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    Mambo Italiano

    | Italy | Flirting/How We Met

    (I’m on a trip with my university’s ‘ancient studies’ department to Italy. We’re taking a ferry from the Bay of Naples to Sicily. My friend and I spot a few cute Italian guys our age on board, and I take a liking to one in particular. We run into them later in the night and get chatting. The one I like (Guy #1) speaks the most English, which suits me just fine. Another guy (Guy #2) is being a bit more flirtatious.)

    Guy #2: “You say you have a cabin?”

    Me: “Yes, I share a cabin with someone else on our trip.”

    Guy #2: “Is she there now?”

    Me: “I think she’s at the dance party out on the deck. It’s okay, though. I can guard the room without her.”

    Guy #2: “Would you like someone to stay with you until she comes back?”

    Me: “Um, no, thanks.”

    Guy #2: *points* “Would you like [Guy #3] to go back with you?”

    Me: “Uh… no.”

    Guy #2: *points to himself* “Do you want ME to go back with you?”

    Me: “No, grazie.”

    (Suddenly, Guy #3 gets up and starts saying something very quickly in Italian that I don’t understand. Guy #1 covers his eyes with his hand and sighs.)

    Me: “Sorry, what did he say?”

    Guy #1: “He wants to sing and dance for you.”

    Me: “Oh! Um, that’s okay. He doesn’t have to.”

    Guy #1: *says something in Italian to Guy #3 that I roughly understand as ‘She says no. Sorry, man.’*

    Guy #3: “No, no! I good dancer! Watch!”

    Guy #1: *tells Guy #3 off in Italian again and gives me an apologetic smile* “Sorry about him…”

    (My friend starts laughing and eventually convinces me to go find my cabin-mate. I bump into Guy #1 later and he gave me his number!)

    Let’s Park This For Another Time

    | San Diego, CA, USA | Marriage & Partners

    (I am walking down a grocery aisle when I overhear this exchange from another couple.)

    Man: “Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is not enough when you hit a parked car.”

    Woman: “She was sitting behind the wheel. She should have moved!”

    Conditioning Them For The Summer

    | Bossier City, LA, USA | Marriage & Partners

    (It’s winter, and somewhat cold.)

    Me: “Hey, honey, I’m going to turn on the heater. Okay?”

    Husband: “Why don’t you just put on more clothes?”

    Me: “Fine. I can do that. But when it’s summer and you want to turn on the A/C, I’m just going to tell you take your clothes off.”

    Husband: *sulking* “Fine. Turn it on.”

    (We haven’t had any discussions about the heater or A/C since.)

    Lake Lacking

    | Sweden | Dating

    (My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to the UK.)

    Girlfriend: “So that’s Devon and the other place?”

    Me: “Which other place?”

    Girlfriend: “I dunno. It’s got two names: muddy puddle, or pool, or something.”

    Me: “…”

    Girlfriend: “I dunno! It’s something with two names.”

    Me: “The Lake District?”

    Girlfriend: “Yes! That’s it!”

    He’s A Real Cat(ch)

    | The Netherlands | Dating

    (My boyfriend and I are relaxing on the couch. He’s watching television while I’m on Facebook. I call him my housecat, because he has a tendency to behave like one. I see a comic based on a television series where a teenage girl says: ‘If dumb guys want dumb girls, and smart guys like dumb girls, what do smart girls get?’ To which a man replies: ‘Cats, mostly.’ I show it to my boyfriend.)

    Me: “Does this mean I’m a dumb girl?”

    Boyfriend: “You’re very smart. It’s why you have me. Remember?”

    (I smile and return to my Facebook.)

    Boyfriend: “Why do smart girls like cats more than guys? They behave pretty much the same way.”

    Me: “Because cats are fluffy.”

    Boyfriend: *indignant* “I’m fluffy!”

    Me: “And they don’t talk back. They just walk away if they lose interest.”

    Boyfriend: “I do that!”

    (I look at him like he’s insane.)

    Boyfriend: *suddenly smiling* “Oh, right! Purr, purr.”

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