West Elm Caleb And The TikTokers Who Are Mad That A Guy From A Hookup App Wanted To Hookup

By Erica Jimenez··  6 min read
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If you haven’t heard about West Elm Caleb, I commend you on your ability to miss the biggest thing on social media this week.

It all started when an NYC woman on TikTok shared a video about how she was ghosted by a man named Caleb. “West Elm Caleb?” several women commented on the video. Apparently, the OP wasn’t the first (or last woman) to be victimized by the 6’4” Caleb, a Brooklyn resident, who, according to his bio, works as a furniture designer at West Elm.


Here's a list of his supposed "crimes":

  • He ghosted women after dates. Trash behavior, to be sure, but pretty common in the dating market today. 

  • He allegedly sent one woman an unsolicited nude photo. We’re happy to debate whether or not this should even be legal (after all, flashing a lady in real life is a sex crime), but currently, it’s just hugely creepy, not illegal.

  • He re-used the same Spotify playlist and claimed he had made it just for each new woman. Honestly, making a playlist is so cheesy ‘90s that we’re surprised girls were still falling for it.

  • He love bombs new dates, meaning he overwhelms them with interest and attention right away. It’s often the beginning of an abusive relationship. But with Caleb, it doesn’t seem to have ever led to an abusive relationship, he just ghosted.

  • He lied about still being on Hinge. He told one woman over a coffee that it was his first time using the app. He told other women he had deleted that app after a few dates with them, even though he was still actively using it.

  • He was dating several women at once. One woman figured out that she had spent the night at his place on Friday night, woke up there on Saturday morning, and by 3 PM the same day, he was on a date with a different girl from Hinge.

So, in summary, the guy is a lying creep who ghosts women and generally has lousy behavior. But did he deserve to become an internet sensation, get doxxed, and even have a billboard put up warning women to avoid him? Probably not.

Because men like Caleb aren’t special or even uncommon. It’s basically par for the course in a dating culture that holds casual hookups above transparency, monogamy, and commitment. In fact, what the women seem mad about is that Caleb was basically treating them exactly as they had planned to treat him.

One victim, Kate Glavan, stated that she went on a date with Caleb with the intention of adding him to her “arsenal.” So, to be clear, Kate is angry that Caleb, who is apparently balancing multiple women and not dating any of them exclusively, is treating her the same way she’s treating him. Or, as one Twitter user pointed out: “Oh no meaningless sex app delivered meaningless sex.”

There’s a Big Double Standard Here

Women nowadays love to scream that they want to be treated the same as men, until the moment that they don’t. Just this week, for example, the AA (basically AAA in the UK) came under fire by a woman who was angry they wouldn’t prioritize her call for help because… she’s a woman. Dr. Helen Mott complained in a series of tweets as she waited in her broken-down car, saying, “I am a lone woman whose car has broken down at night in the dark. Your call handler has told me you treat lone women and lone men as [sic] exactly the same priority in such circumstances because 'that's equality’.”

We want equality when it suits us but special treatment when it doesn’t. 

Apparently, women want equality when it suits us but special treatment when it doesn’t. When it comes to dating, women want to act like men, sleeping around casually and playing the field, but still want to enjoy the female privileges of paid-for dinner dates and exclusivity (at least, on the man’s end). 

Hookup Culture Creates Predatory, Lazy Losers

Swindlers and liars have been around since the beginning of time, hookup culture can’t claim credit for that. But low-cost sex has created an environment that empowers men who are lazy or have bad intentions. After all, this guy has been able to get half a dozen women in bed with him with only a few days’ worth of texts. It’s the perfect setup for a predatory loser.

Men are primarily motivated to get access to sex, we all know this. But when casual sex is on the table, they’re able to get access to sex with basically no effort on their part. A few texts exchanged, a coffee date, and a recycled Spotify playlist is all this guy needs to get in these girls’ pants. So the burning question we should be asking here is, why are these girls making it so easy for this loser to get to them? And if they’re not willing to change how they’re dating (a.k.a. stop participating in hookup culture), do they even really have any right to be mad? 

Why are these girls making it so easy for this loser to get to them?

Women are using dating apps to find guys to sleep with, and then are surprised that the men out there are using the apps for the same purpose! Jumping right into bed with a guy you just met is not a recipe for long-term success. There seems to be a widespread, mistaken goal among women today that these random men will meet them, think they’re the greatest thing ever, and commit to monogamy with them (even when the expectation for commitment and monogamy is totally unspoken). 

The only way to deal with guys who are only in it for the sex is not to give them any sex. And until women are willing to play hardball with these men, and withhold sex until the expectation of monogamy and commitment is met, we’re going to continue to hear stories about guys just like Caleb. It may not be on TikTok, but we’ll hear about it from our friends at happy hour. If you’re using dating apps, you’ve probably stumbled across your fair share of Calebs. 

So do yourself, and the rest of womankind, a favor. Don’t fall for a smooth-talker who can put in some high-quality effort – but just for a few days. There’s a reason we should wait to sleep with a guy. Most of these guys aren’t willing to put in weeks or months of effort with no result. Save yourself the heartache and let them remove themselves from your life. We don’t need to reward the love-bombing liars of the world.

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Seek Truth. Find Beauty.

© 2022