“She turned up heavily pregnant and started hitting him. Luckily I smoked at the time and was outside”
In April, the hook-up app hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after the Netflix series The Tinder Swindler was crowned the streaming giant’s most watched documentary ever.
The now infamous Shimon Heyada Hayut, 31, from Israel, became a viral sensation after allegedly conning women he had met online out of an estimated $10 million by posing as a playboy billionaire.
In Ireland, the dating app has 200,000 active users and some of them have been left scarred by their real-life dating disasters in the last decade.
Sarah, who is in her 30s and lives in the midlands says she came close to a Tinder Swindler encounter when she was asked to go guarantor on a credit union loan after a particularly memorable first date.
The avid dater revealed: “I was on a date with a guy and when we went into the pub he took me aside and told me he only had €20 so he wouldn’t be buying me any drink, he told me he paid for the taxi to get there - it was €6.
“I bought the first drink, and on the next round he was going up to the bar and he said ‘oh right, I’ll get you this one drink’.
“He took someone else’s drink from the bar and handed it to me. He then asked me, ‘can I get a lend of a €1, I’m short to buy myself a pint’ so I left the pub.
“Two days later he rings me about a credit union loan he applied for and he needs a guarantor. I cut the conversation short, said goodbye and never saw him again. I feel like I nearly was part of an Irish tinder swindler story.”
It was a case of three’s a crowd for unlucky-in-love Edel.
The devoted mum was enjoying a drink when her dud date forgot to mention the fact that he had a pregnant partner who showed up and crashed the party.
“She turned up heavily pregnant and started hitting him. Luckily I smoked at the time and was outside. One of the other customers was also smoking and said ‘just pretend you’re with me’, so I did. I walked in and sat at bar with him while she was looking and waiting for his date. She checked the toilet and he done a runner into his car after a fill of pints. A couple at the bar were cops and had a squad car on the way to stop him.
“Over the next few days his girlfriend messaged me asking to check if he was still on Tinder and could I tell Tinder he had aids. I found out that they had been at the baby scan just hours before he met me.
“He text (sic) to say sorry and for me to tell his girlfriend he's not on Tinder anymore. I half-jokingly said you owe me money for the drinks he walked out on and he said ‘can I pay you back a fiver a week.’ I decided I'd rather be single than deal with anymore lying, cheating men.”
From whack ball encounters to the downright deranged, one mum reveals the more sinister side of the dating app.
Wishing to conceal her identity, she recounts her horror when she realised the man she had fallen for was living a double life.
Warning women to be wary of who they meet online, the mum-of-one revealed: “Tinder is dangerous, I met a lovely lad or so I thought, he had two kids and was co-parenting with his ex. After a few months of being together I found out I was pregnant. Just after having my baby, I realised he was still on all dating apps, including swinger websites, so of course he got the boot.
“I have screenshots of everything I found, between his messages to girls the week before I was due our baby, to his swingers profile, and the dominatrix he had been visiting too. I’m sure it will get a few girls thinking and maybe hopefully let them realise what is out there.”
Criminal, sexual behaviour has long been rampant in the swipe right culture, earlier this month in a landmine case, sex offender Ian Hogan who raped and murdered beautician Rachel Kiely in 2000 was convicted of joining Tinder under a false name.
There are of course the success stories, the ‘we matched, we met and fell in love’ sagas that give singletons hope to continue their search for the one.
For Lynda Weston and her partner Ste Hoey who live in Clarehall, Dublin, with their two small children, swiping right led to their happily ever after.
“Tinder changed my life, we are together eight years, back then it was very embarrassing to be on Tinder and nobody was shouting from the rooftops about being on it.
“I remember shaking when I was downloading the app. I was mortified.”
But it wasn’t long before 34-year-old who produces her own podcast Lynda With A Why? found her prince charming.
“We matched and we were chatting but my biggest thing is that I am a big girl, so you always try put up pictures of your best angles so I was like how am I going to meet this bloke? Do I have to come right out and say, ‘I’m fat.’
“I kept saying no when he asked to meet up and then I said just give it a chance, who cares if someone doesn’t fancy you back, at least you tried.
“We went on our first date and that was it.”
Two children and one house later, the radio host says they would never have met without the help of the controversial dating app.
Despite A-listers including Hilary Duff swiping right back in 2015, stating at one point that she was ‘talking to probably about nine guys’ and Zac Efron admitting to downloading the app in 2016, Lynda swore that nobody would know their real online origin story.
“He is so quiet we would never have met in a bar or anything like that. I was initially mortified that I went on Tinder so I had lied to my best friends, my mam, my work friends - I told them all different stories about where we had met.
“I was thinking if we ever get married we are going to have to elope because we can’t have all these people in the same room.
“We got pregnant and after I had the baby I started a podcast and spoke about all my horrible Tinder dates and told everyone that’s how we met and nobody cared.
"It was so funny because I had kept up these elaborate lies for years and I always had to keep Ste up to date with them and he could never understand why I didn’t tell people the truth.
“There are a few weirdos but there are weirdos everywhere. He is the best thing that ever happened to me.
“Now we have our wedding booked for 2024, exactly ten years to the day we met each other for the first time. If you’re thinking about signing up, just do it.”