TikTokers Rally Together to Share Dating Red Flags Amid West Elm Caleb Saga

There's a new hashtag going viral on TikTok—but it's not a challenge. Many women are using it to share their dating stories after they were all allegedly ghosted by a man dubbed "West Elm Caleb."

By Gabrielle Chung Jan 20, 2022 2:02 AMTags
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If you often browse TikTok, chances are that the name "West Elm Caleb" has recently popped up on your feed.

While many people long to go viral on the social media platform, the mysterious figure behind this nickname is gaining notoriety for a different reason. Women on the app are rallying together and sharing their dating red flags under the hashtag #WestElmCaleb after several New York-based TikTok users realized that they had all allegedly dated the same person: A man named Caleb who purportedly works for the furniture company West Elm.

Users have made unverified claims about the alleged serial dater, including that they matched with him on Hinge, received a flurry of affectionate messages—aka "love-bombing"—and then were unceremoniously ghosted.

Word spread and soon a community of women informing other women about dating red flags was formed.

TikTok user @meemshou shared, "I wasn't going to make a video about this, but I feel like it's my duty as your Asian older sister to warn New York City girls about this Caleb from West Elm ASAP." She also cautioned people that "love-bombing is a gateway red flag to all of the other red flags."

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TikTok user @kellsbellsbaby, who said that she had been ghosted by West Elm Caleb as well, also used the hashtag to warn others of "sus" behavior. "I don't want what happened to me to happen to anyone else," she said in a Jan 18 video. "The point is: Just avoid him, maybe?"

@meemshou Reply to @hannahklub tiktok algorithm do yo thang #warning #westelmcaleb #nyc ? original sound - MEEMS

As of Jan. 19, videos hashtagged with #WestElmCaleb have received over 5.4 million collective views. The growing community behind it has even promoted comparisons to John Tucker Must Die, the 2006 romantic comedy in which a group of girls team up to seek revenge on a high school basketball star after finding out that he was secretly dating all of them at the same time.

"So on tiktok there are dozens of NY women telling stories about a man named Caleb from West Elm who is a furniture designer that gaslights and ghosts them," one Twitter user wrote. "It's like if John Tucker Must Die or The Other Woman happened in real life in real time on tiktok."

Another tweeted, "I feel like the West Elm Caleb girlies need their own trauma bonding girlies group chat."

Others wrote on social media about how the saga increased their awareness of dating issues. One person wrote, "u want me to date??? a man??? in nyc????? what if he's the next west elm caleb I can't deal with that." Another user said the TikTok discourse "spotlights the dystopian lovebombing ghosting endemic that is prevalent in dating during the digital age."

The man nicknamed West Elm Caleb has not publicly addressed the accusations against him.

E! News reached out to West Elm for comment but did not hear back.