Oh, what a tangled World Wide Web we weave.
The story of “West Elm Caleb,” a serial ghoster on the Hinge dating app, is as mystifying as the act itself.
It all began on TikTok, under the hashtag #WestElmCaleb, which currently boasts 30 million views on the video-sharing platform. There, the legend of New York City’s most eligible f–kboy, West Elm Caleb, was spun: He is a 25-year-old mustachioed furniture designer named Caleb with a nasty habit of aggressively wooing his dates before disappearing from their radars.
The woman credited with instigating the conversation says that she’s never met the storied West Elm Caleb, but her own disappointing date with another Caleb prompted an onslaught of commiseration from other women in NYC. “West Elm Caleb?” several asked in the comments, all hoping to compare notes on their West Elm Caleb. The furniture company, for its part, has not responded to The Post’s request for comment on their alleged employee.
Read on to find out how Hinge’s hottest specter took over social media.
What is a “West Elm Caleb”?
Caleb has become somewhat of a mascot for the dreadful realities of online dating. If you’ve ever been single in this day and age, you know a West Elm Caleb. He’s the one who never texted back after a seemingly amazing first date, no explanation as to why he wouldn’t leave follow up after going out of his way to charm.
At its most extreme, experts call it “love-bombing” — when a date showers you with compliments, gifts and affection in a twisted bid to gain immediate trust, only to later disappear.
For all of its conveniences, online dating has made it easier for pathological daters to occupy themselves. According to Julie Krafchick, co-host of the podcast “Dateable” with Yue Xu, dating apps provide an “anonymity that allows people to do things” they wouldn’t do otherwise. “If your aunt sets you up with someone, you’re not going to ghost that person,” she told NBC News in an interview about West Elm Caleb. “But a rando on Tinder? Why not? There’s no one that’s going to catch you.”
Indeed, the culture of rapid swiping for dates and algorithmic compatibility has facilitated the internet dating pool’s more egregious womanizers.
Is West Elm Caleb real?
He’s no urban myth. The man unaffectionately dubbed “West Elm Caleb” is one Caleb Hunter, 25, according to internet sleuths, as well as some of those alleging to be his victims.
The woman who initially went viral, TikTok’s @meemshou, inadvertently launched the hunt for West Elm Caleb when she shared her own experience with a crappy Caleb — who turned out to be a different guy from the one that has captivated dozens of women IRL, and millions on social media.
In a clip published last week, she explained that her initial viral video was created “to make a joke about this very tall Caleb” she briefly courted in NYC, which pulled in 546,000 views — “but I kept having girls comment being like ‘is this West Elm Caleb?’ ”
“I was so confused,” she told followers. “But then I get a DM from a Caleb who says he’s also very tall, and I click on his bio, and it says ‘West Elm furniture designer.’ ”
After countless women came forward to cross-reference details about the roving Romeo, it’s since been revealed that the prime suspect is a one Mr. Caleb Hunter. An alleged screenshot of his Hinge profile, depicting a young man with a cropped beard and the tell-tale mustache, and a tagline that described him as a “designer at West Elm.”
What did West Elm Caleb do?
This dating dweeb apparently has sent at least one unsolicited nude photo to a date, ghosted women, and sent his Spotify playlist to more than one gal, telling each that he made it just for them.
He seemingly also dated several ladies at once and fibbed about how much he uses Hinge.
But his main offense has been bombarding women with love messages on Hinge and then suddenly peacing out and leaving them hanging.
Where is West Elm Caleb now?
The dude has been gone like the wind and hasn’t been spotted since his antics went viral. He has cleaned his social media accounts across various platforms and hasn’t commented on anyone’s videos.