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Online dating: Is genuine love still a thing in the digital world?

CEBU CITY, Philippines — In the dim light of her room, the old electric fan ticks and hums with a steady mechanical rhythm. Love sits quietly, her eyes focused on her phone, swiping left and right, searching for that elusive ‘perfect’ match.

Today, people use technology to find connections, from casual dates to friendship, companionship, and even true love. And for Love, there’s no harm in trying it for herself.

But as she navigates the online world in search of that perfect match, whether for companionship or a little excitement, one can’t help but wonder: could these swipes and clicks lead to something real? Is there a chance for love to bloom in the digital age?

Is genuine romance still a thing in Online Dating?


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Meet, Love.

Love, a 23-year-old proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, was introduced to the inner workings of online dating in 2017.

Initially, she used dating apps to meet new people and make friends. However, as she explored her sexuality, she realized these platforms could also facilitate more “thrilling” encounters.

Over the years, Love learned the dos and don’ts of online dating, understanding what to avoid and tolerate in private conversations and meetups. Throughout her journey, she has embraced her desires without shame, reminding those around her that humans are naturally reproductive beings.

Despite her open approach, Love always prioritizes her safety, ensuring her online experiences are enjoyable and secure.

Where does Love find these people online?

Love revealed that when she wants to talk to someone online, she switches between two dating apps: Tinder and Bumble.

Additionally, she added that both apps might have similar goals, such as meeting people online, but they somewhat carry their own ‘specialization.’

She said one application has a pull for people looking for extra fun, while the other is more laid-back and casual.

“I prefer both of them jod (because) they have different style man gud like for example usually sa tinder kay mas daghan “bigaon” and mas common sha na online dating so daghan tig use and more ‘chances of winning,’ but sa bumble kay more like mas daghan gwapo and different iyang standard for me,” Love expressed.

(I prefer both of them (because) they have different styles like for example usually in Tinder they are more ‘promiscuous’ people and more on online dating things so there are more use and more ‘chances of winning,’ but in Bumble there are more handsome people there and the standards are really different.)

In her online rendezvous, Love used the two apps, bouncing between them. Along the way, she made many acquaintances and had short yet serious relationships through these dating apps.


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Love’s experience using dating apps

The year was 2017, and Love was just shy of being 18 and was bored inside her room.

Being the young, innocent thing that she is, she tried installing Tinder, having heard and seen from friends in her school that you could meet new faces around the city without actually going out to awkwardly talk to them.

At first, she was there for simple ‘puppy love’ connections and a little friendship here and there. But, as she stayed in the apps for years, it escalated into looking for possible ‘hookups,’ one-night-stands (ONS).

“Throughout the journey, I have been more into hookups/ONS, swerte na lang if makakita (ka og) true love,” Love expressed.

(Throughout the journey, I have bee more into hookups/ONS, you are lucky if you can find true love.)

She also said that people using the apps now were “more open” to having relationships with people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community compared to 2017.

“Mas nagkaexciting sha I guess? kay feel nako nagkaopenminded ang mga people.”

(It is more exciting, I guess? because I feel that people are more openminded.)

But even though Love has been using the apps now just for that exciting spark of fun, she also believes that it is possible to meet that certain someone more than willing to pay attention to who she is, not just what she can physically offer.

Surprisingly, she found what she sought in one of her serious relationships, which began through online dating. Although it only lasted six months, Love shared that her former partner made her feel special and wanted; it was just that the timing wasn’t right.

Is it possible to find genuine romance in online dating?

“Yes I believe so, but there’s only a slight chance,” Love admitted.

Despite the sloppy breakups and failed meetups she experienced, Love still believes that romance can be found among people using online dating applications, but with caution.

“There’s only a slight chance to (finding genuine romance online) kay usually jud gipangita sa online dating kay (sex) which is sad,” Love expressed with CDN Digital.

(There’s only a slight chance to (finding genuine romance online) because usually what people are looking for in online dating (sex) which is sad.)

With online dating now widely embraced, Love’s friends have also ventured into the digital realm and found serious relationships, some even resulting in marriage.

She acknowledges that long and lasting genuine romance is possible through dating apps, although not everyone, including herself, may have the opportunity to experience it firsthand.

Love’s advice in online dating? Be Yourself!

Amidst the fun and excitement of online meetups, Love has a golden rule: always be yourself! She firmly believes this is the ultimate test to determine if your online chat buddy is genuine or just putting on a show.

But amid the excitement, safety remains paramount. Love’s advice is clear:

“Know the person well before meeting up kay basin serial killer na,  kahadlok!,”

She emphasizes that remaining alert is key to safeguarding oneself against unforeseen risks. Love contends that staying a step ahead in all endeavors is wise.

Everyone deserves love, even those found on online dating apps

Love’s journey through the world of dating apps has been a whirlwind.

From non-stop swiping to meetups, she’s experienced the stark difference from traditional dating. With no one to hold her back, she’s freely explored herself mentally, physically, and sexually.

While she hasn’t found that lasting and genuine romance yet, she remains hopeful. She believes genuine connections can still happen online if you’re open to them. After all, as they say, “no man is an island.” she believes this can also be applied to the online dating scene.

What about you, dear readers? do you also have a similar experience with Love?

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