Dating Apps Are The Worst. These Stories Prove It. (2023)

“I looked down and saw a pair of his ex’s dirty underwear next to my feet.”


by Estelle TangSenior Culture Editor

Tinder is 10 years old this month. That means we’ve been swiping our way to love, sex, and… Well, I don’t know what you like! But along the way, many of us have had the kind of date that sent us straight to the group chat, and not in a good way.

BuzzFeed News asked you to share your wildest, weirdest, and most unpleasant dating app stories with us. If you can relate, you’re not alone.

Note: Responses have been edited for clarity and style.

They were stingy AF

We went to a very fancy restaurant (his idea). I ordered beef, he ordered lobster. Things started out great, but I noticed that he checked out other girls as they walked by our table and that bugged me. During our conversation, I told him that my favorite animals were dogs — he said that he hated them and that they should stop existing.

Fast-forward to the end of our dinner, the bill came — a very high number — and me and the waiter waited for him to pay. He said that he forgot his wallet so I had to pay. On our way home he told me to wait outside a shop, because he wanted a snack. I asked how he was going to pay for it, and he took out his wallet. —Wilma, 22, Sweden

When we met at the restaurant, he immediately told me he ate dinner before arriving as he was tired of paying for women’s dinners when it never went beyond one date. I explained that I had planned on paying for my own dinner. When I ordered my meal, he asked if we could split it, then changed my order. He went on to eat the entire thing.

The most upsetting part of the discussion came after he inquired about my age. When I said that I was 40, he said, “Obviously you’re not having kids then, right?” I asked him why he had said this and he replied, “Well, because you’re most likely going to have a child with Down syndrome and then you would be a burden to your family, friends, and the father of your baby, so you would have to have an abortion.“ —Robyn, 44, Little Rock, Arkansas

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They talked too much about their ex

Everything was going great until he got drunk and started talking about his ex-girlfriend. It wasn't long until he started crying, telling me that he was still in love with her, and had only taken me out on a date to make her jealous. In fact, he had taken me to the restaurant where she worked. Luckily for me, she wasn't working that night, but it was hella awkward to see the staff eyeballing me. I drove him home in his truck, then walked for 45 minutes to get home. Never saw or talked to him again. —Mika, 31, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

He told me he still lived with his ex-girlfriend because he couldn’t break the lease. I foolishly agreed to go on a second date with him, which went well. He invited me back to his place — he said his ex wasn’t there because she was staying at a friend’s house. When he opened the door I was hit in the face with the smell of really bad cat pee, like a litter box that hasn’t been changed in months. The apartment was a disaster: There was cat puke on the floor, trash everywhere. I tried to overlook it as he said that was one of the reasons that led to their breakup — she was really messy and unorganized.

As he was showing me to his room, I saw her stuff was everywhere. “There’s only one room?” I asked, to which he replied, “Yes.” I asked, “So you still share a bed.” Another yes. I looked down and saw a pair of his ex’s dirty underwear next to my feet. I think I slept for a total of 20 minutes that night. I still see him on the apps, and it takes everything in me not to make a petty remark and ask if he’s still sharing a bed with his ex. —Peyton, 24, Orlando

They lied

The guy had photoshopped himself to be much taller than he was. He was an hour late and he bragged about himself the whole time — how he was fluent in Russian, was on a jury and corrected the judge on the law and the judge thanked him. It was crazy. Halfway through the meal, he went to the restroom and was in there for over 30 minutes. While he was in there a bunch of the servers came over to ask what was going on. They asked me if the date was a dare or a blind date. They helped me pay for my food [quickly] and get outta there. I had to block his number because he didn’t stop calling. —Kathryn, 55, Houston

Right away, I noticed he lied about his height by quite a lot in his bio, which in itself wasn’t the issue — it was the fact that he lied about it. As we were walking around, he kept asking me very personal questions, like, “What makes you insecure? Do you have any trauma? What turns you on?” I was getting very uncomfortable and responded very vaguely.

“I like to squish them until they die.”

My final straw however was when he asked if I liked bugs. I said that I didn’t, and he responded, “Oh! I do. I like to squish them until they die.” At that point I quickly texted my friends to help me. They called me and faked an emergency (I know…not overly believable). When I told him I had to go, he not only asked, but begged me for a kiss. I politely declined and went on my way. —Angelina, 23, Toronto

They were too intense

I met my date for the first (and only) time at a state park to hang out by the river and do a little hiking. Conversation started off well, and we had several things in common. I started expressing how I was looking for a better-paying job, and he said that since I was a good person, I was worthy of his financial support and he would like to start paying my bills. He then started saying how he could see a definite future with me and that he was ready to take the next step and be in a full-blown relationship after ONE date. After dinner, he asked if I was ready to fully commit to him, as that was the only way he would want to see me again. I obviously couldn't promise him that or accept his money. So he "broke up" with me the next day over text and sent me one of his SoundCloud songs to remember him by. To make things worse, he had the worst breath I've EVER encountered. —Victoria, 28, Atlanta

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I was new to the city and was using Plenty of Fish to meet new people. I asked a guy out and he accepted. I was really excited because he was so hot and seemed kinda shy/sweet. During dinner, he abruptly asked me if I would ever date a virgin. I was shocked by the question, but I said of course, sexual experience (or lack of) wasn’t a deal breaker at all. He then went on to ask how long would it be until we had sex…and I felt the restaurant go quiet.

I responded by saying I didn’t feel the conversation was appropriate for such a public setting but that I felt sex should happen when two people are in a committed relationship. After (jokingly) asking me to be his girlfriend so that we could have sex, he asked if I would be OK with dating someone who owned a pocket pussy. I was stunned and then repeated my comment about it not being a good time to talk about this. I quickly asked for the check. As we walked out, he asked for a kiss. I said no and thanked him for the time, but I said I wouldn’t be interested in a second date. He looked confused and I cited the inappropriate questions and his inability to read the room. He didn’t seem to understand so I just got in my car and left. —Victoria, 30, San Antonio

They broke the law

He picks me up in his Mustang and he starts going a little fast, but I’m a fast driver so no worries. Then he starts hauling ass and weaving through traffic. I’m freaking out but trying to play it cool — eventually we get to the movies. He pulls out a full-size bottle of vodka (half full) and asks if I want some. I decline. As stupid as it is, I ride home with him, and I get to experience even worse driving, since he’s tacked on a few drinks at this point. Pulls up to drop me off and tries to invite himself in. I manage to reject his offer and get inside. He proceeds to text me that he’d like to SHAVE me sometime. Never spoke to him again. Need a shower after typing this. —David, 28, Houston

I should’ve never said yes to lunch. It was awkward, so I said bye and left the restaurant. I lived in the area so I went to run errands. (He did not live in the area.) He followed me into the pharmacy. Then when I saw him a few minutes later in the grocery store, I knew this awkward date had turned into a weird stalker moment. The manager of the store had to escort him out. —Laura, 28, New York

He asked me to “go hiking” with him upstate. I felt very weird about it and said I wasn’t comfortable with something like that. He immediately said that if I wasn’t attracted to him, I shouldn’t have spoken to him in the first place. I then proceeded to block him, but he then reappeared on the apps, telling me, “If you would’ve actually listened during our convos you would remember I was a [hacker] and I can’t be blocked!” Which was true. Every time I blocked him, he was able to unblock himself and harass me. I reported him every chance I got, but as far as I know, nothing ever happened.

I had mentioned the interaction to my ex. A week later he texted me out of the blue to ask what that guy’s name was. To which he responded that his roommate went on a date with the guy, who had screamed at him for blocking him on the app in the past. WHAT. —Ricky, 32, New York City

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They were indescribably bizarre

I suggested we go to a restaurant, but he wanted me to meet him at his place and watch a movie. I decided to bring a bottle of wine to be a good guest. I pulled up and texted him that I was there so he could come let me in, but he didn’t respond for five minutes, so I just sat in my car debating whether I should leave. He finally texted me back and came outside. I got out of the car but instead of walking over to introduce himself, he went to his car, pulled out a drone, and started flying it around the yard. Trying to salvage this awkward situation, I said, “Cool drone!” He then proceeded to fly it into a tree and it got stuck.

Instead of walking over to introduce himself, he went to his car, pulled out a drone, and started flying it around the yard.

Then he asked me if I wanted to go inside. He had just moved in, so there was stuff in and out of boxes literally covering every inch of the floor, except a 5-foot ring he had cleared out for us to sit in. Dead center of the ring was a stool with a half-eaten Chipotle burrito on it. He asked me if I’d like to finish the burrito. I declined but asked if he’d like a glass of wine. While he was rummaging around in boxes for a wine opener, he started to ask me some weird questions and I got pretty uncomfortable. I told him I thought I had one in my car and just drove straight home, leaving the wine behind as a consolation prize. Before I had the chance to block him on the app, I got five messages demanding I come back and get my “shitty bottle of wine.” From that point forward, I decided to meet new guys in public settings first. Glad I didn’t end up on Dateline! —Will, 35, Dallas

He was seemingly perfect. We had so much in common, hit it off immediately. In the time we were seeing each other, he lost his mom and then his brother. He had to fly to California for his mom, then Texas a week later to help his sister-in-law after his brother passed. He sent me pictures every day of him with his niece and nephew, saying how devastated he was for them. I was lounging around waiting to see him that weekend and turned on Netflix to see a new documentary called The Tinder Swindler. Everything, and I mean everything, I was watching was [what he was doing]. I immediately pulled a background check and discovered all of it had been lies. He was married, never lost his mom or brother and the pictures of his brother’s children he has been sending me were actually his own. I found his social media along with his wife's and immediately reached out to her to let her know that she was married to a complete sociopath. —Jessica, 39, Chicago

He had an undisclosed curly-ended mustache and unironically wore a safari hat to the Natural History museum. To this day, my friends and family refer to it as the time I went on a date with Van Pelt (the Jumanji villain). I literally ran away at the end. —Emily, 35, Washington, DC

His first message was “Hey, for $500 would you let me cut your hair?” My naive self thought he was testing to see how vain I was. I asked a bunch of questions about the specifics, and he answered all of them. So I said he could cut it for $1,000. He said, “No, I said $500,” and I had my oh shit, this is real moment. Many questions later I found out that it was a kink for him, and he needed the hair to help him get off and that at least two women a year have agreed to it every year for 10 years. —Anonymous, 32, Denver

Two minutes of chat and he said let’s watch a movie. Five minutes into the movie, he starts shoving my head down. I said no; he said I could leave, so I did. On my way home, he starts spamming me with videos of his other Tinder dates going down on him, and said, “They’re cuter than you anyway.” —Sam, 34, New Haven, Connecticut

Out of nowhere, but perhaps because I was studying psychology, he started talking about how SSRIs clearly are a hoax because “antidepressant prescriptions have increased AND the rate of suicide has increased — what does that tell you?” Um, absolutely nothing. I literally have a PhD in psychology, but he continued to argue with me. Perhaps stupidly, I decided to try a more personal tactic and shared that I believed that SSRIs saved my life. He responded, “Well, I’m not saying you should have killed yourself, but…” —Rose, 30, Boston

a series of stories on dating. read more here.

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Maddie Abuyuan / BuzzFeed News

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  • Estelle TangSenior Culture Editor

    Estelle Tang is the deputy culture editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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