If you have personally talked to one of the millions of people who have tried online dating, you know the results can be a mixed bag. Some find the love of their life and get married after a whirlwind romance, while others have a first date with the creepiest person imaginable.
This variety may not be "the spice of life", but it is an inevitable reality of dating in general. Even traditional dating was not immune to these variances, back in the days when blind dates existed before online dating. The simple reality is your next online date may be the memory of a lifetime, be it positive or negative. Either way, it's important to stay safe out there, meet in a public place and see where life takes you.
To emphasize just what a mixed bag online dating can be, let's take a look at a few truly unique and memorable online dating successes and horror stories. In case you are here for moral support after a disaster date, let's cover the horror stories first.
Hey, we're optimists. Ending on a positive note just feels like right thing to do, and we're sure you'll agree after reading these awful dating experiences.
Right off the bat, let's just say avoid online dating if you are fresh off a relationship split. You will be doing yourself and your date a huge favor if you hold off until you're ready to date. With that general caveat out of the way, let's dive into our first horror story.
A Buzzfeed reader describes her first date with a guy she had been chatting with online. Incidentally, he seemed normal, intelligent and funny at the time. They always do, it seems. This initial perception changed quickly upon first meeting. When the hopeful couple sat down for their first drink, the first question out of the man's mouth was whether the woman was "up for anal". Needless to say, things were off to a horrendous start of horrific proportions.
Not content to stop there, the man contiued to down shot after shot until he sobbingly confessed intimate details about his ex-girlfriend, which culminated with vomiting on his poor date's shoulder as she tried to walk the sloppy guy home. Worse, he continues to message her with the occasional "hey" or "I Miss you" 18 months after this horror date. Some bad dates truly make it difficult to ever forget in a quite literal way.
Dating advice generally recommends sending a personalized message to someone you are interested in because you have nothing to lose. The creep in this story should forget this advice and should instead remove himself from the online dating pool forever.
Another Buzzfeed reader teaches us the valuable lesson that you don't need a bad first date to have a cringe-inducing online dating experience. This woman in question had been online dating for exactly one day before receiving her first message from Creepy Casanova. The creep's message send a detailed and emotionally charged message asking for permission for him to masturbate on her socks. Needless to say, you can't make this stuff up.
Just to show that "crazy" is not exclusively the domain of male daters, let's take a look at William's creepy online dating story. William matched with an attractive girl on Tinder, and they set up a dinner date. The conversation went well, and before long, William was thinking about where the night might end. He ultimately asked if she would be interested in watching a movie at her place. She happily agreed, so off the happy pair went.
Eventually, they were making out on her couch, and her dog decided it was time to crash the party. Naturally, William simply suggested putting the dog in the bedroom or somewhere the pooch would be out of the way. His date on the other hand? She wasn't convinced of this logic in the slightest. Instead, she said "no", adding that her dog "likes to watch". Yeah, nothing says crazy quite like a woman condoning pet voyeurism on a first date.
With these negative experiences in mind, do your best to cleanse your palate and come to terms with the fact that these horror stories, truly, are the minority of online dating experiences. Sure, there are plenty of bad apples, but there are also gems to be found that can lead to lasting love and relationships. Here are a few prominent examples of when online dating can turn into something incredible.
Anna and Ian relayed their online dating love story to Cosmo, and as Anna puts it, she had been on a few dates that weren't good. As a tall women at 5-foot-10, Anna viewed height as a pretty big deal. She eventually came across Ian, a 6-foot-9 man with a sweet face, according to Anna.
Ian mentioned on his profile that his favorite book was The Great Gatsby. Incidentally, Anna found this piece of information interesting and wrote a first message to Ian based on her favorite excerpt from the novel. She wrote, "If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of the machines that registers earthquakes tens of thousands of miles away." Ian responded, indicating he was such a fan of the book that he owned a Great Gatsby sweatshirt.
Their correspondence continued, and they eventually learned they lived close to one another, deciding to meet up. Before their first date, Anna told him she had just seen the latest Les Mis film, and that she and her friends had hated it. Naturally, Ian told her he loved the film, but at any rate, they decided to meet for a date at a neutral location. When Ian came to pick her up to go on their date, he was playing the Les Mis soundtrack, which Anna found to be a clever and hilarious move on a first date.
Four dates later, and things seemed to be moving at a good pace, but Ian wanted to slow down. Anna, for her part, had become conditioned to being blown off, so she viewed it as a breakup talk. But, two days later Ian reached out, they watched some television together and it has been smooth sailing since. Now, they have moved in together and have been dating for two years. Both are confident this relationship is built to last.
Evan describes his forever love as an online dating success story based on the mutual love for gaming. Evan affectionately calls it his call of booty story, riffing on the popular Call of Duty gaming franchise. After a number of unsuccessful online dates, Evan spent a first date playing video games with his date. Five years later, he is celebrating a second year of marriage and, presumably, continuing to kick butt as a couple against all multiplayer challengers.
The takeaway of this success story is that, sometimes, it helps to find a connection over shared interests. Of course, this isn't to say you should focus exclusively on shared interests, but if online dating has you down, finding someone with shared hobbies is never a bad strategy. At worst, you may find a new friend, but at best, you may just find a forever love and someone to build a life with permanently.
In a story that seems plucked right out of a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks rom-com from the 90's comes Julie's online dating success. As Julie tells it, she was a Polish Canadian living in Spain who met a Frenchman living in La Reunion. Truly, you can't script it any better right from the jump.
Their fortuitous meeting began on the Internet, and it all started with online dating and emails. There was only one problem. Given that online dating is primarily based on written communication (at least initially), it was a bit of a problem that her match knew little of English and she only knew "Bonjour" and "Je suis Julia" in French. Still, they tried to cross this language barrier by writing each day, and eventually, they decided to have a Skype call after exchanging personal details. When he came online, Julie found him immediately attractive, even as he struggled to speak English. Similarly, Julie labored through her French sentences, pre-writing them and relying on Google Translate often.
Months later, her match decided to visit her in Spain. They continue trying to learn each other's language with patience, humor and laughter. As an aside, Julie offers excellent advice to would-be online daters by saying these three traits are essential for keeping the online dating romance alive. Despite the distance, bad Skype connection and language barriers, Julie found her forever love, with a wedding date set for 2015 at the time she wrote about this success story. Presumably, the couple is now happily married. Now all that's left to do is send their one-of-a-kind love story to Hollywood.
When it comes to online dating success, plenty of accolades and attention are given to the couples with stories that are larger than life, like Julie's. While these stories are no doubt grand and charming, plenty of online dating success stories involve simply finding love when the right match was in your community all along. Such was the case for Danielle, a 26-year-old woman who met her current boyfriend on Tinder.
As luck would have it, they went to the exact same college, and her boyfriend even worked out at the same gym as her. He ate at the same dining hall she worked at in college. Danielle jokes she was cooking for him before they ever found each other.
Their work locations were merely a block away from each other in Manhattan. But, as life in the big city can do to busy people, this pair had never met in person despite so many similar connections and near-misses. It was thanks to Tinder, however that they were ultimately connected and had their first date.
The first date came after pleasent conversation that led to a first date at a speakeasy bar, and the rest is, as they say, history. The two are now happily living together as a couple living life in the big city.
The general themes of the dating success stories provide a few key insights on how to find a meaningful connection online.
The first and most important lesson of these stories is not to give up. This is not to say you will not have good reasons to do so. After all, that's why we are sharing the horror stories along with the good!
Bad dates can and will happen. The important thing is to make sure you meet in a public place and take active precautions to protect yourself from any creeps. Then, try to be open-minded when dates go awfully. Try your best to treat it as a good story, but don't let the awful experience prevent you from finding a happy relationship that might be right around the corner. This, after all, is the moral of Anna's story. She was close to giving up before messaging Ian. Two happy years later, it's unlikely she regrets her choice to stick it out.
Second, don't be afraid to share your true passions and seek out a match who appreciates it. Whether it is sharing your affinity for The Great Gatsby or online video games, don't be shy about expressing your true self, even if it's nerdy. Plenty of matches will appreciate your authenticity as well as your hobbies. There are too many online success stories based on mutual hobbies to hide aspects of your true self in an attempt to be more "mainstream" with your dating profile. When your profile is a more authentic reflection of you, it stands to reason you stand a much greater chance of making a truly authentic connection.
Third, when the connection is right don't be afraid to commit, especially when it isn't easy. Julie's romantic story that crossed language barriers and the physical barriers of long-distance would not have been possible if they both were not committed to one another. Online dating gives you so many options to choose from that it can be easy to keep dating, unwilling to give up the options for the right one. Julie's story cautions against this choice. When you find Mr. or Ms. Right, do everything you can to make that relationship work, and you just might find the long-term relationship or marriage you have been hoping to find.
We hope you found these stories both entertaining and helpful as you continue searching for the right match for your relationship goals. Even if you have been on the "horror story" side, know that you're due for a success story right around the corner if you stick with it and continue following battle-tested online dating principles and proven advice. Keep putting yourself out there, and we are confident good things will happen in short order.