Sareytales: From the Beginning

It's story time. Designs created using real texts from my online dating experience.


Recently, after a particularly nasty text message from a guy I had been on one date with, something finally clicked. I knew I wouldn’t reply to him, it would be beneath me, and my sense of pride as a single woman. But I felt like I needed to take control somehow. I wanted to share my story, I wanted to prove to myself (and a few other people) that I wasn’t alone. That’s when the idea to create @Sareytales emerged.

I’ve been online dating since the beginning, literally, I was one of the first users of Jdate’s beta site back in 2001. I’ve had my share of relationships over the past 15 years or so, but somehow always came back to these dating sites, and now dating apps, during the “in-between” boyfriend times. And lately, I’ve noticed an alarming trend. Increasingly hostile, harassing and vulgar messages from men I have never met, let alone initiated conversation with. I would share the messages I received with my friends, both men and women, and their reaction were always astonishment, disgust and often laughter. I guess I had become numb to the true ridiculousness of the comments/messages/texts I had been getting...and that angered me. So this past summer, after a particularly cruel message someone sent me, something clicked. These words, these mean, thoughtless, ugly words, could become something more. Something ironic, funny, relevant and real. Using my background in graphic design, and current single status, I decided to do something about it.

I created Sareytales initially as an inside joke for me and my friends, a way to poke fun at how insane online dating could get. And it caught on. Possibly because of the political climate, the overwhelming presence of social media, the new dating apps popping up almost daily, whatever it is, Sarytales has tapped into the inner warrior we sometimes forget we own. Let’s not sit back and let cyber bullies abuse the power of the internet. It’s time fight back, with more than just words. These are my stories...