7 True Online Dating Horror Stories

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Between the office, happy hour, and yoga class, you'd think it would be easy to find the S.O. of your dreams. Well, it isn't. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, compiled research from an MSNBC survey suggests that a whopping 40 million single folks in the U.S. are using online dating sites as a vehicle to find companionship. And, why not? You can surf for a Friday night date while sitting behind your desk on a Monday afternoon. Yet, even though we know plenty of couples who wound up in a serious relationship — or got hitched — from a cyber-dating experience, not everyone is so lucky in love.
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So, to help you feel a little bit better about a potentially rotten date of your own, we got seven hopeless romantics to tell us about their virtual connection gone wrong. From a date who didn't match up to his profile (looks and personality) to a grown man mimicking a work of art in the MOMA sculpture garden, we can't write nightmares this good, err, bad.
1 of 7
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Faker

Sex: Male
Age: 22
Dating Platform: Tinder

The Date: "I swiped right on a Tinder profile I deemed worthy of my attention and was pleased to find the conversation was pretty lively. Heck, it was downright engaging, and I found myself impatiently waiting for the next text. We ended up switching to texting, made a casual date, threw in those weird emoticons (we're talking :-) cheeseball), and waited."

"Come date night, I'm all psyched. I've creeped on social media to make sure I'm actually into date — affirmative. Date arrives at date location late looking absolutely nothing like the profile with a personality that did not match up to their words. It was a painful hour at a place I will likely never go back to again despite how adorable it was."

Did this experience turn you off from online dating?
"Unfortunately, no. I should know when to stop, but I'm a hopeless romantic and think 'the one' is just one more swipe to the right."

How has this experience affected your dating life now?
"Honestly, it's made me pickier than ever."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Awkward Texter

Sex: Female
Age: 26
Dating Platform: OkCupid

The Date: "He took me to a nice music venue. It seemed like a cool idea, but a hard place to talk on a first date. The moment we arrived, he didn't talk but ushered me to our seats (he also explicitly told me he was REALLY cheap, so we didn't have good seats). Then, when we sat down and the music started, he began to TEXT me — while I was sitting next to him! He texted me a bunch of odd and personal questions. Eek."

Did this experience turn you off from online dating?
"Surprisingly, no."

How has this experience affected your dating life now?
"I'm definitely more cautious. But, the whole online dating game is a toss up. At the end of the day, I guess I can just chalk it up as experience."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Joker

Sex: Female
Age: 34
Dating Platform: OkCupid

The Date: "We met in the sculpture garden of the MOMA. He couldn't find me, so he called and said he was the one mimicking the statue in the middle of the garden. So, I found him balancing on one leg with his arm in the air. We looked around the museum at a very rapid pace with him declaring art that he felt he could do 'dumb,' while asking me to pose in front of several pieces of art. At Richard Sera's large metal plate that you can walk on, he grabbed me for a quick waltz."

"We decided to go for a beer nearby and found a deserted Midtown Irish bar. We started exchanging our life stories and he launched into how his ex-girlfriend had an abortion without telling him, and then wrote him a Dear John letter — which she later added to a book of Dear John letters. Then he talked about how he regretted breaking up with her since she's now a successful writer, so he would have had good connections."

"While telling me his story, he was also falling asleep. His speech would slow and his eyes rolled back in his head. He'd then jolt awake and try to start back on the conversation, but would forget what he was talking about. We decided to leave because he was clearly tired. As I started to go down the subway steps, he apparently got a second wind and said, 'Hey, want to go to Uniqlo?' I declined and never saw him again."

Did this experience turn you off from online dating?
"I've done so much online dating that it definitely added to my frustration, but didn't completely turn me off."

How has this experience affected your dating life now?
"I am more trusting of my instinct. There were weird things about this guy before we met (his age and job changed on his profile, he was really disorganized and missed our first attempt to meet up), so I should have just canceled the date before we met."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Dave & Buster's Bust

Sex: Female
Age: 25
Dating Platform: Match.com

The Date: "On my first date with this 30-year-old guy, we joked about how good we were at a certain video game. Obviously, we were both like, 'I can totally beat you,' and all that schoolyard trash talk. So, for our second date, he thought it was a great idea to take me to Dave & Buster's in Times Square — as in, Dave & Buster's. As we're eating (seriously, Dave & Buster's), one of the workers comes around and asks to take a complimentary picture so he can put it on a photo keychain. Neither my date nor I was down for this super-insanely awkward photo, so we kinda just looked at each other for what seemed like the longest second ever until one of us finally nodded at the photographer."

"We take the picture and the photographer comes back five minutes later with our mugs plastered on a keychain. Yes, it looked as awkward as it felt. But, what's even more awkward is when I asked if he wanted to keep it (because homie knows I certainly didn't), he said, 'No, I want to burn it.' No, we never saw each other after that."

Did this experience turn you off from online dating?
"No, but it did reinforce my theory that even older men don't know what to do around women."

How has this experience affected your dating life now?
"Yeah, I'm never going to D&B on a date again."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Slimeball

Sex: Female
Age: 31
Dating Platform: OkCupid

The Date: "I really, really wanted to have that virtual fairy-tale ending two of my friends had through Match.com. Instead, I got a guy who looked great on paper (online), actually looked like his photo (hot as hell), and was initially charming. I say initially because we originally started out at a café for an alfresco cocktail before what originally was supposed to be dinner at a nearby restaurant. The minute we got to the cafe, he was getting up from his chair and flirting with women he obviously knew — literally talking about 'that night at the club' à la Night at the Roxbury."

"Then, forget the restaurant. I stupidly went to his place instead (his suggestion) where 'dinner' was frozen salmon thrown into his oven on an ungreased pan. No sides, just salmon. He poured me a glass of cheap wine and immediately stuck his hand down my dress. Scared and disgusted, I told him this wasn't what I expected. He said, 'Well, what did you expect from an online date?' Yeah, I grabbed my purse and ran out the door."

Did this experience turn you off from online dating?
"Absolutely. But, I also learned my lesson about going to someone's house that you don't even know — no matter how good looking they are!"

How has this experience affected your dating life now?
"I don't blame all men or anything crazy like that, but I am definitely more cautious. And, I haven't been able to eat salmon in a while, ha, ha."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Cheater

Sex: Male
Age: 30
Dating Platform: PlentyofFish

The Date: "I was one of those cliché professionals who was 'too busy to find love,' so I resorted to an online dating site. I chose POF because I was terrified that someone would recognize my snap on Match.com."

"Anyway, I ended up connecting with someone who mutually matched my ideals, so we set up a date at a wine bar. When we met, I found her attractive, engaging, the works. But, by glass number three, the truth came out: She casually brought up her husband when we were talking about travel. Yeah, they love to go hiking! I mean, WHY is someone on a dating site when they are married? And, being the gentleman that I am, I didn't have the heart/guts/time/ to ask. So, I excused myself to go to the restroom, paid the check at the front, and walked out the door without saying good-bye."

Did this experience turn you off from online dating?
"Yes, absolutely. You can talk of dreams, hobbies, and interests, but if you are a pathological liar, what good is a damn site?"

How has this experience affected your dating life now?
"I met someone at work. In person. Without a computer. And, I'm happy."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Sexual Healing

Sex: Male
Age: 28
Dating Platform: OneGoodLove

The Date: I chose this site because, unlike other some sites for the gay and lesbian community, this one wasn't just about hookups. So, after going through a long process of filling out a personality profile and not finding any matches appealing, I finally had a date on the calendar. We met at a classy, bar at a five-star hotel — mainly because neither one of us have ever been there and we had heard great things. Or, so I thought."

"There was definitely a mutual attraction, so I wasn't disappointed. What was a let down, however, was the fact that that we barely finished drink number one before he offered to get a room so we could 'really get to know each other.' I'm not a prude, but my intentions for being on this site was to find someone I could have a real relationship with — not just sex. So, I finished my drink, excused myself to go the the restroom, and didn't come back to the table."

Did this experience turn you off from online dating?
"Yes, a little — but I do think there are people out there like me who are looking for more than a hookup."

How has this experience affected your dating life now?
"I am much better at trying to get to know the person virtually before meeting in person."
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