CAN YOU SAY “I DO” TO SOMEONE YOU INITIALLY MET AS A PROFILE PICTURE?
Advancements in technology have changed the way we function as a society. Individuals now live on their phones as a lifeline between them and the rest of the world due to the fact that we can receive information faster than ever before. The need for immediate validation has now become prevalent in the world of dating.
With the establishment of the first online dating sites in 1994 and 1995, Kiss.com followed by Match.com, the internet revolutionized dating. Prior to this, our parents and grandparents had to meet their significant others the old-fashioned way: in high school or college, perhaps both reaching for the same orange at the grocery store, a “right place, right time” type of situation. Hardcore romantics would say, “it was love at first sight.”
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, close to 57% of online daters have had a positive experience, followed by 14% describing their experience as very positive and 43% saying it was somewhat positive. The same study found that a small fraction of Americans, about one in ten, have been in a committed relationship with or married someone they met online.
“I was not expecting anything serious at all,” said Emily Gusbeth, a 23-year-old from Newhall, California. “I definitely was not looking at it as a hook-up, but I was like, I wanna get more experience dating.”
Before, Gusbeth was just another curious mind looking for love. She had tried meeting potential partners through social situations, the “old-fashioned way” if you will, but lucked out time after time. After hearing from a friend that she had been on a few dates thanks to the popular dating app Tinder, Emily decided to make an account for herself; little did she know how much it would change her life.
“I made [a] Tinder [account] one day before matching with him and I didn’t go on any dates with anyone else… I remember he, like, slid into my messages. I was like ‘yeah, I’ll message him back, it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m lonely,”’ Gusbeth jokes.
Though dating apps are notorious for hook-ups and casual experiences, it isn’t impossible to find a stable and legitimate partner. According to a study conducted by Philipp Hergovich, an economist from the University of Vienna, and Josué Ortega, a researcher at the Center for European Economic Research, couples who meet through dating apps or sites last at least as long as relationships that begin offline and report a higher marital satisfaction rate. These findings contradict the belief that relationships, furthermore marriages, that start online are of lower quality.
While dating apps can help in people’s search for love, there are some obvious disadvantages that come with the territory. People who generally aren’t confident around others can hide behind a profile picture, an aspect that is both positive and a negative; this allows people to become something, or someone, they aren’t. Aside from catfishes and other internet safety issues, there is still some stigma around this growing trend in dating.
“You know what, I think my biggest insecurities going into the relationship was [that] we met on an app… it was just like, I don’t know how this is gonna go and I had to like get over the fact that we met on an app, coz, obviously, growing up I thought I would meet my significant other organically and sometimes I do get jealous of people who have those stories,” said Gusbeth.
At the end of it all, it’s key to understand that life works out differently for everyone. Some do experience the moment when their eyes meet and they instantly fall for their current significant others, while others have a little help from the internet or smartphone apps. Regardless of how you met, all that matters is that you’ve created a relationship so strong and a love so true with someone special.
“But,” Gusbeth continued, “I mean, I gotta look past that and realize like, this is kind of what’s happening now. And it’s what worked for us.”