Nightmare Dating Stories from the Trenches
It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone loves to a good date-gone-wrong story. That is, unless the story happened to you.
With online dating apps becoming increasingly mainstream, the causes of dating nightmares have also shifted from mostly being due to a poor blind date set-up or matter of circumstance (like an embarrassing bout of food poisoning similar to what we all saw in the film Along Came Polly) to dating profile deception.
These are just a few of the common dating nightmares from the trenches, but you’ll find with each of these scenarios is one common way to combat them.
Creep Level 1000
By far the biggest fear women have going into a date with someone they’ve met online is that the guy’s a creep.
Whether it’s a weird fetish, lack of filter on topics you typically don’t discuss upon first meeting, or just an unexplainable vibe, online dating sites are the ideal place for creepy guys to make connections.
According to a study by Knox College, which surveyed 1,341 people from different countries who were an average age of 28, failure to respond to social cues like watching people before interacting with them, asking too many about details of one's personal life, or displaying too much or too little emotion, was the highest predictor of creepiness.
So, how do you avoid creepers in your online dating journey? Talking to them prior to meeting can be helpful, but since you need social cues to get a good read on creepiness, getting to see your future date’s face in real time is one of the best ways to gauge the creep factor before you meet up with them.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should always have an escape route planned if you do decide to meet up and the date ends up being a dud, but if all else fails, pray for a waitress like the one in The Baby Dater story.
His selfie didn’t look this sloppy
Oh the wonders of technology. Back in the day we only had a MySpace page to worry about, and taking a selfie from above was the only thing we needed to do to get a flattering profile picture.
Now we have photo editing apps that let us control everything from our skin clarity, eye color, waist definition and butt circumference, so it’s only natural to wonder if what you’ll see on someone’s online dating profile is what you’ll actually get.
And don’t think women are the main culprits of photo deception. According to a 2014 survey conducted The Renfrew Center Foundation, “Nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of Gen Y/Millennial women edit their pictures before posting them to their social networks, but so do more than half of men surveyed in the same age group (18-34).”
In addition to over-editing, some online fakers aren’t tweaking new photos, they’re using ones from decades, that’s right, decades ago.
Samantha experienced a selfie switch on her date from hell when the cute 25-year-old she saw on this guy’s dating profile turned out to be an overweight, balding, 50-year-old.
He said he was a 25-year-old trapped in a 50-year-old’s body and that the picture was from his youth.
Oh, no problem, totally acceptable. Not.
Awkward doesn’t begin to cover it
Anyone with a flair for 140-characters-or-less writing and good online game can trick a potential date into thinking they’ve landed a good catch. After all, online profiles can be edited. Real life charm can only be crafted on the spot.
But we’ve all met those people who look and sound cool, funny, or interesting online and once you meet up…crickets. Maybe they’re profusely sweating, the conversation’s lacking, or they have the complete opposite, word vomit.
Take this one unfortunate soul who went on a date with a guy who spent the majority of the time talking about the musical he was writing about raccoons and demonstrating the plot of Othello using the salt and pepper shakers.
It’s one thing to be quirky or have interests that deviate from the mainstream, and some people simply have social anxiety, but that kind of dating nightmare? Yeah, awkward doesn’t begin to cover it.
However, when you interact with a potential suitor in real time (aka video) before you dive into a date, chances are you’ll see any awkwardness from the get-go so you can steer clear of adding a story of your own to the nightmare dating arsenal.
You’re lucky to have found him
We’ve all met that guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to womankind. On-screen he’s smart, funny, charming, and a 10 in the looks department, or so he thinks, but once you experience his douchebaggery in person, all bets are off.
Like that guy who mentions his surprise over how intelligent your are and claims the insult was actually a compliment since he is MENSA member. Or the guy who flirts with other women while on your date.
Douchebag vibes are some of the easiest to hide in an online dating profile, but being able to have a conversation where you can hear someone’s tone and read facial expressions prior to a date can be a good way to steer clear of your own dating nightmare.
You got catfished
Last but not least, one of the biggest fears with finding someone through an online dating site is that you’re going to be catfished. You can thank MTV for that.
Who would have thought this would still be a problem after a few seasons of Catfish being on the air?!
Well, apparently it is because according to Mark Brooks, the editor of Online Personals Watch, said in an interview with Glamour Magazine, “On some dating sites, as many as one out of 10 profiles is a scammer.”
One of the worst stories I’ve read is by Dori Hartly, who was catfished by a professional con artist who claimed to be a man dying of leukemia. Come to find out, the catfish was actually a woman named Teresa who had been earning her income from the last 10 years through catfishing.
The big takeaway from catfishing horror stories is that if their profile seems too good to be true or they’re extremely resistant or come up with persistent excuses to video chat with you, they’re probably not who they say they are.
Of course, when it comes to online dating nightmares, the most important factor to always consider is your safety first. But I also know that when you’re spending your time online trying to meet The One, the last thing you want to do is waste any time going on a dud of a date.
Give Zepeel a try and see how you like it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including all the time you could spend viewing and swiping profiles of people who may or may not be who they say they are.
As you can see from the dating nightmares above, sometimes the free dinner really isn’t worth it.