Bumble, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, The League, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish — there are so many apps and online platforms out there to connect you to your prospective soulmate. But what about the encounters that go terribly wrong?
We got some locals to dish about their worst online dating experiences. Don’t worry, we’re not naming names.
The following stories were edited minimally for brevity and clarity.
The one with the adult diaper
The online platform: OkCupid
The story: “I was on a first date with a guy I met on OkCupid about 7 years ago. He seemed nice enough during drinks at a local bar, so when he invited me to his apartment (where he told me his roommate was home, so the invitation seemed a little less forward), I agreed. When we got to his place, his roommate was indeed home, and proceeded to shut the door to his room while we drank and continued chatting in the living room. My date excused himself a few minutes later and disappeared around a corner. I assumed he was just using the restroom. When he came back around the corner and into my full view, I was staring at a grown man clad only in an adult diaper. I am sure my face gave away a whole host of emotions in that moment, from shock to amusement to profound confusion. I was so shocked I don’t even remember exactly what I said, I think it was some combination of a laugh and an ‘okay?’, which I think he took poorly because he immediately went back around the corner without a word.”
Her response: “Now, I’m not one to kink-shame, but going full diaper on the first date without preamble seemed super weird, so after he disappeared around the corner I grabbed my sh– and got out of his apartment at light speed, purse clumsily thrown under my arm and shoes in my hands. As I was running down the sidewalk towards my car, still struggling with my belongings, I heard him come onto his balcony and start screaming my name – that’s when I was sure I had escaped some weird plot to wear me as a human skin suit.” –CK
The one where he asked for money
The online platform: Plenty of Fish
The story: “We never actually met face to face – he always had some excuse – but he sent me lots of messages about how wonderful it was to find me, etc., and even sent a dozen red roses with balloons that said ‘Love’ and a giant white teddy bear to my office (religious nonprofit), which created quite a stir. What went wrong: He wanted me to send money (WalMart gift card) of $300 to Malaysia, where he was supposedly traveling for work as a bridge-construction expert.”
Her response: “I told him I was sorry but I don’t lend money.” Later: “After I refused to lend him money, the messages stopped. Then he resurfaced on the dating site with the same photos but a different name, slightly younger age and different hometown in another state. When I called him on it, he expressed dismay and said someone must have hacked him and he would investigate. But he instantly changed the name again (with the same photos), and when I told him he was a scammer and I was going to report him, he took down the profile and told me to ‘–– off’ I’m still mystified by the whole thing. The photos were of a very attractive middle-aged guy, supposedly a widowed professional, with nice-looking adult children. Who knows to whom those photos really belong?” –BT
The one with the mugshots – and the girlfriend
The online platform: Bumble
The story: “After one date (where he seemed ok) I found out through a mutual friend that the guy was not only still married but also had an ex-fiancee and a current girlfriend that he is supposed to move in with. Further, I found out and saw that he is sporting several mugshots online for misdemeanor and felony stalking and that he is wearing an ankle bracelet (which I did not see because he wore long pants during our first encounter). CREEP!”
Her response: “I respectfully cancelled the second date we had planned by texting that I did not feel a connection. Beforehand I searched and blocked him from any social apps that I have as a precaution. Also right after I sent the text message I blocked his number.” –MN
The one where it was the Devil’s fault
The online platform: Bumble
The story: “Terrible, super weird, in-person date. We met at Craft. When I walked in he gave me the most awkward, rigid hug. It’s like he was all elbows. He had such a high-pitched voice that I thought he was playing a joke on me at first. But no, it was his real voice. He was polite and nice, albeit painfully socially awkward, but then went totally off the deep end and confided that his recent car accident, from less than two weeks prior, (how/why he’s on a date so soon after I have no idea), where he hit three people on the highway going 60 mph was actually caused by the devil himself. He really thought the actual devil literally came up out of the depths of hell and took control over his car and deliberately caused the car to crash. He said he thought the devil was out to get him because he had just gotten a new job and things were going well in his life, and the devil was trying to sabotage his recent good fortune.”
Her response: “I went into survival mode because I instantly thought this guy must have mental problems, and I didn’t want to risk setting him off. I remained polite throughout the remainder of the date and when he reached out the next day, I told him how I had a nice time but that I didn’t feel we had romantic chemistry. He wrote back a pretty passive aggressive response, saying that he’s sorry he didn’t live up to my unrealistic romantic expectations. That was my first and last Bumble date of 2018.” –ER