Confessions: What was your worst Tinder date?
‘He told me he had slept with my ex a few weeks earlier so it was literally a date from hell’
A lot can go wrong when you’re meeting someone off Tinder for the first time. You can’t swipe right in person and ditch them if you don’t like what you see.
For every Tinder date which results in a lifelong romance, there are several trainwrecks which are enough to put you off using the app for good. Maybe they’re not who they say they are. Maybe the conversation flows even slower than the drinks they offer to buy.
We tracked down your very worst Tinder date horror stories.
Smoke and lasers in the bedroom
“I went to a dinner date at this guys house. He cooked some nice food and we seemed to get on ok. After a while we went upstairs to listen to music and chill in his room and I spotted three enormous sex toys just scattered on his bedroom floor.
“He was so casual about it and was like ‘oh I’ll just put these away’. There were ankle and wrist restraints attached to his bed too so I was quite concerned.
“I couldn’t really escape so stuck around for a bit. He flicked a switch next to his bed and this machine under his bed started whirring. Then the room started filling with smoke. He turned some lasers on too for added effect. By this point I couldn’t really believe what was happening. He had a projector that project coloured shapes onto his bed too.”
“He then told me he had slept with my ex a few weeks earlier so it was literally a date from hell. I left quite soon and was traumatised when I got home. My housemates didn’t really believe me but this is all true.
“The guy invited me to a house party not long after, but I blocked him on Facebook. It’s the only way I’ve coped with the memories.”
– Jack, York second year
Public masturbation in the middle of the date
“He was a student from a top UK university who was in America for research project. I was a native New Yorker who thought he sounded perfect. We met for a romantic walk through Central Park.
“There were a few red flags. First was the story he proudly told about insulting an old lady on the road. Then he starting bragging about having taken every single drug.
“He led me to his favorite spot in the park, which turned out to be the very public baseball fields. As soon as we sat down on the grass and kicked off our shoes, he started lighting up a joint. There were a lot of people around, so I said timidly, ‘You know that’s illegal here, right?’ He just laughed, tossed it away and started kissing me.
“He started getting more handsy and I became extremely aware of the fact that this was a total stranger. After awhile, I said I had to go home.
“That’s when he unzipped his trousers and started jerking off in the middle of Central Park.
“I was stunned. Any self-respecting person probably would have run away, but my first instinct was to prevent anyone passing by from accidentally witnessing this. So I sat there awkwardly and tried to shield him from view as if he were a friend changing on the beach. Not ten feet away, a guy walked by with his dog.
“Afterwards, I gathered my things and all but sprinted to the train. Before we parted ways, he said: ‘By the way, I was handling the influenza virus at the lab this morning, so if you get the flu, that’s my bad’.”
– Olivia, Cornell graduate
Revealing Harry Potter tattoos
“He started off the conversation at the bar by showing me all his tattoos. He had the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter, the Assassins Creed logo.
“It gets worse, on his chest he had tattooed the words ‘and on that day, not a single fuck was given’. He even had a shamrock on his arse cheek because he went to Ireland once. My favourite was big “mum’ tattooed on the inside of his bottom lip.
“After subjecting me to all of that, he didn’t even offer to pay for my drink. I got away by telling him my friend had just text and was really upset.
“He was the first guy I ever spoke to and met up with on Tinder. His face was quite handsome and he had nothing on his profile to give away the weird tattoos.
“It hasn’t put me off Tinder though. I decided to take it with a pinch of salt and carried on, I’m not sure why.”
– Cloe, Exeter graduate
The worst excuse
“I went on a Tinder date where the guy left because his brothers wife left him during our dinner, obviously utter bullshit. In his bio he called himself a playwright from Argentina, but apparently he lived in Marbella so he was clearly a mixed bag.
“The whole thing was odd. He seemed slightly obsessed with his brothers being at Eton, but he hadn’t been himself. He was arrogant and smelled bit stuffy – it’s hard to describe.
“We met outside Regents Park but I was half an hour late. When we finally met we walked to Camden to find a restaurant. He got me to order a drink but strangely didn’t get one for himself. Then not long after he suddenly went to take a call not long after we got inside.
“He then announced his brother’s wife had left him and he had to go straight away – it’s one of the most excuses I’ve ever heard at least.
“Just after we left he messaged me to say sorry and that I was cute. I said “don’t worry” and then we never spoke again. That was that, thank god.”
– Emma, Durham third year
Going on a Tinder date with a lecturer
“While on a year abroad in France I saw a silver fox who taught some of the tutorial classes on Tinder. I swiped right, matched and started chatting to him. He eagerly asked me to drinks after only a little bit of small talk and I agreed to go.
“We met after he finished class one night outside an English themed bar (he thought it was funny – it wasn’t). All of this would have been well and good if it was one sided but it became clear to me he too had his own fantasies.
“After a few drinks in it dawned upon me that the teacher must have had a penchant for English students since the topic of conversation hadn’t changed since our first G&T. The same nagging of ‘Where is your short skirt? Don’t all English girls wear short skirts?’
“I told him I had to leave to watch Downton Abbey, hoping he would get the subtle humour of my excuse (I thought it was funny – he didn’t).
“After making several attempts to walk me home , the night became just plain awkward – but not as awkward as having to walk past him after class on the Monday morning.”
– Amelia, Edinburgh third year
Changing their name once the date starts
“We matched on Tinder, spoke for a couple of minutes and she asked for my number almost straight away. I liked where it was going so I gave it to her.
“I got an add on Facebook seconds later and almost immediately my phone started ringing – it was the girl. What followed was the most awkward 20 minute conversation of my life. She did most the the talking, but for some reason I agreed to meet her a few days later.
“We met in Central London where there were lots of people around. When we met she was now going by an entirely different name – Dolly.
“I decided to meet her once more, but when the 4am phone calls asking me how I was started coming in – I decided it was time to cut it.”
– John, Nottingham graduate
The plaited beard
“I turned up to a Tinder date expecting a lovely talkative guy with a big bushy beard and a love for nature.
I was met with a guy who had plaited his beard for the occasion, and wore a bandana to match his eccentrically patterned shirt. As soon as he pronounced mocha as ‘moe-ch-ah’ I knew we were doomed.
“I gave him a chance though, but the talkative guy on the app who had sailed around the world turned into a spluttering wreck and could barely get a sentence out at a time. I’ve never seen someone so nervous.
“Two hours of the most awkward conversation. I feel sorry for him in a way, but it put my off dating for a long time.”
– Sophie, Durham second year