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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

It didn’t hurt to try online dating

Here comes the classic relationship question, “You guys are so cute as a couple. How did you meet?”

“We met online through Plenty of Fish.” “We first saw each other on OkCupid.” “We got together through Tinder and met for coffee.” Or with less branding and cutesy app names, “We met online.” It’s 2016 and I still hold the weight of the online dating stigma on my shoulders every time I talk about my relationship.

I spent four years happily single, watching friends get in and out of relationships, enjoying girls’ nights out with friends and spending a few nights here and there eating ice cream while watching romantic comedies. The single life is a fun life, as long as you feel comfortable with yourself as an independent individual.

I had lived in Marquette for two-and-a-half years, busying myself with classes and work. It was a constant schedule of class, work, sleep. Maybe the occasional outing with work friends or class friends. Dating was something that I didn’t see as an important or necessary part of my life; my priorities were elsewhere.

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It wasn’t until recently that I felt comfortable with my life and my classes, and dating, and a relationship finally settled into my brain as, “Okay, this is something I want to do now.”

After much prodding from two of my best friends, one of whom is in a two year relationship sparked from the algorithms of OkCupid, and the other in a six-month relationship from a match from Tinder, I held my breath and clicked away to look at my options. Worst case scenario, I would be single, right? I was good at that.

But before hopping into the somewhat sketchy-sounding world of Internet dating, I was skeptical. Women that join sites like OkCupid are perceived as desperate, while men are more often seen as creepy. It’s incredible that people can be so integrated into technology and social media, but the second they log onto a dating website, it becomes a little less accepted. Regardless, I was neither desperate nor looking specifically for a creepy guy, but more so testing the waters and seeing what all the fuss from my friends was about.

After about a month and a half of browsing matches, messaging and texting back and forth, and even a few meet-ups and dates, I’ve found myself in a strong relationship with a great guy. I would’ve never met him if I never joined OkCupid and Plenty of Fish, and that blows my mind.

There’s over seven billion people in the world, and somehow you’re supposed to meet people who are oftentimes buried in their phones or their own lives. Maybe by a stroke of luck or fate, perhaps.

The sketchy world of web-based dating worked out for me, but by no means is it for everyone. There’s a level of caution you have to maintain, especially if you choose to meet in person. There are a lot of great people that use the online resources exactly for their intended purpose, but at the same time, there are a few not-so-great people.

When talking about you, be  as honest as you can. You can literally be anyone you want to be on the Internet, so it’s easy to lie and be the ideal version of a person you want to be—but in the end, that’s not who you are. If you have some dorky, quirky addiction to baking or watching anime, don’t be afraid to share it.

Also, go in with at least an idea of what kind of person you’re looking for. I think the strength of my current relationship stems from how we both knew what we were looking for, along with the level of comfort we had with ourselves as individuals. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to be at least a little open to differences or anything unexpected.

In the end, my adventures on OkCupid and POF worked for me, and I couldn’t be happier or more content. The “creepy” and “desperate” stigma against these resouces definitely needs to stop, especially in today’s technology-wrapped society. If you’re curious about jumping in, I encourage you to as long as you’re honest and cautious.

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