By Jonathan Bradley
When I was a kid, my mother told me that dating apps were evil. She assured me that dating apps were just about sex and not about forming meaningful relationships. In her mind, looking for love online was lazy.
But eventually, I saw that some of my cousins were happy in their online relationships, and some of them are now even married. Other people are not so lucky, though. We spoke to Ryerson students who recounted their Tinder horror stories (proving that Tinder is by far the most cursed dating app).
The following three dates started off normally but took a turn for the worse—so much so that I am starting to think maybe my mother was right.
Sorry, how did you say you paid off this car?
Ottilia Tang, a second-year graphic communications management student, met a guy named Jack* on Tinder. He graduated from Ryerson for engineering and had a day job as an engineer at his father’s company during the week. He was also a licensed tattoo artist at a studio downtown on weekends.
Tang appreciated that he was hard working, but still seemed pretty chill. After messaging each other on Tinder for a few days, they decided to go out for bubble tea at The Alley on St. Joseph Street, back in July.
The date started off well; Jack gave off no red flags. Tang talked to him about her program and her hobbies. But as they chatted about his working life, the conversation suddenly took an odd turn: he tried to subtly work into the conversation that some of his friends were cam girls. The red flag, though, was that he was part of the business.
These girls were international students, so the pay they received would be directed to his address. He would take 10 per cent from each girl’s paycheque, claiming that he managed to pay off his car using this income. Tang began to feel uneasy.
“He told me all of that in a way that felt like he was trying to recruit me into being a cam girl,” she says. “I was in his car and was shocked he said it so nonchalantly.”
Tang had finally had enough. Tang had a friend call her so that she could leave. Her friend picked her up about 20 minutes later.
He asked to see her a few days later, but she kept leaving him on read and making up fake excuses. After that, he never contacted her again.
A case for splitting the bill
Hayden Campbell, a second-year journalism student, met a girl named Jessica* on Tinder two years ago who he thought was calm and relaxed. Campbell did not talk to Jessica sensibly before he met her.
Campbell met Jessica for the first time at an Italian restaurant in Waterloo, Ont. She ordered a bottle of red wine, and they shared it. He remembers chatting about Brockhampton, a rap group that both of them enjoyed listening to. He thought that the date was going well. That was, until he received the bill.
The wine cost $140. And that was just the wine. The total tab was about $240. Campbell had picked the restaurant, but he says most wines there cost about $60. Jessica had picked their bottle of wine, though—clearly, she had expensive taste.
“It was really fucking good, but it was $140. And I paid for it,” he said. “It felt weird not to pay for it.” Campbell was pissed about spending so much and ghosted Jessica.
To this day, Campbell hasn’t told his family or friends about the date to avoid getting laughed at.
Actually, it is possible to have bad taste in music
About one year ago, Yulia Reingold, a third-year history student, met a guy on Tinder named Christian.* She said he seemed pretty like a normal person—they had a great conversation about his photography and her program.
They had been talking for one day and he decided to ask her out. She felt like they had a ton in common because they were involved with creatives. He had his photography business and she was a painter.
Christian asked Reingold to go for a drink at the 3 Brewers on Yonge Street. Reingold was in the area at the time, so she decided to meet up with him. The date got off to an awkward start with an unanticipated hug from Christian, but Reingold brushed it off and stayed committed to giving the date a chance.
Over beers, they got into the topic of music. Christian brought up that he listened to singer Chris Brown and rapper XXXTentacion—already raising a problematic flag since both are guilty of abusing former girlfriends.
After asking whether Christian knew about the artists’ history with women, he confirmed he was aware, but didn’t care. He became defensive by saying that he wasn’t a victim, so it wasn’t his problem.
Almost immediately, she called over the server and paid for her beer. Christian demanded he pay for it, but she said “Absolutely not. I’m going to pay for it myself.”
The worst part of the date was knowing that he is a professional photographer with a large following on Instagram who photographs women in lingerie. Reingold couldn’t believe that after her terrible date, Christian would go on to interact with more women in his workplace.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a Tinder date go as badly as that one,” she said.
*Names have been changed.