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Life as a Hopeless Romantic in an Era of Online Dating

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

If you’re anything like me, you must spend your days lost in the pages of romance novels, fawning over the protagonists as if they’re real (I wish). If you’re anything like me, a majority of your waking hours are spent in a state of daydreaming about “The One.” If you’re anything like me, you probably watch re-runs of all the classic Rom-Coms… I’m talking 10 Things I Hate About You, Notting Hill, The Notebook, She’s All That, and so much more. If you’re anything like me, you only ever listen to Love songs – “‘Cause All of Me Loves all of you.” Beautifully worded, John. 

If you’re anything like me, then you are one of the most hopelessly romantic people to exist…and let me just say, it’s hard out here for us romantics. As a hopeless romantic, you must be sorely disappointed in modern dating, just as I am. Nowadays, romance happens mostly online, whether that be through dating apps or the sliding into of one’s DMs. It’s one of my least favorite things about this generation. Modern dating lacks magic. It lacks mystery and courtship. It is far too effortless. Love is quite the opposite. It takes effort, it takes courage, which is hard to do when you’re not face-to-face, when you’re making moves from behind a screen. Though these “devices” open up our lives in more ways than we can count, they take away from it too. 

As a hopeless romantic, I am no fan of dating apps. While I offer no judgement to people that use them, it’s absolutely not my cup of tea. Here’s my problem with them:

Dating apps make it so that we know we “match” each other’s interest and attraction before we hardly ever come face-to-face. Where’s the fun in that? The best part about falling in love is the uncertainty. It’s meeting someone in the simplest of ways; in the line-up at a Coffee shop, at your place of work, maybe even on the first day of school. It’s the surprising timing that adds to the magical feel – love sneaks up on you. It’s the stolen glances, the endless butterflies in your stomach, the sweaty palms, the late-night conversations with friends as you contemplate if there’s actually something there. It’s the nausea you get before professing your love for someone. It’s the feeling of being on-top-of-the-world when they feel the same way. The best part about love is the lack of control that comes with it. You cannot control what happens or how you feel; not in the slightest. Dating apps offer the users a little too much control. You want someone that’s 6’5”? Let’s just filter the results real quick. You’re not interested? Swipe left and move on.


Modern dating is nothing like the movies or the books or the love songs. It’s lacklustre. The thing is, how do we go about changing that? How can I make my love story different from the rest?

It lies with us. Take back control over the interaction! Make it face-to-face, genuine and give uncertainty a chance. While you may feel vulnerable, you’ll definitely be in for a ride!

Isabella (Bella) De Zilva is a part-time writer at the Her Campus at the York University chapter. Bella is interested in a wide range of topics, ranging from Wellness, to Fashion, as well as Life and Love. Aside from Her Campus, Bella is a full-time student at York University and is on-track to graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in the upcoming years. She has a variety of work experience, though nothing related to writing at the moment. Her most interesting work experience was acting as a TikTok influencer for a period of time. Her account (@booktokoclock) was trending on BookTok – a sector of TikTok which specializes in books and book recommendations. This connected her to well-known authors, such as Kendall Ryan, and well-established companies such as Penguin Teen and Book Of The Month. In Bella’s free time, she can be found curled up on the couch with a book in-hand. Her favourite genre is, and will always be, that of Romance. It’s a necessity to any books she reads. If she isn’t found with her nose in a book, Bella can be found doing one of many things: exercising, journaling, listening to music or podcasts, hanging out with her loved ones or trying new things.