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All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Wellness > Sex + Relationships

My First Time: Can I Find Love on a Dating App?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McGill chapter.

Love is simple. Finding love is complicated. At least it is for a hopeless romantic like me. And I say hopeless quite literally. I have a specific idea of what love should be, or at the least what I want it to be, and in more ways than not that seems to be the reason I haven’t been on a date in over a year—and in a serious relationship ever. No one ever lives up to the fantasy, no one fits into the world I see filtered through rose-colored glass and too-perfect moments. I want to be swept off my feet, roses in hand and love songs hummed in my ear. Subtle kisses to the head, steady hands squeezing my free-floating ones over the table, because in my mind, it is like they are traversing oceans just to tell me I am not alone. Call me a romantic. Call me old-fashioned. Call me delusional. Love, for me, has a certain language, and I am waiting for the one who hears and answers my calls in the same tongue. 

But after a while, my voice starts to thin and this language starts to sound more and more made up. Like a dream, where it makes sense while you’re in it but once you wake up, it so very obviously does not. 

So I decided I would give in, and I made an online dating profile.

I didn’t want to give up my dreams of that romantic meeting — reaching for the same book at the bookshop, sticky notes from a secret admirer during those long study hours at the library — but I can only scream into the air so many times before I realize I am stranded on a desert deluding myself of a well nearby. 

post it wall of love
Kyle Glenn

And, in less dramatic fashion, I was bored. I wanted to see if I were any good on a date. Would I talk a lot, or would I be too nervous and settle for that forced chuckle that dies down too late into a sigh? How many times will I meet his eyes or twirl a strand of my hair between my fingers? Will we move in closer to each other as the conversation deepens, me spellbound by his smile and him intoxicated by my laugh? I was curious about who I would be on a date. And just the idea of romance was enough to spark my curiosity. I was ready for my heart to start beating, to wake the slumbering butterflies in my stomach. 

I knew I wouldn’t find The One on there. I wasn’t looking for Mr. Right at the moment. I didn’t need to find my ride-or-die. I just wanted to feel like a 20 year old in love.

Making the profile was fun. It felt like one of those online quizzes that asks “What Ice Cream Flavor Are You?”. So pointless, but so much fun. And I filled it out with a friend who was in the middle of downing one too many bottles of beer, so the room was filled with a buzz of girls-night-out fun and a total lack of seriousness. So the pressure was off, and I couldn’t have been happier. A part of me — actually, a whole lot of me — clung to the hopeless romantic. Where’s the romance? I heard myself screaming as I selected the pictures to post on my profile. Chants of where’s the love story? shrieked in my brain as I filled out the questionnaire.

Love stories are overrated, I chastised myself, chewing on the inside of my cheek, fighting the disapproving furrow between my brows as I pressed the button to post.

And I was live. On air. Ready for both hearts and swipe-lefts. 

After the first few guys, they all started to look and read the same; hyper-competitive, loves to travel, outdoor enthusiast but is down to chill at home. In just one click, I was exposed to essentially all the available singles ready to mingle… and it couldn’t have been any less anti-climactic. After the first day, I was starting to get bored. The first few likes on my profile were flattering (and, let’s face it, a great boost in self-esteem), but after a while those also became meaningless, and it wasn’t long before the app became just another thing to scroll through to pass the time. 

The excitement has left, and all that I am left with is the same sense of hopelessness and the wish for a perfect romance. Is it too much to ask for? I want to scream up at the sky. Are “meant-to-be’s” and “true love” overrated? Has romance always been hard to find, or was I born in the wrong decade? I don’t want to give up on my ideas of romance just yet, but as the snow melts and the leaves start to blossom again, I can’t help but wonder if fairytale romances are only just that.

The Notebook gif

Dani Kang

McGill '21

Aspiring writer and hopeless romantic, Dani Kang is currently surviving her second year in the English - Culture Studies major at McGill University. She loves to read, spending too much of her money on literature and notebooks she never uses, loves films ranging from art house to the newest Marvel phase, loves flannels, and would take a stroll through Old Port over drinks any day.