Swipe left: Tinder horror stories

WSU students experience racism, stalking



The Women*s Center and Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse provide violence prevention resources for those experiencing stalking or dating violence.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

From serious encounters with stalkers to close calls with sexually transmitted diseases, the horror stories that can come from dating apps, like Tinder, are noteworthy. For WSU students, this is no different. 

Bryan Finley-James, junior animal science major, had his horror come months after an initial meetup he had this year.

After connecting with a woman through Yik Yak and later seeing her on Tinder, he met up with her in person, he said. 

“This person had HIV and did not tell anyone who she was with and did not tell me until five months after I met her,” he said.

Finley-James said it was scary to hear the news and was glad that he was smart enough to practice safe sex at the time. He believed that with his health conditions, an HIV diagnosis could have ended his life. 

“It’s definitely my biggest horror story. I thought I could trust an individual, and they end up lying about their identity,” he said.

John Lesmeister, sophomore agricultural science major at Spokane Falls Community College in Pullman, once brought a woman from Tinder over to his apartment, which he lives in with two other roommates. She seemed great once he finally met her, and the meetup went well at first, he said. 

However, the morning after she came over, his two roommates sat down on the couch next to them. After a couple of minutes, they left to go get food. Once they left, Lesmeister’s Tinder date looked at him with disgust, he said.

“I didn’t know you hang out with Brown people,” she said. 

Lesmeister said that he was shocked to hear that because it came out of nowhere. He then asked if it was an issue for her. 

“No, it’s not a problem. I just don’t really get along with colored people,” she said. 

His roommates are also his friends, and he knew that would be the last time she would come over to their apartment, he said. 

“Needless to say, within the next 10 minutes she was out of the house, and I never talked to her again,” he said. 

Stalking is also a relatively common and scary occurrence on dating apps. An anonymous senior political science major said stalking became a massive problem for her and was something she worried about daily.

After matching on Tinder and eventually exchanging Snapchat handles with a man, things seemed to be going well. However, when the pair finally met up, it was clear the chemistry did not translate from the phone to real life, she said. 

She planned on ghosting him after their failed date as she felt there was no reason to potentially lead him on, she said. He had the complete opposite intentions.

While she did not realize it then, he had trailed her home after their date and learned where she lived, she said.

After the date, he delivered signed flowers to her door on two separate occasions, she said. He still reached out to her multiple times a week on Snapchat and through her direct messages on Instagram.

She said the worst his attention got was when he found her mom on Instagram and sent a picture of her apartment’s front door through DMs captioned, “your daughter is a slut, and it’s your fault.” 

She finally responded to him and begged him to stop, or she would get the authorities involved. He blocked her on all social media and has not contacted her in over eight months. Now, she no longer lives in the same apartment complex, so it seems all ties are cut, she said. 

If you are experiencing stalking or dating violence, the Women*s Center and Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse provide violence prevention resources. Many WSU professors have also made Lauren’s Promise listed in their syllabi.