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Navigating the dating scene online

By Jenn Gorrie, February 6 2020—

There has always been somewhat of a stigma attached to online dating, as those who present themselves on the internet were once considered to be desperate or rather naïve. Instead of using these terms for those looking for love, they should be considered courageous as people are willing to go through great lengths to put themselves out there.  

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Plenty of Fish (POF) are some of the dating apps that have become popular within the last few years. The variety allows people to choose a suitable app for themselves. As someone who is seeking a serious relationship may not spend their time on Tinder, but instead try an app that matches them with someone based on their answers to questions. 

It seems as though online dating has become the prime source for those in the dating scene. Anyone remotely media-driven and single is likely using a dating service. Sure, there are some people still skeptical with the idea of posting a photo of themselves and swiping to find their soulmate, but in a day and age where we’re invested in social media, maybe an app is the only way to find someone that catches your eye?

I am one of many who are guilty of dipping my toes into the dating pool from time to time, to see what it is all about. With friends who have successfully found relationships online, I was curious to see if my experience would be similar, especially being part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

I found that a lot of these apps are not catered towards the LGBTQ+ community at all. It is important for dating apps to evolve and become more inclusive instead of just being made for the average Joe. 

My experience with Tinder was like a bad breakup — I found myself re-downloading the app countless times throughout the week. I had also tried POF and Bumble in hopes of some kind of validation that there wasn’t something wrong with me. 

What I found instead was that some people were on all apps, or certain ages favoured one over the other. Older men and women who didn’t use their phones as much were on POF, and young adults that claim they are “trying to take dating seriously” would be on Bumble. 

This however is not true, as the app itself should not matter, but rather the connection that you are forming with the person. 

I had heard the expression a few times — if you are trying to find someone to be in a serious relationship with online, you would need to have a lot of patience, as it is like participating in the lottery. People will always like to gamble in hopes of winning the jackpot, but there may be many attempts. 

Dating apps should be considered a game, allowing for people to be aware of the possibility of being ghosted, or talking to someone who may be catfishing them. There are some rules that are somewhat unspoken, but instead should be followed.

The first rule would be talking to someone who has more than one photograph of themselves online. This by no means is supposed to be insulting, but a reminder that if someone is posting a photo that was clearly taken on a digital camera with flash, and it’s now 2020, how old is that photo really?

Another rule to consider is that the person on the other end may be talking to several other people for instance, so you should not focus all your undivided attention on them. Instead, it is important to be upfront, maybe not share how many people you are currently talking to, but mention what you are looking for so you can narrow down if the person is at all worth your time. 

The last rule is, of course, to be safe. Whether that is meeting them for the first time in an open, public place, or if sex is on the table, having an open discussion about their sexual history.

This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet’s editorial board.

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