I remember when my family got our first computer. Even though my parents did not get internet for a while, the allure of having something so modern in our home had myself and my two siblings in a thrall. During that period, the computer was kept the living room. This would ensure our time on the computer would be monitored by an adult at all times. Even still, I can recollect the times I idled on it, playing solitaire or using the fancy paint app that came pre-downloaded with the computer.
Then, it happened. My parents got dial-up and we were online. Of course, I was too young to even consider online dating or meeting the person I would spend the rest of my life with.
Fast-forward to 2019, and you can find a multitude of dating sites and apps that are free to join, along with other sites that require payment to find love.
The dating storm hit strong with the ease of finding multiple people with like interests at our fingertips. There was no longer the anxiety that came with approaching a person you liked and telling them you were interested in them and hoping they would reciprocate your feelings. You either liked a picture or swiped right and within moments, you would know if the person was interested in you as well. I can imagine the relief of millions of people. If you were turned down, no harm done, just swipe right to the next and brush it off.
As a person who never entered the online dating world, I wanted to know why people chose to date online versus the standard way of meeting people out and about.
I spoke with friends of both genders that admitted to me their use of dating apps. I saw it as a perfect opportunity to see how differently these two sides think when it comes to dating.
"My intentions are mostly to find someone to hang out with. I'm not looking for anything serious but it's possible for it to be that. Basically, I'm looking for a serious friends with benefits or a girlfriend. I think that finding a date through social interaction is becoming less and less. It is easier to swipe on a picture from my couch. I prefer to meet people in person, but it is easier online. Online gives you more exposure. When meeting people in person, I can approach 5 girls in a week, but online, I could talk to 30 girls in a day if I wanted to."
"When I first got into dating apps, I wanted a relationship as an end result. Now, I am not sure what I want. I've never been in a serious relationship. My experience with online dating isn't from serious sites like eHarmony or match. The apps I've used are supposed to be for dating, but it seems like the majority of people use them for hook-ups. For example, when a person says they are looking for someone to hang out with and do activities with, they are really just looking to have sex. There was one person I met that I thought I had a lot in common with, only for him to 'go out of town', never to be heard from again. Later, I found he unmatched me."
After hearing each perspective side, it made more sense: in order to truly find someone with similar interests and who's main intention is not to hook-up, you have to invest in love. Free apps with vague registration questions does not love make. There are no extra details, hobbies, vocation, skills, etc. required at the forefront. So, how do you know the personality of a picture you're swiping left or right to?
From the experience of the male source, he found his dates to lack substance. Each date that came from Tinder lacked personality, wanted sex right off the bat, moved way too fast in the "relationship" and were clingy. There is not much to covet when listening to his experience with online dating.
These apps may have originally intended to make meeting and dating an easier and less stressful process, but have long since steered left into another genre entirely. Although we do have the rare anomaly who defies the odds and finds love on these apps, the true intent of dating apps like Tinder and Plenty of Fish are predominantly for hooking up.
"Meeting in person is better. As a man, it takes a little courage and some self-esteem because as a man, you definitely get rejected more than once, but eventually you will find someone worth it and you will have something to build off of other than an app."
Whether you choose to date online or find people off the web, dating is a tricky deal. In truth, you are trying on different people until you find that perfect fit. That is the dating world; one that I am thankfully out of.
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