By COSTA B. PAPPAS
A few decades ago, online dating was nonexistent.
Sure, some people met through sketchy chat rooms back in the late ’90s, but online dating was nowhere near what it is today.
A few years back, people were forced to form solid connections through face-to-face interactions or risk being single. The world was a sea of possible opportunity where singles could meet a potential soulmate through bar nights, blind dates or by sitting next to them at a coffee shop.
Fast forward to 2019: We’re in a world where blind dates are virtually nonexistent, bar nights are spent surrounded by your closest friends with little to no awareness of potential suitors around you and coffee shops are a lot more silent …it appears that live interactions are dead.
With our generation no longer pushing for the stereotypical love stories but rather hiding behind a screen where we ask our friends to help us devise the perfect pick-up lines, it appears that the online world has taken over our reality.
One must ask the question: Has the online world become our singular reality?
It’s true. Online dating can be a great way to meet people if you need a chance to warm up to someone. For those with social anxiety, they need time to get to know someone behind the safety of their phone before diving into the unknown.
Plus, online dating and the messages leading up to your first date can give you a clear view on someone’s intentions. If your match asks you to come over at midnight or messages you, “Wanna bang?” you can pretty much assume they are looking for a one-night stand.
On the flip side, if your match recommends going out to lunch or checking out a new band in your area, you can tell that they could be looking for more.
When thinking about online dating, I instantly think of the quote, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.” By putting so much pressure on a manhunt to find “the one” through online methods, are we playing God in our love life? Even so, is playing God and taking matters into our own hands a bad thing?
Spike Hammond, a game design major at Pima Community College, agrees. He feels as though love should not be a hunt, but something that comes naturally.
“I don’t understand the idea of going into dating looking for a love one,” he says. “I can understand if there was online finding people to meet friends. But not for loved ones.”
I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with being signed up on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge or whatever website catches your attention.
You could meet a possible new friend, a love interest or a cringe-worthy date being that makes you rethink your standards. The opportunities of what online dating can bring are endless. You could get a good laugh from a bad date or the infamous butterflies from a love interest.
But where online dating goes wrong is when we put all our eggs in the online basket. If we spend too much time focusing on our online matches we can miss out on the potential real-life matches around us.
As we continue forward in the modern age, finding the perfect combination between the online world and our physical world is a middle-ground we must continuously seek. It is not a black-and-white subject, but a grey area based on what we want for ourselves.
I ask myself how I want to tell the story of how I met my partner. Do I want to say it was through Tinder or at a coffee shop’s open mic night? As of right now, I am not on the hunt for a partner, so I have given myself a break from the countless swipes I would break my fingers doing repetitively and am allowing myself to simply live in the moment and enjoy whatever possible people enter my life.
Whether I meet someone today, tomorrow, or through an online dating platform months from now, I will know that it was not because I was actively searching for love, but allowed it to come to me naturally.