I originally wrote this article for The Underground at UTSC buuuut the Love & Sex issue was never published so…here it is
Meeting new people can be a wonderful and rewarding experience however, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes you meet people you wish you hadn’t, people you’d have been better off without, people who make you wish you’d listened to your parents when they said don’t to talk to strangers.
Online dating sites and mobile apps like Bumble, OkCupid and Tinder encourage users socialize, meet people in hopes of finding that elusive love thing everyone sings about. And while there is the potential to meet someone amazing more often than not people’s experiences with online dating are awful. So many things can go wrong from catfishing (someone pretending to be someone else with a fake profile) to aggressive or misogynistic messages. I reached out to the UTSC community to find out about their Tinder escapades, these are their stories. Disclaimer: names have been altered to protect people’s identities as well as their reputations.
“So one day this girl asked me to come to her house after she got off work at 6:30. I was already downtown so I figured I’d walk and kill some time. It was so cold outside my phone died. I had to find a convenient store to buy a charger and stood by the door charging it. When my phone turned on I had a message from the girl saying she had to work an extra hour and would need half an hour to get home. I waited and waited and was about to leave but I didn’t have dinner yet so I bought a can of Chunky Soup, some candy and a can of Crush; I ate them in a park and waited for her bus. At her place we talk for a bit, she sets up the TV, I sit on the two-person couch and she sits on the one person couch across the room. We watched Food Truck Face Off for hours and barely spoke. When I got home I realized I forgot my charger so I text her saying that and in the morning she said I could come get it now but I had class so I couldn’t. She said ‘Oh well that’s too bad’ and never heard back from her again.” Francis Lee (ok ok, that one was me).
“After talking to this guy I matched with for a while we decided to meet up and grab food but we didn’t decide where. He picked me up and he ended up choosing Pizza Pizza. We didn’t even eat in the restaurant, we just sat in his car as he talked about how much money he makes and how intelligent he thinks he is. Then homeboy tried to meet me on Christmas Eve and Christmas lmao. I was like wtf is wrong with you? He starts messaging me saying things like ‘did I do something wrong?’ ‘I don’t want to play games’ ‘It’s not like you didn’t go on Instagram.’ After that I unfollowed him and was like ‘wow ok, bye.’ Total school shooter vibe going on man.” Angela Omani.
“My friends and I plant trees up north near Timmins every summer and one year we made a bet; whoever hooked up with a town local first, didn’t have to eat a tree (yes, a tree). So scrolling through tinder, I stumbled upon this girl who looked great and posted pictures of herself looking like she models. When we finally met I was really taken back because she looked nothing like the girl in the photos and she had no hands. We still ended up hooking up but because but my friend had hooked up with another local first so I had to eat a tree anyways.” Arthur Combs.
“I gave this guy my number and we started talking, after the 5th day we decided to meet and see a movie. He picked me up from a friend’s house. He had sent me a pic of his face but to my shock when I opened his car door I saw a different guy. I was scared as fuck but I still went in because I was too nervous to bail. We made awkward small talk there and when we were in the theatre and as we drove home. When we got to my house he locked the doors and said “Give me a kiss and I’ll unlock it. It can only open from my side.” Instantly my heart sank. He winked and leaned closer to my face and I’m in shock right, I’m leaning away from the dude, my cheek is like on the window. I’m like “Let me the fuck out right now or I will scream and call the police.” He kept asking and nagging me. After I started to raise my voice he said “Okay fine” and unlocked the door.” I grabbed my Nike duffle bag out the back of his car and darted. I didn’t want him to see where I lived so I ran to another house around the corner, waited ’til the car drove away then ran home. Vanessa Helprov.
I know, I know that last one sounded like it could’ve been in a real horror story but don’t be too discouraged. Tinder has approximately 50 million users worldwide, not to mention all the people on Clover, Happn or PlentyOfFish, and it’s safe to assume most of them are perfectly respectable human beings. Catfishes, creeps and a-holes are the minority, outliers. So while avoiding Tinder and apps like it will eliminate the possibility of you matching with a weirdo it also reduces your chances of finding someone you genuinely connect with. Fostering relationships, both physical and platonic, is an important part our social development and I encourage everyone to do it in whatever way best suits them, please, just be smart and be respectful.