Finding love – online
In a digital world run by social media and swiping right and left, dating and finding love can be extremely overwhelming. What does love even look like online? How can someone know anyone’s intentions or genuine likes and dislikes through the screen? Do people really lie about their height and their expectations for love? Why do couples post each other on social media constantly? Is there a standard all couples should be hitting?
According to CNBC, 42 per cent of adults believe that dating apps make it easier to find a partner. However, a whopping 88 per cent of adults are disappointed by what they see on dating apps. More often than not, men tend to feel more insecure about the lack of messages or communication they receive on dating apps rather than women. All of these statistics can be overwhelming, and tend to create more questions than answers.
First and foremost, your standard for love and relationships should always be your own. Advice here and there from others is never necessarily bad, but your relationship is your own to handle and to set standards for. Couples who post each other during every waking moment on social media tend to conveniently leave out the hard parts of a relationship, and those hard parts are completely normal.
There seems to be a specific kind of pressure when it comes to posting your partner. What sort of bragging rights does someone get when they shove their relationship down our digital throats?
Answer? They don’t.
At least that’s what we all want to believe, because the only audience these couples seem to be advertising to are themselves. Maybe it’s for self-validation, or for the perfectly innocent desire to show off your partner. Whatever the reason may be, it seems to have set a precedent that in the digital age, an online couple is a worthy couple.
In dating apps, there is always the fear of Photoshop accidentally curating your perfect person or matching with someone who treats healthy communication like the plague.
Is finding love hopeless in a digital age?
Well, not entirely.
For some, making the first move via keyboard and texts is a lot less intimidating. The wonderful world of texting can give people a chance to put thought and time into their responses when they communicate with the people they match up with. You can really think about what you want to say, and what kind of hypothetical tone you want your text to be veiled with. Do you want to be sexy, sweet, intelligent, witty, or cheerful? Great news! You can be anything you want with the help of some type bubbles and read receipts.
Finding the right platform can also make a huge difference in your quest for love.
Move over eHarmony, because Hinge, Tinder, and Bumble seemed to have paved the way for the newer generations of online dating. Tinder and Bumble share the same foundation when it comes to finding partners (swipe right for yes and left for no), whereas Hinge uses the tried and true ‘like’ button.
Online dating also immediately filters out anyone you may not be interested in with settings to help you decide what you are looking for. In one’s personal settings, they can decide their preference for a potential partner’s age, location radius, gender identity, and interests–to name a few.
When it comes to your own filter, you can get extremely specific about your hobbies, levels of commitment, your physical attributes, and your quirks. Often a dating app will give a user some prompts to further their personality onto a spotlight and give other potential partners more things to find in common.
Many websites, such as Courtly, preach that more genuine photos make a better profile and allow potential partners to see the real you shine. Photos are usually the first impression you give on dating apps to others.
While all of these aspects can seem overwhelming, they come in handy when you’re looking for love. Take it from me, the filters are your friend, not a foe.
Even more so, dating apps can make it easier to meet someone that shares the same community as you do. PinkNews shared that 80 per cent of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals believe that dating apps benefit their community in a positive way by allowing them to connect with more people and become more comfortable with their own identities.
Coming from personal experience, I met my girlfriend on Hinge almost one year ago and we have not looked back since. Even though we are both from the same city, it became extremely clear that without a dating app connecting us, we most likely would have never crossed paths. While the photos and the swiping and the liking and the filtering can feel like a burden, the outcomes are not always fake and overedited.
Sometimes the outcome can, surprisingly, be love.