Bronwyn went through a terrible experience with an online date and she has been vigilant since. This is her story:

I met a man on Tinder, and we went for coffee at a public mall. The coffee date went really well, and we frequently chatted after that.

We were both in financial services, so we had quite a lot in common. Then one weekend he invited me to join him for dinner and a movie at the same mall. I agreed, and we made a date.

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I was already at the restaurant when he arrived a bit late. He was highly intoxicated, and I really should have left immediately. But I had already ordered a drink while waiting for him and decided to see it through. 

I had hoped he would stick to cold drink during the meal, but he drank more alcohol, so he went from intoxicated to full out blotto! As dinner ended, he said he'd settle the bill. I offered to buy movie tickets in the meantime.

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So, we parted, and I went and bought the tickets. Then I waited for him. He was taking a really long time to pay the bill. After about 20-30 minutes, I decided to return to the restaurant to see what was going on.

I found him having a screaming match with the manager. I asked the manager what was happening, and he told me that my date did not have money to pay the bill, so he was trying to sell his cell phone to the manager instead.

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It was really embarrassing. So, I settled the bill. I also asked the manager to keep my date's car keys and only allow him to collect them the following day — if he was sober. The man agreed. As the lights dimmed in the cinema a few minutes later, he got all "handsy" and started touching my leg.

Then he tried drunkenly to kiss me. I pushed him away and told him that this was not the way to treat a lady on a second date. 

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That was when I decided that I'd had enough. I said I was going to the ladies room — which I did. But I never went back to the cinema. 

I left him there and headed home. Needless to say, there was no date number 3. I learned that I must trust my instincts and not give someone the benefit of the doubt in a new dating relationship. Fortunately, he was not a violent man, but if he had been, it could have ended up worse.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of the organisations below:  

Rape Crisis - Call their 24-hour helpline here 021 447 9762 or visit their website for more information.

Gender-based violence Command Centre: “Please call me” facility: *120*7867# Emergency line: 0800 428 428 

POWA helpline: 0116424345 

Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355# Or visit them by find the nearest office

How was your first or second date experience? Tell us here.

Compiled by Futhi Masilela

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