Love At First Swipe

A modern love story

Words by Carmen Macri

 

Dating sites are a dime a dozen nowadays. And it seems like all the fish in the sea are swimming in the same pond. 

As of 2021, the number of dating app users surpassed 323 million. That’s a lot of fish and a lot of pressure to stand out. Finding love at your fingertips can be exciting and exhausting, especially with the number of dating sites there are. I mean, even Facebook has a dating page, not to mention Craigslist (I pray no one is that desperate.) 

With this, comes the paradox of choice—having too many options can quickly become overwhelming. When the number of choices increase, so does the difficulty in making a decision. How does one decide which dating site they’ll use? Are you a Hinge guy? A Tinder girl? A gender-fluid Bumble user? Do you spend your time on Foot Finder (to each their own)? And once you log on, you’re met with a plethora of options. Are you an avid right swiper in hopes a few will reciprocate? Or are you stingy with your likes, which is OK because there are some real characters out there. Not to mention how scary it is for women: one wrong swipe and we could end up in the trunk of a stranger’s car. But that is beside the point. 

Dating is not easy. Hell, I wouldn’t even say it’s fun. And with the surplus of dating sites, it may feel like all the authenticity in dating has been washed away. You can perfectly sculpt your dating profile to show only the best parts of you—which isn’t accurate (no judgment, I did it too.) But if I’m being completely honest, who uses dating apps to date anymore? With a few exceptions, most of the users on the apps are there for one reason, a quick and easy hook-up. I can’t count the number of times I was under the impression my match and I were hitting it off until he invited me to his house to “watch a movie” (we all know what that means) and not on a date. Time and time again.

It is not all doom and gloom though. As I said, there are a few exceptions to this thing we call modern love. Dating sites are quick and efficient, and it’s possible to meet someone you would have not otherwise met if it weren’t for them. For someone looking for love, they can find it almost anywhere. I know a couple who are so perfectly matched it is hard to believe they met on opposite sides of a screen. 

For Sidnie Anthony, it was the photo of Lucian Earle holding his two dogs dressed in Halloween costumes; she thought it was too cute to resist. For Earle, he bashfully admitted to Anthony having an “incredible body” but followed quickly with “she just looked like the type of person I would want to have around.” They matched on Hinge back in 2020, and for Anthony, it was instant. From the second she stumbled across his profile, she knew this could be love (cue “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.) But, much like any guy in his 20s, Earle was playing hard to get or as the Gen-Zs call it, “cool-guying,” not wanting to seem too interested for fear of scaring off a potential partner. 

“It happened instantly for me,” Anthony explained. “Not so quickly for Lucian, though.” 

After a few texts and a romantic first date, the rest was history. They mesh so well together, in fact, it seems like they were childhood friends who became lovers as adults (my favorite rom-com trope). 

Falling in love with someone from a dating site seems so taboo to many. What do you tell your friends and family? Do you come up with an elaborate story of bumping into one another in a grocery store? That they are friends of friends? Or do you stick with the original script? That two people were looking for love and found it. 

Earle didn’t care. He knew he met the one, and it didn’t matter to him how they met or how people might perceive it. Anthony, on the other hand, was a little hesitant to share that the perfect pair had met online. 

“I just didn’t want to feel like that stereotypical Gen-Z that met her perfect match on a dating site,” Anthony explained. 

But with the exponential growth of dating sites, the sense of taboo is slowly drifting away. At least for Anthony and Earle it is. 

And while there are thousands of ponds and millions of fish, don’t let that discourage you. I’m sure you’re a great fisherman. 

 

About Carmen Macri

Since a young age, Carmen Macri knew she wanted to be a writer. She started as our student intern and has advanced to Multi-media Journalist/Creative. She graduated from the University of North Florida and quickly found her home with Folio Weekly. She juggles writing, photography and running Folio’s social media accounts.