The Dangers of Dating Apps


Something buzzed. Ethan rummaged around in his pocket and retrieved his phone. “You’ve got a match!” said the notification banner. He sighed and opened up the app with disinterest. Some girl called Monica, 22 years old, occupation ambiguously listed as ‘scientist’. The woman was beautiful, but that was far from exciting. Ethan never got real matches. No woman who actually looked like this would have ever swiped right on him, unless it was by mistake, or yet another fake profile. Feeling even more dejected thanks to this timely reminder of his chronic loneliness, Ethan slipped the phone back into his pocket and slumped down further into the couch.

Some period of time passed. Ethan remained transfixed on the television. He was half-heartedly watching a mind-numbing reality television show, trying to forget about the fact that he letting yet another evening of his life waste away. But a little while later, the phone buzzed again. A tiny glimmer of hope flashed inside his mind, but he batted it away like he did with most intrusive positive thoughts. No need to disappoint himself unnecessarily. Then, for some reason, he got his phone out anyway. “One new message”. It was his match. Not a mistaken swipe, so definitely some kind of robot or scam. But at least this could pass some time, may as well see what the bot had to say.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

Ethan hovered his finger over the “block” button, but some dim feeling of naive hope prevented him from pressing it. He started typing. What did he have to lose anyway?

“Hey. Not bad. You?”

He wrote, expecting some automatic response that would give away the messager as a soulless robot. However, there was no response initially. A few moments went by. The app still showed that the owner of this account was writing something. The phone pinged again,

“Yeah I’m good. Thanks for asking! So it says you go to the university, are you a student?”

That was a surprisingly warm greeting for a robot, and an unusually specific question. Ethan decided to respond anyway, though he was becoming increasingly concerned that engaging in this was not going to lead to anything positive,

“Yeah, I’m a student, I’m studying engineering.”

He responded. The next reply came faster than the previous one,

“Oh cool, I go there too. Well, not as a student, I’m a professor.”

Ethan frowned. The profile said she was 22. How could a 22-year-old be a professor? Something seemed even fishier with this person now.

“Oh that’s interesting, a professor of what?”


Ethan tried to comprehend it. A 22-year-old woman, a professor of biochemistry, while he, a 34-year-old man, was a mature student, and a failing one at that. For a moment, he felt a swell of inadequacy wash over him before he reminded himself that this was just some fake profile, probably trying to extort him out of his meagre savings. Nevertheless, he was curious enough now, may as well see what this person wanted from him. It wasn’t like he had anything better to do.

“Really? No offence, but I’m surprised you’re a full professor so young, how did that happen?”

“Ahh it’s okay. You’re right. I’m definitely pretty young compared to most of the old guys who teach here, but I’m just really passionate about the field. I knew this was always what I wanted to do since I was very young, so it’s been a bit of a lifelong goal.”

Ethan sniffed with incredulity before typing,

“But do you have your PhD and everything already?”

“Oh yeah, I got my PhD a few years ago and then got tenure-track this year.”

This all seemed a little too rich now. Ethan was about to put away his phone to save him the effort of conversing with this swindler, but just before he did, another message popped up,

“Yeah… I get it. It’s weird right? You’ll have to excuse me, the truth is I’m a massive nerd. Like, huge. I went to college at the age of 13 so I got a bit of a head-start compared to everyone else, it also means my social skills suck as a result so please bear with me!”

Ethan was more than a little bit suspicious of everything this person was writing. Still, the conversation was natural enough now that at least he could put away any doubts that this account was a robot. He decided to open up her profile again and take a closer look. No way. She was way too pretty. This girl was more than just attractive, she was a genuine beauty. Not even taking into account the fact that this was supposed to be a woman smart enough to go to college at 13. And to make things even more unlikely, this woman had decided to talk to him. No, everything was off.

Ethan was a profoundly average person. By his own admission, he was boring, unimaginative, and unintelligent. He had no real hobbies or interests, and barely any friends to speak of. Physically he was even less than average. While he was a plain man who lacked many notable characteristics, unfortunately, at barely 5’4”, he was well shy of the average male height. This çankaya escort fact sapped any modicum of self-confidence he could have ever had about his physical appearance. The only things he couldn’t complain about were that at least he wasn’t overweight or had any obvious deformities.

After many unfortunate first dates, and witnessing that look of disappointment in one too many woman’s eyes when they first saw him, Ethan had decided it better to just broadcast his height as clearly as possible on his profile. Since then, the number of matches he received with real women had plummeted. It wasn’t just that this supposed Monica was too gorgeous for him, the mere fact of her being a woman made her too good to be true.

However, as Ethan scrolled through the photos on her profile, he couldn’t stop his stupid lustful caveman brain from becoming entranced by her. Everything about her seemed to be tuned to an otherworldly degree of perfection. She had flawless tanned skin, lustrous dark brown hair and eyes like brilliant sparkling emeralds. Her lips were large and plump, and her facial structure was striking, almost like she belonged on the front covers of magazines. In fact, Ethan was curious to find out whoever this unscrupulous messager had stolen these photos from, as she was certainly one of the most exquisitely beautiful supermodels he had ever laid eyes on. Although the slimness of her face suggested that she must have been in good shape, curiously, none of the photos displayed her body. The photo that showed the most still cut off a few inches below her collarbone. Judging from a tiny segment of cleavage just visible in that photo, Ethan guessed that the woman likely had breasts on the larger side. Still, apart from that, it was difficult to gauge what her body must have been like.

Ethan considered for a moment about not responding, but he was becoming mildly hypnotised by the beauty of the photos on her profile. Setting his better judgement aside, Ethan found himself typing a sincere response,

“Wow, so you’re a professor already? Well I’m impressed in that case. I’m a mature student, I only decided to go back and try again at college recently. I worked in an office for so long and I just hated it.”

“Well that’s great, good for you! I feel you, I would hate working in an office. I hope it works out for you this time!”

It seemed a bit patronising coming from her, but perhaps her words of encouragement were honest.

Ethan continued to chat away to Monica for the rest of the night. Though he still had all the same lingering doubts in his mind, the person on the other side of the app was surprisingly engaging to talk to. Monica seemed to have a near-endless list of interests and almost too many talents to count. She listed off all of the sports she excelled at, as well as all the musical instruments she could play. Somehow she had found the time to learn four foreign languages and knew vast quantities of trivia that outclassed Ethan’s knowledge of any subject area he brought up. At one point, she even shared a few of her “sketches”, which turned out to be remarkably beautiful drawings of landscapes in the nearby area.

Ethan was feeling ever more inadequate at being confronted by the breadth and depth of this person’s claimed skills. The combination of everything that she was able to do would have been implausible on its own. Attaching it all to one of the most physically beautiful women he had ever seen was basically absurd. Yet, everything was as bewitching as it was incomprehensible with Monica. At each successive revelation of one of her abilities, Ethan could do nothing but shower her with praise and ask further questions in the hopes that she wouldn’t turn the conversation around and discover how desperately untalented he was.

A few more hours went by, and though Ethan still had doubts, the person on the other end had shown no signs of wanting anything other than an honest conversation. Somehow, after all of this time, there was no evidence of any scam at play. Every question about her job, her life, or her innumerable skills, she responded to promptly and in a surprisingly comprehensive fashion. It seemed that whoever this person was, they had a remarkably well fleshed-out backstory for this fake profile, complete with huge quantities of relevant knowledge. In fact, the conversation was so realistic that soon enough, the simpler explanation was that she was genuine. Could this person really be Monica as she so claimed? A 22-year-old multitalented child prodigy biochemist with a face so strikingly beautiful it would make supermodels drool with envy. Ethan still had little hope that this person really existed, but if she didn’t, what was this person up to?

By midnight, the conversation was beginning to get more suggestive. They had already shared a meta-conversation about the nature of dating apps themselves and were beginning to discuss first dates. Ethan could sense what was about to cebeci escort happen. Monica had already demonstrated that she was not a particularly shy person, so it was no surprise when a message eventually arrived reading,

“So, would you like to meet up some time?”

Ethan didn’t respond at first. He was at the precipice of something. It had been a harmless way of passing the time so far, but if he responded now, this was all about to get dangerously real. What exactly was he getting into here? It was definitely a trap. It had to be. But the prospect of her being real was so enticing. Perhaps if he had just a little bit more confidence in who this person was, he could make a more educated decision.

So as to not leave her too long on read, Ethan went to google and, as swiftly as he could, started to investigate the veracity of Monica’s supposed identity. Searching for women by the name of Monica in the university’s biochemistry faculty led him to a hit almost instantly. A fully-fleshed out university profile for Professor Monica Palmese, an expert in cellular biology and macromolecular structure, whatever that meant. She was there alright, and not challenging to find at all. Even her academic history checked out, Masters degree at age 17, PhD at age 20, tenure-track professor at age 21. If the profile really was a fake, then whoever had faked it clearly lacked imagination because every detail lined up exactly.

The picture on the university’s website was a professional headshot of her in a black blazer and a light blue shirt, looking just as spectacular as the pictures in casual clothing on her profile. The photo cut off at her mid-chest, and although it was still not entirely clear, the visible swell of her clothing towards the bottom of the picture suggested that Monica’s bust was definitely on the larger side indeed. Ethan felt blood rush stupidly towards his crotch, and more of his better judgement and reasoning slip away.

Ethan reopened the app, and without thinking, he replied,

“Alright, yeah shall we go for a drink sometime?”

“I’d love to!”

she responded immediately. Ethan was getting excited now. A small and increasingly muffled voice in his head was trying to tell him to keep his guard up in case of impending humiliation or maybe even extortion. But another voice, much louder and persuasive, was telling him to just put caution to the wind and go for it. Yet even with this growing lecherous excitement, he still needed to get one issue out of the way first.

“So, did you read my profile?”

He asked.

“Yeah of course I read it, did you really think I hadn’t after all this conversation?”

He sighed and bit the bullet,

“No. It’s just that, you know I’m quite short right? I just want to make sure you know, cause I don’t want you to be disappointed.”

Three dots appeared below his message. Ethan nervously awaited her response, fearing that he had just blown what little chance he could have had with this woman. After an excruciating few seconds, a message arrived,

“Ohh right. Yes, I read that even before I swiped on you. It’s totally fine babe! I am taller than you though, if that’s what you’re worried about. Is that going to be a problem?”

That was a surprise. It wasn’t exactly strange for a woman to be taller than him, but Ethan had so little else to offer mentally or physically that it was vanishingly unlikely for a woman to take such a strong interest in him in spite of his height. The sensible part of Ethan’s mind was grasping to regain control of his actions now, but he responded anyway,

“No, not at all. I don’t mind if you’re taller than me. Just wanted to make sure.”

“Great! Well, yes I am quite a tall girl actually, so I’m used to it. Don’t worry a bit. Let’s meet up tomorrow then, since we’re both free.”

She named the time and the place before quickly signing off to go to bed. Ethan had wanted to ask what exactly “quite a tall girl” meant, but he supposed he would have to let it be a surprise.


The following day Ethan was a bag of nerves. He spent most of the morning and afternoon scolding himself for being so stupid for continuing that conversation. Even worse, he had now doomed himself by agreeing to a real-life date with this character. There was no way this person was real. If he walked into that bar, one of two things were going to happen. Either he was about to be robbed at gunpoint by a group of gang members, or a television crew would burst out from behind some scenery to film the pathetic humiliation of the boring short guy who was dumb enough to think he had a shot with a woman like that.

Nevertheless, despite every logical thread in his brain telling him it was a bad idea, he put on his least-crumpled shirt and one of only two pairs of jeans he owned and headed for the bar. It wasn’t one he had ever visited before. It was on the opposite side of town from where he lived and was fairly far outside of the çubuk escort central district. Even though the bar was not far from his apartment at all, Ethan was hopelessly disorganised. So by the time he was dressed and ready to set off, it was already 6:45 pm. If he wanted to meet Monica at the agreed time of 7 pm, he was now going to have to drive.

The bar was located in an extremely tranquil suburb. There were barely any cars on the roads, and when he arrived at the bar, the parking lot outside was practically deserted as well. Friday nights in the town centre were notoriously raucous, so he supposed this was probably a wise choice of location for a first date. However, it did nothing to calm his nerves. This was exactly the kind of place someone like him would get abducted. Looking through the dirty windows from a distance, it seemed as though there was also hardly a soul inside the bar either.

On his way there, Ethan had struggled with the directions–navigation being another in a long list of skills he lacked. It should have only been a 15-minute drive, but by the time he finally found the place, it was already 7:20pm. He had warned Monica of his late arrival just after taking his second wrong turn, then just as he was rolling up into the parking lot, a response arrived via the app,

“No worries darling! I’m waiting here already. Shall I get you a drink before you get here?”

“Sure, just any lager will do.”

“You got it!”

He felt a bit emasculated at having the first drink ordered on his behalf, solely due to his inability to follow directions, but at least she wasn’t pissed off.

The front door of the bar opened onto a large dingey room with many tables and chairs. Tinny music was playing inaudibly through an ancient-looking PA system. The room was empty apart from one middle-aged couple huddled together in one of the corners. A table on the other side of the room from the couple had a small black handbag lying on one of its chairs, presumably belonging to her. The bar itself was nowhere in sight. There was, however, a narrow corridor leading off from the opposite wall, and he could just make out a bar with some moving figures on the other end of it. Ethan headed down the corridor to see if he could intercept Monica before she paid for their drinks.

As he was nearing the bar, suddenly a large dark shape appeared in front of him, blocking the entire breadth of the corridor. The figure was very large, but it appeared to be a woman, carrying two glasses in her hands. She hadn’t yet noticed Ethan since her face was pointed down towards the floor, almost like she was hunching her shoulders. Whoever this person was, it looked as though she was too large to stand upright under the low ceiling of the corridor. If that were the case, this person was not just large, but extremely large. Since this person blocked his path towards the bar entirely, Ethan had no choice but to back up to allow her into the main seating area.

When they finally retreated to the main room he initially entered, Ethan watched in horror as a large woman slowly erected herself. She was absolutely huge. By far the tallest person he had ever encountered. She did have on a pair of pale blue high-heeled shoes, but these were nowhere high enough to explain the impressive stature of this woman. Her legs were practically endless, and were left totally bare up until a short black skirt. Ethan, with all his 5 feet and 4 inches of height, struggled to clear the waist of this woman, and it seemed that even the high ceilings of the main seating room didn’t allow her her full height. On her upper body, she wore a bright yellow plunge-necked top which covered only a tiny fraction of her chest. The coverage of her top was so poor that a somewhat inappropriate amount of the ornate black brassiere she was wearing was clearly visible. Before Ethan could even get a proper look at this giant woman’s face, he had to reassemble himself after having witnessed her breasts. They were truly colossal. Each one was three or four times the size of his head and looked so heavy he could only imagine what a challenge it would be for her to carry them around. It seemed to defy any sense of logic for breasts that gigantic to hang so precariously from the otherwise slender body of this woman. With some effort, he managed to tear his lustful gaze away from the chest of this amazon and look at her face for the first time.

“Ethan? That’s you right? It’s me, Monica!”

the woman said. Ethan couldn’t speak. He spluttered some sounds, but he didn’t even have a logical thought to express in response to that. Monica seemed to notice his surprise though, and gave him a warm smile

“I’m so glad you showed up, I was really worried I had scared you off! So sorry about going on about myself for so long last night, you must think I’m so self-centred. I hope we can talk more about you tonight!”

Ethan could still barely find any words to respond and continued to sputter incoherently. Monica’s smile faded,

“Oh god. Is it my height? I’m really sorry, I should have warned you more… I was… I mean I really liked our conversation, I thought maybe you would be able to look past it?”

Ethan gradually managed to remember where he was and found some words,

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