9 of the most excruciating date stories ever, as told by wait staff.

Image: When Harry Met Sally.

If there’s one profession that’s privy to humankind’s most awkward and awful moments, it’s wait staff.

Don’t be fooled by their calm smiles and polite demeanor. Waiters and bartenders see and hear it all, and when it comes to Date Night you can guarantee they’ll be listening especially closely while they top up your glass.

If it makes you feel any better, there’s always someone out there who’s been on a worse date than you — and thanks to a recent Reddit thread, we can all live vicariously through the server who saw it unfold first-hand.

1. The failed proposal

“This couple comes in on Valentines Day. They get seated at the bar, order some drinks and are sitting there chatting and laughing… The guy drops to one knee and pulls out a ring. Girl immediately shuts him down. He didn’t so much as get a word out before she’s saying ‘Nope. Nope. Nope’. Grabs her coat off the back of her chair and is putting it on, still saying ‘Nope’ over and over. Practically RUNS out of the place, does not look back. He looks gutted. Pays the bill and walks out, staring at the floor the whole time.” — malackey

Not all proposals have a happy ending.

2. PDA central

"This couple comes into my restaurant and the guy is a complete tool. He won't let his girlfriend order what she wants and cuts her off saying 'She'll eat what I decides she'll eat'. It's really annoying because he'll just cut me off mid sentence and tell his girlfriend to stop talking. They also sit on the same side and suck each others faces the whole time. Last time I served them I was standing in front of their table with their food and they wouldn't stop making out so I had to ask them to come up for air so I could give them their fucking food." — jestemmyszka


Watch: Mamamia staff share what they'd say to the one who got away. (Post continues after video.)

3. The one that got awkward for everyone.

"A girl sits down at my table in the bar and is waiting for a her first Tinder date. They have a couple of drinks and she leaves. I think everything is normal, until the dude then hands me his card and says, 'You're prettier, call me' and proceeds to head into a meeting in the dining room. To make matters worse, she calls the restaurant 10 minutes later to ask me if he really had a meeting to go to or if he was blowing her off." — Fiorberry

4. Dinner with a side of divorce

"This guy takes his wife out just to outline to her the details of how he found out she'd been cheating on him. As he's telling her, his lawyer serves her with divorce papers and he leaves... I was pouring her wine when he dropped the bombshell, like he wanted me to be part of it, he wanted her to be humiliated in front of someone." — madwookiee (Post continues after gallery.)

5. The feeding frenzy

"A blind date between a man and a woman while I worked at a pizza place. The lady ordered a small pizza and a drink and the guy ordered a plate of fries and a root beer ... when he finished he ordered another plate, and then another and then another. This was not a place with free fry refills. I also refilled his root beer about twenty times. Every time I came back with a new root beer or another plate of fries the woman looked more and more uncomfortable. When all was said and done he ate five plates of fries and enough root beer to float a boat." — dawnshark


6. Couples counselling

"I waited on a couple one time that was very energetic and fun. After they were almost finished with their food I asked if they had any exciting plans for the night and the wife proceeded to tell me that they were just going out to eat before their couples counselling appointment. Then she launched into a five minute speech about all of the problems they were having since the kids moved out and how bored she was with the marriage. The guy just sat there." — Bilbo239

A number of waiters said they'd served couples in the midst of a breakup, Legally Blonde-style.

7. The third wheel

"These two older teenagers come in on what looks to be a first date, and his mum walks them in and takes pictures of them at the table. Really awkward. Then the mum leaves and they proceed to have a really smiling/nervous meal together. Fast forward 45 minutes or so, and dude man didn't have enough money to pay. So we wait on mum, who comes and picks up the tab. The poor girl never lost her nervous smile, but I'm pretty sure she was mortified." — datboydoe

8. Baaad timing

"There was a man who took his girlfriend out to dinner. About fifteen minutes into their date, the guy's wife sits at a nearby table to have dinner with her mum. Five minutes later the woman sees her husband at the table with another woman... and you can imagine how that went down." — bluescape


Watch: Had a bad date? Here's a mug cake recipe that'll console you. (Post continues after video.)

9. Who are you, again?

"This regular, kind of a player, invited a date for dinner at our restaurant and after being all lovey-dovey with her for over an hour I overheard him ask her name again. He was as polite as can be but still. I laughed, he noticed and looked at me like 'I fucked up big time'." — Asworengash

And one from the opposite perspective...

"Me and my wife were on a date in a loud pizza parlour. We were both kind of annoyed at the place we had chosen, not knowing it would host a bad musician after 8. The waiter essentially 'picked up' on us being on a bad first date and he treated us as such. Me and my very happily married wife, who basically just wanted to get our food as quickly as possible, asked for a box the second the food was delivered. As he laid down the box, he said, 'Sometimes people just aren't as interesting as you think, huh?' That was the only time I have ever left nothing for a tip."

Go on — do you have an awkward date story to share?