Valentine’s day 2021: a Tinderella Story

| Natasja Schaafsma

The past year has been quite lonely and distanced. And to make it even worse, Valentine’s day is here to rub it in our faces. I don’t feel like I can blame myself for being single, since there has been no opportunity to meet anyone being locked up in my room. If you really want to meet someone, there is only one option left.

This column was written by Natasja Schaafsma, student writer at U-Today

Tinder seems like the biggest taboo and the biggest trend of the 21st century. A lot of people have met their other half on this dating app, and they all have a made-up story of how they met. It looks like we are afraid to tell our friends and family that we are meeting people online. But since online is the only way to be social, that bar seems to have disappeared.

Since the pandemic began, it feels like Tinder has exploded. All of my friends have suddenly become professional swipers, and ask each other for advice in which pictures to add to their profile. And the ones that didn’t start online dating, started dating a housemate. The pandemic must have made us all crave social contact. When my friends noticed I did not have a profile yet, my phone was quickly snapped from my hands. A few pictures from holidays, an outstanding text in the biography and there it was. My very own Tinder profile. How exciting.

And so the swiping began. Left, left, left, left, oh they look alright… but still… no, left, left, left. I have to admit, I might have been a bit too picky. But soon the ‘meat inspection’ started to turn into a game. Especially as a woman in Enschede, you are almost guaranteed a match when you send a guy a like. You don’t even have to put effort into starting a conversation, as apparently, it is the norm that they will send you a message. Basic Tinder mores I suppose. This is nice for the straight women of Enschede, but I can imagine it is quite annoying for the guys. 

Soon, I started panicking. What if you accidentally bump into a nice person, instead of a creep? Would you use the new video-chat function of Tinder, to be surprised with yet another dick flash? And, how would you date someone during covid? Go to the park for a walk? Go ice-skating maybe? Those are about the only options left. Usually, you would go out for a drink in the city, but since the restaurants closed down this is not possible anymore. And going for a drink at someone’s house does not seem safe to me. Even though I would always livestream my location to a friend when I’m on a date and come up with a code-word, corona-dating does not feel right to me. 

The pandemic started almost one year ago, and I am realizing more and more that there are a lot of friends who I don’t see often enough. I mark everything as a risk of spreading Covid, and thus keep locking myself up in my room. Dating people via Tinder feels wrong to me. I would make time to meet someone in real life who I don’t know at all. And this, while I am not meeting up with so many nice people who I haven’t seen in way too long. After making this realization, I decided to delete Tinder. Even on Valentine’s day, I do not need another half to feel whole. I would much rather spend my time connecting and reconnecting with the relationships I already have: my friends and family.

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