We all have online dating horror stories. Too many, probably. The stories of finding true love via Tinder or your soul mate on Grindr are, understandably, fewer and further between. But they're out there, and you shared them with us. Here are the best ones.
This couple met on Craigslist, and neither of them was murdered:
I met my wife on Craiglist in 2006. I had been living outside of a southwesern city in a rural area. I had grown up in NJ and moved out there after college to take a job. I dated a few of the women in town, and it wasn't working out. I decided to try online dating, but didn't want to shell out cash just yet; I was working at a nonprofit, making minimal money. So, I figured before subscribing to a pay service like Match, I'd try OKCupid and Craigslist. I had some really, really awful dates. However, one of the respondents was starting her PhD at a university in the southwestern city, and we really hit it off. We dated for a few years and have been married since 2011.
Wait wait wait. Another—still living—couple who met on Craigstlist:
My wife and I met on Craigslist back before it became a creep show. In fact, I had responded to a post and never heard back. Months later, I put up a post and she responded. We then talked on the phone a bit and had a real chemistry. I had an extra Giants ticket and invited her. As she would tell it, she was smitten immediately, but I was a dork and couldn't imagine anyone every loving me (which is why I Craiglisted myself at the time). After several months together as friends who do stuff and hung out, if finally just happened when we kind of co-adopted a kitten. Six months later, we got engaged. A year after that got married. And today are still married (10.5 years) with 2 kids, a dog, and that same cat. It works, but honesty is the only way it can.
The long-term couple who met after just one week of online dating:
Spoiler alert: met online, dated for two and half years, and we're getting married next summer.
The really great part of the story, to me, was that we found each other very quickly. We both decided to try online dating and, within our first week, met each other. We still both dated other people in that week, and probably had a few lingering dates that second week, but for all intents and purposes: a few days on OkCupid was all it took for me to find the woman I would marry.
My experience is far from typical. Even online dating commercials would look at us and say "that isn't believable enough". Guess I got really lucky!
An engagement that started on Match:
My fiance and I met on Match. She had moved back to the city where she grew up after a spell moving around the eastern half of the country and I had just finished grad school, watching most of my friends move away while I stayed in town with a shiny new job in hand. She would remember who messaged whom first, but I don't. Suffice to say she was smitten with the prose I had on the screen and three other key points: that I didn't look like a total creeper, wasn't married, and didn't make continuous references to only wanting to have sex.
When we met I was shocked at how gorgeous she was, having expected some use of the "angles," and told her as such. We ended up at a couple different bars around the city and made out like high school kids in my car (which we were not).
Fast forward about two months and I asked her to move in with me. Another 18 months later and we're engaged. She stills stands by the fact that she wasn't looking for anything too serious.
This brutally honest profile had a happily ever after:
I am glad that this was posted because online dating has a very bad rap and I found it to be a very good thing.
When I was dating online I posted a very brutally honest description of myself. It was pretty long and it detailed who I was and what I was looking for. I didn't try and make myself sound different; I wanted any date to like me for me. So I was very up front and honest.
I was on a site that let people know when they were being looked at. But I didn't know this and I had checked out the profile of a woman a few times but didn't message her. She said she did not want drama and I was still going through divorce and so I was gunshy.
Well, apparently, she found out I kept looking. So she went to see "Who is this guy who keeps looking at me but isn't saying anything?" And she saw the wall of text self-description. She tells the story here and there that she thought "Well, either this guy is full of shit or he has something to say" and started reading it.
Part of the way down she says she realized that she could have been reading about herself.
So she contacted me and straight-up asked why I had been checking her out and not messaging her. I replied that I was not sure she'd be interested but that I was. So we setup a date.
We met for dinner. I always thought a first date should be in public and have a time limit just in case either side was not into it. But we instantly clicked.
We decided dinner was not enough and went to a local bar/club with a band and hung out for a while. There another couple asked how long we were together and we said "a few hours!". They thought we had been together for years.
After that we walked on the beach and I told her I was going to kiss her (which she loved in terms of a man taking charge). First kiss —and it was on the beach under moonlight!
I had to drive her back to her car afterwards and we still did not want the date to end. We were giddy. She asked if I wanted her to come over for a bit to my place, I agreed.
(No, we didn't. To answer the obvious question. We'll get to that...)
We hung out for a few hours and talked and snuggled on the couch. Finally, she said she had to go and I drove her to the resturant and her car. On the way to the car I could hear her whisper —I thought for my benefit but apparently I was not supposed to hear: "I was a good girl! I was a good girl! I was a good girl!"
I found out later that she really wanted to sleep with me but decided I was a "keeper" and not to rush it. Which didn't last long; we crossed that threshold the next night.
So I'll gloss over the private next night. And third night. And that weekend we hung out. By the end of the weekend we were basically just boyfriend and girlfriend. We never went through a "dating" period except for that first night.
Fast forward a year and a half and we were exchanging wedding vows.
She is a wonderful woman. I have never met anyone in my life that I so instantly felt a bond with. We understand each other wordlessly and I love her with all of my heart.
They met over AOL Instant Messenger and neither is a spambot:
Does meeting on AOL instant messenger count? Let me explain...
One day at work, I started getting some harassing IMs from an account I don't recognize. It takes me all of thirty seconds to realize that it's my little sister (who was away at college) messing with me. Calling her out (to much denial) resulted in IMs starting up from heractual account, with a casual, "What's up?" and pretending to be oblivious to the situation. Suddenly, another random screen name starts harassing me (again, with jabs and humor that can only have come from my sister). As it was a slow day, I roll with it, because really, I've got nothing else to do until lunch, anyway.
Well, after a while, my sister gets bored, and fesses up that she had been using her roommate's account—and then had had said roommate jump online with her account to pretend to be my sister. The third person was their other roommate, who had gotten back from class and thought, "Oh, that looks like fun! Let me jump in too!" Lil sis had been feeding them things to say to me, much to the amusement of everyone.
That's where things started to go all sideways for my sister. See, this other roommate (who, along with the other girl, are also teammates of my sister on their college soccer team), has already had to endure over two years of my sister telling her how much like meshe is. When she said, "Oh, I need to meet your brother!" my sister replied with the edict"NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET!" (she actually had this written in all caps on the whiteboard in their suite). The plan had worked...right up until the great IM incident of 2003.
You see, after the hubub had died down, unbeknownst to my sister, this other roommate and I sorta...kept on chatting. We would IM each other all hours of the day and night. Long conversations. Sometimes banal, sometimes deep. Always awesome.
Well, it turns out one of my IM buddy's favorite NYC bands was playing down here (near DC) at a venue only a few blocks my my apartment building. It's the week of their spring break, so I suggest that she (and the other roommate*, who lives near her) come down for a night. We'll go see the band, have a little after-party at my place; a perfect weekend!
Then, of course, I had to tell my sister.** Oh, my gawd...the absolute icy chill in her voice when she growled back at me "You invited...my friends...down for the weekend?" Unlike our two middle brothers, who had to deal with her teenage years (I was off at college several states away, and spent my summers there, too), and had learned to respect and fear her—as she had become a rather formidable force of will—I breezily replied "Yup! Come on over if you like!"
Well, we never got to see the band, as of the three girls, only my IMing buddy was 21 yet (the other two both had a few weeks to go), and the club wouldn't let them in. So we wound up going to Fuddruckers instead, having milkshakes, then going back to my apartment to play Cranium (and drinks).
As it turned out, the girl and I completely and totally clicked. We were up all night talking (and then making out) long after the other two had passed out in my living room. We exchanged numbers that night, both realizing we'd found someone awesome. That led to a long-distance romance that, after a year and a half of dating, resulting in me asking her to marry me. We've been happily married since 2005.
Believe it or not, that couple is not alone. Another AIM meet cute:
We met online Waaay back in the old days -dial up AOL. Had a number of IMs (thats' we hip kids called them at the time), and then met for drinks. I asked her to marry me two years later; at midnight of the millennium, she said yes(!) And here we are, 14 years later.
14 years! A few years ago I looked up the origins of the word tenure, she was not too please when I announced I thought I now had tenure. That was a chilly evening.
Another neat thing: I actually thought to print out out first conversation -the very first - we had on AOL. It's made a nice addition to our wedding album.
Thank god I wasn't chatting her up on Tinder.
This eHarmony pair got a DisneyLand proposal:
eHarmony. Met online; she lived in Pleasant Hill, CA, about 30-45 min. from SF? (You Gawkers who work in SF would know better than me)
I live in San Diego.
We officially met face to face in April of 2006, dated off and on with me driving 7 hours each way to see her or her flying to San Diego, and in 2008, she agreed to move down here. We were together for about 6 months here in SD when I called her mom and asked for her grandmother's ring, and then used it to propose at Disneyland, at the Snow White's Wishing Well.
We got married on Feb. 28, 2010, and have been solid for almost 5 years so far. :) I'd consider it was something I NEVER would have thought would happen, because my online experiences from before (through Yahoo! Personals and Matchmaker.com) had resulted in girls who were leeches or were certifiably crazy without their meds. One was even proud of the fact that she'd spent time in a mental institution...So I was definitely worried about getting a winner. And I'll admit, I'm not a stunning looker - I sorta resemble Clint Howard with a beard (look up Clint Howard in The Waterboy, you'll see what I mean), so I know that I was kinda getting the leftovers, with the exception of my wife. I *KNOW* I married up! I mean, what woman thinks Dutch Ovens are funny and attempts to give a guy one?! My wife thinks it's hilarious. Also, my wife loves going to Comic-Con, another surefire winning case of why I should have married her. :)
Illustration by Sam Woolley