Couple finds love despite uncertainty of dating apps

Bradley and Tonti, who have been together since they met on Tinder a year ago.

Jennifer Lasik Reporter

“Should I swipe right or left?” “What if they did not like my pictures?” These are typical questions that go through the minds of those who go on dating apps and want to find love. Online dating has been common for years, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more prevalent than ever. 

The dating app Tinder is known for meeting people for casual hookups or friendships, but for Elaine Bradley, it is the reason she met the love of her life, Drew Tonti.

According to a college student survey, 22.22 percent of Tinder users surveyed answered that they are “looking for a hookup,” 4.16 percent said they are “looking for a relationship,” 44.44 percent said they use it for “confidence-boosting procrastination” and 29.16 percent answered that they use the app for other reasons. 

In mid-March, Bradley had left her house in Kent and moved back to Michigan to spend lockdown with her parents.

Endless days of staying in the house, bored while scrolling through her phone, she opened Tinder and started swiping. 

“I truthfully did not think anything of it. I have been on the app before and met a couple of people, but nothing came of it, until I swiped right on Drew.”

Bradley noticed that it was a perfect match, meaning Drew had also swiped right on her profile, making them both want to move to the next step.

“Honestly, I was not nervous to meet him in person, because we had chatted for many weeks. As a result of the pandemic, we texted and FaceTimed constantly, because we could not see one another yet in person,” Bradley said.

In an article about finding love on Tinder, Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle, said, “Random hookups take on an added risk during a pandemic, but it is difficult to be alone during such an uncertain time.”

“Some may be hesitant to let their guards down until a real connection is made and with the virus present, it could make dating even harder,” said Shannon Finkenthal, a senior school counseling major.

After months of dating, almost hitting their one-year mark, Bradley says if the coronavirus did not happen she would not have ended up meeting Drew. 

Finkenthal said that once the pandemic ends, it could create a change in dating habits because people have adapted to being at home instead of going out to meet a potential significant other.

“Even though there could be people against dating apps and it could be hard to tell parents and older people you met significant others on Tinder, I am one of the lucky ones who met my boyfriend from just swiping right and then making a real connection,” Bradley said.

Jennifer Lasik covers relationships. Contact her at [email protected]