Meeting new people can be a wonderful and rewarding experience; however, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes, you meet people you wish you hadn’t; people you’d have been better off without; people who make you wish you’d listened to your parents when they said, “Don’t to talk to strangers.”

Online dating sites and mobile apps like Bumble, OkCupid, and Tinder encourage users to socialize and meet people in hopes of finding love. While there is the potential to meet someone amazing, more often than not, people’s experiences with online dating are awful. So many things can go wrong from ‘catfishing’ (when a user creates a profile pretending to be someone else), to aggressive or misogynistic messages. The Underground reached out to the UTSC community to find out about their Tinder escapades. Here are their stories.

“So, one day, this girl asked me to come to her house after she got off work at 6:30 PM. I was already downtown, so I figured I’d walk and kill some time. It was so cold outside that my phone died. I had to find a convenient store to buy a charger; when I found one, I stood by the door charging my phone. When my phone turned on, I had a message from the girl saying she had to work an extra hour and would need half an hour to get home. I waited and waited and was about to leave but I didn’t have dinner yet, so I bought a can of chunky soup, some candy, and a can of Crush. I ate in a park and waited for her bus. At her place, we talked for a bit while she set up the TV.  I sat on the two-person couch, and she sat on the one person couch across the room. We watched Food Truck Face Off for hours and barely spoke. When I got home I realized I forgot my charger, so I texted her saying that, and in the morning, she said I could come and get it, but I had class so I couldn’t. She said, “Oh well, that’s too bad,” and I never heard back from her again.” Francis Lee.

“My friends and I plant trees up north near Timmins every summer, and one year, we made a bet: whoever hooked up with a town local first didn’t have to eat a tree (yes, a tree). So, scrolling through Tinder, I stumbled upon this girl who looked great and posted pictures of herself looking like a model. When we finally met, I was really taken aback because she looked nothing like the girl in the photos, and she had no hands. We still ended up hooking up, but because but my friend had hooked up with another local first, I had to eat a tree.” Arthur Combs.

Tinder has approximately 50 million users worldwide, not to mention all the people on Clover, Happn, or PlentyOfFish, and it’s safe to assume that most of them are perfectly respectful human beings. Catfishes and creeps are the minority, the outliers if you will. So, while avoiding Tinder and apps like it will eliminate the possibility of you matching with a weirdo, it also reduces your chances of finding someone you genuinely connect with. Fostering relationships, both physical and platonic, is an important part our social development, and I encourage everyone to do it in whatever way best suits them; please, just be smart and respectful.