Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a handsome boy, who on a sunny day, saw the love of his life. Let’s call this handsome boy Daniel. Unfortunately, before Daniel could talk to her, she left without leaving a clue. To find her, he crossed the lands and after facing monsters and creepy places, he finally found her. They got married and… Well, aside from some fights and kisses along the way, they lived happily ever after. But if Daniel tried to find that girl today, he wouldn’t need to go through all that trouble. Now, he can just make an online dating profile, which would make his love life a whole lot easier, albeit maybe a bit boring. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that if you have an online dating profile, your love life is boring. What I’m saying is that your life probably isn’t as romantic – it doesn’t have the mystery of love anymore. “Oh Flávia, how dare you say that?!” – I’ll show you.
Back in the past, love stories were recorded by many letters around the world. Men had to work hard to impress a girl and ‘’have’’ her. The mystery and effort to conquer a girl’s heart was priceless. Relationships were built to last forever no matter what. If you, at that time, got married with someone you don’t like, you were totally screwed. Time goes by and in the 50’s things changed. By then you could get divorced; nothing that usual, but it was a solutions for unhappy marriages at least. Romance was alive with love letters of many pages, phone calls crossing countries, in the movie theaters and books. Everything in that time involved love and romance.
Time goes by, and the digital revolution has made our lives easier than ever. Within this seemingly easier world, we find ourselves racing between the requirements of career, family, and friends. This hardly leaves us with any free time to devote towards romance. The internet steps in with dating websites. These sites seem practical at first glance, especially for people who don’t have much spare time in the day, even sometimes for going out with friends, but are they really necessary? I’m not telling you that you will never find someone on a dating website, but is there really such a good chance at finding lasting happiness?
With some clicks and left/right swipes, you can get matched up with someone and start to chat. Actually, sometimes you can just skip the chatting altogether; just type something like IWSN or SUGARPIC (that means: I Want Sex Now / send me a picture of you naked) and boom, you have instant sex gratification. I have a friend who texts people with these acronyms, and it works! As a busy single girl, I could say that’s awesome– that the Swipe-for-Sex system really works, but something about it is depressing.
I personally don’t know anyone who ended up in a good relationship from online dating. I have some friends who really tried to find someone good, but they met with the same end: frustration. It’s easy to idealize from a profile, especially if the picture is cute: They like puppies? Why, me too! We might even be soul mates! In real life, it’s a bit different, and once differences arise, the relationships soon fizzle to an end. When my friends are in the process of an online relationship, I really wish the best for them, but to everyone who is thinking about trying online dating, I would say don’t. It’s a trap. Great pictures of muscles and cars, but no words. How can you build a romantic relationship from these photos? Where is the mystery of flirting and figuring out the little personality traits of your crush? Online dating has made it so easy to get a one night stand or a superficial relationship, but often the effects of it are more than just one night. It leaves us feeling disposable.
For some guys, it is easier to see a “yes” or a “no” on a chat screen than to see their more complex reactions face to face. If you can avoid having to look a girl in the eye when she rejects you, wouldn’t you want to? But that’s not real life, and you will never truly learn about love that way. Online dating is making people lazy, predictable, and superficial. Within the come-and-go (or cum-and-go) of modern life, there is no appreciation for the effort it takes to make a relationship last. The attitude is that if you are having trouble with your partner, why stay with him if you have so many other guys giving your profile a green light? A guy friend of mine uses online dating to fulfill his needy personality, even though the relationships never last. For me, as his friend, it seems like he’s just shooting himself in the foot.
You will not find love between the lines of a profile. You might find it eventually, but only after hanging out with this person for months. Maybe few years. There can be no app for love. It is more than that. You might find it in your yoga class, your reading group, at your favorite restaurant or dance club, your university, or at your work, but rarely from a screen. Trust me; I’ve gone on a few online dates, and I think it would have gone better had I met them elsewhere.
So don’t screw love with online apps. Get off the computer or your phone and try finding your soul mate in real life.
Wishing you an abundance of un-pixelated love, this year and always.
-Article by Flavia Motta for The Untitled Magazine