I Met My Boyfriend Online: A 21st Century Norm or Taboo?

When people ask how my boyfriend and I met, we usually just tell them we met through a mutual friend. And that’s true—we met because that mutual friend retweeted something of mine on Twitter. My boyfriend thought it was funny, and he decided to follow me. After some time of indirectly flirting and favoriting each other’s tweets, he “slid into my DMs.” 

Trying to explain this phenomenon of online dating to our families was a struggle because many of them only knew the old-fashioned way of dating.

You bump into someone, exchange numbers and start casually seeing each other until you decide to become boyfriend and girlfriend. But is meeting online the new form of getting to know someone, or is it lazy and insincere? Can you know the same amount about someone through a first date as you can by looking through their Twitter favorites and tagged Instagram photos, or is online dating a waste of time? 

The internet is something extremely unique that wasn’t around when many of our parents first started dating. While it's great for Googling random things during late-night insomnia attacks and looking up the cutest DIYs on Pinterest, the internet also allows us a way to connect to billions of people literally all over the world. This is so cool and a way a lot of people end up forming “internet friends” from places they have never been before.

Sometimes, these friendships turn into something more.

While it’s not the most conventional way of meeting someone, love happens in mysterious ways—and who's to say your soulmate can't be someone you follow online? You might connect with someone that you never would have had the courage to talk to in person, like my boyfriend and I. People find it easier to “shoot their shot” online when they’re not face-to-face with the person, and sometimes this can blossom into a wonderful relationship. 

Many people use sites like Tinder and Plenty of Fish for serious relationships or hookups. (Whichever you choose to use the apps for, just make sure you’re safe and smart about meeting someone in person for the first time.) Apps like Plenty of Fish allow you to connect with someone with the same interests and relationship needs, and not only is it extremely fast, but it can also be done right from your phone. 

Many aspects of life are different and easier now than they were when our parents or grandparents were growing up.

Social media wasn’t a thing back then. Being able to preview someone’s life and thoughts gives you an insight into what they might be like and the ability to decide whether or not you actually want to meet them or hang out with them in person, which can save you a whole lot of time. While it definitely is weird telling people how I met my boyfriend, I wouldn’t trade the way we met for the world, because we're able to go back and actually look at the first conversation we ever had two years ago, which is something not a lot of people can do. I cherish our Twitter conversations, FaceTime sessions and texts from before we met, because we were able to become close friends even though we couldn't meet in person.

So, whether you're trying to gain the courage to shoot your shot with your Twitter crush or you're thinking about reaching out to that cute guy from Tinder, don’t underestimate the power of meeting someone online. One message could change everything.

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