Shows Like Netflix's You That Will Keep You Off Dating Apps Forever

There was a time when television made dating look fun. From New Girl and The Mindy Project to You’re The Worst, finding your soulmate seemed to be an endless parade of laughs and impossibly good looking people. Even when romance was tough, it was ultimately a blast.

However, that feel good romantic TV era seems to be at a close. Now, shows like Lifetime dark horse-turned-Netflix blockbuster You reign supreme. The trick of You is that from season 1 heroine Guinevere Beck’s (Elizabeth Lail) perspective, she is living the complicated rom-com lifestyle enjoyed by Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel), Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), and their television sisterhood. At face value, You protagonist Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley, Gossip Girl’s Gossip Girl) is a dreamy bookstore manager who’s always there to save her.


Unfortunately for Beck, she doesn’t realize what Joe is not quite her knight in shining armor, but the person causing most of the problems in her life. He steals Beck’s phone, stalks her home, and starts murdering everyone around her who doesn’t live up to his high standards. Joe’s increasingly violent behavior in the name of love is enough to make you swear off dating apps forever.

Somehow, You isn’t the only series that proves singledom might be the way to go for a little while. From fellow sexy thrillers to obsession-worthy anthologies and upcoming Netflix dramas, many shows share You’s outlook on love. Keep reading to find out which series will make you happy to delete Tinder (and Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel) forever.

Dirty John (Bravo)

What is it?: An anthology series about a master con-man and his unwitting victim. Season 1 followed the real-life saga of “Dirty” John Meehan (Eric Bana), who trapped his eventual wife Debbie Newell (nation treasure Connie Britton) in a world of chaos and fear. Just when you think you know where Dirty John is going to, it swerves towards an even more terrifying direction.

Bravo has yet to announce what case season 2 will follow.

How does it ruin dating?: Debbie finds John on an app, so Dirty John puts online dating in an even scarier light than You does. However, both series center around women who thought they met their dream men, only to realize they’re sharing a bed with a deadly monster.

Can you stream it?: Dirty John will be available on Netflix in time for Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)

What is it?: A musical dramedy about an unfulfilled woman named Rebecca Bunch (co-creator Rachel Bloom) who leaves her supposedly successful life in New York City behind to follow an ex-boyfriend named Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) to his California hometown. Many fantastic musical numbers, romantic hijinks, and 'ships ensue.

How does it ruin dating?: Although lovable heroine Rebecca never murders anyone (er, exactly) to get the guy, she does dip into some of the same extreme behaviors favored by Joe Goldberg. One particularly dark moment shows Rebecca skulking around the home Josh shares with his fiancée Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz).

While Joe would defend such actions as “protective,” Rebecca takes a look at herself and realizes she might just be the villain in her own story, rather than the hero. That moment of self-reflection is what separates Rebecca and Joe.

Can you stream it?: Yes. You can watch seasons 1-3 on Netflix here.
Dexter (Showtime)

What is it?: A premium cable drama about a Miami serial killer with “a code” and a dark past. The titular murderer, a purposefully handsome Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), also has a loving family, a girlfriend who eventually becomes much more, and a fondness for revealing voiceovers.

How does it ruin dating?: Poor Rita (Julie Benz). Just like Beck, she has a history of dating awful men and thinks she found a good one in Dexter. Little does Rita know, the mild-mannered dreamboat in her life is a mass murderer.

Can you stream?: Yes, on Netflix right here.
The Hookup Plan (Netflix)

What is it?: A cute comedy about a woman named Elsa (Zita Hanrot) who’s hung up on her ex. She finally starts to move on when she meets a handsome stranger named Jules (Marc Ruchmann). The only problem is, Jules is secretly an escort hired by her friends.

Elsa has no idea.

How does it ruin dating?: The Hookup Plan is simply another reminder you should believe no one these days even when they’re allegedly a sweet preschool teacher.

Can you stream it?: Yes, right here.
Osmosis (Netflix)

What is it?: An upcoming French series set in the near future. Osmosis revolves around the latest dating app, which mines all of your memories and experiences to find your perfect match. Because this is a Netflix sci-fi series, this supposedly promising piece of technology will inevitably ruin lives and minds alike.

How does it ruin dating?: If You makes dating look scary, Osmosis suggests dating — along with the apps that now make it possible — is an actual form of hell.

Can you stream it?: Yes, when Osmosis premieres Friday, March 29.
UnReal (Hulu, by way of Lifetime)

What is it?: A black comedy about a Bachelor-esque reality show run by a terrible people. The first season of UnReal is so stellar, you'll still root for Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) and her boss Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) despite all their darkest machinations.

How does it ruin dating?: UnReal walked so You could run. Both series are dark dramas that started on Lifetime before making the jump to a streaming network (UnReal to Hulu, You, now infamously, to Netflix). And, they both make finding someone to love look absolutely awful. Not only is UnReal’s show-within-a-show Everlasting built on a foundation of horrific treachery, but every single person running the fictional reality show has a love life that becomes more ghastly with each episode.

Can you stream it?: Yes, right here.
Gossip Girl (The CW)

What is it?: A little show about a pack of Upper East Side teens. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

How does it ruin dating?: Joe Goldberg and Dan Humphries (Badgley, again) would agree on many, many things. Gossip Girl teaches us to trust no one — especially not quietly handsome and kind brunette men with rom-com passions.

Can you stream it?: Yes, on Netflix right here.
Load more...