Dating is a minefield, no two ways about it. Sure, it can be fun, but also downright frightening. Between Tinder trysts, Hinge hook-ups and Bumble bonks, it can be hard weeding the good from the bad - the marriage material from the 'just mates' and the absolute maydays.
Of course, dating is also difficult because it opens you up to rejection. Sometimes there's no easy way of saying it - they're just not that into you. But as grown adults, we hope our person of the hour will let us down gently, with grace and respect - which, unfortunately, is not always the case.
One woman playing the dating game was dealt a truly bad hand when she was brutally dumped via text, an experience she shared to TikTok last week to the horror of millions.
US-based Cadigan Smith shared the shocking conversation with her former flame in a now-viral video, which has since amassed more than 7.2 million views and 1.1 million likes.
According to screenshots of their earlier messages, it appeared Smith's date was initially smitten, sending several swoon-worthy texts complimenting her beauty. He told Smith she was the "most beautiful girl" and that he "never" wanted to stop spending time with her.
"You're just the most beautiful girl. And the time we spend together is so effortless and fun, I never want it to end," he extolled.
"I hope you know how much I care about you."
While the rest of the messages were blurred to protect her privacy, it appeared the feeling was mutual, with Smith responding with several texts and larger passages.
But in a quick turn of events, the man suddenly changed his tune - sending Smith the dreaded four words, "We need to talk."
As per the screenshots shared by Smith, the man proceeded to craft a brutal message that criticised her appearance and claimed their relationship would be "fake" if they continued to date one another.
"Look, I really hope you don't take this the wrong way, I'm just trying to be as honest as possible with you. I'm just not that attracted to your body and I feel like if this moves forward it would be fake," he wrote.
"I don't want to lead you on and be talking to a girl I don't really get turned on by, you know? I felt like it would be better to just tell you now."
To rub more salt into the wound, the man added: "But if you're ever out like you can hmu [hit me up], I just don't want an expectation of like a consistent thing, you know?"
The cruel message outraged Smith's viewers, who were quick to brand the man as "brutal". Many pointed out that he could have simply expressed he was no longer interested without resorting to rudeness or insulting her appearance - comments that could impact Smith's self-confidence.
"This was brutal, oh my god," one person wrote, with a second adding: "Why do men feel the need to tell us that we aren't attractive to them? Just say you aren't feeling the vibes and move on."
A third said: "It probably wasn't that he wasn't attracted to you, he just found another girl."
"All he had to say was, 'this isn't working out, I don't feel we should continue'. His personal thoughts that may affect how you see yourself? Keep [them] to himself," a fourth agreed.
"'I hope you don’t take this the wrong way', proceeds to say the harshest thing ever," another commented.
And to add insult to injury, the man audaciously asked Smith to remove her video after he discovered that she'd shared his messages on social media.
"Every one of my friends has been sending me your TikTok. Take it down now," he said, according to further screenshots shared by Smith in a second clip.
"That was a private conversation between us, but you chose to disrespect me and try and embarrass me to the world [sic].
"I know you're upset that I said I didn't wanna see you anymore but we can change that. If you take it down we can definitely start hooking up, I wouldn't mind at all."
Captioning the follow-up video, Smith quipped: "I have had the honour of being offered to be hooked up with. One of the greatest privileges known to man."
It's not the first dating disaster to take TikTok by storm. In February, another US-based woman shared her experience to the platform after her date sent her a "vile" message intended for his friend.