Dating in the era of social media and smartphones can be difficult to navigate. Between dating apps, "sliding in the DMs" and a FBI-like ability to dig up the dirt on a potential partner in a matter of clicks, technology has simultaneously made dating simpler and far, far more stressful.
And one US woman playing the dating game was dealt a truly bad hand when a prospective date sent her a text meant for his friend, 'accidentally' revealing his true intentions - and his true colours.
In a now-viral video shared to TikTok last week, Samantha Rose documented the messaging mishap, captioning the clip: "I hate it here."
In the video, which has since amassed almost 10 million views and more than 1.1 million likes, Rose explained that she had been speaking to a guy named Jake for a number of days after matching with him on Bumble, a popular dating app designed for women to make the first move.
Their conversation soon moved from the app to iMessage, with the pair organising a time to meet up in person.
A screenshot of their conversation shows Jake excitedly telling Rose he "can't wait" to meet her, with a later message boasting that he's a "lucky guy" to be able to take her out.
"I'll be coming straight from work so you'll have to look over my work uniform," Jake texted her.
"Haha no worries, I'm in scrubs so I understand," Rose replied, to which he responded: "I'm sure you look beautiful either way. I'm a lucky guy to get to take you out."
But a mere two-and-a-half hours later - and three hours before she had planned to meet her match in-person - the pair's seemingly promising chemistry fizzled out like flat lemonade when Jake 'accidentally' sent her a text intended for his friend.
Alongside a snap of Rose in a bathing suit, seemingly snatched from her Bumble profile, Jake wrote: "No bro she's a solid 4 and I will forsure keep it on the low but desperate times call for desperate measures and beggers [sic] can't be choosers, all I saw was t*ts and an easy lay."
Jake subsequently sent a sheepish excuse, claiming the malicious message had actually been "about someone else".
"Damn I'm sorry I didn't mean to send that to you… I was talking about someone else and clicked your picture [by] accident. My bad," he said.
The online dating disaster quickly went viral on the video-sharing platform, with fellow TikTok users slamming Jake for his vile behaviour. The majority assured Rose she had "dodged a bullet".
"I will slash a solid 4 of your tires, Jake," one responded.
"Omg. My heart just dropped. At least he showed his true colours and you didn't have to waste your time," another added.
"Whether he was talking about you or not, [it's a red flag] that he'd talk about any woman that way," a third said.
Many were quick to ask Rose if she had bothered to dignify his cruel comments with a response. In a later video, she confirmed she had ignored the messages as she was "literally too stunned to speak" - and understandably, did not show up for their 7pm meeting.
Others wondered if the brutal blow had been intentional, a theory Rose said she agreed with in another video.
"That's exactly what I was thinking and that's why… I didn't put any effort into getting mad. I could [have] gone off on him because [his message] was rude and ugly, but I really think he did that on purpose."
Responding to another comment, Rose said she wasn't upset about the message as she didn't know him too well - but admitted it still "sucks" and his behaviour "threw [her] off".
And in another follow-up clip viewed more than 1.4 million times, Rose shockingly revealed that the saga had continued - with Jake stumbling across her initial video and deciding to send her further abusive messages.
"So you're just not going to show and then make a TikTok about me?" Jake allegedly texted her, according to screenshots shared by Rose in the follow-up video.
"It was a joke but I should have picked up that you were crazy when you said you foster kids. You can't get a man so you get a bunch of broken little kids to fill that void," he continued, before claiming she had "catfished" him.
"I can look passed [sic] things like weight but not being a b*tch for no reason. Learn to take a joke."
Rose later admitted that Jake's attitude and lack of remorse had fuelled her suspicions she was being catfished by a resentful former flame.
It's not the first time a potential online connection has dissolved into a dating disaster. In April last year, a man was swindled out of his life savings after his Tinder match lured him into offshore foreign exchange trading, resulting in him losing $130,000 over five months.
In March, a US woman divided the internet when a man she had matched with on Tinder told her it was "only fair" for her to cough up half the money he had spent on their three dates.
And in 2020, a hairdresser in the US warned of the dangers of online dating after sharing a disturbing tale about a man who tracked her down using only the vague information on her Tinder profile - more than two months after she spoke to him.