I don’t know about you, but the pressures I feel as a young person in society seem to be forever growing and breathing down my neck until it becomes impossible to sweep them aside. We need a solid career path that brings financial stability as well as actually enjoying our jobs; we get deemed ignorant if we don’t take an active interest in social and political issues; we need to maintain an interesting and healthy lifestyle through our hobbies; and we, of course, need time to support our family and friends as well as ourselves. And if all that wasn’t enough, it seems almost impossible to find a legitimate and safe way of dating that doesn’t make you want to weep for humanity.
Grandma is always telling stories of how her and Grandad met in their teens and he simply walked over to her and said hello and that was it, love at first sight. I don’t think they quite understand that, nowadays, people only really approach someone that they are attracted to when they have had one too many in a club. This means that approaching a stranger often comes across as an obvious sign of ulterior motives, or even just a little creepy. As a result, you have to be on constant alert with a team of your girl friends always at hand to come to your rescue if they detect any unwanted flirting. So how do we separate the people who are looking for love for the night from the ones that are ready for a relationship? The simple answer: dating sites.
There used to be a stigma around those who used dating apps and websites; they were for desperate and lonely people who didn’t have enough social skills to find someone in the ‘real world’. But now, it seems that most couples are together because they met on a dating app, even if they don’t like to admit it. Yet, some people still see an online relationship as artificial and ‘ruining romance’. Well, I am writing to break this stigma. There is no shame in meeting someone online; you can talk with them first to avoid the inevitable first date awkward small talk, you can make sure that you both want the same things, and, if nothing else, it can give you a little flirty confidence. With all the dangers of meeting strangers, it can be a comfort to get to know them a little before meeting them (although you should always still have your first meetings in a public place and let your friends know where you are, of course, safety first!!).
Just because dating has changed in recent years, it doesn’t mean that true romance has died. Let’s be honest, as long as you’re happy, whether it’s bed-hopping or finding the love of your life, who cares how you do it?! By the time we tell our grandkids how we met our husbands or wives, it will be the norm to talk about tinder or bumble, so don’t let the stigma hold you back. It doesn’t mean that there is no hope in meeting someone in person, it just means that we are lucky enough to have more than one way of meeting someone, which I think is really exciting.
By Ella Higginbotham