Gal’s Guide

Online dating


Story by Spectator Staff

We are four college-aged women who all don specs on our faces while working long hours at The Spectator. For now we are journalism students, but we have plans of conquering the world. However, before we do we have a few things to learn.

This week: navigating online dating.

Anna Mateffy

Photo Editor

I am an old-fashioned girl. I like flowers, chocolates and silly romantic gestures. There’s something about a handwritten note waiting for me on my desk when I get home that makes my heart flutter. That being said, I am old fashioned when it comes to meeting people, too. I have never accepted a friend request from a stranger on Facebook and feel a bit odd when people I don’t know follow me on Twitter.

I have never used a dating app, nor do I plan to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t approve of them for other people. If that’s how you meet someone that makes those stupid butterflies appear in your stomach, go for it. But personally, I like to shake a guy’s hand, to swing dance with him, to accidentally spill my coffee on his favorite sweater before I decide dating, or even talking regularly with him is a good plan for me.

There may be a time in my life when I am no longer surrounded by people my age and the dating pool is much smaller, when I might give a dating app a try, but as of right now, I’m going to continue my life as is. If I find my final swing dancing partner along the way, great!

Jessie Tremmel

Op/Ed Editor

Oh, Tinder.

It was supposed to be a joke. I was leaving the country for a month and thought it would be funny to have downloaded while abroad. And it was! My roommates and I spent dead hours laying in our sweaty room in Nice, France, flipping through profiles we didn’t understand, relying on Google Translate to communicate.

But before I left the states, I met Tinder Tim.

“Hey Jesse” was the first message Tinder Tim sent me. Yep, he spelled my name wrong. Turns out his phone autocorrected to match with one of his contacts, but still. After a night of life discussions on Facebook Messenger, I ignored him. I was leaving for a month and didn’t see the point.

A week into my trip, I got a message. Just, “Hey.” I spent the next three weeks chatting with Tinder Tim, calling him walking home from the beach late at night and Skyping.

I guess you could say my Tinder relationship defied the stereotypical purpose of the app. I spent the month of July talking to Tinder Tim before I actually met him

Now Tinder Tim has lost the Tinder prefix, and friends and family know him only as Tim. He has helped me cross off two goals on my bucket list: take a roadtrip and go camping.

It is still a bit weird when friends ask us how we met. Some people are surprised, some think it is weird that we met online. I think we are past the point of caring.

I like the guy, okay? Isn’t that enough?

Courtney Kueppers

Managing Editor

Last week when an email popped up in my inbox, and the inbox of every other student on campus, promoting a new dating app, my boyfriend, Johnny, and I laughed and decided to both download it.

A disclaimer for my experience with said applications: Johnny and I have been dating for the entirety of my college career, so I have never hopped on the bandwagon alongside my single peers.

The app, “Smileback,” promoted sending anonymous ‘smiles’ to people in your area. If they send one back, a free drink was included.

Johnny and I both created accounts for the rather creepy app, which required logging in with Facebook, found each other and sent smiles in the other’s direction. Only then did a message pop up, “We only have drink certificates in New York City, but we are working on bringing coupons to more cities near you.” Sure you are, I thought.

We laughed and both deleted the app. However, it left me feeling creeped out. My short-lived profile featured more than 100 pictures from my Facebook, pictures with my family and dear friends, pictures I share under strict privacy settings with a short list of virtual friends.

Call me old school, but before even grabbing a drink with someone it seems excessive to offer such an expansive view into your life via a dating app.

I may be the wet blanket in the world where my peers are meeting their potential soul mates on Smileback and Tinder, but I vote “no” to dating applications and yes to real world dating. Whatever happened to sending a real smile in someone’s direction?

Kristina Bornholtz

News Editor

While I have never personally forayed into online dating, a good number of my friends have. It always starts out the same. Our conversation usually goes along the lines of their excitement to announce they are seeing a new guy and me asking where they met. Recently, the answer has frequently been the dating app, Tinder.

“He’s great,” they would say. “Look at his profile.”

Tinder became popular when I was studying abroad last fall, or at least among my friends. I was absent for the days when my friends first started “swiping” through profiles, matching with guys within a 60 mile radius. When I came back, many of them were dating someone they had met on the app. It was all new, exciting, and socially acceptable.

It seemed that no one was ashamed to be on Tinder, which I found to be refreshing. Who says you need to be embarrassed about meeting someone online?

Unfortunately, most of these guys ended up being not exactly who they made their profiles out to be. As things developed, the men my friends thought were sweet, funny and even possibly their soulmates began to show their true colors.

One was obsessed with the thought of marrying my friend, though they had been together for only two short months. Another was hiding the fact that he was still sending explicit messages to his ex-girlfriend. In the end, it turned out these men that my friends were dating were not the well-rounded, easy-going and caring guys they made themselves out to be online.

There’s a saying that goes, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” I think the same can be said for the people messaging you on dating apps. It might go, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a scumbag.”

While I do think it’s totally possible to find someone out there on the Web who is a good person, it seems like you have to “swipe left” a whole lot of times to finally get there. I have other friends who are in happy Tinder relationships (so far so good!), but I have to wonder – is the risk really worth the reward?