When someone uses online dating, it’s a huge risk. They don’t know the other person apart from discussions held over messaging, and even then there’s a chance it’s not actually them. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. Just ask these Redditors.
People on Reddit share their online dating horror stories. Content has been edited for clarity.
‘What The Heck?’
“I went on a date a couple of months ago on a Sunday afternoon. Met up with the guy around 3, he had a wonderful energy and was funny and complimentary. The place we wanted to go to had a long line, so we went to another restaurant on the water for a drink and appetizers. He started slamming down Mai Tais. I had one, he had three. They were strong. Like, I was tipsy borderline hammered off of one. The bar had a two Mai Tai per person limit, but he found another bartender to get his third.
He got more and more hammered and started telling me he loved me, joking at first but getting increasingly serious. As we left he asked me to marry him, I kind of laughed it off, and was like, ‘Maybe we take it slow, we just met each other.’
He got so mad he stormed off and left me on a street corner. Then as soon as he got home (it was five pm) he started texting me ‘Come over,’ and ‘I miss you.’
He was 43. What the heck?”
‘Dodged A Bullet’
“I went on a date with this guy who I didn’t really have anything in common with, but thought I’d give him a shot anyway. We met up at a bar and he had already pounded two pitchers but was completely sober (at least from what I could tell). We hung out, talked, and although he seemed nice enough, I wasn’t quite feeling it. I wanted to leave but he convinced me to go to another bar to get one last drink. Seeing as it was only about 8 pm, I agreed to one more drink.
We were sitting at the bar, and a couple was making out next to us. He looked at me and asked what I thought people in the bar would do if he and I started making out. I knew where this was going. I tried to laugh and make some joke about no one paying attention. He then insisted that we should make out. I nervously laughed and told him it wasn’t a very good idea and excused myself to the restroom. I came back to the seat and he had a shot waiting for me and insisted I drink it – no shot for him, just me. I declined and he got really upset and said he was ready to go.
At that point in the evening, he had consumed almost six drinks, yet displayed no sign of being trashed. Nonetheless, I knew there was a lot of adult liquid in his system and asked if he thought it was a good idea for him to drive. He got extremely defensive and said he was fine; we exited the bar and he took off in the opposite direction. When I got home, I texted him just to make sure he was ok because he had so much to drink.
His response? ‘I only date girls I sleep with on the first date.’
Dodged a bullet with that one.”
‘I Have It Under Control!’
“After a movie date with a guy I met online, we came back to my place. We’ll call him ‘Dude.’ I told him we could hang for a bit, but I have work in the morning so I would need to go to sleep soon. Dude said that was fine, but he was hungry and he was going to order food. Ok sure. Dude orders two large subs from Pot Belly and a milkshake. Downs it. No judgment, I didn’t think anything of it until later.
We end up messing around a bit and fall asleep in bed. I wake up to my front door opening and closing several times over a five-minute period. My dogs are going nuts, and it’s 1 am. What the heck is this guy doing? I open the door to my room that opens up to the rest of my apartment, and my bathroom is to the left where the light is on and the door is wide open. I walk around the corner to make eye contact with Dude who is in a squatting position over my toilet, with a stick, poking around in murky brown poop water that is millimeters from overflowing onto my bathroom floor.
Horrified, he yells, ‘Stop looking at me! Go back to bed! I have it under control!’
I’m still waking up trying to understand what I’m seeing and what’s going on, and I just start nervous laughing; I don’t know what else to do.
He yells, ‘Why don’t you have a plunger?’
And I said ‘I don’t know I never needed one until now!’
He tells me to go back to bed he has it under control. I’m so disturbed, tired, can’t process what’s happening, and have work in the morning, so I go back to bed. I remember hearing him peek in my room a bit later and heard, ‘I fixed it,’ and then heard him leave and my door close behind him.
The next morning. I hesitantly approach my toilet to find the water is down. But there is something poking out from the bottom of the toilet like he didn’t get it all. Upon further inspection, what I was seeing was the tip of a stick. Some gloves, towels, and BBQ tongues later, I pulled out approximately three feet of stick from my toilet that had broken off, followed by several other stick fragments. Dude had broken several sticks. I heard my door open and close so much because he was going outside to look for a stick, one would break, he’d go get another. Dude had left drippy poop water stains all over my bathroom floor. He also left my apartment so fast, that he left his underwear and undershirt.
After work that day, I went straight to the store and bought a plunger.
‘I Pretty Much Had Enough’
“A chick said she was having a ‘work party’ at her house, and I should come over. It’s a ‘bring your own drinks,’ party so I bought a six-pack for myself. Went to her place and noticed more than half of the people were younger (17-18, while I was 21 and the girl was also 21). Then they gathered everyone in the living room, and proceed to talk about the job. Turns out it was one of those pyramid scheme recruiting gatherings. I just sat there drinking my drink (only one drinking) for two hours because I thought it was rude to leave because they were telling sob stories and saying how much this ‘job’ had helped them.
Sat there listening to some ‘head of the group guy,’ saying how we can make millions in a short amount of time.
Saying things like ‘You see my BMW 3 series out front? That’s a company car that you can drive around in if you do what we do.’
It was sad because they were trapping low-income teens that are deciding not to go to college and to join them. After the pitch, I pretty much had enough and was preparing to leave. Then the girl came up to me and asked what I thought, and I just said it’s not for me and I’m leaving. She asked if I wanted to take my drinks, and I said they needed it more than I did.
Two or three weeks later, she sent me a text (unfortunately we exchanged numbers) asking if the ‘head of the group’ guy can call me, and ask me questions on why I’m not signing up and how I thought the group session went. I didn’t reply, but sure enough, the dude called me and I politely said it’s not for me but he kept pushing. Finally, I had to tell him to get lost. And that was the end of that. Never went to ‘work parties’ for a date again. It was a complete trash show, and if it wasn’t for the drinks I brought or the date’s dog, I would have just left.
Looking back on it, during the pitch, the ‘head of the group’ guy said at one point, ‘If you’re not interested in making a million dollars, you can just leave. No one’s stopping you.’
I really wish I stood up, chugged my drink, and said ‘Forget this nonsense, you guys are all stupid and no one should be joining, you will ruin your lives,’ and walked out. But that’s just a daydream I have in the shower.”
‘I Say My Last Prayer’
“I matched with a girl and sent a lot of messages. Later that night, we talked on the phone and the conversation was going really well. So, I asked to go out the next night. She agreed, and then five minutes later she tells me that needs to tell me something. She tells me that she’s permanently in a wheelchair. So I’m either a bad guy if I back out now or even worse if I lead her on.
I figure why not, it’s just a date and it could be a fun time still. We talk more that night and go to bed. The next morning, she calls me early and tells me she’s doing something crazy. She won’t tell me what, but she said she’ll show me later. A few hours go by, and she calls me back, and tells me she’s going to send me a pic of what she did. I check my messages and I see a picture of her wrist, with my name now tattooed on it. We end the call, and I immediately tell my friends about this crazy girl.
Later that night, I’m driving to her place because I figure, she can be committed enough to tattoo my name on her I should be committed enough to go on this date. Plus I have to know if it’s real. I’m almost at her place, and I realize that my car may not accommodate her wheelchair. I know she drives, so I ask if she can drive us. I’m walking in the parking lot, and she drives up and I get in the car. Now, I had figured she had a handicapped enabled car. Nope. Turns out she just uses two crutches to drive, one on the gas and one on the brake.
I don’t like this as we’re driving on the southern California freeways in traffic. We go eat and she gets a phone call from her daughter. Turns out she left her 10-year-old daughter at home alone, and she’s scared. I feel bad for her daughter, and tell her we can go if she would like. But she tells me it’s okay, and how she gave her daughter something to make her sleep, and she’ll be asleep soon.
So we finish up and I was going to take her to see a movie, but the kid thing was too much so we head home. My fingers are already crossed that we make it when she turns to me while driving, and says wow ‘I’m kinda trashed.’
In my head, I’m like, ‘One drink is all you had!’
But I ask if I can drive and she says no she’s going to get in the fast lane and uses her crutch to hit the gas. I say my last prayers but we made it back to her place. So I wheeled her back to her door said goodbye and lived. Tattoo was real though.”
‘I Am Completely Turned Off’
“We lived about 25 minutes from each other, so we agreed to meet at the beach pier about halfway between. Before the meeting, we had been texting and he seemed totally normal. I was already at the pier when he texted me saying he can’t meet me there because his license is revoked and it’s too far for him to walk. I should’ve just left then, but I agreed to meet him at a pizza place closer to him.
I get there, and I’m standing outside when I see him, and quickly realize the pics from his profile were at least three to five years old. Homeboy looks like the dollar store version of himself. Greasy, looks like he hasn’t showered in days, hair undone, holes in his shirt. I awkwardly give him a side hug and suggest we get a seat, and he says, ‘Oh, no, we’re not getting pizza. Let’s go to the park.’
I awkwardly say okay, and as he talks, I realize his gums and tongue ring are stained black from smoking. By this point, I am completely turned off and am just keeping up with formalities.
So we get to the park and find a bench to talk, and before I can sit down, he pulls me onto his lap, squeezing me and saying, ‘God, baby girl, you are so freaking cute.’
I awkwardly scootch away and try to get a conversation going. He pulls out his phone and starts texting for a few minutes, not really listening to me, before interrupting with, ‘Have you smoked? My friend is a plug, we could go back to my place for a bowl.’
‘Aw, come on, baby girl, my place is just right there. We could have some fun, too.’
I decline again. Next thing you know, he pulls me close by the face and whispers, ‘You’re so innocent,’ before broad-tongued licking my face from chin to ear.
Shell-shocked, I just sit there for a moment processing what the heck just happened as he keeps talking about weed before I decide to fake an urgent phone call and leave.”
‘He Is Not A Wise Choice’
“After getting out of an incredibly long and unpleasant marriage, my mom joined several dating websites. Stella wanted to get her groove back, and I was 100% on her team. I can’t emphasize enough, she was not looking for a long-term connection. Her work sent her out of state for a while, and everything seemed perfect. She’s going to get her random D, and there’s no chance of it getting serious.
She’s sending me screenshots of the guys she’s considering, I’m giving her tips on safety. And then she picks a guy. I immediately tell her that he is not a wise choice. This guy’s profile is 98% red flags by volume. Whatever, she’s an adult, I literally cannot stop her. Somehow in the four hours they are physically together, he figures out which flight she’s taking the next day. He used that to find her final destination, and somehow even finds her home address. He uses the public tax information to find her full name, and from there hunts down her Facebook.
And finds my dad. Calls him on the phone!! And dishes E V E R Y T H I N G. Sends him pictures and screenshots of conversations. Then he starts sending my mom harassing messages that he loves her but that he can’t trust her. Ultimately, my mom had to call the police.”
‘Red Flags Everywhere’
“I worked in a sushi restaurant all during college, and this attractive guy and his friend comes in during our dinner rush. I’m running around like crazy, but manage to give them good service, and they both tip extremely well.
After the shift, I’m at home drinking and mindlessly browsing online dating profiles, trying to recover from all the craziness of the night. And then the guy I saw at work pops up on my feed! He had a very distinctive face/tattoos and, left a memorable tip. I swipe right and then pass the heck out.
The next day, I wake up to find out we matched and he’d sent some pretty sweet messages. We get to texting, and it turns out he’s only in town for business. He asks me out to dinner (at a super expensive nice restaurant), which I’m wary about, but through a mix of mimosas and bad advice from my roommates, I agree to meet later that night.
He’s super weirdly insistent on picking me up, and I finally had to tell him I’d cancel if I couldn’t drive myself to this date. He backs down, so we meet at this expensive French restaurant. He proceeds to order a $200 bottle, lobster, etc, and just spends so much freaking money. Like with tips and everything, I’m sure the meal had to have been around $600.
The conversation starts out normal, but as he drinks more I find out he’s married but supposedly in an open relationship. I don’t believe him, so he calls his wife right there and sends her my pics. She’s apparently bi and into girls. I hear her tell him to invite me for a threesome at their home in Cancun. Red flags. Red flags everywhere.
Once he’s off the phone, I ask him how he gets all his money and affords this lifestyle. With no change of expression, he calmly tells me it’s through a narcotics cartel. But he’s got connections, yadda yadda, etc. and it’s all perfectly safe. I nope out and immediately try to leave.
He follows me out to the car, tries to convince me to have this threesome, shows me pics of his wife, and his Instagram which proves everything he’s told me. I’m just trying to leave, and he tells me I at least owe it to him to go back to his hotel room since he spent so much on dinner. Then tries to force me to kiss him.
I manage to get away, but at this point, I’m terrified he’s going to try to follow me home. So I drive around for a while then spend the night at my friend’s (they had male roommates too) place so he can’t find out where I live. Deleted the app that day with no regrets. Looking back, I feel like that might have been part of a human trafficking scam. Maybe just a one-off crazy dude, but it definitely could have been a part of something much worse.”