Kiss & Tell: Why Online Dating Worked for Me

In today’s fast-paced world it may seem especially difficult for college students to find time to discover romance. With classes, studying, jobs, and more, there isn’t much time to dedicate to the search. Luckily, the stereotype of online dating is changing.

About 40 million people around the world have tried it and you should too. Online dating sites have become more acceptable, especially for college students. Stigmas saying it’s only for the desperate or socially inept no longer hold true. Today, almost one in three people meet their significant other online.

With so many people finding success, I decided this past summer I would give it a try. I’ve had the same problem as many other college students- a rigid routine preventing me from meeting new people. When you move from class to class, power walking to and from destinations, it is hard to spontaneously run into ‘Prince Charming’. So, unless you are an exceptionally outgoing person, how do you find new specimens to date?

I started by trying out Tinder, an app that allows you to scan profiles of people in your area and matches you based on information from your Facebook page. I couldn’t modify any of the profile information, so this wasn’t the ideal way to start. I also soon discovered this app had more of a reputation for hook-ups. Nonetheless, I still went on a few dates and met some interesting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. My failures included having a month-long virtual “relationship” with a 25-year-old Canadian, and hanging out with a cool guy only to discover he was polyamorous.

One thing you can’t do in online dating is give up. I decided to try a different free website, OkCupid, where I could construct my profile with more freedom. Of course, I got a few creeps who messaged me but those people can easily be blocked from viewing your profile. Soon after creating this profile I was messaged by someone who caught my eye. We talked a bit about our interests then decided to move our chat to Facebook. After about a week he asked me on a date which included dinner, eating ice cream while watching the sunset, and stargazing on the town beach (not to mention a little make out sesh).

So why do I think online dating is ideal for college students? The first reason is that you don’t have to invest a lot of time in someone whom, ultimately, you might not be compatible with. Online dating also gives you a large pool of people to choose from. I know some girls have a “type” but online dating gives you the freedom to explore all different personalities with a click of your mouse.

One of the biggest benefits for me was being able to quickly weed out the people who were not serious about finding a committed relationship. It is much harder to be manipulated by someone when you are reading their words. When you do find someone who sparks your interest, try to meet up with him/her in a public place. My go-to first date idea is meeting for coffee. Coffee is cheap enough where either person can buy, and if the date goes poorly you didn’t spend a month’s rent on a fancy dinner. It’s also a short enough excursion where it lets you test the waters for one or two hours.

OkCupid showed me someone who was engaging, funny, intelligent, and not at all a creep. If neither of us had tried online dating, our paths might have never crossed. At school we study completely different subjects and have different friend circles. I never get tired of his company and I know if I had never met him I would be missing out on so much. In many ways he has changed my life.

I encourage you to take an active role in determining your future. I’m glad I met this amazing person now instead of spending years searching in vain. Online dating simply makes things more convenient and increases your chances of finding love.