Whenever I think of Online Dating, the first thing that comes to mind is two middle-aged people, one of whom is divorced or widowed, using Match.com in order to find love again or at least to find someone to be your plus one to events. You know, the type of events that offer you a plus one as a courtesy but in actual fact, having a plus one is a requirement of attending.
The reality of online dating is so much different. Truthfully, everyone is using the Internet to find the love of their life (or at least someone to love for the night) from your younger sibling to your grandfather. The Internet opens up the probability of meeting someone of a similar age and background and with similar interest to yourself without distance or a chance meeting being a factor.
It was only after I started University that I discovered Online Dating through the use of Dating apps. I was 18 and had never had a boyfriend and had quickly discovered that club nights out were not going to be the way I was going to find one. My course was small with only 40 people per year and of those 40 people, there were only a handful of people who were single, only of one those people a boy.
My dating app of choice was Tinder. Highly popularized by both College and University students as well as young adults, the swiping aspect added an element of fun to dating. All my single friends were using it. We would send each other screenshots of people we had matched with for approval, lightheartedly make fun of people we knew whom we found on the app and exchange phones so we could play matchmaker for each other.
I went on a few dates with people who I matched with through Tinder but ultimately, I could not find what I was looking for. I could not help feeling like every conversation I had was superficial, talking about University and work and their favourite movie. The dates were not unpleasant but they all seemed to blend into one. I could not help feeling like there had to be more to dating than this.
It was only by chance that a friend recommended I try Bumble instead of Tinder, having listened to me moan about terrible chat-up lines a few too many times. Bumble allows the girl to message first, which means I would be able to set the tone of the conversation, as a common misconception is that everyone on dating apps is just looking for a hook-up. By messaging first, I would be able to break this illusion and scare off anyone just looking for a hook-up.
After two and a half years of installing, deleting and then re-installing dating apps, I finally found what I was looking for. Someone who I want to make-out with but also wake up next to in the morning. Someone who I want to have brunch with and laugh with until my stomach hurts. Someone who I know will be there for me, whether I am laughing or crying, looking my best or my worst and who is not afraid to tell me that they care every single day.
Hold on ladies, your Prince (or Princess) Charming is out there.