This piece is a part of an ongoing series on sex and relationships, in accordance with the Valentine’s holiday in February! Some stories will appear in the print edition of the Gateway, while others will enjoy their space online throughout the month.
Modern romance is a wild world. It started with eHarmony, match.com, Christian Mingle, and the likes. Those are still around, sure, but it seems that hookup culture and instant gratification have infiltrated the college-aged society, and dating has taken a turn. Tinder, Bumble, Grindr and other similar apps are on at least 27 percent of young people’s phones, according to this report by the Atlantic.
It’s no secret that the art of wooing is vastly under-utilized in this dating economy, and almost every young woman I have spoken to has a screenshot of a mind-blowing experience she had on Tinder. Dating apps certainly aren’t for everyone, and they can also be a host for predatory and even murderous behavior, festering an unsafe dating environment for anyone who knows how to swipe a screen, but they have also led to some pretty cute weddings. It seems, in a culture that has seemingly lost touch with human connection, people will risk anything to find “the one,” or “the one night stand.”
As someone who has not personally utilized any of these apps, I was curious to know what some of my peers were up to online. Some sources have asked be kept anonymous.
The “eyes are the window to the deli” profile
“I was in Poland during study abroad, and me and some friends were in Krakow for a weekend trip. It was me, and a German student and Belgian student. They’d never seen Tinder before so I downloaded it, and this was one of the first profiles that pulled up. The other two who were looking at the profile said that Tinder is a strange app and I should get off it.” -Anonymous
The Tinder temptation
“I downloaded Tinder in hopes of meeting some new people and potentially starting a relationship. After a few days of swiping, I found a guy who was extremely attractive, had the same taste in music as me and overall seemed super nice. After swiping right, we matched. We really hit it off and moved to texting, after a few months of going on dates, texting, and hanging out he noted that he wanted to become more intimate. Being raised Catholic, I am committed to waiting until marriage. When I told him this information about me, he left our date and proceeded to block me on every social media platform. Reflecting on it now, I have learned that respecting myself and my decisions is very important, even with temptation being a factor.” –Anonymous
The match made in Tinder heaven
“I met my current boyfriend on Tinder. Our first interaction was spoken like a true Gen-Z.” -Meg Novotny
The hesitant happily ever after
“I recently got out of a four year relationship and swore I would never get on dating apps. The whole idea of them has always made me uncomfortable. One of my roommates was persistent about me setting up a profile so I finally did after four months. When I did, I had a rule that I was going to be very picky and have them message me first. The next day, I stumbled upon what seemed to be a cute, decent guy. No sexist or creepy pickup line and no douchey photos. SO I broke my rule and messaged him first. He is the first guy I talked to and now we have been setting each other for a month. I lucked out and found a complete gentleman who I completely adore.” -Mikayla Dyell
The stab to the heart
“This girl and I matched a while back and were having a really good conversation. She and I had similar interests and it was going well, but then she drops this pipe bomb and unmatched me. It made for a high quality tweet so I couldn’t be too mad or hurt by it.” -Owen Godberson
The success story
“When I saw Mike’s profile he looked really familiar so I was looking through it and it said he worked at Urban Outfitters. This reminded me of the time me and my friend went and he was the guy who checked us out! I was like ‘oh my god he was so cute and I can’t believe I stumbled upon his account,’ so I swiped right and it took him a couple of days to swipe right on me, but he finally did. For me, I don’t think I would have acted on things with if I didn’t see/meet him before because I get nervous with talking to people I don’t know.” -Okina Tran