By Conner Hoyt
For The Diamondback
Tinder usage has grown significantly since its inception in September 2012, and generally speaking, the dating app has a looming presence on college campuses nationwide. Some people use Tinder for dating purposes, others for a good laugh. Not all Tinder experiences are created equal, though, so I surveyed College Park to learn about some Tinder horror stories endured by University of Maryland students.
Two years ago, Cole Dougherty was a freshman at this university when he matched with a 17-year-old girl named Alex. The two got ice cream together, and Alex told Dougherty she was actually turning 17 within the week. When the two got back to Dougherty’s dorm, he told her that he was uncomfortable with her being just 16 years old and would prefer if they saw each other after her birthday.
“So I walk her back to her car and she drives home,” said Dougherty, now a junior. “A few days later, she wants me to come over and spend the night at her house for her birthday.”
The then-freshman drove to the Metro and took Yellow Line into Virginia. Dougherty’s phone nearly died on the “really long ride,” but he remained persistent.
“She came and picked me up from the Metro station in this soccer mom van,” Dougherty said. Meanwhile, Alex’s friends and family were still celebrating her birthday at her house.
He remembers her telling him to sneak into the house through the back and hide in her basement.
“I’m just sitting in a dark closet in a home gym with no Wi-Fi in complete darkness, while her family is up there singing happy birthday to her,” Dougherty said. “When she came down, I said to her, ‘Yeah, this is not going to happen.'”
Dougherty took an extended break from Tinder after that. And though he now uses the app again, he does so “more casually” than before.
Sophomore Annie Hasselbalch said she was welcomed to the University of Maryland by a not-so-flattering Tinder admirer. During the August of her freshman year, Hasselbalch noticed she matched with someone in her dorm and decided to invite him over.
“He was sitting down playing with this large blow-up shark named Jerry in our room,” she said. “He broke this glass water bottle, while playing with the shark and then asked me out in front of all of my friends.”
Her friends played along with Hasselbalch’s Tinder match, saying that they’d need to be free as well if he wished to take their friend on a date.
“I think he hated us by the end,” said Hasselbalch. “He just wanted to go on a date with me.”
Despite her admirer pleading with her for roughly 10 minutes, Hasselbalch declined the date.
And then, there are the Tinder conversations that don’t manifest themselves into dates.
Sophomore Hannah Bicknell has a few such conversations archived:
Stephanie Turner, a sophomore as well, has also fallen victim to the awkward Tinder conversation.
Sophomore Mac Rogers downloaded Tinder in the fall of his freshman year, only to see two of his friends take his phone and swipe right on every person they saw.
“So I matched with a ton of people,” said Rogers, “and one of them decided to start messaging me.”
“She seemed nice enough … but it was definitely not what I was looking for. I have not used it since then.”
Moral of that story: If you’re going to download Tinder, don’t let your friends get their hands on your account.