I am probably as hopelessly romantic as they come. I was recently told that I fell through the ceiling but my head got stuck somewhere in the clouds and I know I’ve ‘wasted’far too much of my life obsessing over Cinderella stories (and Bridget Jones) but even my fragile mind is slowly coming to terms with the fact that real life ‘love’ stories aren’t what the fairytales promised us.
As sad as it is most people’s stories these days don’t begin with a dashing Prince rescuing the chick from the clutches of or fire-breathing dragon or a clumsy chubby girl tumbling down a flight of stairs straight into the arms of a rugby player (although there maybe an element of truth to that last one!). The truth is even the chances of being asked out by that geeky hipster in your local coffee joint is pretty unlikely. The fact is we live in a world where organic dating is fast becoming a thing of the past and one in five relationships actually start online.
So why then is there still so much stigma attached to admitting you met your Significant Other online? I’m sure we’ve all had occasions where your buddy is introducing his new girlfriend and you casually ask how they first met. Well, most of the time there will be an awkward silence while the two parties conjure up some story and hope the details correlate, then they’ll usually battle to sync their epic tales, speaking over one another like a pair of bumbling buffoons. You just stand their rolling your eyes and whisper ‘TINDER’ to the friend standing next to you. With online dating being so common these days one has to wonder why people go to such great lengths to conceal the truth?
I get it. And I know I’ve said this before nobody really ever wants to entertain the thought their story could begin ‘Once upon a time I swiped right’. It’s not terribly romantic now is it? But I think we need to understand thw epic tales that our grandparents told us, about how their love survived wars and how the thoughts of their one true love waiting at home got them through those horrid days in the trenches, are from another age all together. Furthermore if we did a bit of digging we’d probably learn that every romantic masterpiece has some sordid little subplot (come on we all that there is truth to that thing about the sailors having a girl in every port!).
It may seem like the devilish modern technological advances have changed the nature of dating for the worse; taking the romance out of things altogether and cheapening everything to some degree. But these tools that we now have at our disposal and that we are so quick to dismiss the value do have their advantages. Not only have websites and apps broadened the scope of the dating pool – people are no longer restricted to dating people in their own village, city, country, etc. The world really is your oyster when it comes to who you could potentially date these dates.
The speed at which we are able to communicate and set up a date means that we can now meet more people. As tedious as this can become, the more dates (both good and bad) we go on the more we learn about a) what do/don’t want in a partner and b) what we can do to improve ourselves. I can certainly say that my +/- 50 Tinder dates have taught me a lot, served to increase my self confidence and given me greater insight into the inner workings of the male mind. And it’s not like we can deny how much things like Skype (and Skype Sex) have probably the likelihood of long distance relationships working?
So what am I getting at here? Well, firstly we need to put historic ideas of romance into perspective and remember that there is probably a lot that people filtered out. Next, lets accept that times have changed. No one is above Tinder and most people these days have dabbled in online dating at some stage. Almost everyone and his dog (yes literally! I am slightly embarrassed to admit I am guilty of swiping right on a guy because I thought his puppy was adorable) has/has had an online dating profile of some sort. Tinder, Grindr, OKCupid, etc are all part of reality when it comes to modern dating. So if you met you Significant Other thanks to a swipe (or if you are an uber cool kid – a SUPER like), you really aren’t alone in this, so OWN your story. Meeting your Prince Charming online is really no worse than hooking up at club, being introduced by friends or having him save you from gang lord so stop being embarrassed. And finally, just believe that in 30 years time Tinder will likely be replaced by something far more sordid (if at all possible) and our grandchildren will probably think of swiping as something rather romantic.
Your turn Rinsers – Are you an advocate of online dating? Did you meet your SO online and if so do you cringe when you tell the truth or do you own it? Or are you one of those truly old fashioned romantics that is still searching for their soulmate in the library? Answers, opinions and stories in the comments section below.