Tech Traumarama: Dating Disasters in the Digital Age

From Snapstreaks to Bumble to sliding into the DM’s, dating has gone digital, and the outcome has been downright brutal for more than a few poor souls. We gathered embarrassing stories from regular people about their struggles with online romance – after all, these stories need a purpose other than a source of perpetual shame. Prepare for some “half-catfishing,” unbelievably bad Tinder dates, and terrible choices (like almost hooking up with your cousin.)

Warning: this article may motivate you to delete all dating apps on your phone.


I sent a snapchat of a naked guy sleeping beside me to the wrong person. Instead of sending it to my best friend, I sent it to the best friend of the guy I liked, who also liked me. The caption was “I finally got laid!!”

– Erica, 24, NJ


Freshman year of college I went on a Tinder date. We met up and went to one of the dorm cafeterias for dinner. He and I did not click at all, but I kept talking to him and being polite even though I knew I did not like him. We had ordered food and it hadn’t even arrived yet, when (while I was in mid-sentence) he stood up and bolted out the back door, leaving me stunned. The door he left through was glass so I could see him running all the way to the street trying to escape me. It was truly a horrifying moment.

– Emma, 22, OR


This story took place a year ago, so before reading this keep in mind that I was 19 at the time.

I was at a bar with a group of friends, and I met this guy. He seemed to be a bit quiet, but seemed to be really sweet. He also told me that he was 26 and in med school. The following day, I wake up to see that he added me on social media (Instagram and Facebook), and I thought to myself…why not? This guy seems to be smart and nice.

Next thing I know, he’s messaging me 24/7. I was getting weirded out by his clinginess and him messaging me at odd hours. He was very persistent on meeting up with me, and, being on co-op quite far away from my hometown, I respectfully declined since I was getting weird vibes. He didn’t seem to be taking a hint. I finally decided to simply say to him that I wasn’t looking for a relationship and felt weird about the 7 year age difference. He then responded very angrily and deleted me off social media. Now I’m thinking wow, well I dodged a bullet. This 26 year old man acts like he’s 13.

But wait, it gets worse.

Turns out he was 30 and lied about med school. He tried to add me back onto social media a little while later, but no way was that happening! I blocked the heck out of him!

– Anonymous, 20, ON

Once, I texted the guy I had been hooking up with “Hey, do you wanna get lunch sometime?” and he responded, four hours later, “Nah. Already ate.” And never spoke to me again.

-Rhonda, 24, CA


I get the same Facebook message every month from the same 40 year old man who used to be my ski coach. It’s “Hey, sup?” and I’ve never answered.

– Savannah, 25, NY


I’d like to think that I’m pretty confident in myself when it comes to first dates. Gone are the days where my palms used to sweat and my face would go red at the sight of any cute boy. So I believed that it would be a great idea to have my date pick me up at my apartment and we’d drive together to the restaurant. He gets out of his car and I realize in .1 seconds that I’ve been, what I like to call, “half catfished.” He definitely was the same person shown on his profile…maybe 7 YEARS AGO. He aged. And not well. He gives me a rather awkward hug, we get in the car and he starts telling me (without me asking) what he does for work. I hadn’t heard of the company he worked for and he looked at me all confused. “If you’d just THINK about it for a second, you’ll know the name,” he said to me in the mossssssst sarcastic tone.
Then he looked at me and was like, “you know, you’d be a perfect model for my t-shirt line coming out.”

…OKAY SIR, NOW YOU’RE A FASHION DESIGNER TOO? And also asking me to model for your T-SHIRT line? Excellent.

I finally see the restaurant ahead, except he doesn’t seem to slow down. So, I say, “oh, you just drove past the restaurant.” And he turns his body to me and, pretty much screams, “YOU WANT ME TO DO A U-TURN IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC????”

…Yep. Here is my end. This must be it. This man is trying to kill me.

He immediately chills out and switches the subject and says, “soooo, what kind of music do you like?” I say, “this isn’t working out,” and he goes, “no?”


Within two minutes of exiting this strange man’s car, I get a text: Lol, have a nice life, alex.

Here’s the silver lining though: I got out of his car right in front of the grocery store. He essentially helped me finish all my errands for the day.

– Alexandra, 22, ON


Met a girl on Tinder while I was drunk. The first signal that it was a bad idea was the fact that she called me drunk and upset that first night telling me about her ex-boyfriend and how she’s lonely. Anyways, I’m drunk and dumb so I said fuck it and snapped her the rest of the week. We met in person at MoMA for the first time, and that was when I realized her snaps were very planned out i.e. she sent me good angle snaps.  I just felt lied to. We continued on our date and we actually had a pretty good time together. We went our separate ways that night but she texted me the next weekend to hang again. Again, I’m dumb, drunk, and went to a nerdy tech school, so I said fuck it, and you can guess what happened next.

– Brian, 22, NJ

Once, a guy I liked fiinaaally texted me. I screenshotted the text and sent it to my friend…or so I thought. I actually sent it to the guy himself. I made up some excuse of my phone glitching. He responded positively, I screenshotted it again….and sent it to him again.

-AnnaLiese, 22, CA


After a date with a guy I met online, and right after the fun was done he was stroking my back and said, “Have you gotten this mole on your back checked out?”

-Jonie, 28, CA


Here is some backstory before I start: I am from Calgary, Alberta, however my father is from Cape Breton, a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Everyone down there is related. I currently go to school at Saint Francis Xavier University,  a small school located in the town of Antigonish, which is about two hours away from Halifax.

A couple weeks ago I matched with a girl on Tinder named Sarah. What I didn’t know was that Sarah was my second cousin. Luckily, we never hooked up but we could have come dangerously close. I asked her how she knew my cousin Matthew, to which she replied, “Matthew Macdonald? He’s my cousin.” To this I replied, “That is crazy, he is my cousin too. You’re not on Tammy’s side of the family are you?” She was indeed on Tammy’s side of the family. The final message I sent was, ‘Well, I guess I am done here, this is weird now.’ Two weeks after this, I was drinking with some friends, and she came over. I was super excited to have met one of my cousins in person, but she didn’t seem too thrilled to meet me. I think she thought I was still trying to hook up with her or something. It was very awkward. I would never hook up with my cousin. Either that, or she wanted to hook up with me for some reason, and was mad that I wasn’t down. Either way, it’s still gross to think about how I almost hooked up with my second cousin, and had I not asked about Matthew there is a decent chance we would have.

– Neil, 20, AB