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Tinder Horror Stories to Remind You There Are Worse Things Than Being Alone

"I realized I had catfished myself."
Illustration by Nick Gazin

Depending on your point of view, the dating app Tinder is a blessing or a curse. To some it's a handy tool that helps them fit meeting new people into a busy life. Others dismiss it as a vapid meat market responsible for the rise in STDs that are a result of the so-called "hookup culture" it helped create. It can undoubtedly connect you with potential partners you'd never otherwise meet, but unfortunately, some of those potential partners who will non-consensually jizz on your leg through his basketball shorts at the end of the night.


Below are five stories of Tinder disaster that start out awkward, get funnier and funnier, and then actually leave you quite unsettled and disturbed. Enjoy!

U Got It Bad

I met a girl on Tinder who was a couple hours away, but when you're gay, you take what you can get. I probably hung out with her three consecutive weekends. She texted me to hang out again, and I said, "Sorry, but it's my sister's birthday, I'm going to be with my family. I'll let you know when I'm back in town." She replied with the maximum amount of characters you can send in a text message, like seven pages? She told me I'd destroyed this perfect relationship and that God had told her we were supposed to be together, and that she wanted to marry me. I didn't reply. A couple days later I got a voicemail from her. She was drunk, crying, and singing Usher's "U Got It Bad." She sang the entire song. To my voicemail. Then said that she still loved me. So I ignored that too. A couple days later, she sent me this picture of a piece of burning paper that she'd written "Bucket List" at the top. All I could make out from the list was that she wanted to take me to Sweden. I couldn't read the rest. Because, again, it was on fire. –Brittany, 24

"I Just Start Laughing into His Mouth"

I'd been talking to this guy I met on Tinder for some time, and we got along fine. We finally met up and he looked like his pictures, which weren't bad looking, so that was good. But when he got out of his car, I realized he was rocking basketball shorts. It wasn't like I was wearing a full dress or anything, but come on, man. Basketball shorts? All right.

So he started talking about how he makes so much money a year, high six figures. I just thought, "Dude, you're rocking basketball shorts." But he kept going on and on about it, talking about his friend who's a chef that opened up his own restaurant and only makes $100,000 a year. He was embarrassed for his friend for making what he believed was such a terrible life choice. (Meanwhile, I don't even make a quarter of that.)


He took me to this dollar taco shack, and said, in this condescending tone, "In order to get to the nice places, you gotta earn your keep." OK, gross. I'm eating these tacos as fast as possible to get away from this guy, because he's just UGH. It's pretty obvious I'm not into this.

We walked back to my car and he invited me to come up to his apartment. I of course said no. So he pinned me up against the car in what I'm sure he thought was a very Rico Suave move, and tried to kiss me. Through his basketball shorts, it's very obvious he has an erection. And it's… it's there. It's happening. So as he's trying to kiss me, his body shudders, and I feel something that ends up on my leg. He's still trying to kiss me, and so I just start laughing into his mouth. Because I had no other option. This is the weirdest, most uncomfortable moment of my life. I kept laughing as he got off of me, and he was like, "You wanna keep hanging out?" I said "Nope! Don't ever call me. Lose my number. I'm never talking to you again. This was the worst. Thank you." I was still laughing hysterically as I got in my car and drove away. Three months later, he ended up texting me for a booty call? Ugh.

I hope he reads this, because he made me really uncomfortable and I'd love to return the favor. —Shelby, 25

Wrong Ryan

Like every other single female in LA, peer pressure got the best of me and I decided to see what Tinder was all about. After swiping around for two days, I matched with a guy named Ryan. He was nice, decent looking, but I wasn't super interested. We exchanged small talk and numbers, but nothing ever really came of it.

Four months later, I was at a house party where I met a different guy named Ryan. We hit it off, and later that week I decided to text him. We decided to get dinner and planned for me to pick him up from his office after work and hit a restaurant around the corner.


Date night came around, I promptly arrived at his office at 6:30 PM, and called to say I was out front. When he opened the door to get in, I had absolutely NO idea who the kid is.

Maybe he shaved? I think, Maybe he sent out one of his work buddies out as a joke? Maybe I've lost my mind? Every possible scenario is running through my head as to how a complete stranger got into my car and was talking to me like he knew who I was, not fazed at all. Trying not to tip him off to my sheer panic, I decided to start asking questions that the Ryan I'd met at the house party would know. This only confirmed that I was on a date with the wrong dude. Finally, at the restaurant and thoroughly freaked out, I gave in and asked him how we knew each other. He responded, "We met on Tinder."

That's when I realized I had catfished myself. Because I'm an idiot and didn't save the last names in my contacts, I had texted the wrong Ryan. I was on a date with the Ryan I had matched with on Tinder, not the one I'd hit it off with at the party, without even knowing. Feeling like the worst person in the entire world, I proceeded to have the most awkward dinner of my entire life. I vowed to never get on Tinder again, and never spoke to either Ryan again. –Tera, 26

When Cats (and Asthma) Attack

I'd had what was a totally fine date with a guy I'll call Chip who was a DJ at Fashion Week events. We ate cheap sushi, had some things in common (Jewishness), and he bragged about the time he apparently fucked Emrata, all the while assuring me he thought I was hotter because she's "too skinny" or some BS. We went back to his place, and started making out. He showed me his tattoos—a chestplate of his dead dad, a David Lynch tribute, a Japanese scene on his ass. Since I was already down there, I stayed down there (wink wink)…until something sharp landed on my head. It was his stupid fucking cat, who he'd told me about earlier in the night (he'd created an Instagram account for it and wanted me to follow). I tried to shake it off, but it dug its claws into my hair and down my back. I finally shook free, and we moved up to his loft bed (he was in his 30s, btw) and tried to resume, but the cat followed us up there. I was having (extra) trouble breathing, and went to the bathroom to recoup from a full-blown asthma attack from the fucking cat. I had bloodshot red eyes and a splotchy face. "Chip" tried to tell me my swollen, bleeding eyes weren't that bad, but something (the rock-hard boner in his hand?) made me believe he had interests in mind that weren't my own. I needed my inhaler and to GTFO stat.

He chronically dick-pic'd me at all times of the day for months following our date. I once saw him on the street wearing culottes. I later found out his cat has close to 15,000 Insta followers.–Taylor, 24



I met this girl over Tinder, things were going nicely, so we met up for coffee. I'd been on a few Tinder dates before and it's awkward when two people meet in such a context. But with this girl in particular, we got along almost instantly. We had things in common. Conversation was easy. It was nice.

At one point she set down her coffee as I was talking, and she brushed her hair to the side and looked me straight in the eye. She smiled. I smiled back. As I continued to talk, I went to pull my phone out of my pocket to show her something. I guess she didn't realize I could totally still see her, but she took my looking down as an opportunity to quickly (and purposefully) shove her fingers down her throat to trigger her gag reflex.

Four seconds later I'm drenched in this girl's vomit from head to toe. I'm sitting there in shock, trying to figure out what happened. She apologized, and asked if I was OK. "Nope," I said, picking myself up and trudging to the bathroom to wash up. When I got back, she was gone. I never heard from her again. –Ted, 24

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