Wednesday, May 25, 2022




Illustration of couple dating over the internet.
Getty Images

2020’s cuffing season has come and gone, and left many of us feeling uncertain: Will dating ever truly be the same? Smiles, hidden by facial masks, are an important feature in determining attraction to another person. Having virtually lost the ability to interact normally with others out in the real world, the internet space has taken control of our dating lives and given us the potential to fall in love far beyond our physical reach. 

There remains a certain stigma around online dating. It can be dangerous and uncertain. The chance of being catfished is a legitimate fear that plagues every new conversation started online. Speaking with a person face to face online, you can confirm they are who they claim to be. At the beginning of these conversations, you have to decide how seriously you’re going to take it. Dating apps are full of uncertainties: you can easily find yourself in a situation you don’t expect. There isn’t a formula for emotions, and you can fall in love with anyone in any way, and in any time frame. 

Illustration of couple communicating through text messaging

Modern technology has bridged the gap between countries and opened up the possibility of finding love overseas, exponentially widening the dating pool. With that expansion comes an intriguing question: Can you fall in love with someone and have a strong and healthy relationship completely virtually? In this space, love can be less physical, and more psychological. 

If you’re currently in a long-distance relationship or in the position where you might be starting one, consider this: In a long-distance relationship, there are three worlds — his, hers, and theirs. Unfortunately, when “their” world is entirely virtual, it’s time-consuming, deliberate, and difficult to take care of. While you may be a strong couple, you’re both still living in two separate worlds and leading two separate lives. In-person, it’s a lot easier to be together because you know every intimate thing about their day. You know physically where they are, the bed they sleep in at night, the fork they used to eat their lunch. You’re familiar with the way they speak, look, and think. It’s those little details in someone else’s life that make them more special to you and make you feel closer to them. If you can replicate those things the best you can online, then that would make the relationship a whole lot easier. 

Pedro and Chantel from 90 Day Fiancé
Pedro and Chantel- 90 Day Fiance. Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Hollywood has brought its own examples of love found and sustained online. TLC’s 90 Day Fiance and its various spin-offs have built an empire on it. While it certainly contributes to the stigma and danger of meeting someone online, especially from another country, it proves that most relationships abroad are strong and real. Many couples have learned how to make it work with online video-chatting services. They have to work harder in their relationships than most people do, just to be able to see each other. Chantel and Pedro, two breakout stars from the series, are one example of living proof that distance only makes the heart grow fonder, and that every relationship has problems no matter how perfect they may appear. 

2020’s cuffing season has come and gone, but don’t let that discourage you. People have seemingly endless ways of meeting each other now, and the scope of the world has expanded. It goes without saying that no one needs a partner to be happy and that It’s important to find happiness with yourself before you look for it in someone else. Still, if you open your mind to love around the world, the right person will eventually come along.