By Rachelyn Gordon
Through the use of good looking actors, felicitous soundtracks and saccharine sweet love plots, we are misled to believe that the love of our live is waiting just around the corner. Or at a bus stop on a rainy day waiting to swoop in with an umbrella big enough to keep us from getting wet but, paradoxically also small enough to result in a few shoulder rubs.
The fact is meeting a partner of the opposite sex is not always as easy as the movies make it out to be. Fiona and Tracy, – both in their twenties, knew this. What made meeting men harder for them was that they both worked in fields that were dominated by females and unavailable men.
In comes SKOUT and Tinder to the rescue.
Fiona and Jeremy met through SKOUT in 2011 and are currently happily married with 2 year old Talia. Tracy and Eric met through Tinder in 2014 and will be celebrating their relationship’s second anniversary in December 2016.
What made you decide to use a dating app?
Fiona: I was bored.
Jeremy: I wanted to find MY fish in the ocean.
Tracy: There were very little opportunities for me to meet new people.
Eric: I was single and wanted to meet new people.
What were your initial feelings about using a dating app?
Fiona: Afraid, excited and very nervous all at the same time!
Jeremy: Mostly curious as I’ve never used one before.
Tracy: Cynical and pessimistic but I decided to give it a go anyway!
Eric: A little hesitant because my friends have had terrible experiences but I figured I could easily delete the app if I had the same experience!
Did you tell your friends and family members that you were using a dating app? What were their initial reactions?
Fiona: I confided in a few close friends. They were supportive from the start.
Jeremy: My friends knew and some of them even started using it too.
Tracy: I only told friends who were able to emotionally support me because they were users of dating apps themselves.
What were some of the scariest or weirdest experiences you have had while using the app?
Fiona: Guys who asked for sexual services and one of them even sent a picture of his…intimate area… *shudder*
Jeremy: There was a woman who seemed nice until she started quizzing me on every aspect of my personal life…in the wee hours of the morning. And when I didn’t reply, she would go berserk on me.
Were you worried about your safety or privacy and what precautions did you take while using the app?
Fiona: Yes, I made it a point not to share my personal information with anyone. And made sure a friend knew my whereabouts during the dates.
Tracy: I was young and was not as concerned about my safety as I ought to. I even went on a date while on holiday in London with someone I met through the app. I wouldn’t encourage this behaviour to anyone using a dating app.
Jeremy and Eric: We weren’t really worried about our safety.
How long did you chat before going on your first date?
Fiona: About 4 months.
Tracy: A few days of non-stop texting; I relied on my gut to decide when we are ready.
Jeremy: I respected Fiona’s decision and was willing to wait.
Eric: Our attraction was mutual so we both agreed to meet up pretty early in the game.
Who decided on the venue for the first date? Did you have plans planned to save you from a disastrous first date?
Fiona: We decided together and I invited two of my close friends along …just to be safe!
Jeremy: I brought a friend along too! Not to save me from a disastrous date but to save me from embarrassing myself!
Tracy: Me, as it gave me a sense of security. AND YES! I told my friends where I will be and have them on standby just in case I need to be “rescued”.
How did you introduce your partner to family and friends? Was the fact that you met through a dating app mentioned? What were the reactions received?
Fiona: I pitted him against my family while on a family trip. And with my friends, a friendly paintball match.
Jeremy: I advertised Fiona’s photo to my friends, seeking their approvals before I started chatting with her so it was not so much of an introduction per say… *grins mischievously*
Tracy: Over a meal – not a big deal as most were users of dating apps. I have yet to officially introduce Eric to my family.
Eric: I did not mention how I met Tracy to my mum as it might not sit well with her. Of course with my friends, I was able to be truthful.
What would you tell those who are thinking of using a dating app?
Fiona: As long as you are careful, it is possible to find true love.
Jeremy: I found my fish…you can too!
Tracy: With some effort and swiping (haha), it is possible to find a special somebody who is worth your time.
Eric: Give it a chance and you will never know who you’ll meet!
Would you have considered going to an actual match making service had the dating app you used not been successful?
Fiona: I would…just to avoid being match made by my mum and aunts!
Tracy: I couldn’t rationalise paying money and feeling sore about wasting it if it didn’t work out.
Share your final thoughts about finally having found love through a non-conventional method.
Jeremy: It was strangely exciting!
Tracy: Looking back, I still can’t believe how far we’ve come. No regrets!
Rapid Fire Round
We gave the couples five questions that they had to answer within 10 seconds ala Rapid Fire.
What was the worst date you went on?
Fiona: With a man that looked innocent in pictures but was most certainly not in person.
Tracy: Everything went well until he suddenly disappeared and was never heard from again.
Was deleting the dating app the official move to confirm your relationship status to each other?
Fiona: Yes. And after giving Jeremy my number.
Jeremy: I forgot to…until I received a message from a girl while on a date with Fiona. I quickly deleted the app after… phew!
Tracy and Eric: Yes, we deleted it together.
Do you think Pokemon Go would work as a dating app?
Fiona: It could be a good way for people to meet.
Jeremy: It is fine…as long as people play it safely.
Tracy and Eric: No. A player maybe too engrossed in catching Pokemons, than to make an effort to get to know his or her date.
Word on the street
We asked around to see what the general consensus on using dating apps was.
“Yes. But I am not sure of how many there are or which one to use!” ~ K, Female, 27 years old, Teacher
“I would not mind giving it a try! I do think it’s better than picking up someone on Facebook.” ~ O, Male, 30 years old, Engineer
“I can’t bring myself to do that now. I am still young..maybe when I am older and still single. Plus…how would I tell my mum?” ~ M, Male, 25 years old, Student