Modern-Day Love Story

Ciara Williams / Staff Illustration

Online dating and the modern day view on dating and romance

I met my husband on Tinder.

It excited me that an app allowed me to be picky without judgement. I practically lived on Tinder when I was 18-years-old, and fresh out of high school, especially since I’d never been in a relationship before. When I came across my soon-to-be husband, I almost didn’t even give him the time of day. But something compelled me to give him a shot.

After going on a few dates with him, I soon found out that my husband had been lying to his friends about us. Rather than telling his friends and family that we met on Tinder, he instead told people we met at a mall.

The way he describes our fake meeting makes it almost sound like a cheesy Rom-Com. “I saw her sitting by herself in the mall when I decided to strike a conversation with her,” he said. “Soon after, we hit it off.”

At the time, I found this reveal to be funny. I never found it a big deal telling people, “Yeah, we met on Tinder.” I could see why he felt the need to lie about it however. Very rarely do I hear success stories involving Tinder, or any dating platforms for that matter which do a disservice to the apps themselves.

For awhile, stigmas circled around online dating, which painted these apps in a bad light. Pewresearch.org once conducted a survey, where 23 percent of Americans said that people who use online dating sites are desperate. From my own experiences, I can say that without online dating I’m not sure I would have been able to find a relationship. It’s easy to come to this conclusion however, with just how accessible dating apps can be.

Alongside, SwipeLife wrote about how some people believe that relationships that start from apps don’t last long. Part of this stims from the belief that people can’t make an authentic relationship with one another without that first initial connection that’s made in person. Online relationships, whether friendly, or romantic, are still fairly new, and thus still create doubt amongst those new to the idea.

Part of the reason I believe these stigmas exist is because of the aura of mystery that still lingers around online dating and strangers online. Shows like MTV’s Catfish have proven that you should never 100 percent trust who you meet online, no matter how much you may hope that they’re indeed that person you’re talking to.

Stigmas like this keep some people from admitting they’ve met someone they like on these apps. Nonetheless, in today’s age of technology and speed dating, I’ve found that you’re less likely to meet someone in the classic Rom-Com way than by just connecting with someone via an app.

According to eHarmony’s 10 Online Dating Statistics, around 40 percent of Americans currently use online dating, with 52 percent of these users being male. That’s almost half of America participating in this trend of online dating.

Online dating became a reality in 1995, after Gary Kremen created a site known as Match.com. At the time, sites like this were for a more niche audience, the idea of finding a potential spouse via the internet being widely judged by the public.

Online dating has changed the way people go about dating. Before the 2010s, it wasn’t uncommon for someone to say they met their significant other through friends or while they were out. That was the norm; and while many people still do this, that norm is slowly beginning to change.

As a woman, I hated being approached by strangers at the bar, even despite some being attractive. I could hold a conversation, but I could never shake away the idea that this person could potentially have bad intentions for the night. After all, how should I know if this guy I’m talking to isn’t the next Ted Budney?

Online dating has allowed me to chat with the people I’m interested in digitally, before meeting in person. That way, if I don’t like them I could just block them and move on. Online dating had also made it easy for me to pick a location to meet, as opposed to being caught off guard in person. But most importantly, it provided me the option to safely say no if I wanted to.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, if you’re still thinking twice about whether or not you should download a dating  app and meet someone, I’d say go for it. As long as it’s safe and you trust who you’re meeting. So what else do you have to lose?

Hallway Hassel Question:

What are your dating preferences and deal-breakers?

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photographer

“They need to have a good attitude and be positive when we are out together.”

— Rodrigo Torres —

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photographer

“If they talk too much. You are having a conversation and you are not able to give your side because they are constantly talking.”

— Christine Krysiak —

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photographer

“Motivation to succeed, just don’t be lazy. It’s a no-go.”

— Ben Murrell —

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photographer

“They need to have table manners and not [be] indecisive.”

— Matthew Soeum —

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photographer

“You can’t be clingy. I like my independence, so if we’re in a relationship obviously I will give up some of that for you; but you can’t hang onto me all the time. Be reliable, not clingy.”

— Charles Johnson —

Jesus Contreras / Staff Photographer

“If they’re on their phone too much on a date. That’s a bad one.”

— Richard Soeum —