There is a dilemma within online dating. You have to make yourself available or else it won’t lead to anything. No one messages incognito profiles with no bio and no personal statistics. But making yourself too available, or sometimes available at all, can have negative consequences.
Oftentimes, professors of literature will encourage their students to scrutinize every aspect of a text: there is no paragraph, no word, no line break that is there involuntarily. Therefore, the choice of meter is as much a part of Hamlet as his famous ambivalent soliloquies.
This is also true of online dating. Ostensibly candid chit-chat is backspaced over and over. Photos are curated. With a lack of body language or subconscious ‘aura-reading,’ this is all you have to judge a person by. Back to the opening dilemma: are you to remain in the safety of your house, never knowing what this scintillating chit-chat could lead to, or do you go out and meet at a bar, hoping that the person won’t end up stealing your wallet?
The following twelve people picked option number two and lived (occasionally…) to regret it. Although we think online dating is a lot of fun and don’t mean this as a PSA against its dangers, always keep your eye on the emergency exit.
12. Charming Man Is Murderous Liar
Among other things, Minh Nguyen told “Crystal” that he was 28 years old and that he had co-founded the profitable startup Plaxo. Crystal eventually found out both those things were untrue. The man was actually a decade older and had never worked at the company (but another man named Minh Nguyen had.)
How did she find out? A few weeks after they Tinder chatted and almost set up a date, she saw a story in the paper about how Nguyen had killed his ex-wife’s new husband in a fit of jealousy. In the chats, he had come off interesting and stable.
11. Woman Jumps Out of Window To Escape Man
The scary thing about Tinder meetups is that there are only two people there (sometimes… we’ll get to it.) If something happens, it’s your word against theirs. This is the case with Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright. After meeting up with Tostee in his Gold Coast apartment, Wright flung herself from the 14th floor balcony.
Although Tostee plead guilty in court (to no avail, he was charged for murder), the consensus is that he made unwanted advances, blocking off every exit except for certain death. Although it is sad that she had to die, there is a sort of poetic justice in her giving credence to the phrase: “I’d sooner die than have sex with you,” which she most probably said several times to the man before her leap.
10. Happy Hookup Becomes Violent
Fernando Rosales and Sean Crescentini met on Grindr, the gay version of Tinder (absolutely no cutesy peek-a-boo function). After a month of chatting, the two men decided to hookup in real life. Very quickly, things escalated to violence.
Crescentini made demeaning, presumably homophobic remarks. When Rosales got up to leave, Crescentini got angry and allegedly lunged at him. This is when Rosales reached for a knife and stabbed the man to death. The convict also maintains that the man punched him in the face before any blade violence, after he had threatened to give his license plate number to the cops.
9. Trusted Man Betrays His Date
We tend to think of sexual assault as something that happens randomly and between strangers. But often it happens between people where a pittance of trust has been established.
A mid-20s woman in Christchurch, New Zealand says this happened to her through Tinder. She says that she was on her third date with a man she met through the popular app when he violated her. So far, these stories have been about people who hardly know each other, or have not even seen each other in real life. But three dates is enough time to get to know someone, or at least understand his or her vibe.
8. Woman Abducted And Attacked
After a few chats with a charming man on Tinder, a 30-year-old Irish woman agreed to meet her online interlocutor one night for coffee. What happened next she didn’t expect. Her date forced her into his car and drove around relentlessly until he found a secluded spot and assaulted her. After her abduction, he drove her home and sped off.
Unlike many of the other stories on this list, this one is different because it happened in private. The man hid in plain sight, throwing off suspicion by making himself apparent. On many “How To Stay Safe While Online Dating” lists they advise to meet in public. This is perhaps not a foolproof tactic…
7. Hustler Steals Identity on Tinder
Kristin Shotwell of North Carolina at first thought it was funny when she found out “Kim” was using her pictures on Tinder. “Of course, I laughed because the initial thought of the someone stealing your pictures online is kind of funny, right?”
But then it occurred to her that for someone to use your pictures on Tinder, it means they would have to set up a Facebook profile with your pictures, as well. Tinder is fun and games, but at this point, Facebook is almost government issued ID, what with their rules about name changing. If someone saw “Kim” on Facebook, they could think that she was Kristin, and whatever she did there would have real-life consequences on the actual girl’s reputation.
6. Underage Crime from Tinder
Jake Powers, 19 years old, has been accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl while meeting off of the popular dating app. After a brief conversation, the two agreed to meet up for some friendly flirtation. But when Jake arrived, according to the police, he put the underage girl in a headlock and slammed her to the ground. He muffled her cries and forced himself on her. It turns out that his profile on the dating app was fake, also. His real picture has now been released, but he was presumably using a different, more handsome man’s face in his Tinder profile to lure trusting young women.
5. Psycho Tinder Attack
An Atlanta man in his 30s was stabbed multiple times after meeting another man, Cedric, off of Tinder. The two made an appointment to hang out at McDonald’s. When they got there, Cedric invited his date over to his friend’s condo. Inside, Cedric turned violent and stabbed him. He then stole the wounded man’s car and dipped from the scene of the crime. But when the victim called for help, he seems to have embellished the story, telling people that he was kidnapped at gunpoint, then robbed at knifepoint and stabbed. The man turned out to be fine and police found his car, but details of “Cedric” are still missing.
4. Crazy Stalker Chick From Tinder
A Bustle writer recounts being stalked from Tinder. She says that she went on a date with a girl soon after being dumped, and at first, everything seemed normal. They seemed to be on the same page: casual sex, fun, flirtation… Nothing serious. But then the girl began to act erratic (10 missed calls for leaving her house “while she was sleeping” when the writer had actually woken her up to full awareness) and the writer dumped her. That’s when it got worse: the girl began showing up at her house, at her haunts, even at her work. Finally, the writer had to call the police, telling them that she was being stalked and needed the men in uniform to help shake this crazy Tinder date from her tail.
3. Sexy Thief Seduces Man
At 5:30, “Brittany” and her victim began to chat on Tinder. Quickly, the conversation turned to sex, and Brittany told him that if he wanted to get it in, it was gonna cost him. He agreed, because it was 5:30 in the morning and Brittany was cute. He pulled up to the spot at 5pm, their agreed upon meeting time, and there was a car right next to his. Brittany called him and said that she wanted him to get out so that she could hug him before they got into more adult business (he probably thought that she just wanted to see how tall he was), but he did it all the same. When he got out, Jack Anthony Croucher, Brittany’s friend, hopped out of the car instead, and he and a buddy robbed the man of everything he had brought with him (re: the cash he had brought to pay Brittany with.)
2. Slaughter in Seattle
Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young met Ali Muhammad Brown off of Grindr and Scruff (another gay dating app.) They picked him up in Said’s car outside of a bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. One of Said’s friends says that he got a bad vide from Brown as he watched him crawl into the sedan, but that he minded his own business and let them drive off. That very car was later found in South Seattle, the interior splattered with blood, including a handprint incriminatingly belonging to Ali Muhammad Brown. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder. If he is convicted, this is a sentence that could possibly get him the death penalty.
1. Tinder Date Turns Gang Assault
A 28-year-old New Zealand woman agreed to meet a man off of Tinder at a restaurant in Sydney, Australia. After dinner, they went for drinks at another location, where they met up with the man’s friends. Police say that at the second place, she began to feel dizzy, in other words too dizzy to just be drunk. She came to at a private property in the Botany area. There, she was assaulted by her date and all of his friends, as they exploited the unconsciousness they had inflicted upon her. Unfortunately, those are all the available details because the woman’s memory of the events is so spotty.