Teachers share embarrassing, awkward dating stories: Philip Lyons

Written By Paulo Frank

In the world of dating, one usually goes in without anyone or anything outlining the procedure for them. Social studies teacher Philip Lyons found himself in that world lost and confused. Lyons had been with his high school girlfriend for all of high school and was unfamiliar with the idea of dating after their breakup following graduation.

“The first date I went on, I didn’t even know what a date was,” Lyons said. “I hadn’t seen what a date was like other than in movies. In my mind, it was a really formal thing.”

Lyons and his date proceeded to dress up very elegantly and headed to a nearby fancy restaurant. “I put on a suit and tie, I put on cologne and extra gel in my hair,” Lyons said. “I [looked] like I was basically going to a job interview or wedding.”

The problem, however, was that Lyons didn’t realize that that’s not something teenagers generally do. “At that age it’s kind of inappropriate to go to those establishments. The whole place was just filled with old people,” Lyons said. “I felt really uncomfortable; it wasn’t really a natural environment.”

Adding to Lyons’ discomfort, this was his first date with this girl and he didn’t know her at all. “I was sitting across from a stranger in a strange restaurant wearing strange clothes,” Lyons said. “I was feeling really, really awkward, not knowing what to say, and just the whole time, I was sweating and nervous.”

Unfortunately for Lyons, he could tell that his date was just as uncomfortable as he was. “I think she felt the same as I was,” Lyons said. “She was the same age as me, and we were in a really artificial environment.”

After the date, Lyons was relieved that the night was over. “I could not wait to just drop her off back at her house. I wanted it to end so fast,” Lyons said. “I never saw her again. I was too embarrassed to call her back, so I just wanted to avoid her so I wouldn’t have to experience that shame again.”

Lyons made sure never to make the same mistake again going forward in dating. “That’s not what a date is. That’s what I thought it was from watching movies from the 1940s,” Lyons said. “After that, I would just do an activity with somebody like bike riding—do something that was a lot more normal for everyday people.”

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