Like any other 20-year-old single, I have to admit I yearn for a proper relationship. You know, the kind you see in movies? Where you meet someone smart, funny, kind and who loves you back? I am in many social settings and meeting people the traditional way is something I have always assumed would happen. But it didn’t. So my friends suggested I try going online to look for love. “Who knows what you might find?” they said.
And so I downloaded Grindr, a gay-dating application. As soon as I did, it felt as if I had entered a stripper’s catalogue as it was filled with profiles of half-naked males showing off their “assets,” neatly arranged in grids, not unlike a fashion blog or a grocery mart online.
As I was scrolling through the app, getting more appalled as I went, looking for someone at least half decent to have a proper chat with, I received my first message.
“You seek some fun?” I cringed. First was the questionable grammar. But mostly it was the in-your-face approach – there was no hello, how are you, or hope you had a great day – it was straight to what he wanted out of me. My first instinct was to curse him with the ‘f’ word but I realized he would take it in a good way.
Despite that unfortunate welcome into the world of online dating, I decided to stay on with hopes of finding someone more genuine. But message after message and my hopes began to dwindle. The writing was on the wall: this is not about love. It was just a place for people to hook up for sex. No different from the back lanes of Geylang (Singapore’s famous prostitution lane), except here, everything was virtual and free.
How can one find love in such a superficial setting, where your body matters more than your brains and the size of your junk matters more than the size of your heart? I don’t think one can find love when the other party judges you based on what you look like rather than who you are. In any case, that kind of “love” may not last. At least not in my book.
Would I ever find love on online dating apps? No. But it wasn’t all that bad. I would give Grindr credit for cracking me up with all the descriptions, desperate guys looking for a “companion.” “Are you there? Why are you not replying? You don’t like my naked pictures?” These were just some of the scary questions I got. And so for now, I am going to go the conventional way: finding love by meeting someone and having a conversation. A conversation that doesn’t start with: “You want to seek some fun.”