once spoke to a woman who went on a date while she was using a pair of crutches. She and her date were sitting on the beach towards the end of the evening, and when he realised the evening wasn’t going where he wanted, he picked up her crutches and ran away — leaving her stranded in the sand. Sometimes we laugh at the stories on BDOM. Other days we don’t laugh so much. But all the stories are interesting.”
On what advice she’d give to single people experiencing the hellfire of using dating apps:
“Having a partner is lovely — but so is being single. When you have a balanced life with lots of interests and hobbies, not only is life more fun, you make better dating choices because the red flags are easier to see and act on. We get pumped with messages about romance being the most important thing in life – is it? I’d say growing your confidence and learning how to love yourself is much more impactful, in terms of living a happy life.”
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On the best and worst things associated with running a dating page:
“The most enriching part of running BDOM is when someone writes in and tells me the page has given them the courage to stand up for themselves. I get a few of these a week and they have never lost their impact. It’s incredibly motivating. When I speak to people who don’t follow the page, sometimes I feel it comes off as a comedy page, where we all have a giggle about our dating woes. And it is! But it’s also a movement for respect. So, it means a lot to me that everyone contributes.
I’m not sure I’d say there’s a worst part of running BDOM because even the less fun parts add up to something I really love. As the page has grown, my response time in the inbox has become much slower. It bothers me because I don’t like the idea of people sharing personal information and waiting a few days for a reply. I want to be respectful of the efforts they have made. They are quite understanding though. I suppose that’s part of running a big page as a team of one.”
On the biggest life (and love) lessons she’s learned since running BDOM:
“Relationships are pretty flexible. Some last forever, some don’t. Some people will have multiple romantic partners over their life, some will be with just one person. The way to measure romantic success isn’t, ‘Did it last forever?’ or ‘Does this person like me?’ Don’t worry if you’re not meeting the traditional ‘targets’. Ask yourself: ‘Did I have fun?’, ‘Did I find a new nice restaurant?’, ‘Did it make me feel good about myself?” There are healthier and more realistic ways to look at love.
There’s more to life than finding a romantic partner. Romantic love and long-term partnerships are a yummy cherry on top of life — and not the whole sundae. It’s good to have balance. That being said, this balance does not apply to buying my dating merchandise and the consumption of dating products I may launch: for these, you are advised to just throw yourself in with reckless abandon.”
On whether friends with benefits can ever truly work:
“Absolutely! When you find two people who are on the same page, it can definitely work. But it won’t work when the expectations differ – and people are very good at not being upfront about their expectations. When someone tells you all they want is a casual relationship – listen to them.”
On which dating app she prefers to use:
“Praise be to the dating gods at Tinder. Tinder smashes it in terms of positive outcomes for dating, hookups, and friendship. It is the biggest because it is the best. Hinge is pretty good for people who need a bit of a confidence boost: the format makes it easy to start conversations. I’m also fond of OkCupid because that’s where my sister met her husband.”
And on what’s next for Bad Dates of Melbourne as we hurtle towards the new year:
“I recently launched a Patreon for Bad Dates of Melbourne, where I’m starting to post comprehensive and useful dating tips — as well as juicy content that might get me kicked off Facebook. There’s already a great story posted about a woman who had a condom lodged up her vagina – I think you’ll find it’s right up there in terms of content. You can find it here.
Running Bad Dates of Melbourne has been a bit of an adventure for me. I find myself rolling along with the opportunities as they come in. If you’re a big chicken nugget corporation reading this: I’m ready to sell out. I’d make a good KFC Brand Ambassador too!”
You can follow Bad Dates of Melbourne on Instagram and/or Facebook.
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