In 2018, it's not uncommon to hear that a friend went on a date with someone from Bumble, or see YouTube Tinder horror story videos all over the internet (yes, I'm talking about you, Gabbie Hanna). Clearly, the world now is different than what our parents and grandparents experienced. Whenever I ask older people about how they met their husband/wife, they always go into elaborate detail about meeting them through a family member, at the park, etc. With consistency like that, it's hard not to wonder if online dating is ruining romance for us. So I surveyed 21 people about their opinions on the matter.
First off, I asked these 21 people if they had ever used/were currently using online dating. Of those surveyed, 18 participants admitted to using online dating at one time or another, and three said that they had never used it before. Among the online daters, the most used app was Tinder, with Bumble following closely behind.
I then asked these same people if they would be embarrassed to tell people that they met their significant other online. Surprisingly, the group was practically split in half, with 10 saying they would be embarrassed, and 11 saying that they wouldn't be. I found that result ironic because, believe it or not, 12 of the 21 people surveyed asked to be kept anonymous. And of those 12, six claimed that they wouldn't be embarrassed to admit that they met their S.O. online. If that were the case, then why keep your name private? I would argue that's contradictory.
It seems as though people might be more embarrassed than they like to admit.
The last question that I asked everyone was: Do you think online dating is making our generation's love stories less romantic? This was when people started giving lengthier responses. There were lots of different opinions. For the most part, it seems as though our generation is open to online dating and finding a lifetime partner that way, but there's still a stigma that we can't completely shake off. Check out the highlights below.
1. "Online dating just makes it easier to meet another person"
"I don't think it's less romantic. My friend met his current S.O. over an online video game, and now they're very close with each other. They still participate in behavior that would be considered very romantic and all. Online dating just makes it easier to meet another person but also ignore matches, and if you don't ignore a match then I think people are still ready to dedicate themselves to their partner."
2. "Yes! Where are the meet-cutes?"
3. "Meeting online seems to be more normal than we think"
"Sort of, I also understand that nowadays people are so busy and the world is so high-tech that meeting online seems to be more normal than we think. I am guilty of telling people a different story on how I met my boyfriend though."
4. "You still have to meet them in person and win them over"
"In this day and age? I think it's an alright way to meet people and see if you can hold an actual convo with them. You still have to meet them in person and win them over and stuff."
5. "No, we had still met in person prior, but this just connected us."
6. "You can still be pretty romantic"
"Yes and no. Like it takes away from the cute 'this is how we met' story, but your relationship can still be pretty romantic even if you did meet online."
7. "There's a level of distrust behind phones"
"For the most part, yes. I'd prefer to meet someone in person (ex: at a bar or through mutual friends) because I feel like there's a level of distrust behind phones. You can edit your profile to be a little deceiving. In person, you get exactly what you see. But I wouldn't be embarrassed if my next boyfriend were from social media."
8. "It all started with him saying 'Wanna see a meme?'"
"I think it's a different type of romance which is something we have to accept. The person I'm talking to now and I met on Tinder and it all started with him saying 'Wanna see a meme?' And we've been seeing each other for almost two months now!"
9. "I'm not opposed to online dating"
"Honestly, yes. I strongly believe in organically meeting and connecting with others. But I'm not opposed to online dating, it's worked for me in the past!"
10. "You get judged for extra as a girl"
"Yes, mostly because of the stigma/embarrassment associated with it and because people aren't public about saying that they met through apps. If more people said it it would become a lot more normalized, but since it doesn't the assumption seems to be that you were on the app for hookups (which you get judged for extra as a girl)."
11. "Nope! I found the love of my life online."
12. "The romance is what comes after that"
"Not at all. You meet through apps the way you used to meet through friends, but the romance is what comes after that."