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

(Video) Before you use a DATING APP - WATCH THIS!!!

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

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.”

(Video) Tinder: Investigation reveals the dark side of the dating app | Four Corners

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

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

(Video) Tinder Experiment Proves How Brutal it is For Average Guys

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

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.

(Video) Types of Men and Women that use Tinder - Jordan Peterson

Maddie Abuyuan / BuzzFeed News

  • Life


How successful are dating apps really? ›

For the sceptical among you, statistically speaking, dating apps have been found to work. According to Bumble, over two thirds of respondents use apps to find a steady relationship, and it's guaranteed that if you're a millennial, half of your friends have most likely met their partners via apps.

Do dating apps make you feel worse? ›

Online dating has been instrumental for some in forging meaningful connections, long-term relationships or even marriage. But not everyone has a positive experience. Many others say dating apps have been detrimental to their self-image. And research suggests "swiping for love" can even feed symptoms of depression.

What are the disadvantages of dating apps? ›

However, some of the drawbacks to dating online include the time, effort, lack of success, unwanted sexual messages, and the risk of people misrepresenting themselves.

Are dating apps damaging our mental health? ›

Caroline Harper, Specialist Mental Health Nurse at Bupa UK says that having an unhealthy relationship with dating apps can lead to issues such as stress, low-body image and anxiety. “Rejection can also play a part in dating apps and these can leave you feeling low or anxious.

How many marriages come from online dating? ›

2. Over 17% of Marriages Start Through Online Dating. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 1 in 5 relationships and a little more than 1 in 6 marriages begin online. About 17% of marriages and 20% of relationships begin online.

Are dating sites really worth it? ›

Just over half of Americans (54%) say that relationships where couples meet through a dating site or app are just as successful as those that begin in person, 38% believe these relationships are less successful, while 5% deem them more successful.

Why you should avoid dating apps? ›

Columbia Journalism Investigations surveyed 1,200 women and found that more than a third of them reported being sexually assaulted or raped by someone they'd met through a dating site. One of the points you turn to a lot is that dating apps make people feel disposable and that they gamify dating.

How dating apps are hurting us all? ›

Loneliness and Low Self-Esteem

These mental health issues could be related to regular rejection and frequent self-doubt. Essentially, dating sites contribute to feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. All of this is driven by the overwhelming choices that Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and other apps offer.

Why does dating suck these days? ›

Having no standards and settling for pretty much anyone who's good looking and available. Having people as back-ups in case things don't work out with a current/future partner. Running away from commitment. Calling it quits when the first problem arises instead of working on the relationship.

What are the dangers of online dating? ›

What's on the page
  • Are young people equipped to deal with risks of online dating?
  • Exposure to online grooming.
  • Consequences of sexting.
  • Online harassment.
  • Privacy concerns.
  • Seeking validation from others.
  • Limited social interaction.

What is the problem with online dating? ›

In fact, an extensive report from Kaspersky found that a staggering 55% of people who have tried online dating have experienced some form of threat or problem, ranging from a security incident to meeting with someone who lied about their identity. You may have even fallen victim to an online dating scam yourself.

What dating apps do to the brain? ›

Aside from this, a 2016 study found that dating-app users report lower self-esteem levels and reduced psychosocial well-being compared to non-users. Online dating also has a worrying association with increased rates of depression.

What kind of people use dating apps? ›

The 7 Types of People Who Use Dating Apps
  • For the Highly-Educated, Distinguishing Shopper: The League.
  • For the Flirty Adventurer: Tinder. ...
  • For the Liberal Woke Folks: OkCupid. ...
  • For the Marriage-Minded: eHarmony. ...
  • For the Busy Career Professional: Elite Singles. ...
  • For the Facebook Junkie: Hinge.
11 Feb 2019

Should I delete the dating apps? ›

It gives you a lot more time to focus on yourself. So, if you're done with dating apps, delete them already! If you can avoid re-downloading at your earliest convenience, you'll notice how your life can change.

Why do dating apps lower self-esteem? ›

However, dating apps can damage a user's self-esteem if they take the rejection or lack of matches personally. The seemingly limitless choices available from dating app platforms make the possibility of rejection more likely as users search for a more perfect match.

What dating app leads to most marriages? ›

Despite its reputation as being for casual relationships, our insights indicate that Tinder is the best dating app for marriage. According to The Knot 2021 Jewelry and Engagement Study, Tinder was responsible for pairing 27% of newlyweds who met online, solidifying its spot as the most popular dating app too.

What dating site has the highest success rate? ›

What Dating Site Has The Highest Success Rate? eHarmony is a dating site that has the highest success rate. For people looking to build a serious relationship, it's reassuring to know that this dating site has seen more than 2 million users find love on its platform.

How do most couples meet in 2022? ›

If you're dating in 2022, you probably have a presence on dating apps. There's no denying they're the most popular way people meet—especially because this claim is backed by data.

Why is online dating so hard for guys? ›

Sheer logistics are not working in your favor as a man dating online. While as men we might get a few messages a week, women often are getting hundreds of messages a day! What this means is that even if she would be interested in you, she can't get to that point until she sorts through the other messages she has.

Is real life dating better than online dating? ›

Unlike online dating where you can create a new identity, it's a lot less likely for someone to do that in real life. Liars are easily caught out. In real-life, you can be sure that the person is actually real which will make it easier to trust what they say about their study, interests and career.

Is anyone real on dating sites? ›

According to one survey, a total of 53% of US participants admitted to having lied in their online dating profile. Research says one-third of all people who use online dating sites have never actually gone on a date with someone they met online.

What age are men most attractive? ›

While men seem to be genetically predisposed to be attracted to women in their mid-to-late-20s, women tend to be attracted to men around their ages, if not older; this means men in their 30s have the best of both worlds. Men in their 30s are attractive to a wide range of women, from 20-somethings to women in their 40s.

Why do men stay on dating apps? ›

He could also still be using dating apps, because – as great as you are – he doesn't quite know what he wants. Maybe he hasn't been single that long, maybe he isn't ready to settle down or maybe he's speaking to others to see if there is any interest there or if he's 100% into you.

Why does online dating hurt so much? ›

So even though it's nice in theory to have a ton of options on dating apps, it can be stressful for users to be overwhelmed with choice — especially because they might also feel pressured to "compete" with all the other users on that app or site, and then feel "rejected" when they aren't getting as much attention as ...

What are 2 red flags in dating? ›

General Dating Red Flags

Isolation: They only want to be with you, and while that might sound flattering, they also encourage you to cut ties with friends and family. Smothering: They constantly put you or others down, even if they mistakenly believe they're just kidding.

What is the 2 week rule dating? ›

So what is it? The 2-2-2 Rule involves going on a date night every two weeks, spending a weekend away every two months and taking a week-long vacation away every two years. The idea behind it is that prioritizing and planning to spend time together strengthens your relationship.

Why are people scared of online dating? ›

It's quick, convenient, and lets you get to know a potential match before you ever even meet them face-to-face. Still, some find that they fear online dating because it puts too much personal information out there for strangers, or that it otherwise sets them up to meet unpleasant or unappealing matches.

How many people get kidnapped from online dating? ›

More than 25% of rapists use online dating sites and apps to find victims. Internet predators commit over 16,000 abductions, 100 murders and thousands of rapes annually.

What percentage of online dating profiles are fake? ›

There are estimates that as many as 10% of dating profiles on some sites are fake. That means that for every 10 people you see on a dating site, one of them is likely not even a real person.

What dating app do billionaires use? ›

Rich Meet Beautiful: Excellent wealthy dating app. Elite Singles: Not only successful but very educated professionals. The League: Premium millionaire dating site. eHarmony: Great for marrying attractive and successful people.

Which dating app is most serious? ›

14 Best Dating Sites To Meet Someone Online For A Real Relationship in 2022
  • eharmony. Meaningful connections. ...
  • Match. Lasting relationships. ...
  • Zoosk. Those who love travel. ...
  • FriendFinder. Mix of casual and serious. ...
  • Bumble. Best for women. ...
  • Hinge. Best for quick, serious matches. ...
  • OkCupid. Best for progressive dating. ...
  • The League.
1 Nov 2022

How long should you stay on a dating app? ›

At Least Three Months

"This number is based on the theory that you're both playing the field and you want a serious, committed relationship." Once three months have passed, you'll be able to figure out whether you really want to get serious about someone or not.

What kind of men are on dating apps? ›

In poking light fun at the online dating world, here are 12 types of guys you're likely to meet as you swipe.
  • 1) The ab guy. You'll be lucky if you can see the ab guy's face. ...
  • 2) The gym bro. ...
  • 3) The dog guy. ...
  • 4) The skydiving guy. ...
  • 5) The casual hookup. ...
  • 6) The FWB guy. ...
  • 7) The frat bro. ...
  • 8) The nomad.
24 Jun 2021

What are men on dating apps looking for? ›

For insider takes on this issue, here's what men say they look for in women on dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge.
  • Originality is key. ...
  • Good pictures are just a start. ...
  • Actually just fill out a profile. ...
  • Be specific and clear. ...
  • Let your pictures speak for you. ...
  • Ditch the Snapchat filters. ...
  • Just be yourself.
7 Apr 2021

Who is most likely to use a dating app? ›

LGBTQ Users Are Twice as Likely to Use a Dating App

According to Pew Research, 55% of LGBTQ adults said they have used a dating app, compared to 28% of straight adults.

Are dating apps worth it in 2022? ›

Even in 2022, Tinder is still the best way to get a date online. Here is why you should use it : It has the most users, so more people for you to match with.

What percentage of people have success on dating apps? ›

Success Rate In Online Dating (Ended Up Together)

In a study conducted by Statista, it was found that 17% of online daters have ended up in a long-term relationship after meeting someone online. Additionally, it was found that almost a third of all asked knew someone who had met their partner online.

How many successful relationships come from dating apps? ›

The majority of American online daters — 54% — say relationships from dating platforms are as successful as in-person meetings. Out of the remaining 46%, 5% say that such relationships are more successful than relationships that started in person, leaving only 41% who think online relationships are less likely to last.

What percentage of relationships start on dating apps? ›

28%). 2A small share of Americans say they have been in a committed relationship with or married someone they met through a dating site or app. About one-in-ten U.S. adults say this (12%), though these shares are higher among LGB adults, as well as those ages 18 to 49.

Are dating apps still profitable? ›

After a slump in the early 2010s, dating app revenues have increased every year since 2015, reaching $5.61 billion in 2021.

Which dating site has the highest success rate? ›

What Dating Site Has The Highest Success Rate? eHarmony is a dating site that has the highest success rate. For people looking to build a serious relationship, it's reassuring to know that this dating site has seen more than 2 million users find love on its platform.

Which dating sites lead to the most marriages? ›

Despite its reputation as being for casual relationships, our insights indicate that Tinder is the best dating app for marriage. According to The Knot 2021 Jewelry and Engagement Study, Tinder was responsible for pairing 27% of newlyweds who met online, solidifying its spot as the most popular dating app too.

What is the 37% rule in dating? ›

To have the highest chance of picking the very best suitor, you should date and reject the first 37 percent of your total group of lifetime suitors. (If you're into math, it's actually 1/e, which comes out to 0.368, or 36.8 percent.)

What is the 60 40 rule in dating? ›

60/40 – Effort and Expectation

“Love is only true and stable if it is 100%. The 60/40 rule says that you should put in 60 effort and expect to receive 40 from your partner,” said Celia Schweyer, a dating and relationship expert at DatingScout.

Does the 37% rule apply to dating? ›

The best strategy for dating, according to math, is to reject the first 37 percent of your dates. The actual percent is 1/e, where the base is the natural logarithm. That's 36.79 percent, but you need to round up because you can't date a fraction of a person.

Do millionaires use dating sites? ›

Believe it or not but millionaires use dating sites as well. But they're very choosy with the ones they use and it might be difficult to find a millionaire to date if you're not looking in the right places.

Why do dating sites fail? ›

The truth is no matter what your experience or back story, the main reason dating sites don't work for the majority of people is simple: it's ineffective or poorly developed profiles. That's the shock of it. Many of the struggles are self-inflicted.


1. Why Are All Dating Apps So Bad?
(Andrew Platt)
(Beyond Exceptional)
3. My WORST Tinder Stories (GRAPHIC)
(Smosh Pit)
5. how dating apps keep you single
(Answer in Progress)
6. The Dark Side Of: Online Dating
(Investigation Discovery)
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