Online dating: The weird and the wonderful

It's not all bad

Two women have abandoned online dating, but for very different reasons

Ashley Sheppard
Kicker News

Finding love can be hard. In the digital age we live in, it is not uncommon to sacrifice one’s self to the scary world of online dating.

The horror stories are not out of the ordinary. The catch? We never think it’s going to happen to us.

Meghan Fillier was told by friends that Tinder, a common dating app for young people, would be a harmless and enjoyable way to meet new people and make connections.

According to eharmony, 36% of Canadians use some form of online dating.

“I matched with this guy, and he seemed fine. Based on his pictures and his, like, bio that you have, he seemed pretty cool and down to earth and normal,” Fillier said.

Things were going seemingly average for an online conversation with a stranger. There seemed to be nothing beyond asking each other about their favourite color, animal and food.

Upon asking if there was anything else that her match wanted to know, Fillier said that he proceeded to question whether she was ‘dealing with any mental illnesses.’

“Who asks that?” said Fillier. “I kind of stepped back for a second. I was like, OK, this guy has turned really weird and I’m getting so many red flags in my head right now.”

With caution, Fillier said that she confronted her unease. She told him that it was not something she was comfortable discussing, nor does she think it’s appropriate to be asking something so personal over a dating app.

“Then he started getting really mad,” recalled Fillier. “He started calling me every cuss in the book. He went on a rant about, ‘Oh, I’m getting a masters in psychology. Like, I know what’s appropriate to talk about in terms of mental health.’”

Startled, she deleted the app and blocked her match from contacting her further.

As far as a first experience goes, this one definitely had Fillier wondering if she would ever use an online dating app again. Worried that Tinder would be a platform for further uncomfortable experiences, she says that it wasn’t worth it to continue seeking a connection online.

It’s not all bad

Latesha Roberts’ history with online dating is not at all comparable to that of Fillier’s. Roberts met her current partner through Tinder and has been dating him for almost four years.

“He was my very first boyfriend. We met on tinder and have been together ever since,” she said.

She downloaded the app around the time it was released, as Tinder quickly became a huge social media trend. Though it was coined as a “hook-up” app, Roberts wasn’t quite sure what to expect. She said she had no intention of using it for such but was mostly curious about what might come of it.

Tinder is a common dating app among young people. When two people swipe right, they match. (Kicker Photo, Ashley Sheppard)

Though thankful that online dating brought her and her partner together, she said she often found herself avoiding telling the truth of how they met.

“I kind of just didn’t want to tell my family that we met on a dating app,” she said. “I don’t know if there’s just a big stigma or taboo around dating apps. I just felt that it was easier to say that we started talking on Facebook, added each other as friends and went from there.”

As common as online dating is, the idea of finding ‘love at first swipe’ is often something viewed as less valid than meeting people organically.

Though stories of online dating misfortunes may haunt your newsfeed, there is no doubting that there are also elements of success among these apps.

“We laugh about it now,” said Roberts. “We’ll bring it up and be like, ‘Holy crap, can you imagine we actually met on Tinder?’ It’s almost four years later and we’re still together.’”

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