By Rachel Sanoff


We’ve all read those really awful, user-submitted dating horror stories that fill the pages of mainstream magazines. We put together fictional stories of what we think represents the future of dating…Enjoy!



Oh, the good old days, when a bad date just meant that your new coworker stood you up at Olive Garden. It’s true that technology has given us endless ways to meet the potential loves of our lives, but dating in 2025 also means encountering endless ways to get our hearts broken by algorithms and Instacelebs. Here are just a few stories from our readers...



“My boyfriend and I broke up last month, but I finally felt ready to get back out there, so I downloaded Tinder Version 74.2 to see what everybody has been talking about. It was actually really fun, the whole swiping right and left thing, and after just 10 minutes, I got my first match! He was muscular with a full beard and tattoos – he looked like a model! Actually, he looked a lot like the model from Apple’s new 3D-printed crib commercial... Anyway, at first I thought it was weird that he was drinking a bottle of Rolling Rock in every picture, but I figured he was just the kind of guy who knew exactly what he wanted. And that was hot. So I messaged him and asked the basic questions: What do you do for work? Are you from here? But his answers were all weirdly similar to each other, and he never asked me anything about myself: Who cares what I do for work? All I care about is after work, when I can head home and open up a bottle of Rolling Rock. Drink responsibly. And I’m from Western Pennsylvania, where Rolling Rock beer was first brewed in 1939. Drink responsibly. So I eventually got bored and stopped messaging him. But that’s OK because just last night I matched with this new guy, and he’s taking me to Las Vegas on JetBlue. He said tickets are only $85 this month on JetBlue! He knows a lot about JetBlue. He must be really well-traveled.” - JODIE, 25



“I signed up for Spotify Jones, that new Spotify service where Jones curates a different playlist for you every week based on your personal music preferences. And I can’t really explain it, but those playlists... I mean, they were perfect - how they seamlessly transitioned from Tenth Harmony to Zedd Sheeran, and always knew just the right moment to throw it back to One Direction. Jones - or whoever was making them - had to really get me, you know? We went on like this for months. Every week, I’d get this amazing musical love letter from some beautiful stranger at the Spotify headquarters in Stockholm. I couldn’t go to sleep without imagining what his VSCO feed looked like. I couldn’t date anyone because I’d only wish it was him. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I emailed customer support and told them that I needed to meet Jones – and that’s when my world came crumbling down. Turns out, Jones was just an algorithm based on my most-frequently-listened-to tracks. I still think about him - or it - sometimes, and wonder if it could really just be an algorithm. Maybe I should go over there, find out for myself, fight for him... I don’t know. My friend was saying Meets by Beats by Dre is a better music dating service anyway. I suppose I’ll try that out.” - KARLA, 23



 “The first and only time I went on an Uber Pool Date, it was TERRIBLE. I was in Hollywood, and I’d entered San Diego as my destination. I was serious about finding the one and I wanted to spend enough time with him to really get to know him. Two hours is totally enough for a marriage proposal, right? Wrong. It matched me with another passenger going the same way, and he seemed really cool. He was definitely my type: snappy dresser, Google Glasses, clean-shaven. But then he introduced himself as “@JonDesmond” and used his Apple Watch to hack into my Apple Watch and followed himself from my Instagram. Red flag #1. We started talking about work, where we went to college, yada yada yada, but he would not stop talking about his 407k Instagram followers or the restaurants with the best lighting for top-down brunch photos. No matter how I tried to change the subject, he always brought it back to Perpetua and his ~aesthetic~. And I was gonna be in a car with this guy for over 2 hours. I started trying to get the Uber driver involved in the conversation so I wouldn’t have to talk to this dude anymore: When did you start driving today? How do you like Uber? Ever have any crazy passengers? Anything to pass the time. When we finally reached San Diego, I knew there was no way I was going to a bar with this dude. I made up some excuse about staying with my friend and turns out she had an emergency, and the Uber driver offered to take me to her place. I got back in the car and told him there was no emergency, and he smiled and took me back to Hollywood, and never even turned on the app. That date sucked, but the driver is now my husband and we are expecting our first baby. Thanks, Uber!.” - GIA, 32



“Dating apps are scary, guys. Can I be #retro and just meet somebody in a bar?” - TIFFANY, 30 BEAUTY IS IN THE BRAIN OF THE BEHOLDER (OR NOT) “So I went to the Waaves kiosk at the virtual mall by my house ‘cause two of my best friends met their fiancees like that. You know, Waaves? Where you wear the earbuds that measure your brain waves, and a Waaves Genius analyzes your results to match you with the most compatible person? So my brain waves suggested a mathematical, introverted problem-solver. That sounded good to me, so we went on a coffee date... too bad my brain waves didn’t have an opinion on soul patches. Or cargo shorts. Or tribal armband tattoos.” - LISA, 29



“I tried Vine’s new dating app, Vineyard, where you and your match talk to each other through Vines. It was really fun, and my match was super cute and funny. We went bowling and I had such a great time that I went home with him. If only he didn’t just last 6 seconds, too.” - TINA, 22