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Baffled People Answer: What Did Someone Say To You That Made You Shocked At How Sheltered They Are?

Baffled People Answer: What Did Someone Say To You That Made You Shocked At How Sheltered They Are?

We all grow up with a certain level of protective sheltering in our lives. Whether it was intentional, on the part of a well-intentioned parent, or a complete display of ignorance there usually comes a time where we need to flee our cocoon, and that's when we are most likely to find others that leave us scratching our heads. Or maybe you're left scratching your head at your own naivety. Whatever it is, it can make for some pretty awkward and funny moments, and we've compiled some of the best of these stories below. Enjoy!

Want to read more? You can find the source links at the bottom of this article. 

I have a friend whose parents are super controlling. When he moved to the states without them his dad set up security cameras outside his house. We were hanging out after work (only until like 6 or 7 pm) and his dad called freaking out because his car wasn't in the driveway yet. He is 28 years old.

DemelzaR


I was ushering my class outside for field day, and everybody is joking and having a good time, when suddenly I hear "You Dildo!" I pull the culprit aside and ask them if they knew what they were saying. They said they didn't know what the word meant, and I believed them - a lot of kids that age parrot what they hear without understanding the meaning. So, not wanting to ruin the kids's day, I talked to them about not using words we're unsure about, and had him sit out of the first two activities. No biggie, problem solved.

We're having fun with the class when the principal walks up. The principal had been talking with the kid, and asked me why the kid was sitting out. I explained the situation, but the principal still didn't understand what the problem was. The principal thought dildo was referring to an armadillo.

Yup, I awkwardly explained what a dildo was to my principal.

Nemesys2005

Guy grew up in Utah, and never left Provo until his mission. Met him while he was a missionary in Japan. He saw someone standing in front of their house smoking a cigarette and said to me "That would never happen in America."

otakufish

My friend online asked me to explain what sex is.

He meant to ask what the difference was between males and females.

He was horrified that I had suggested putting a part of his body "especially one so private and reserved for God" (still not sure what he meant by that) into another person.

I eventually learned that he was not aware females had periods either. After explaining that one to him, he vowed "I shall always be nice to women, especially when I know now that every time they are being witches it comes from the hurt inside." He then decided the cost of chocolates was "not so unreasonable, considering what it is good for" (soothing females on their periods). 

AprilSpectrum

This is a combination of sheltered and spoiled, but once someone spilled water all over my laptop and a girl who was there saw me freaking out and said, "Geez don't get so upset, seriously, just tell your dad to buy you a new one. My dad's bought me like three."

idgapho

Try dating somebody who grew up in a vastly different socioeconomic class than you.

I grew up on a first name basis with the food bank people, my ex grew up next door to a guy who played for the Dallas Mavericks. There were many head turners she popped off over the 2 or so years of that relationship, but my personal favorite will always be her absolute incredulity that I never visited Europe during high school. But baaaaabe, everybody travels for summer at that age! No. No we do not. Babe, wait until you see the picture of the death trap I bought with cash I made working at Jack in the Box over that summer you spent prancing around Scotland. You'll be terrified I ever intentionally drove that thing.

slowhand88

My young daughter, upon finding out babies happen because of sex, looks at her sister, looks at me and my wife, does some thinking and says "So you guys have had sex twice!?"

We busted up laughing.

KaJashey

I was a very 'poor' kid with a scholarship to one of the richest if not THE richest high schools in the city. I have quite a few gems.

This one boy who's dad owns about 15 Ferraris was talking to me about life after school (he was 17/18 at the time) and I said I wanted a studio apartment. He thought it was a whole floor to yourself. When I explained it was just one room, he was confused for a long while, thought I was making things up, and when he eventually accepted it said, "why would you want to live in something like that? It's pretty much a jail cell isn't it? I can't believe poor people live like that... do poor people really live like that?"

I went on to explain to him that actually poor people are a lot worse off, you still need quite a bit of money and solid savings and income for a studio. For some reason he thought the smart thing to spew out of his mouth was, "you know, I heard when poor people feel sad about being poor, they watch documentaries on Africa and stuff like that. Maybe you should try that sometime." He was genuinely 100% serious and thought it was good advice. All I could say was, "thanks, I'll try that next time!"

There was also the time I was stuck in a global politics class where no one knew what welfare/the dole was. The teacher explained, and everyone was OUTRAGED because why should lazy poor people get THEIR money that they worked hard for? How dare they not work for it like rich people had to. My family was on welfare at the time, both my parents were made redundant around the same time because of budget cuts. I was 15 and the only one in a house of 6 people with a job. Welfare helped us eat. It took all my strength not to break down in tears during that class, indirectly hearing that I'm scum and don't deserve to eat, pretty much.

They'll do anything to show off how they donated $20 to a charity in Africa, and rave on and on about third world countries, but when it comes to fixing our own they don't say a word or they criticize the less fortunate because their money is more important than the people.

pixiebch

My friend, at age 23, believed his old pets were still living away on a farm somewhere. Including his parrot.

andygra

"What feels so great about someone blowing on your penis?"

stapletheeyes


One of my wife's friends said she'd never send her kids to public school because there are gay and lesbian students there. The private school she sends her kids to has two lesbian and one gay teacher.

SilvrSurfer

"I wish we had nice things...."

As he was seated on his father's 30 foot boat.

CHungry4More

"I don't even want to travel outside of the U.S. Its all so dangerous and ghetto."

totes-muh-gotes

My coworkers were talking about reality TV. One of them said something like, "Did you hear about that child beauty pageant show? Apparently one of the moms dressed her little girl up like a prostitute! And the judges all thought it was great!"

No one could remember the name of the TV show, so my coworker said, "Oh, I'll just Google 'little girl prostitute video'..."

I had to explain to him why that might be a bad idea.

(If you're wondering, the show was "Toddlers and Tiaras", and the girl was dressed as Julia Roberts' character from "Pretty Woman".)

captainmagictrousers

One of my very affluent friends said that they are "working class" because her parents still have to work rather than living off of stocks/interest/whatever people with "old money" do.

allisonwonderland00

I worked with a girl that went to a large suburban high school (~4500 students). She tried to tell me that her school didn't have any pregnant girls or students with drug problems, but my mom was the school's nurse. There were around 40 girls in her grade alone that were pregnant, 4 of whom were having their 2nd kid. She was also shocked when I told her that there were a lot of kids with drug related offences on their records, some had heroin addictions, and I showed her news articles of major drug busts at her school.

surveyor_of_land25

"Are you from Africa?" "What's it like in the ghetto?" First day of 5th grade, after just moving to Florida.

wulf_titan

Working in India. I had a coworker who was from a very wealthy family in the States. Lots of issues, but one that sums it up well is that he believes the sandwich shop in the cafeteria 'hooks him up'. No Greg. There aren't lines or order here. You have to pay after you get your food. You are just taking the food and not paying. No random Indian who has never spoken to you is so enthralled with your charm as to give you free food all the time. He just has no real recourse to complain as he is paid probably around 5 USD a day and doesn't feel comfortable complaining about a white employee who makes more than 80% of the people in the 14flr building. Start paying the 35 Rupees for breakfast, you brat. It is like 50 cents.

tristanjones

Yesterday my 24 year old female coworker asked me what a clitoris is.

katiebug88

From someone who grew up about an hour away from London, "Are there more than 2 train stations in London?"

Same person said "You could wear me as a hat" and didn't understand why everyone found it funny.

She also hadn't even seen a photograph of a penis until she was 20 and didn't know if the balls were above or below the penis.

Her parents wouldn't let her see her friends unless a Christian went with her, because her dad didn't trust people who aren't Christians. In England this basically means he can trust about 5 people under the age of 30.

BoxOfNothing

My ex and his family were confused to find out that I kept my pet cat inside and not tied to a tree in my backyard. They even offered to buy me supplies to do so. They couldn't understand why I would ever let anything like that live in my house.

robinreddress

My sister's house-mate is from Cambridge. When I went to stay with them I got to see her try and make breakfast. She couldn't work a toaster. She didn't understand pre-sliced bread. She couldn't crack an egg. She woke me up to crack eggs for her. Which she then didn't know how to scramble. She asked where the olive oil was, because she wanted olive oil for her toast. Alziari olive oil, which is around 3 for 100 ml. We only had Asda's own, and when I told her to use that, she lay down on the floor and sobbed that she, "just couldn't take it anymore!"

NaNowhyMo

Rich girl I dated in college. 

Her - "My washing machine is still broken, what am I supposed to do if the apartments don't fix it before I run out of clothes??" 

Me - "Do them at a laundromat." 

Her - "Those aren't real. " 

Me - "...what? What do you mean?" 

Her - "Those are just something in old movies." 

So I drove her to a laundromat that was a few blocks away from her house. She laughed. I laughed at her and quietly wondered what I was doing with her. A few days later she asked me, "Why do they even call it olive oil? There aren't even any olives in it." Not the brightest girl ever, but she actually was very fun to be around.

Rustyshaklford

Stories from this girl are more or less how I have all my karma. Here are a few pearls of nonsense that have flopped out of her face.

"It's not sex if he uses a condom."

"I had anorexia! When I had flu I didn't eat for like two days!"

"I'm allergic to sugar!" She lives off bread and drinks neat vodka regularly because it's not overly sweet, so it doesn't have sugar in. She would also insist on eating some cake or fruit I was eating and then make gagging noises and say how awful it was.

Acyts

Not something they said, but I had a home-schooled friend who's father completely controlled him, and didn't allow him to have real life friends. He controlled who he talked to when playing online video games.

Our fathers worked together, and eventually we became friends, playing games online together. At one point our parents agreed we should meet up and hangout in real life. First time he came over I wanted to show him my computer in my basement, both of us around 12, I head down the stairs and turn back to see he didn't follow me. He then plumps his butt on the stairs and does that all the way down the flight of stairs.

Over our about 2 year friendship this never changed. Still talk to him via steam but no idea if he is still this way.

Pgaylolol

My ex went to bible college. Her roommate was part of a "I'm not doing it!" group that performed vague skits about abstinence. She was kicked out because the baby bump she had became pretty obvious. Her boyfriend insisted they never did it. They eventually found out that she let her previous boyfriend do things that she didn't understand. Those two had a shotgun wedding days before the baby was born. Her mother had told her that babies come from seamen, and being from Nebraska she was far from any sailors. I wish that last sentence was a joke.

DarrenEdwards

Guy I know was talking about how New York City was the worst place he'd ever been to.

He'd been to the LaGuardia airport. His connecting flight to Aruba was delayed overnight. This was the one time he's been to New York City.

Barkingpanther

I have a friend from a super-wealthy background who doesn't really understand things like frugality, because he's never had to be frugal himself. And he seems genuinely surprised by people who live less extravagantly than he does. It's all 'this is the lifestyle I like', which is basically expensive wining and dining, all the time. Like he's entitled to live a life of leisure without working hard in order to afford that lifestyle.

He's one of those people who just pisses away money and expects people to give him money when he hasn't got any himself.

He's had jobs here and there and he actually has a bachelor's degree too, but he's never not had his parents paying his rent for him and giving him an allowance, and seems to have zero desire for any kind of career. He's 27.

ioncehadalife

"Rent is what, like $30 a month?"

Entegy

My old roommate brought over a girl he was dating one summer day. I was outside mowing the lawn when they pulled into the driveway and they walked over for a quick introduction. The first thing she said was "What are you doing?" I thought it was just like a rhetorical question so I just responded with "Haha yeah it's pretty hot out today." But then she asked again, so I said "Ya know, just mowing the lawn." She was really nice and everything, but the look on her face was like when you explain something to a kid and they say "Oh okay" but on the inside they're trying to wrap their head around this wild new information you've just given them.

JaceComix

My old roommate and I about a year ago were joking around about how female roommates use more toilet paper, and he started to get genuinely annoyed. He started saying stuff like "What the heck? Why do they use so much more? I don't get it at all, it's just rude!"

Had to explain to this 28-yr-old that women generally wipe when they pee.

TerraAdAstra

A woman I went to undergrad with didn't understand that you have to pay credit card companies back because her father paid her balance every month.

worksafemonkey

Thanks for reading!


Sources: 12,3

For some doctors, the most difficult part of their job is bedside manner. These Redditors came together to share stories of the moments their doctors opened their mouths and put their feet right in ‘em. Sure, I wouldn’t say that medicine is a customer service job, but there was no reason for these doctors to be so cruel, insensitive, and in some cases, downright weird.

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

I once had a doctor say to me “You’re too young for that sort of pain, so I don't think you really have pain, do you”?

I went to another doctor and they also said: “It’s growing pains”.

I was 23, and by the time I was 28 my liver was so damaged that I almost died from an autoimmune disease.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

At 30 I was rushed to the hospital out of the blue with a heart infection, and needing a valve replacement. The professor who did my surgery was absolutely brilliant—but she told me something off the record that made my blood run cold.

A few days before surgery, she said: "You may want to get any close family to come and visit, and sort out any important paperwork as it's not guaranteed that you'll wake up again". I obviously pulled through, but her honesty was reassuring and even after ten years we still send the odd handwritten letter to each other.

We also had these stupid personal televisions at each bed which cost about £2 an hour to watch. The money would seriously rack up as I was in there for weeks but she blagged me a code so that I could watch it for free.

That’s Your Opinion

I would constantly complain to my doctor that I couldn’t breathe when I would walk and I would get shortness of breath, I was always tired and fatigue, I would get dizzy if I walked too long. She always brushed it off and told me to get more sleep or drink more water even though I was getting plenty of both.

Finally I made an appointment to talk to her face to face and she flat out just told me I was lazy and needed to exercise more. I was so embarrassed because I went with my husband and she made me feel like I was just this lazy couch potato. It took so much for me not to cry.

I switched doctors and my new doc decided to do blood work, which is something that other lady should have done in the first place. They found out I was severely anemic to the point of needing blood transfusions. I felt so much better after I got my infusions. Some people just shouldn’t be practicing medicine!

Surprise!

I’m 33, had a yearly check-up, and all that. I told her I was having to pee frequently and my stomach hurt, she interrupted me and said it was normal. She did a pap that day and made a joke about my cervix being closed…I bled during the pap which I don’t usually do. I started having pains a few days later and I’m thinking UTI. I called the office they had me go pee in a cup, didn’t hear back for a few days and called again to find out they destroyed the sample because I wasn’t scheduled correctly?

They called in antibiotics and I was still having pain and the symptoms of a UTI so I went up there. They didn’t allow walk-in appointments but had me pee in a cup again. This time it was positive for a UTI so more antibiotics and the pain still didn’t go away.

I made myself an appt at an OB-GYN and had an ultrasound—and they made an incredible discovery. I was 6 months pregnant by that point. I found out I was pregnant and found out the gender on the same day. I genuinely had no idea and I didn’t really have any of the normal pregnancy symptoms.

If she had listened to her patient we could have caught the pregnancy at 3 months rather than 6. I was high risk because of her negligence. And the stress of having 3 months to prepare for a baby did not do me any favors either.

Not So Cute

man in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

I had HPV and CIN3 pre-cancerous lesions on my cervix, which was the last stage before actual cancer, when I was 25.

The doctor who did my LEEP surgery says, and I quote, “Well this sex disease you have will probably make it very hard for you to have cute little babies in the future. Do you understand what I’m saying”? I could have slapped her right there.

I was 25, had already completed a master’s degree, was well-traveled, educated, and spoken. I also knew nearly as much as the doctors about cervical cancer, as every woman on my mom’s side of the family had had it. In no way did she need to speak to me like was 5 years old. Nor did she have to refer to HPV that way.

She apparently did a decent job with the procedure, as the margins were clear and I went on to have 2 cute little babies. But seriously, her bedside manner needs A LOT of work.

Falling On Deaf Ears

I messed up my knee in a crash. I saw a physiotherapist who said it appears the muscle is in a dormant state and the joint is twisted. They gave me a few exercises but never made a follow-up appointment.

A few years later, my knee was in the same condition but I decided to play rugby—stupid, I know—where I did some more damage. I could barely walk 20 feet without it swelling and the muscle going into spasm. I saw a doctor who kept saying I'm a lazy couch potato and need to lose weight. I was over 200 pounds, so a little on the large side. He arranged an appointment a little over a month later, telling me to try to lose 6 pounds or more.

Fast forward to the following month and I was 12 pounds lighter than last time. The doctor’s reaction was devastating. He just looked at me in disgust and said he refused to help me if I'm not going to lose weight, opened the door, and shouted into the hallway that my elbow won't get any better if I won't lose weight. I told him I have not mentioned my elbow, I have lost weight, and if he wants to start shouting stuff like that into the hallway, he can eat me and I want a second opinion.

I was blacklisted from that surgery. I lodged a complaint and appealed it with it being overturned. I spoke to someone else who put me on a waiting list to see a physiotherapist again. It's been nearly 10 years and I have not heard anything more about it. I've asked about it and they said I needed to speak to the doctor who put me on the waiting list, but they've retired and when I spoke to someone else, they said there's nothing they can do but recommend I stop being a bloody couch potato.

That’s A Real Eye Opener

Three years ago I went for an eye test and the optician gave me a note and told me to go directly to an eye hospital. I wasn't too worried—but I had no clue what I was in for.

I gave the note to reception at the eye hospital, the lady said, "Oh, right, come this way". I was taken right through the waiting room and put in a CT scanner within 20 minutes of arrival.

Shortly after, a doctor came and told me there's something in the middle of my brain and that an ambulance was going to take me to a neurosurgery specialist hospital.

A few hours later I was having a drain put into my skull to get rid of built-up spinal fluid pooling behind my eyes.

An MRI scan revealed a golf ball-sized cyst in the middle of my head that was causing problems.

That was a pretty bad day.

Willful Blindness

I fell over and immediately knew something was terribly wrong with my knee. Then I waited for hours in A&E with it out straight propped up on a wheelchair. A doctor comes, takes a cursory look at an x-ray, and tells me: “Stop crying over a small scrape”—but then it got worse.

She then violently tries to bend my knee, which had totally seized up. They told my mum she had to make me walk on it.

A week or so later there's clearly some kind of review of X-rays, and I'm called in to see a specialist. It turns out I'd fractured my leg and chipped my kneecap, and the chip had damaged my cartilage. I pretty much had to learn to walk again with over a year of physio and hydrotherapy. The specialist asked if I could see what was wrong with the X-ray and even a child could spot the problems. I have no idea how the doctor missed it.

Creep Doesn’t Quite Cover It

When I was 19, my primary care doctor (male) told me he could do a pap smear for me at my physical. When I told him I already had a gynecologist he said: “I can do it professionally or personally”. Needless to say, I never saw him again and reported him.

Bait & Switch

woman sitting on sofa while using MacBook ProPhoto by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

I did a video chat service to talk to a doctor for 15 minutes. I told her my symptoms and thoughts since we were low on time. I had been very sick for weeks, possibly a urinary tract infection and respiratory infection. Also gave the other ideas I had, based on my symptoms. She told me I had valley fever and told me all about it over chat and we got cut off at 15 minutes.

I got her final email which should have a prescription in it. When I read it, I was shocked. It said she actually thought I had somatic symptom disorder aka that I was making all of this up and was perfectly fine. Her prescription was for a freaking psychologist!

She told me in detail about my possible valley fever even though I said I hadn't been to the areas she said it was prevalent. I made an appointment with my normal doctor and had a few tests ran. Had a respiratory infection and a freaking KIDNEY infection! 10 or so days of meds and I was fine.

My gosh I was so angry at that quack.

Stereotyped

After my knee surgery, my doctor told me that I would still be able to practice my martial arts when I recovered. There was just one problem. I had never done martial arts before. I realized that he probably told me that because I'm Asian.

We both had a good laugh when I told him that I didn't do any martial arts. I was actually a tennis player, and he told me that my tennis days were over. I still play tennis to this day.

Three Strikes, You’re Saved

I went through treatment for acute myeloid leukemia 6 years ago. I went through chemotherapy and total body irradiation with an allogeneic stem cell transplant. My 28-day biopsy after my stem cell transplant results came in and my doctor literally came in stoic as could be with paperwork printed out. The news he had was devastating.

He just said the transplant didn’t work and I still had residual cancer cells in the flow cytometry of my marrow. I simply just accepted it and didn’t even look at the paper. My brain was just thinking of all the different scenarios. As the minutes went by I had a second attending come in and say that there were still other options which made me reassured.

But then I had a third doctor from the Middle East come in after her and told me I was still young and there were other treatments we could try so it lessened the shock at that point. I had always been pretty optimistic even with such a poor prognosis.

Fast forward another 14 days I had another bone marrow biopsy to see how much the cancer had progressed to see how we could attack it and there were no signs of any cancer cells. Ever since that day, I have been cancer free. My donor cells went after the residual cancer cells and saved me. I now have the DNA of a French woman that is 6 years old. Modern medicine can be amazing.

We’re Done

In middle school, I was seeing a psychiatrist for generalized anxiety and panic disorder. I had been struggling with my weight because I was too anxious to eat, and at one point I was about 15 pounds underweight. I started taking antidepressants, and I gained weight once my anxiety started improving.

One day, my psychiatrist brought me over to a scale so he could weigh me. He told me that I needed to watch what I was eating because I was “starting to get fat”. I was FINALLY at the low end of a healthy weight after struggling for months, and it was such a hit to my self-esteem after all the progress I had made. I broke out in tears as soon as he said it. It crushed me. My mom yelled at him, and we walked out of his office and never came back

Mistaken Identity

I once told the wrong family member that her mother was coding. I have a decent excuse,but it was horrible.

It was late enough at night that I was the only doc on, with just a handful of nursing and tech staff. As we go into those quieter hours, one by one the other doctors sign out their patients to the overnight staff and leave.

I got called into a room to run a code. They had already worked on this woman for twenty minutes en route in the ambulance. It wasn't looking very hopeful for a meaningful recovery. A woman in her 40s appears in the doorway and says she's the daughter.

If I'm the only doc on, I have to do the intubation, run the code, and speak with the family, sometimes it's all at the same time. Since she turned up and appeared to recognize the patient, I failed to confirm the patient’s name with the daughter, and instead launched into the delicate questions—how long had she been ill, how did this start? But I was making a terrible mistake.

It turns out, the daughter was actually the daughter of the previous patient in that room, who had been moved out to accommodate the arrival of the coding patient. When she came in, she told the front desk that she didn't need any help finding her mom's room, so she brought herself back. This was very unusual but the code was monopolizing the staff. Her mom had the same hair color, and there's all kinds of tubes obscuring the face during these times. Her actual mom was just fine, two doors down.

Well, the daughter didn't have a heart attack, so that was nice. And never will I ever again gloss over confirmation of identity, no matter how obvious it seems.

Second Opinions Save Lives

grayscale photography of kid lying on bedPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When I was 5, I woke my parents up in the middle of the night by yelling out to them. I woke up with my entire body hurting too much to even pull the covers off myself, never mind trying to walk, they came in and I was burning up, rushed me to the ER. The doctor looked at my mother and said: “He has a fever, haven’t you heard of a cool bath and a popsicle”? I've never seen my dad turn so red.

S as to not punch the doctor, my dad left the room and called my GP at home, who is a family friend. I was friends with his son, like sleepovers and all that, close.

My doctor called the ER. I have no memory of the next parts, but I was rushed by ambulance—the weather was too bad for an air ambulance—to the nearest capital city, 350km away, to a pediatric ICU. I had meningitis.

If It Looks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck

My doctor immediately said my symptoms were from an STD. Then doubled down saying I was lying about my bedroom activity.

Like, dude, I'm a grown adult. If I thought I had an STD, I would have said so. I told him I thought I had a kidney infection, he said it didn't make sense.

They did all the blood work, all negative for STDs. What was it? A freaking kidney infection.

Although he asked me before I left how I knew it was a kidney infection. I knew just what to say to make him even angrier. I told him I had been watching House MD and the symptoms matched.

The Truth Hurts

After a horrific car accident, I was in unbearable pain. My doctor puts up my X-rays, looks down at me, and in the most condescending way said: "I hope you have a good attorney". He followed that up with: "You may never be the same again". I went from being in the best shape of my life to losing more than 50 pounds after the accident. I looked like a prisoner.

After months of painful physical therapy at a place I referred to as "Land of the misfit toys," I eventually made it back.

Serenity Now

A couple years ago, I went to the doctor for headaches and stress. I run my own business. He sent for some tests and an MRI because of the headaches, since I never have had headaches before.

He told me to take a vacation and relax that I was probably just overworking myself and stressed from my business.

So I took the whole family—wife, kids, dog—on a nice getaway to the Smoky Mountains and rented us a nice private cabin and had five whole days to relax and take in the beauty of the smokies.

We got to our cabin around 4 pm, it was amazing, indoor pool, billiards table, indoor putt-putt golf, and an arcade room all to ourselves. I know it sounds extravagant and expensive but we actually paid like $1,000 for the whole week, I thought it was a great deal for everything that was included.

I woke up the next morning excited to check out pigeon forge and the kids wanted to go-kart and all that. Well, 8:30 am, I check my email against my wife’s advice. What I saw made my blood run cold. There’s an email from my doctor, with the results of my MRI.

It read like this: “Mr. Soandso, The results of your MRI have been reviewed by our medical team and we have found a large brain tumor on all of the scans. Please contact us IMMEDIATELY to schedule more testing, and to speak with a neurosurgeon”.

Try relaxing on vacation after reading that.

No Ibuprofen Is Going To Fix That

"Just take an ibuprofen". This was 3.5 months into what ended up as a 5-month stint with appendicitis. By the time they agreed to do surgery, my colon had fused to my abdominal wall from the scar tissue. It was such an intense layer of scar tissue that the surgeon bent the surgical tools trying to separate them during my first operation. Luckily the second operation was much more successful at actually removing my appendix and the lasting effects have been relatively minimal.

Lost And Found

medication pillsPhoto by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

The worst thing that a doctor said to me was that I had Bipolar Disorder. I was medicated for it, it didn't work, so he kept increasing the dose. Eventually, I was taking 800mg of Seroquel a day. I was so doped up I couldn't read. Dropped out of college. I couldn't sleep without it anymore, and when I tried I stood up for almost a week. Had to move back with my father, because I wasn't able to care for myself anymore. Ended up under observation. Doctor considered shock therapy.

After almost 10 years, 10 years lost, I had switched doctors, found a good therapist, and started the process to remove the meds.

It turns out I'm not bipolar, I'm autistic. I don't have mania, I have sensorial overload and hyperfocus. I act "weird" when put in chaotic situations because they overwhelm me. After 2 years of therapy, neurologist and psychiatrist appointments, and hundreds of pages of diaries and reports written, I finally got a proper diagnosis and I'm free from that.

But I'll never forgive my first doctor. I'm not getting those 10 years back. My mom passed on during that time, and I'm not getting her back either. I'm in college again, but the opportunities I lost are gone forever.

And the doctor? He's still out there.

Vindicated

Years back, I had surgery on my pinky finger to reattach a tendon I tore off the bone.

Surgeon gets in there finds no tendon to reattach and with permission from my wife takes a portion of the tendon from my wrist to replace the missing one and completes the op.

Being the klutz I am, I fall down some concrete steps and feel some pain in my arm, go to open the door to my house, and feel a POP in my forearm. Immediately know what it is and call the doctor’s office to see if there’s anything to be done.

I get the surgeon's assistant/trainee and tell them what happened and ask what to do as I have a lump in my forearm and pain. Her reaction was infuriating. She says they didn't operate on my wrist/forearm and basically, my pain medication is making me confused and no matter what I say keeps dismissing me.

So I call back and make a regular appointment for the same day and turn up. Guess who comes into the room with the hand surgeon but the assistant/trainee I fought with earlier.

She hears me retell my story and the whole time is looking at me like I'm wasting time and am what’s wrong with the world.

After I finish telling my side of things, I just say back and waited for karma to hit her. The surgeon says: "Well the lump, pop, and pain are probably the stitches in the tendon in your wrist coming undone". Making full eye contact, I just say "Oh really”? Very pointedly. The assistant didn't apologize but never met my eyes for the rest of the visit.

Unfortunately, I was the ultimate loser as there was nothing to be done to fix the "spare" tendon in my wrist, so I had to just let it shrivel up and be absorbed. It was really creepy having a lump slowly shrink up to my elbow and disappear.

Holier Than Thou

I asked for a professional opinion from my primary care doc about something regarding the neurological disorder I'd recently been diagnosed with, and I was told some garbage about prayer and God's plan. Not something you tell a 17-year-old who's trying to figure out if her career hopes are actually feasible. Spoiler, they weren't. We stopped going to that office.

Cold-Hearted

I was 19 years old and 21 weeks pregnant. I’d just been told at my 20-week scan that my cervix was dilating so I needed to take it easy, but baby was perfectly fine and healthy.

Not even a week after the scan I was in hospital with bleeding and contractions. A “threatened miscarriage” they called it. It was April 1st and I wished I was being fooled.

The next day the OB in charge came in to discuss the situation and I asked him if there was any way to stop the contractions and keep my baby in until he was viable. What she said made my blood run cold.

“Miscarriage is just natures quality control”

I gave birth that afternoon and my son survived for an hour before passing.

I complained and received a written apology from the doctor and in my subsequent pregnancy I refused him for my care.

Dissed & Dismissed

When I was 19, I had a UTI. I knew it was a UTI. I went to urgent care to get antibiotics as I hadn’t established a new doctor where I was going to school. He asked me if I was sexually active, I said yes and explained I had one partner and we used protection. The doctor insisted I had an STD, not a UTI, told me again that I definitely had an STD and when he got the labs back he’d send a prescription for antibiotics. I never did a urine sample or anything.

I felt so mortified. Labs came back within the next day or two negative for any STDs and I never heard from them again. The UTI spread to my kidneys and I was in terrible pain but was so beyond mortified and anxious about what happened in the urgent care that I didn’t follow up with anyone else until over a month later when I ended up in the ER on the verge of sepsis. My right kidney still has degraded function almost a decade later.

Mind Your Mouth

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I had escaped a really bad relationship and found myself always on the edge of sudden anger. I had never been an angry person before. I was having uncontrollable outbursts at my children, who didn't deserve it. I tried everything to stop but couldn't, and finally went to a psychiatrist and what she said to me was infuriating. “Just be mindful”. I audibly rolled my eyes at her and never went back.

It turns out it was PTSD. You don't "mindful" that away. With actual, useful help, I managed to get past it before I destroyed my children. I still feel bad for having put them through it, and I learned a valuable lesson that psychiatrists are people too, and they don't always have the right answer. It's okay to quit that one and go to another.

Beating The Odds

I had a bad reaction to Covid, and the doctor came in and sat down. I was on a bi-pap, so I couldn't really hold a conversation. She talked about the weather and some things that didn't really matter. Finally, after about five minutes she took a deep breath and said, "This is such a messed up time, and so much is going on and I have had to tell families this for months now and you are the first I am telling that can still listen. You aren't doing well and are only getting worse. We expect you to die in the next day or so”.

Long story short, I made it through, but it seriously messed me up. I don't have a bad thing to say about her at all. Just the bad news I got. The medical team did a great job, and she was just human. She was probably getting tired of seeing people die. This was in the early stages before we even had a clue how to handle it. I couldn't imagine having to give this news to families daily.

Can’t Unhear That

I got a cyst removed from my tailbone. After removal, the area kept getting agitated/developed some inflammation and would reopen and leak from one spot. I swear to god every single time it happened it was on a Friday and I couldn’t see the doctor until Monday and by then it had healed.

After several Monday trips in with no real signs of my ailment, the dude tells me a horrifying story. A patient would sew excrement into hidden/unrelated parts of his body to force a reaction that required him to be hospitalized. I guess because he was mentally ill and liked that or wanted the attention?

I point blank asked the doc if he was insinuating I was making stuff up just to visit him or because I was mentally ill and he basically told me yes and he wasn’t counting it out as a possibility.

Unbelievable and an absolute headache to have a doctor that operated on you not believe you at your word. I’m a very stable person and this damaged my psyche intensely for several months as a result, but I’m better now. I still hate that jerk though and wish there was something I could do about it.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

We spent 4.5 years trying to conceive and I had several miscarriages. The day after one such miscarriage, that ended my longest pregnancy to date (9 weeks), I had to go to my GP to have a thyroid panel done. The nurse came in to draw my blood, checked my chart, saw the note about the miscarriage and why I was there, and then cheerfully proceeded to tell me "Oh honey, don't worry that this baby didn’t make it. You can always just go get pregnant again”!

I complained as soon as my GP came in afterward. My GP didn't seem surprised and blew me off a bit. I complained to the practice manager though, and I never saw that nurse again.

More Than Puberty Blues

I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety and regularly had mental breakdowns. I booked a doctor's appointment to request medication or at least seek treatment because I truly felt like nothing I was doing was helping and I was spiraling. The doctor told me it was "just a phase" and that once I was done puberty, I would be fine. It was "just my hormones”. But the worst thing he ever said to me? He said it was "normal to be emotional on my period”.

Yes, puberty and periods raise hormone levels. Yes, people are more emotional and impulsive during these times. No, they shouldn't want to hurt themselves.

Anyway, several years of self-harm and an eating disorder later, it turns out it wasn't "just a phase”. I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and have been suffering from unprocessed childhood trauma and an environment full of triggers.

I wasn't being a stupid emotional teenage girl, I was genuinely hurting, and I needed help.

Trouble’s Brewing

smiling woman carrying babyPhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

After my fourth child, I was having some extremely sharp pains in my stomach. The OB said to call my primary.

The primary basically told me that they weren’t going to look at anything because I was probably still bleeding and that it would be gross. Her diagnosis was “Sometimes things hurt after you have a baby”.

It turns out I walked around with a bladder infection for six weeks until my post-partum appointment. It was not all that fun.

The same doctor who told me things hurt after babies told my husband he could fix his panic attacks by relaxing and having a beer. Spoiler: you can’t fix panic attacks that way.

All Fired Up

I'm a type 1 diabetic, had some sort of throwing-up virus, was 21, and glucose kept tanking. I went to the ER because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it up and end up seizing/in a coma. The ER doc told me he thought I was lying because I wasn't old and overweight—a common misperception of not knowing the difference between type and type 2.

So, he ordered a psych evaluation.

I had a seizure right as the psychiatrist swung back the curtain. I spent a week in the ICU. But I still got revenge for what he did to me.

I got that doctor fired from that ER, and did my best to try and get his license pulled. They did remove his ER certification or whatever it's called. So he at least can't practice emergency medicine anymore.

Whoops

“That’s not supposed to happen”. That’s what a doctor said after my vasectomy, when within two hours of having the procedure, the whole area down there had grown to roughly the size of a cantaloupe…it hurt like the dickens and I could no longer go to the bathroom, as was now a swollen mass.

I had to have surgery to drain what he said was around 12-16 liquid oz of blood and fluid.

Apparently, I was the “lucky” point 1% of people who experience complications of this nature…and with the extra bonus that the emergency surgery cost me another $4,000.

He intimated I had some form of hemophilia, but I literally cut myself at work like 3 times a week and have no issue with clotting, and it still hurts down there 5 months on.

Still better than having another kid though.

The Sound Of Silence

I got tinnitus at the end of high school and it was terrible for me. I could barely sleep at night it when started and I would just try to drown the noise with TV at night. I was so miserable. My parents didn’t understand why this was happening and they didn’t know what I meant by ringing but I was literally crying because I wanted it to be quiet again.

My dad has good insurance so he took me to an ENT who was just really straight up. But that didn’t make what he told me any less devastating. He told me it’s never going away and that millions of Americans have it. I waited for an hour to meet him and he only spent like 5 minutes with me. I was tearing up during it and I didn’t know how to cope with it.

My dad was nice enough to get me another appointment to meet another ENT (I’m so lucky and privileged for that). He was amazing. He said the same things but he definitely more compassionate. He said it just happens and it wasn’t something I did. He recommended a white noise machine to drown out the sound and to avoid loud noises and stuff. It still sucked to have it but I kind of felt better. The ringing doesn’t bother me anymore.

Let’s Get Physical

The doctor told me: “I saw you fall asleep in the waiting room. Excessive exhaustion is a sign of sleep apnea, so I’m going to have to fail you on your physical. If you lose weight I’ll reconsider”.

The jerk tried to take my job away all because I had to wake up at 4 am that day and nodded off—and then called me fat.

I had to get three other doctors to give me physicals and override her failing me just to keep my job.

Wake-Up Call

shallow focus photography of people inside of passenger planePhoto by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

As I’m packing to leave on a business trip across the country, my Doctor calls me and tells me to stop whatever I am doing and go to the ER, I’m gonna die. I had blood work done the day before and had an appointment with him next week, but he had received my results and my blood glucose was over 20 and my A1C in the mid-teens.

I felt fine and went on my trip instead. I learned to regret that decision.

I was a non-compliant diabetic for years culminating in the below-knee amputation of my right foot in 2018. That’s what it took for me to start taking my condition seriously.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

I have a cyst on my heel so I went to see a doctor. Also, on top of a cyst, I have a random ankle pain when I'm more active (playing basketball, jumping, volleyball, football). And I said this pain is reoccurring for the last two years. The doctor said that maybe it's better to stop playing these sports, because I'm too old for this. I was only 23!

Then, I went to a real professional, paid a lot of money, and he said that I have progressive flat feet and I get inflammation in my ankle.

Take A Long Walk Off A Short Pier

I was 16, and seeing a rheumatologist for a bunch of problems, but mainly fibromyalgia. I had lost 60-ish pounds and was finally at a healthy weight. But, my pain had gotten worse along with fatigue. He asked me what exercise I was doing, and I answered walking about 3 times a day (long effective walks). His reaction was brutal.

He looked me right in the eyes and said “walking isn’t exercise”. It wasn’t even that mean of a comment, but it broke something in me, and I felt so angry and discouraged and helpless. I stopped seeing him after that as I had other issues with him in the past and this was the final straw.

Less Than Zero

Doctor: You have high cholesterol so you should eat less meat.

Me: Well, I have been a vegetarian my entire life. There must be something else I can do.

Doctor: Meat is definitely the issue here. Just cut back on that and you should be fine.

Me: What should I cut back on? The current amount of meat I eat is 0, but I should eat less than that?

Doctor: Yes.

If He Only Had A Brain…

I was struggling to regulate my blood pressure due to Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and I passed out while I was in the shower. I knew I had a concussion from hitting my head during the fall, and my girlfriend decided I should go to the emergency room. I had been fainting on and off every few hours for a few days and with the concussion, we were both worried. I passed out on the car ride and nearly collapsed inside the ER.

After checking in, a phlebotomist came to draw my blood and she was muttering under her breath. What she said was so vile, it’s unforgettable. It was all about how I was a waste of time, saying it was too busy to be taking care of someone healthy, saying I was just looking for painkillers, assuming I was faking everything, and proceeded to tell my girlfriend that she shouldn't have brought me in.

Then, after she left, someone else came in and looked between me and my girlfriend, and said, "This must be your sister, is your boyfriend on his way”? And I had to tell the lady that I am a lesbian and that my partner brought me in. She gave the typical, "Oh, I see” response and left.

I was taken back for a CT and I was told that everyone passes out, it's not a big deal, and concussions happen all of the time, so I shouldn't have even taken up their time. Low blood pressure isn't a big deal, and POTS is just something teenage girls make up for attention.

After the scan, a nurse came in to tell my girlfriend that the doctor would be in shortly, and my girlfriend had asked if there was something they could do because I was still struggling to stay conscious and I wasn't acting right. The nurse told her, "If you notice any changes in her behavior, we'll see what we can do, but there's nothing we can do right now”.

My girlfriend said that nothing about my behavior that day had been normal, and given the fact I don't remember the days prior to the ER visit, I'm going to make my best guess and say something was probably very wrong.

An hour or so later, the doctor came in and looked around the room. He said, "Oh, I thought surely your boyfriend would be here by now”. But then he made it so much worse. He said: “Well, when he gets here, let him know that the doctor says you do, in fact, have a brain. I have seen it firsthand. You must be a smart young lady”. Like...That was the most condescending thing that could've escaped his mouth at that moment. Then he said, "Looks like you have a concussion. There's nothing we can do for you tonight. It just takes time to heal. Go home and rest, and if you notice any changes in your behavior or mood, come on back”.

No. No, thank you. I will not come back, actually. I just spent $1,500 to be told I have a vital organ that he does not have. Cool. That was the most frustrating interaction with a healthcare staff I have ever had.

I Can Hear Clearly Now

gray sand with water dropletsPhoto by Dylann Hendricks | 딜란 on Unsplash

Every time I went to a doctor, they'd look in my ears and complain they couldn't see anything because of the wax build-up. My mom would tell me I need to clean them more. At one point, I was cleaning them with a Q-tip almost every day.

Finally saw a doctor who said she couldn't see anything, but decided to do something about it. I had said how often I cleaned them, and she warned me against Q-tips. We spent almost 2 hours cleaning my ears. What she found was twisted. My ears bled. She had it looked like I had had an ear infection in one ear for quite a while but it was hidden under the wax. I refuse to use Q-tips now and often have a doctor drain them for me. I had minor hearing loss in the ear that had the infection. It's amazing what having the right doctor can do for you.

Rhymes With Meadow

When I was 14 I was seeing a male dermatologist for bad acne. He told me he was going to write me a prescription for birth control to help clear it up. Then he told me: “Once your skin is all cleared up, then you will really need to be on the pill”! And winked. It made my skin crawl.

The same doctor on another visit was excising a small mole on my back. When he was numbing the area by injecting local anesthetic, I didn’t flinch at all because I had been having allergy shots for years and needles didn’t bother me. He chuckled and said: “Looks like you don’t mind a bit of pain” and slapped me on the back when he was all done.

Show & Tell

I now know I have hypermobility, but at the time I was having multiple knee dislocations for unknown reasons as an otherwise healthy 20-year-old lady with high pain tolerance.

The doctor decided that I wasn't having dislocations, despite documented evidence from other medical professionals. According to them, dislocations were too painful for me to imagine and I probably just had bursitis. This absolute reprobate lectured me for 20 minutes about how I couldn't possibly have dislocations while I sat there in sheer shock and horror. That’s when I snapped.

I got so mad I stood up and without a word twisted my right leg hard in just the right way to cause a complete dislocation of the patella. I maintained eye contact, didn't even whimper, and hit the deck like a bag of bricks. I usually have good pain tolerance but the sheer anger made me almost superhuman that day.

Worst Case Scenario

"Well, looks like you're probably going to go blind”!

While I have visions of myself walking about tapping a white cane in front of me, he blithely adds, "But don't worry about it. Corneal transplants are 99% effective, you'll be fine”.

I did have transplants later when my eyesight got bad enough to warrant it. They worked a miracle, but man, lead with the "you'll be fine" next time.

The Acid Test

When I was in middle school until 10th grade, I would get violent nausea anytime I got hungry. It felt like my stomach was on fire, and I would miss a lot of school from feeling like garbage, although I was a good student and wasn’t falling behind in any way. After a lot of fighting with my mother who accused me of exaggerating, she agrees to take me to a gastroenterologist to be checked out.

Before agreeing to do an endoscopy, the gastro accused me of exaggerating because I was a teen girl and that’s just apparently what young women do, he suggested I was just making up these symptoms for attention, and then asked me point blank if I was lying about my pain level to skip school and suggested I had a mental health issue I was trying to cover for. I had GERD and severe acid reflux, as confirmed by the endoscopy he reluctantly agreed to perform on me.

Instead of letting it go, the gastro made a point of angrily telling me that I had “the stomach of an 80-year-old man” and must have been intentionally eating in a way to mess up my stomach.

I have a family history of stomach problems and GERD. I don’t understand why it was so implausible that my brother could have acid reflux at a young age, but I must be a liar when I claim to have the same symptoms in my teens.

He Was Thinking Ink

person in red shirt with black leather strap watchPhoto by Daniel Eliashevskyi on Unsplash

I went to see my doctor about a pain I'd been having in my lower left abdomen for a couple days, and he asked me a few questions and waved his hand and said, "It's just a pulled muscle, don't worry about it. But I AM going to talk to you about that tattoo on your arm”. He proceeded to lecture me about the risks of tattoos and how unclean tattoo parlors are because they use the same needles over and over, the ink is synthetic and I have plastic in my skin, blah blah blah—all this outdated information they used to scare people in the 80s/90s.

I was 31 and he was talking down to me like I was a kid that gave myself an India ink tattoo with a stickpin. Years go by and it turns out the pain was diverticulitis.

Not Pulling Their Legs

I was 18 and had just had a baby, and my epidural was taking a long time to wear off. The nurse came in to transfer me to the recovery room and I told her I still didn't have any feeling in my legs. She said, "It should have worn off half an hour ago," and started trying to get me out of bed and into the wheelchair. I said I was going to need help so another nurse came in and they had to move my legs off the bed—which should have been the second clue—and then they hoisted me off.

I of course crumpled immediately. As they're trying to get me off the floor the first nurse yells at me, "You have to try to stand up”! I yelled back, "What part of ‘I can't feel my legs’ did you not hear"?!

When my mom heard about it she went and chewed them out. I didn't see that particular nurse again.

That’s More Than A Bad Day

In 2009 my fiancé of 36 hours passed on from a pulmonary embolism caused by birth control. A few days prior I took her to the doctor for shortness of breath. The doctor said it was an asthma-related issue and not to worry. I said that’s odd because she doesn’t have asthma.

After she passed and services were done, I made an appointment with that doctor. With a straight face, he said, “This is a medical practice and sometimes you have a good day at practice and sometimes a bad day at practice”.

Her father had to grab me before I choked the life out of the doctor. I’ve never heard something so bad come out of a doctor's mouth.

The Bearer Of Bad News

I woke up in the hospital and heard a nurse running out saying “He’s awake”. The doctor comes into the room and tells me to move my toes. I ask them where I am and what’s going on, he just gets more insistent that I move my toes. I asked again where I was and what was going on, and he almost yells at me “Move your toes”. I said I am moving my toes. What he said next was horrifying.

Immediately he tells me: “You will never walk again”. That’s how I found out I was a paraplegic at 21 years old. I had been in a single-car wreck and was thrown 70-80 feet from the car and my vertebrae was dislocated and lying next to another one. I don’t remember the car wreck but that exchange with the doctor is burned into my brain, and that was 31 years ago.

Haste Makes Waste

I heard this story repeated while I was working in a hospital. A guy was gravely injured due to being shot in the face. There was no chance of recovery and he was expected to die within a very short period of time. An intern walks inand, without realizing it, says the most horrible thing.

He asks: "Is this the guy we are going to harvest the kidneys from”? The doomed patient was reported to have reacted by briefly bolting up into a sitting position. I hope it’s not true…but I heard they did get the kidneys.

Automatic F

couple dining outPhoto by Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash

I have cystic fibrosis. And while the doctor who diagnosed me was cruel, honorable second place goes to someone who's not quite a doctor yet but well on the way to it.

I went on a Tinder date with a med student who had super liked me and about two sips into my cocktail, he calmly explained that he's not actually here to date me, he just has a medical ethics class he took with our university’s philosophy prof for extra credits. His exam was coming up and it would be on the ethics of pre-implantation genetic testing for cystic fibrosis. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

As a philosophy student and someone who has that, could I be a bro and explain to him why exactly some people say we should not throw embryos with this condition away? It’s horrible isn't it?! Why would I wish that on others? Really, shouldn't I be in favor of it?

Yep, he really thought he was gonna invite me on a DATE, buy me a drink, and then quiz me on why people with my chronic illness should or should not die before they're born. To pass a medical ethics class because he needs the points to improve his grade a little bit. But he didn't outright ask for that even through text—not that it'd be less rude.

He really made me get all dolled up to ask me about the pros and cons of currently being alive cause it's quicker than a textbook.

Real-Life Marriage Pacts
Photo by Ellie Cooper on Unsplash

Marriage is a sacred bond between two people…but sometimes it isn’t quite as easy as just saying yes to that special person. Sometimes you just have to look at your friend, take a deep breath, and agree to get married if you’re both sad and single in later years. These Redditors share tales of times when a marriage pact worked out—or didn’t.

The Better Man

wedding, wedding rings, marriage, jewelry, love, marry, the ...wedding, wedding rings, marriage, jewelry, love, marry, the ...

Not a pact but a joking promise: My best friend and his girlfriend had been dating for several years. I told her, jokingly, if he didn't marry her in a year, I would. We were friends, never dated, never kissed, nothing.

A year later we were walking down the aisle. I can't stress how big of a surprise it was for both of us when we got together. That was two kids and almost 24 years ago. Our oldest starts college this fall. The best thing is, we're the way we were when we were just friends; being married hasn't changed much.

No, Thank You

I made this pact with my best male friend in high school—but there was a bizarre twist. When we were about 20, he told me that even if he got married before 30 and I still wasn't married, he would divorce her for me, which I found to be an odd statement. We went our separate ways and I didn't hear back from him until I turned 31. By this time, he was married and I was not. We spent the day together and he asked me, "Remember our marriage pact"?

He wanted to divorce his wife for me. I declined.

The Pact Player

I made pacts with a bunch of female friends through high school, college, and university. On my wedding day, just before the service, one girl made reference to our pact, only for two of the other girls to overhear her and state that they also had a pact.

All three were shocked I went to such lengths. I was coy about it, though, and made the pacts at different ages in case one or two became off the market. You could say I was a pact player.

The Momma’s Boy

man and woman dancing at center of treesPhoto by Scott Broome on Unsplash

My cousin had a pact, and it was heartbreaking. The guy she made the pact with was a Momma's Boy cranked up to 11.

She made the pact with someone she knew, then watched her cousins and friends all get married and/or have babies back-to-back in the space of a couple of years, so they enacted their pact. He proposed on Christmas Day, they married on Valentine's, and fast-tracked a pregnancy.

In the first trimester, things went south. Momma's Boy involved his mother in their marital squabbles—and the consequences were devastating. She convinced him to leave his brand-new, pregnant wife. His wife gives the ultimatum: show up for the birth or stay gone.

Guess who’s back living with her parents with a new baby and a divorce in the works?

That’s One Way To Do It

My husband and I actually have a different pact.

He grew up in a home where both his parents were married and never got a divorce but he watched all four of his older siblings screw up in relationships and have unplanned children, or multiple divorces, or a wife who tried to run her husband over…So he decided that he wanted to be married and never get a divorce.

I grew up in a home where my parents were divorced, and I would go every other week from my mom to my dad's. And they lived about an hour away from each other. It brought me a lot of stress in my life and I also decided that when I grew up, I wanted to find somebody who I would be with forever and never get divorced.

My husband and I met in high school and we decided we liked each other a lot. Two years into our relationship, we decided to get engaged. Three years after that, about two months before the wedding, we sat down and had an in-depth conversation about our relationship and what we expected of each other.

And we decided then and there that if we ever decided that we wanted to get a divorce, it would be a knife fight. We would battle it out until one of us passed, and then the other would be single.

A Little Dramatic

When I was a sophomore, I made that exact pact with a woman I was casually dating. She was a gorgeous, tall redhead with a tendency to be overdramatic. She was the first woman I was ever obsessed with in my adult life. We actually wrote up the pact, signed it, and got someone in our dorm to act as our witness.

Several years after graduation, I brought it up to her when we met for a drink. Her reaction was brutal. She said she'd never speak to me if I ever mentioned it again. When I ran into her during a college reunion last year, I realized that I no longer had any feelings for her whatsoever, which was a pleasant surprise.

Effort Pays Off

white and red airplane on the road during daytimePhoto by JD X on Unsplash

I had a real close friend in high school that was a social butterfly and, for whatever reason, liked to hang out with awkward nerds like me. One day she suggested a marriage pact if we were both still single at 35, and I agreed with a laugh because, hey, I didn't expect her to remember me among all her other friends and there was no way she'd still be single by then.

After graduation, her family moved to the other side of the country and I figured I'd just be another Facebook friend. But we stayed in touch and actually started talking more—constant Skype webcam and phone calls way too late into the night.

It turned out I was one of the few people that actually bothered to put anything into a continuing relationship, and about a year after graduation she confessed that she had fallen in love with me.

That was seven years ago. We're getting married in 29 days.

Sharing Pregnancy Joy

I made a pact about 10 years ago with a very close friend. We never dated, we just agreed this would make sense in the long run if we don't find our soulmates on the way to his 30th.

Well, I met someone else and I'm now 30 and 6 1/2 months pregnant with the love of my life. But I was in for a huge surprise. About two months ago, I met my friend and his girlfriend at the OB-GYN waiting room—I came for a regular pregnancy check and they came for their pregnancy confirmation.

We laughed because we didn't share the news with each other yet and we never spoke about the pact with our partners. Now we're both waiting for our firstborns with different people and sharing pregnancy joy and stuff. It turned out better than we could ever imagine.

Holding On A Little Too Hard

I made a marriage pact with my very good friend in 10th grade—around 1988 or so—that we'd get married at 27 if we were both still single. We had every class together for three years straight, got along famously, and were just greatly compatible. She went overseas for college and I joined the armed forces, and she just stopped responding to letters after around 9 months.

In 1992, I got engaged, and suddenly ran into her in a mall. I introduced my future wife, and my old friend lost her mind. Right in front of my future bride and all, in the middle of the shopping center, screaming at me about how I betrayed our agreement, I belonged with her, yadda yadda yadda. Calm as can be, my wife asked her why she stopped writing to me then?

Like a light switch flipping, my old friend started bawling her eyes out, and plopped down on the floor. We hurried out of there, and I never saw her again. Bullet dodged.

The Saddest Story

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We met in college, and were instant best friends. I was 20; she was 18. We spent all our time together and were briefly lovers, but we never formally dated because both of us were very much into being wild and free and enjoying our youth. We dated other people on and off, but we talked about it and agreed that a committed relationship between the two of us would be an all-or-nothing kind of thing.

Since neither of us wanted to give up our hedonistic, promiscuous, irresponsible lifestyle, we made a point of not committing to a relationship. A few years went by that way, and we were very happy—but then life threw her a horrible curve ball.

Her sister died suddenly. It was a car accident. They were 16 and 18. My friend was utterly, completely devastated. It still hurts me to remember it, even now. Her father, though, was even more devastated, to the point where he was legitimately willing to let himself starve rather than try to go on living. She moved home, out of state, to take care of him.

She cut ties with everyone for a while, even me. I didn't see her again for two years. She was so different after that. Before the accident, she'd always been the most joyful, exuberant, positive person I'd ever met. After she came back, she was quieter, sadder, maybe wiser. I wanted to be there for her more than I'd ever wanted anything in the world. Not being able to fix things for her, not being able to make it better, that hurt more than anything I could ever remember. I guess that's when I realized how in love with her I was.

I told her that I loved her, that I wanted to be there with her—but her reaction was devastating. She told me that she couldn't handle the idea of any kind of emotional connection for a while. Maybe a few years, she said. Maybe never. Maybe she'd never be able to open up emotionally again.

She said she needed space from me, particularly from me. She said she needed to figure out what it meant to be alive in a world where her sisters were gone. She asked me to give her time, and I told her that I'd give her anything she wanted. She told me that she'd never been happier than when we were together.

I told her that I understood, and that's when we made our pact. I was 25 then, and she was 23. We agreed: if she turned 30 and I turned 32, and if she had learned to heal, and if she hadn't fallen in love with someone else, and if I hadn't fallen in love with someone else, then we'd get married. So that's how we parted ways.

She moved to Wyoming, to be alone. I moved to Germany, to get as far away from her as I could. We didn't keep in touch at first, but over the next few years we built up a correspondence. We wrote letters because we both liked writing letters. We emailed now and then. Sometimes we'd mail each other books that we thought the other would like.

Years went on, and we became closer and closer. When I turned 30, I half-jokingly brought up our marriage pact. I told her that I hadn't ever fallen for anyone else. She replied that she was still very serious about our agreement, and that she'd never fallen in love with anyone else either. I asked her if she thought she had begun to heal, and she said she had, as much as a person could ever heal from something like that.

A year later, she told me she'd like us to meet and spend some time together, to see if the spark was still there. It was. She was living in California at that time, and I found a job there. I'd always wanted to live in California anyway. I proposed to her six months later, and she smiled and told me "no fair", that I had to wait another few months, when she'd be turning 30. I thought it was silly, but at that point, things were going so well that a few months didn't seem like they could matter at all. But we never got our happily ever after.

She passed. That's how the story ends. She was hit by a car and spent two days in the ICU before her body gave out. I went to her funeral. I spoke to her father but I barely remember what we said. I've never spoken to him since. I don't have the willpower to make myself find out how he's doing.

I'm in therapy and trying to learn how to have feelings again, other than blank, mindless, miserable rage. I often wonder if this is what it felt like for her. She made progress. She learned to feel again. That thought is what keeps me going. She did it. She'd want me to do it.

Older And Wiser

My wife and I dated during that awkward summer between high school and college and then she went her way and I went mine. We sort of joked about such a thing. I think I saw her for lunch like one time when we were 20ish.

Anyway, I ran into her again at a friend's party when I was 28 and we hit it off. She'd just gotten divorced from a two-year marriage and I was just back from law school. It was nice as we both knew the other wasn't a psychopath and we more or less got on with one another's family and friends.

Almost 20 years on from running into one another again, we’ve been married 16 years, with a couple of kids and a life in the suburbs.

Just Couldn’t Wait

We made a pact when I was 21 and he was 20 that we would get married when I was 40 if both of us were still single. We couldn't wait that long and he asked me to marry him when I was 23. We've been married now for just over four years.

I think that if you're seriously making a pact like that, you need to ask yourselves if the reason you're not getting married now is a good enough reason. In our case, it wasn't.

Divorce Would Be Best

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I have friends that did it…and it was a total disaster. She's an awful person and cheated on him in the first six months. They had the most awkward wedding ever but are still together. I wish they would divorce. It's not so much the pact they made when they were kids, it’s just that she sucks.

Meant To Be

I dated this girl 10 years ago, in high school, in Australia. She was my first. I thought I was going to marry her and then she dumped me; she considers it a dumb decision now, but it needed to happen that way. I just joke about it.

We didn't talk for 8 years.

While I was on exchange in London earlier this year, I visited Barcelona. I knew she lived there at the time, so I messaged her for advice on where to go. It was the first time I'd felt comfortable messaging her.

She had flown to Australia the day before, but offered me advice. We also started catching up, and ended up messaging nonstop every day since.

While I was walking around Barcelona, I took a photo of her apartment completely by accident, which she told me weeks later when I uploaded the pic. I just liked the paint job on the building. Out of all the streets, in all the cities in the world, one of 20 photos I took of buildings was hers. I still can't believe it—but the coincidences didn’t stop there.

When I got home from studying, we caught up. It just grew from there. We went from exes, to friends, to potentials, to dating.

We also realized that in our 2002 primary school photo, from when I was 10, I was standing directly behind her. I liked her then, but only spoke to her when I was 15. We also realized we lived within 100m of each other for years, during the time we didn't speak. My Dad also works with her housemate, and is “the crazy dude” from work.

Like a moron, I had organized a second semester abroad before we started dating. We kinda decided it as I left the country. Now I have 4 months of purgatory in Canada, while I wait to meet up with her in Barcelona.

In true wild style, I asked her to marry me, because trust me, it's just something I know. She said yes, but I need to ask in person. I bought the engagement ring last week, on my 25th birthday, and now I just have to look at it for another 3 months.

So not a pact, as such, but a literal rom-com IRL. I study film, and could very easily make this a script. Maybe one day.

Always There For Support

I had one of these with a very hot guy who was smart, funny, and had a great personality. He moved to another state but we kept in touch, still cared for each other, and all that good jazz.

He ended up catching HIV from a girlfriend who hid her diagnosis from him. He lost many friends and was so hurt by it.

I stood by him. I helped him find support groups and what not, and am still friends with him because that's what you do when your friend suffers like that.

This person is very optimistic about his diagnosis and plans to live a good long life. And honestly, if he hasn't found someone or is still up for it, I would probably just go through with it still.

Don’t Leave It Too Late

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I would have.

We met in high school. I was a sophomore, she was a freshman. I taught her Japanese class because a friend had done it for my class, and it was fun and a great experience for me. We bonded hard and ended up dating. It only lasted a few months, but we stayed good friends.

We went every year together to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in DC, and we always caught up. That trip, just for three days out of the year, was like a little time bubble—nothing back home mattered, and we got to spend three heavenly days together.

The first time we went together was when the marriage pact was made. At first, it was at 25. We settled on it, then a week later renegotiated to 30. Every year we reminded each other; every year made it more real for me, and something awesome to look forward to while simultaneously knowing we could still do what we wanted to before then.

I graduated. We fell apart. She went downhill a bit, until she got pregnant at 18; I acted out trying to fix my crippling depression. I remember hearing about it. It didn't shatter my dreams of marrying her—if she was single at 30, kids or no, I was putting a ring on it. It never bothered me.

Kid 2 came a few years later. A few years after that, we bumped into each other and caught up. It was like no time had passed, and we went right back into our old friendship, incorporating all the things that happened over the years. She was 24, I was 25.

We spent the next two years trying to put a relationship together before the pact was due; it worked between us, but what didn't work was that we both had established, busy lives apart. I worked 50-60 hours a week, while she was a full-time mom and social services worker. We tried, we really did. But it always came down to work and kids. I loved her more than anything.

She passed two months ago. We never got to carry through with our pact, but we'd gotten so close. I would have carried out the pact; I would have married her anytime between the past few years and 30. But I didn't. I beat myself up a bit for it, even if I had just had a few years to call her my wife.

She'll always be in my heart, and that voice in my head that stops me from treating myself poorly. She has become my voice of reason, and maybe that makes me a little crazy, but it keeps her close to me. That'll never leave me.

Putting Up With Each Other For Life

Me and my best friend since 6th grade had a running joke: we should give dating a go because chances were we would end up getting married anyway, since she's the only person who puts up with my junk and vice versa.

We got married last month after five years of dating.

The Divorce Pact

We married young and have two kids together—we parent well together and there's no one else that I could handle long road trips with, but we really, really suck at marriage. So we came up with a bizarre plan. We jokingly made a divorce pact for 2020, thinking we would both still be young enough to enjoy going out then and would have gotten the kids through some of the tougher transitional times of adolescence.

As it turned out we made it only a year longer than our pact and we are currently in the process of ending our marriage. But there is no one I'd rather work peacefully through this with than him, whether in 2020 or today.

The Pastor’s Daughter

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It wasn’t really a pact we made together but more of a promise I made to myself. I was three when our church got new pastors, and they had a 1-year-old daughter. I grew up being told by my parents that the first thing I said when I saw her was, “I’m going to marry her”.

We grew up together and were very good friends. There was the age difference, so she had friends in her range and I had mine, but when we were together we were pretty inseparable. For some reason, I always thought we were meant to be together. I guess I took that “I’m gonna marry her” to heart.

So even after she moved away and I had very little contact with her, I still kept her in the back of my mind. Whenever I wallowed in self-pity and thought I was going to be forever alone, I always told myself at least there was her. I always thought of showing up wherever she was and sweeping her off her feet. Like she was just waiting for me or something. I feel horrible for thinking that now.

And now we’re happily married. Just not to each other. I have my wife and she has her own.

We reconnected right after Facebook became a thing and it was very obvious she’s a lesbian. That was what finally got me off my butt. I no longer kept the idea of marrying her on a back burner. I’m very happy with my family and she is with hers. And that’s all that matters.

The Best Kind Of College Wedding

At my university, we have what might be called a buddy system for incoming freshers, where second years “adopt” freshers as “college children” after getting “college married”.

So going into the second term, I realized that I still wasn’t college married and most of the girls I knew had already married off. So I said to one of my best (male) friends, “if we don’t find girls to college marry by the end of this term, we’ll marry each other”.

Towards the end of the term, a couple of friends of mine were celebrating their “college wedding”. My friend was a mathematician, so beforehand I made two paper rings and wrote out “2x2 matrices” and “integers” on each one—both examples of mathematical “rings”. At the dinner, while fairly inebriated, I got down on one knee and proposed.

We’re now happily “college married”, with three “college children” who’ve gotten married themselves!

The Road Trip

Me and my wife have been very close friends since childhood. When we were 17, we promised if we were both single by 25, I would ask her to marry me. Life took us in different directions after high school. I was in the army and she became a nurse.

When I finished my contract, I came back to my home city of Calgary, Alberta. She just so happened to be going to the Calgary Stampede for her birthday that year. I told her to come visit while in town. When we saw each other it was like we had never spent time apart.

I asked if she would come with me on a road trip to Memphis, TN so I could buy a guitar I've always wanted. She came along and that road trip turned into a whole tour of the USA. On the northern coast of California, I told her I loved her. A year later we were living together. A year after that we went back to California and at the same little seaside town, I asked her to marry me.

We were both 25. We had our dream wedding the following September and bought our first home together. We have been enjoying life and traveling since. Just celebrated our anniversary in Italy. So far, so good, and I couldn't ask for a better partner to share life with.

The Arrangement

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We left our spouses around the same time (not for each other) and decided to share a house. We got to talking one night and decided we each had all the things the other was looking for, plus we got along really well. We were in our mid-30s by then and sick of the dating scene, so we just laid it out like a business arrangement. We had no idea where it would go—but we were in for a big surprise.

What started off as an "arrangement" eventually evolved into something extremely serious and passionate. We've been together now for almost seven years and married for almost one. We are extremely in love and I have zero regrets.

This Is Why People Should Communicate Better

She was the loud, popular, social butterfly, I was the awkward sheltered kid. By way of sheer luck and proxy, we became very close friends in high school. I couldn't avoid crushing on her something fierce, but I obviously wasn't going to make the move on someone so far out of my league and ruin our friendship.

I forget exactly how the conversation came to be, but at one point she brought up how we should totally get married if we were both still single by the time we were 30. Obviously, she was joking or she would find someone way before then, so I sheepishly agreed and forgot about it. I even set her up with a friend of mine and they were great together.

Graduation came, she moved to the other side of the country, and we effectively dropped out of contact like so many other high school friends.

Two years later I made a Facebook page, we got back in contact, and she started unloading on me about her failing relationship with the guy I set her up with. Apparently, the long distance wasn't working too well and he had become distant to the point of outright ignoring her. I was disappointed in my other friend, but I was happy to hear her voice again.

But then the conversations got longer. And then she brought the pact back up. And then she told me the relationship with the friend was effectively done, and she was tired of waiting for him. And then she said she loved me, she always had a thing for me, she just hadn’t wanted to say anything for fear of ruining our friendship.

We were together for three years long-distance, only ever seeing each other during holidays and long breaks, before I graduated college and moved across the country to be with her. We're getting married in October, five full years before the pact would've happened.

The Most Special Person In Their Life

We met at a school dance in 7th grade, the day after her 12th birthday. We "dated" for just over three years into 10th grade, then she broke up with me just before Christmas because I was a foolish little boy. Luckily for me, she's the most kind-hearted, caring person I've ever met, and we remained friends despite my general jerk nature.

We both dated other people through the rest of high school and college and into our mid-20s, and somewhere in there we agreed to get married if we were both single at 35. I'm not sure either of us really meant it, but I do know that we both cared deeply for each other. I had gone south for college while she went north, and neither of us stayed in contact with many people from high school, but we always made a point to catch up once a month.

Then, this past Christmas, almost 11 years to the date that we broke up and the first time we had been single at the same time, she asked if I had ever seriously considered the two of us getting married. A few days prior she sent me a text asking if I wanted to "watch Christmas movies," which was a bit different from any of her previous invitations to hang out, so I was anticipating (or maybe mostly hoping for) this very conversation and had bought her a gift reminiscent of the one I gave her back in 7th grade. I gave her the gift and told her she had always been the most special person in my life.

Long story short, that conversation may have saved my life. Over the preceding year, I had become depressed and gotten into some bad habits. I opened up to her about all of that, and she accepted me in spite of it.

Two months later, I quit my job, which I hated with every ounce of my being, and I moved to be with her. We've lived together for the past four months, I've quit all of the nonsense and gotten back on the career path I wanted, and two weeks ago I asked her to marry me. She said yes, and I've never been happier in my life. We married early by about 8 years, but I'm not complaining.

He Took The Hint

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My best friend of 10 years said to me one day that if we weren't with anyone by the time she was 30, we would have to be together. As beautiful as she was, I never made a move because I used to date her female best friend, so I thought the "girl code" would halt my advance.

But once she said that, I was like "Hold up, she's possibly into me"?! I made the move! Six months after that conversation, we got married. It was a fairly easy transition. Currently married for 3 years with 2 children.

Moving 2000 Miles

My boyfriend and I made such a pact about seven years ago. We met online and were friends, and over the years shared our misfortunes of broken hearts and bad relationships, so we made a pact that by 30, if we were both single, I'd move the 2,000 miles and be with him.

I actually moved here at 28, and two years later we are engaged and I couldn't be happier. I don't regret my decision in the least.

Officially Awkward

A couple of friends from high school made such a pledge. He always had a crush on her, she was always interested in other guys and straight-up said she'd settle for him if no other takers.

They moved in together ("ONLY as roommates!") in their late 20s, awkwardly slept together one night a few years later (next morning, "Don't think this means we're together"), and a few years after that they were basically a couple, though she insisted they weren't.

At 35, I asked him if they were finally official. He said, "She says she just uses me for her lady needs, but I asked her once how she'd feel about me dating someone else. She told me to feel free to date anyone I want if I'm okay with getting my ‘little friend’ cut off in my sleep. So yeah, I'd say we're official”!

From Mystery To Marriage

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Anyone remember Google Mystery Missions years ago?

If not, Mystery Missions was a site where you put in a request and other people had to fulfill that request. Each time you reloaded the page you'd get new ones to look through. I stumbled across hers looking for someone to talk to. This was about a decade ago when we were both 14.

She was from Memphis, I from Chicago. We instantly became best friends. For years we talked every single day. Around 17/18 we made a marriage pact saying by 30 we'd marry if we were still single. At this point we knew we both had strong feelings for each other but the thought of being in the same place didn't seem possible at the time.

Since the pact, we lost touch here and there. It felt like a big piece of me was missing whenever that happened. We both had relationships that didn't work out. About two years ago, we started talking about being in a relationship and just being together. I met her for the first time about 18 months ago. We're engaged, and she found a new job in Chicago.

Love Over An MMO

My husband and I met on Ultima Online. Just two kids playing video games but we swapped email addresses, AOL Instant Messenger, then Facebook in college. He always said we'd end up together one day and I was just kinda like, yeah yeah.

I flew from SC to PA to visit him after graduating college and we started dating, got engaged, and married all within a year and a half. We never actually thought there would be a scenario in life where we'd even meet face-to-face, let alone end up together. We've been married for seven years this coming weekend.

Dodged That One

A girl I dated for about a year broke up with me when I told her that I wasn't wanting to get married. A month later she hooked up with her high school friend. They had made the marriage pact years earlier and she claimed it. They were married three months later. Well, it turns out that I dodged a bullet.

She called to talk to me a year later to let me know that she was pregnant and that she didn't know how to tell him that it wasn't his and that she didn't know who the father was because she had cheated on him so many times.

Noped out of that conversation and haven't heard from her since.

Just Five Years To Go

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My friend actually just did this. They apparently said by the time they were 30 they would get married. He was married but caught his wife cheating, then his father passed a couple of months later and he couldn't get custody of his kids because of a downward spiral.

He messaged an old friend on Facebook who he made this pact with, although he is only 25. She wasn't doing great either, relationship-wise, and was just working and raising her daughter. They both said why not and have been together for about six months. From the looks of it, they are happy as can be.

Good Advice

I had this pact with my best friend. We dated at the age of 15, broke up at 16, went through the entire dramatic first heartbreak bit, forgave one another, admitted that there were still feelings but we wanted to see what else life had to offer, and made the promise that if we were both single at the age of 30, we'd just call it and get married.

We dated other people, went to college, moved to other states, stopped talking for a while due to jealous SOs, became friends again, had one lousy hookup, and stayed close friends. Then at the age of 25, we decided that waiting five more years was a giant waste of time. We were best friends, we were in love, we got along very well, we both had our fair share of crazy experiences that we released out of our systems.

We're 27 now, planning to get married around 30 just to somewhat stick with our plan, happy as can be.

The best relationship advice in the world: Marry your best friend.

Choosing Your Best Friend

My wife and I were best friends. I was in a terrible long-term relationship with a crazy ex. I had to choose a summer internship and knowing that my ex was going to be in Taiwan, I chose to move across the country to be the furthest I could get away from her on this planet.

My wife and I talked every day and although we wouldn't date for another 2 years, we made a promise that if we weren't married by the time we were 30, we'd marry each other. I didn't think anything of it, and lost touch with my wife for two years.

The summer before my senior year of college, my wife asked me to join her as the finance lead on a school consulting competition in Hong Kong. My ex flipped out and vowed to never talk to me again if I spent all semester practicing and going. That’s when I knew it. I knew that if I went, my 6-year relationship would be kaput and I'd be choosing my best friend.

It was the best decision of my life. We got married last February and took 15 months on our honeymoon to travel to 31 different countries. Don't stick with crazy, you'll know when you find the right one.

My Best Friend’s Sister’s Best Friend

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My best friend from 3rd grade has a twin sister, whose own best friend frequented birthday parties, hangouts, etc. She and I naturally got to know each other through the years and had a crush on each other the whole time but it always happened that one was in a relationship when the other was single so nothing ever came of it.

I moved away from Washington to Minnesota with my mom in 8th grade but we still kept in touch through AIM. When we were 16, we were chatting it up and I told her, "One day I'm gonna marry you''.

We promised each other that at 30 we would marry each other if we were still single. Long story short, I turned 30 last June. We have been married since 2013. She is my best friend; we share everything, rarely argue, never hold any grudges, and trust each other. I don't see any way my life could get any better.

Earlier Than Anticipated

My best friend since we were really young. We always had crushes on each other. In high school, our timing was awful and we never ended up dating but we did make a marriage pact: if we were both single at 30, we'd get married.

Some years passed. We moved away from each other, grew distant, dated other people. Long story short, we're now back in each other's lives and I'm reasonably sure we're going to make good on the pact earlier than originally anticipated.

A Different Point Of View

We did this too. We made it four years, and three years of marriage counseling before we got divorced. Apparently being an insecure nice guy who picks up the girl of his dreams after she realizes that being the It girl in high school ends immediately after high school breeds resentment.

Fifteen years and tons of therapy later, I'm happily married to a woman I respect, and I'm also capable of understanding that I was the jerk.

Still A Chance?

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In my early 20s, I would hook up with this chick here and there. We were actually pretty good friends, but we never really hung out outside of social groups. She was fun and we always found ourselves in the corner ignoring the group. Anyway, we made a pact that if we weren't in a relationship by 30, we would get married—but it didn’t really go the way I expected it to.

Then she got back with her ex.

It's been 10 years, and she reminded me of our marriage pact. I had completely forgotten. We're both married now, to other people.

We still talk here and there. And sometimes she tells me that she thinks we would've made a great couple, so I worry that she's not too happy where she is. I haven't seen her in person in years.

No Hard Feelings

This happened with a best friend of mine. She said if both of us were single at 35, we'd get married to each other.

Two years later, I asked her out. She was taken aback, ghosted me for a year, then invited me to her wedding. I had no hard feelings, so I went anyway.

A Modern Kind Of Marriage

Some good friends of mine are a gay man and a lesbian woman, who decided if they didn't get in serious relationships, they'd marry. It sounded sad—but it turned out amazing.

They have two wonderful kids together and they are amazing people.

They are still looking for their ideal partner, but it's very clear that they love each other and care much for their kids.

Together Forever

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Not me but my great-grandparents who adopted my grandpa. I didn't get to know them as much as I would like but this is a cute story.

Great-grandpa and great-grandma were sweethearts from kindergarten and dated all through high school, but she moved away. Before she left, they amicably split, as long-distance relationships in those days were pretty much impossible. They agreed that if they ever saw each other again, and they weren't already married, they would get back together.

Time passed and he married his first wife, a Serbian lady who had MS, or some other terrible disease. He took care of her for many years before she passed. After she passed, one day he ran into great-grandma again! In the supermarket! And they talked, and he asked if she was married, and yes, she had married a veteran and was very happy.

Some time passed and the veteran passed as well. Great-grandma found great-grandpa in the phone book and they reunited, both missing their lost loves, and fell in love with each other all over again. They got married not long after and adopted two kids, and were happy until she eventually passed.

She always said that she would come back as a monarch butterfly. They kept a huge garden in the backyard and the butterflies would stop on their migration to Mexico. The next time the butterflies came through after she passed, one of them came to land on his hand, and stayed for a few minutes, before she flew off. And one of them does this every year that they return.

Better Than The Rest

My husband and I were best friends in 8th grade and were those kids that kinda hated everyone else at our school. We always said we were going to get married when we got older “because everyone else sucks” but never dated in high school because we just went down different paths, but stayed good friends.

We started talking more again after high school, started dating, and are now very happily married.

Love In San Fran

When I was in college, there was a girl in my major classes that I really got along with and we would study together, do class projects, and collaborate with each other whenever we could. She was just really cool to hang around with and she was really hot too.

She had a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend back home so it was just friends. I respected that even though a lot of the things he did were bad. Like he’d cheat on her or when he’d visit her, he’d start some stupid fight with her and drive back home a day or two early.

I just loved hanging out with her. We had a lot of shared interests and we continued to collaborate, sometimes helping each other with projects in classes only one of us were in.

Then when we were seniors, she broke up with her loser boyfriend. Only I had a serious girlfriend at the time. We still worked on stuff together. During one late-night, caffeine-fueled project session, we were talking about the future and she said, “If neither of us is married when we turn 30, we should just get married and live happily ever after”. I agreed and we went on speculating about what our lives would be like and so on.

After we graduated, I moved across the country and she moved to SF. We tried staying in touch, but it was hard, so we lost touch for a long while.

I went to a conference in SF and thought it would be great to get in touch with her while I was there, but had no idea how to find her. About a week before I left, I got a call from her. She was working for the group that organized the conference and saw my name on the list and got my number from there.

I flew out early and we met for dinner the weekend before the conference. We just picked up where we left off as friends. We’d both had a couple of bad relationships/breakups, but were both unattached. She was just as hot as she was in school. Long story short, we hooked up. I stayed in my hotel for just one or two nights, the rest was at her place.

After I went home, we talked every night on the phone. Eventually I quit my job and moved to SF to live with her. We got married when we were 35. Still going.

Someone Get Spielberg On The Phone

man in gray crew neck t-shirt kissing woman in black and white stripe long sleevePhoto by Martin Blanquer on Unsplash

I made this pact with a girlfriend from high school (early 1990s), but much later in life.

We dated in the 9th (me) and 10th (her) grade. We had a falling out for a bit due to my stupidity, but by the time she was graduating high school, we were pretty close again. We went in very different directions but managed to stay in touch. She partied a lot and sort of drifted. I was doing responsible stuff: college, military reserve, starting a civilian career. We would connect every once in a while over the years and there always seemed to be a little something special there, but for the distance.

She called me out of the blue one year—but not for the reason I expected. She told me I needed to watch the NFL draft because her boyfriend or fiancé was likely to be drafted by a team in the state where she knew I lived. If all went as expected it would bring us closer (in distance) than we had been in a long time. By this time I was in my first marriage.

He did get drafted and they moved to the state, just two hours away. I met and partied with him/them for his birthday before his rookie season started. Good dude. Big dude. She and I were strictly platonic. He ended up getting traded around the league over the next couple of years and they ended up living a couple states away. Meanwhile, I was certainly married by this time and had deployed to Iraq.

Again, she contacted me out of the blue while I was in Iraq, after she happened to see me featured in an obscure trade magazine. After her and the NFL player broke up, she had taken an entry level job in my civilian career field and happened to pick up the magazine for the first time ever that month. We started connecting again, remotely, and still purely platonic.

I came home from that deployment to a marriage in ruins. She cheated. I filed for divorce. While I was adjusting to being home after more than 18 months, and my impending lack of marital status, I decided to fly out to visit my friend who welcomed me to stay with her a few days to help me mend. It was between Christmas and New Year and I was a bit fragile mentally. During those couple of days we connected even more and confided a lot in each other. But she had a few boyfriends (I met at least three) and lots of drama at the time. Clearly, I had my own drama going on.

I think that was when we made the deal, after knowing each other more than 10 years. We knew we both loved each other, I'm convinced, but we both knew we needed to live (and heal) a little more before we set ourselves up for failure. I think the agreement at that time was that we would get married if neither of us were already, by 30. We talked about it regularly over the years, both assuring the other it wasn't a joke. Even her parents knew of the deal.

She moved again. Her biological father drove out to help move her across the country to the state where we were originally from. On their way through my city they stopped to visit. He stayed in a hotel. She stayed the night at my house. For the first time in what seemed like forever, we were both single and it was clear how much we loved each other. The next day she left and for the next couple of years we continued to live across the country from each other. We stayed in touch and saw each other occasionally. The agreement remained in effect but we kept moving the age because we just weren't ready.

Then two things happened. I met a girl and got notice that I would deploy again about the same time. The girl I met, I really liked. She had her stuff together and was beautiful. I wasn't trying to go overseas again attached to anyone. And, at the time, she was really indecisive too.

Meanwhile, I went out to visit the original girl. Then, she came out to visit me. The new girl was still indecisive. The original girl had been having trouble finding work in her home state even after aesthetician school.

While she was visiting, we partied a lot. In fact, that's about all she wanted to do. I didn't mind much because I was leaving soon anyway. Among the many, many bad decisions we made, was one where she agreed to house-sit for me and take care of my dog while I was deployed for a year. I gave her use of my truck too. All she had to pay for was her food and gas. Sounds like the makings of a country song, right?

Now, I know what you all are thinking...but I had known this person for over 16 years. She wasn't a random. She needed help and so did I. All I wanted was for her to get a job and to help get her on her feet. I went into it with the proper intentions. It was a gift and I expected nothing in return. There were genuinely no expectations about a future for us beyond what already was. Besides, I was conflicted...she was the beautiful party girl with baggage I had known and loved forever. But, the new girl was truly marriage material that I couldn't get a consistent read from. It didn't matter because I didn't have to decide for at least a year.

A year made all the difference. The new girl and I talked every day I was gone. She was supportive throughout the deployment in so many ways. My old friend had a few boyfriends along the way, which was genuinely fine, but I came home to my house and vehicle in bad condition. Thankfully the dog was alive, most likely because the neighbors across the street came and took him from my house.

I took the new girl to meet my parents a month after I got home from deployment and asked her to marry me on that trip. We moved to another state for my civilian career and we'll have been married for 10 years next year.

The original girl ended up staying in the town where she came to live with me and met another guy who she ended up marrying. I miss my old friend. I still love her and want the best for her. If she is living a better life today than she was 11 years ago, and I think she is, then it wasn't all for nothing. I'm just no longer a part of it.

The Joke Pact

We have a joke pact (35, I think?) and also an elaborate ridiculous story about being each other’s second spouse because of natural causes but also unnatural causes. It’s a whole ridiculous thing by now (we’ve been BFFs for 13+ years) and it only gets more ridiculous as time goes on.

My boyfriend (of five years) thinks it’s hilarious. The three of us have been on a vacation together, planning an international trip for when Covid ends, etc. I’m so thankful they get along so well!

Remaining Just Friends

I was 16 or 17 when a friend and I made the pact to marry by 30. I forgot that he was already well into his 20s at the time. He contacted me when I was only 24 to ask about the pact.

He had just gotten out of a bad relationship and I had just gotten into a serious one. I just celebrated my 5th anniversary with the same person but my friend and I still talk sometimes.

It turned out he has a bunch of health issues and is always in and out of the hospital. I think the main issue is his heart but I think it might be because he never really took care of himself when he was younger. He also has weird political views and even when things get heated we go out of our way to acknowledge that we have opposing opinions but we're still friends.

I Think So Too

woman in brown sweater covering her face with her handPhoto by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash

My first serious boyfriend when I was 17 to 18; we broke up but remained good friends. When I was around 20, we discussed that we would marry at 40 if we were still single. All our friends rooted for us ending up together, as we just vibed really well and were solid friends.

About five years later he got married, blocked me on everything, and never spoke to me again. So I think the pact is off.

The Uncle’s Tribute

My mom's soul sister made a pact with my uncle where if they both were still single when they were 30, they would get married. She was 18, he was 19. They had been friends for over five years at that point.

My mom was the common link, the one who introduced them. She knew they would have been perfect for each other. They started dating a few weeks after they made the pact. They were so happy.

But she was from an abusive household and suffered from depression. Our family always tried to keep her happy; she would mostly crash at my mom's place to escape whatever storm was going on. It ended in heartbreak. But one day she simply couldn't take it all and ended her life at the age of 25. My mom's brother was devastated.

However, my uncle stayed true to his pact in the most touching way. He held a huge memorial for her on what would have been her 30th birthday. Invited all her close friends, his family, and anyone who knew and loved her, everyone except her family—from what my mom recalls, they had already moved past the slight inconvenience of losing their daughter.

My uncle, till his last breath, celebrated that memorial day as her birthday and his marriage anniversary with the love of his life. Needless to say he never married. He adopted a baby girl and gave her the middle name of my mom’s soul sister. In India the concept of middle names does not exist, and middle names are generally the first name of the father—yet he gave her a middle name.

Just Put A Ring On It

I met this girl in kindergarten. She was my best friend, my childhood "girlfriend", until we were nine, when she moved to a different city and we lost contact.

Years went by and I met her again at a party when I was 15 and she was on a trip to visit her family. We exchanged ICQ numbers, or whatever chat service was trending at the time and started talking again.

Two years later, she moved back for her last year of high school. We started dating like a month after she came back and then guess what? I moved for college and she moved to another country.

We had sporadic conversations from time to time. Sometimes she would call me at 1 am after months without talking to complain about her life, boyfriend, and that kind of stuff for hours. This was kinda problematic for me since I had a live-in girlfriend and she wasn't happy with a girl calling me in the middle of the night even if the other girl had a boyfriend and lived 2,000 miles away.

Years went by. We had this weird sporadic relationship and thanks to the internet I was able to stalk her a bit. I always considered her as something that was "lost", an impossible thing.

Three years ago, she called me on my birthday and told me she broke up with her boyfriend and was moving to the same city I was living in. In that moment I realized I've been in love with this girl my entire life and I didn't know what to do. It didn’t really go how I expected, though.

Nothing happened. She moved, but we didn't talk at all. I broke up with my girlfriend, moved on with my life, and I had the opportunity to move to a different country.

One day I was looking for clothes and I ran into her on the street. We went for a drink, talked for hours, realized we lived nine blocks away from each other, and things happened.

We talked every day and met again the week after for what was probably the saddest conversation I had in my life. We had taken really different paths in life and ended up with pretty much the same interests but we never did anything. I told her I was going to move again; she told me she was moving too, 11,000 miles away, and it was sad how life had constantly taken us on different paths. We made a pact that by the time we are 40, no matter where we are, we are meeting again to be together.

My contract ends in February and I plan to go see her for her 30th birthday next year to tell her I don't want to wait another 10 years. She might think the same, she might not. Truth be told, if I have to wait my entire life, I probably will.

Love At First Sight

man and woman holding handsPhoto by PHUOC LE on Unsplash

I dated a wonderful woman for a few years. The commitment was always kind of on/off, and we both dated other people during this time. Things were exacerbated by us both being single parents. We were always quite close; when we were dating we'd talk about our respective partners, no jealousy whatsoever.

We ended up as FWB for a while, but one night speaking on MSN, we made a pact that if we both hit 40 and neither of us were married then we would get hitched. For quite some time I thought we actually would get married…but fate had something different in store for me.

During one of our drier spells, I was at her house fixing her washing machine and her sister popped in to say hi. Well, not only did she look amazing, but I could tell she was checking me out, but I left it at that.

More talking online and I joked with her that I'm going to bed her sister, and she joked back that I should try if I want, but that her sis is married and very happy.

Turned out, not as happy as everyone thought. Terrible husband.

Very long story cut short, I've been married to her sister for four years now.

Got Game Even At Fourteen

We met on a computer bulletin board system when I was 21 and in college. We both had ambiguous handles and didn't know each other's gender at first. Once he figured out I was a girl, he figured I was fat and ugly (I wasn't) because why else would I be hanging out on a BBS with a bunch of geeks? When I figured out he was a guy, I thought he must be in his forties. I considered the age difference and decided I could maybe make it work.

He was actually 14. I definitely couldn't make that work.

This was awfully inconvenient because we were falling in love. I finally agreed to marry him if I were single at age 60. He eventually talked me down to 40. We tried dating other people but just ended up disappointing them because we were both in love with someone else. We talked pretty much every day, usually via internet chat. Most of our relationship was long-distance because we lived in different states or different countries.

We got married when I was 29. He had just turned 23, which seems a lot more respectable.

We've been married 14 years.

Cringing woman
Photo by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash

We can all agree that first impressions are important. No matter what may happen after that first encounter, the first impression has a way of lingering.

But some bad first impressions are absolute deal-breakers. No matter how kind or awesome a person might seem, there's really no coming back from that...

Redditor Dizzy-Effort-1375 asked:

"What was the worst first impression you ever had with someone?"

Know Your Place

"When I went before the Judge, I was drunk and argued with him."

"That earned me 10 extra days for contempt of court."

"Fortunately, I'm now six years sober."

- TrailerParkPrepper

Cruelty Is Unattractive

"I met a girl at work. I thought she was cute until she bragged about purposefully hitting a bird with her truck because 'birds are stupid.'"

"There's nothing quite like some animal cruelty to kill your attraction level."

- Numerous_Share7920

Know-It-Alls Not Welcome

"A family friend wanted to introduce her new boyfriend to her friend group."

"The dude was a know-it-all. He talked over everybody, was very condescending, and was just a rude jerk."

"We gave him a do-over and he was even worse the second time."

"That was over 15 years ago and they're still together. I don't see my friend much anymore."

- dadobuns

How Rude, Indeed

"I went into a dealership to support my wife as she shopped for her car. A skeezy salesman came up, introduced himself to me, and immediately acted all buddy-buddy with me, and started calling me by my first name. He never acknowledged my wife."

"I told him she was actually the one car shopping, and he barely batted an eye and kept trying to sell to me."

"I politely reminded him, and he still refused to deal with her."

"We walked right out without a word. F**k that guy. And f**k Bob HowardToyota in North Oklahoma City."

- Misdirected_Colors

"More like 'Bob Howrude Toyota in North Oklahoma City'!"

- fueelin

Stop Micro-Managing Me

"I was 19 years old and just starting my first real full-time job. I was taken around by the foreman and introduced to my new co-workers."

"All was well until I was introduced to Walter, the resident old pr*ck, who was to be my supervisor. He took one look at me and said, 'When are you quitting?'"

"I never even got a chance. He rode my a** every day. He repeatedly told the boss I was no good and I should find another job."

"He got fired two months later for being a d**k to everyone. I lasted 36 years."

- Crazy-Rip-6496

He Probably Thinks The Moon Landing Was a Hoax, Too.

"I had to pick up a new coworker to drive to the location we'd be working for the week. After talking about the job for about 25 minutes, he asked, 'So what do you think about 9/11?'"

"I knew it was going to be a long week."

"I said the most non-committal thing I could imagine because we still had hours in the car. 'It was a thing that happened.'"

"He rolled his eyes and said, 'Oh, so you think it happened.'"

- YetAnotherZombie

The Impression That Sticks

"I was dating this girl in another town and I was there visiting her. We were walking around downtown and these six or seven guys cornered me in a dark parking lot."

"This one guy started shoving me, going on about how I was 'in his town' and he should kick my face in for being where I shouldn't."

"I was so p**sed. If he didn't have six other guys with him, it would've gone down very differently. He really embarrassed me in front of my girl. Thankfully, the cops showed up before it escalated though, with those 6 other guys there... I might be dead."

"20 years later, he married my sister. He's actually a really great guy, a great husband, and a great father to my nieces and nephew... but I still have a hard time getting past that first encounter. I HATE the fact that I have to think of him as a decent person."

- KingGuy420

The Worst Priorities

"I'm a nurse and when I worked on a ward for the elderly, I had to call and ask the family of a very lovely lady who was dying to come and see her."

"They only lived a few miles away from the hospital but took seven hours to arrive. By that time, the lady had passed away."

"I had to tell the family as soon as they arrived. I expected tears and sadness, but the daughter only said, 'It's okay. Mum had a great life insurance policy.'"

"No tears. No upset. They were all smiling and trying to hide it. I hated them."

- curiousopenmind22

That Hidden Sense of Humor

"My best friend. We met in middle school and she’s blonde, gorgeous, and seemed super stuck up when I first met her. Obviously, I made assumptions about her."

"As it turns out, she’s super socially awkward, and once I got to know her, I found out that she has a super bizarre sense of humor (which I love), but she doesn’t show it to strangers."

"20 years later and we’re still best friends."

- littlepinch7

The Entitled Parker

"I came to work one day when I knew a new person was starting. In the employee parking area was a car I'd never seen before using up two spaces."

"My first thought was, 'She's one of THOSE people.'"

"And she was."

- ctruemane

Troubling At Best

"I met a woman who went on to defend torture at length. Even when her arguments were debunked, she was still in favor of it."

- TheMoniker

Just So Humble

"A new hire I was supposed to train, let's call him Chad, because that's his name, came in on day one and said during introductions, 'Some people say they're a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none; not me, I'm a master at everything I touch.'"

"And that was that, instant dislike. He was gone the next day, lol (laughing out loud)."

- cdaisycrochet

The Teen Cringe Is Real

"For me? I was 13, my brother brought home some college roommates with no warning, and I was (apparently) having a bad enough hair day to literally dive behind our couch to hide from them."

"My mom called me to come introduce myself, and I continued to hide, but when my mom sent my little sisters to find me, I was worried I’d get found, so I popped up out of nowhere and said hi, still standing behind the couch."

"To this day, my brother's roommates said that was one of the funniest things they’d ever experienced, lol (laughing out loud), and one of my cringiest memories. Haha!"

- ChewsOnRocks

No Point of Reference

"I guess it wasn't really bad, but it was weird."

"I was getting ready for work, went outside for a smoke, and my upstairs neighbor said 'Hey,' from her balcony."

"She wanted to introduce me to her visiting sister, so I said 'Hey there, how's it going,' and pointed at my name tag while saying, 'I'm Bob, of course.'"

"The sister looked at me a bit weird, but I didn't think much of it."

"Then I went back in to finish getting ready and realized I did not in fact have my work shirt on yet, so there was no name tag. So... as far as that lady knew, I just said my name and randomly pointed at my manboob. Like, 'Hey, I'm Bob... check THIS out.'"

"I mean, you can't go back and explain at that point. I have no idea what she thought of me but I am guessing it was somewhere between moron and weirdo, and I never tried to find out."

- Divayth--Fyr

The Lie of First Impressions

"It was an old school friend's partner I'd never met before. My friend's parents emigrated in the late 1960s and we were penpals after she went to New Zealand."

"Her partner was coming over alone for three weeks for some research to do with his MA at Otago University in Dunedin, and I said he could stay with us. This was back in the 90s."

"When he turned up at our door, he was in shorts and a vest and waving a bottle of spirits in one hand and a skateboard under the other arm. He was heavily tattooed (including his face) and dreadlocked."

"I maintained a friendly smile, but my heart did sink, I can't lie."

"I was so very, very wrong. He's a brilliant bloke. I didn't know he was half Maori and had never encountered Maori tattoos before. The spirits were for us (he's teetotal) and he was a great house guest."

"He always cleaned the bath after he used it, bought food and cooked really brilliant meals, very funny, the cats loved him, he took the dog for walks (who spent about three weeks gazing adoringly at him and slept at his feet) the kids and my husband loved him."

"He taught my kids the Haka. My kids got major kudos because the cool Maori skateboarder was staying at their house."

"When he left, he gave us a beautiful framed drawing he'd done of a native NZ bird on a Manuka shrub as a thank-you present."

"It taught me an important lesson. First impressions can be very misleading. I wish he'd been here for more than three weeks (although he's visited since)."

- PeggyNoNotThatOne

For the first impressions that were genuinely terrible, it's clear why these Redditors would not want to continue interacting with the people involved, or how they would not be surprised by people not wanting to interact with them.

But there are also reminders here of how first impressions, however lasting, can be wrong, and the relationship beyond the first impression can be wonderful if we manage to look past it.