Story Submitted by Robert:

I met Susan online, and she had some personal space issues.  When we first met in person, inside of a pub, she took a step away from me, as if I'd try to hug her, shake her hand, or pounce on her.  At first I thought it was my imagination, but the full brunt of her issue became apparent after the restaurant host led us to a booth.

Susan asked him, "Can we sit at a table instead?  I have some personal space issues."  He gave her a quick look, then led us to a table.  It looked to me as if we'd have the same amount of space between us as we would have at the booth, but Susan moved her chair back at least a foot and a half away from the table.

I felt the need to joke, "I'm not going to bite."

She said, "We'll see."  That was nice to hear.

We made small talk for a little bit, but it became a bit of a distraction when a few members of the waitstaff were visibly annoyed by how much into the aisle her chair was situated.  Finally, one of them asked, "Miss, I'm sorry, would you mind sitting closer to the table?"

Susan slid in without argument, but as soon as the server had left, she slid back out, possibly even further.  I asked her, "Am I making you that uncomfortable?"

Susan said, "I have personal space issues.  Remember?"

When our waitress came by to take our order, Susan asked her, "Do you think I could have an extra-long fork?"

The waitress gave her a funny look and replied, "I'll see if we have one, but I don't think we do.  I'm sorry."

Susan said, "Check anyway, please."

It was already pretty loud in the place, and I had to raise my voice to ensure that she'd hear me.  If I tried leaning in or moving my chair closer, she'd edge hers even further out.  Finally, I asked her, "What's with the personal space issue?"

She said, "That's a personal question.  All you need to know is that I have one."

"Is it something you think you'll get over?"  She shrugged, as if she couldn't care, either way.  I asked, "How have you dealt with it in past relationships?"

She laughed and said, "None of your business."

She was asked again to move her chair closer to the table, and for the sake of helping her feel better, I moved my chair out a little bit.  That seemed to make her more comfortable, but when our food arrived, I sat back in to enjoy it.  She moved her chair out once more and watched me eat.  At that point, I felt that it wasn't my responsibility to play psychiatrist, and I was hungry.

Once I was done eating, I moved my chair out a little bit, and she reached in with her non-long fork and ate her chicken as best as she could.  She shot me several dark looks and didn't say a word – she seemed genuinely upset that I had eaten and had "prevented her" from doing so.  Still, when someone has such an issue that it affects their quality of life in such a way, am I supposed to put my life on hold?  Again, I'm not a psychiatrist.

After dinner (which we split), she asked me to leave first, as she wanted to ensure that enough of a "barrier" (her word) was left between us.  I gladly left, and meant to wait for her outside the restaurant, but then wondered what the point would be of doing that, so once I made it outside, I kept going until I was home.  No word from her ever again, and I can't imagine that her dating life has had more success since then.


  1. Dude...go to a dentist immediately and see if there is a bad breath problem.

  2. I sincerely doubt this had anything to do with him or his hygiene.

  3. Sounds like she's got obsessive-compulsive disorder, probably undiagnosed by the way she deals with her supposed "personal space" issues. Taking things to such extremes without a real, immediate cause is a symptom of mental illness.

  4. Whether her personal space issue was serious or not Susan was an ass to you, she clearly was uncaring or too self involved.

  5. Such a big issue should at least have been mentioned by her prior to the date. I just really dislike this "everyone has to accommodate me first and screw everybody else's needs" kind of attitude, obstructing the restaurant's flow was kind of a jackass thing to do too. This girl needs help.

  6. I wonder how she handled the wait staff obviously walking very close to her and bumping into her since she was so in the way. I'd eventually get tired of that shit and just be rude as hell about it, especially if she wasn't my customer.

  7. She's broken, move along.

    @ Jim, fuck right off with that ad. We choose when we want to be nice and helpful over here at ABCOTD. Clearly, that would not apply to you at this moment. Honestly.

  8. Error...we're nice and helpful here?


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