Three sto­ries of love in the time of YouTube, Tin­der and eHar­mony.

ELLE (Canada) - - Contents -


Yes, fa­mous peo­ple use Tin­der. It doesn’t mean they’re any good at it ei­ther. Lisa Bucher shares her tale.

I didn’t know he was a pro­fes­sional ath­lete when I swiped right on Tin­der. He was just a hot guy who was 12 years younger than me. I was flat­tered that he was into me, but, at the same time, I was cyn­i­cal. I couldn’t un­der­stand how a celeb, who had so many women crush­ing on him and openly pro­fess­ing their love for him on so­cial media, could need to search out women.

He was in the mid­dle of train­ing and would soon move 500 kilo­me­tres away for the up­com­ing sea­son. We mes­saged for al­most a week be­fore meet­ing, com­mu­ni­cat­ing by Face­book since he wouldn’t give me his num­ber. Google im­ages has a de­cent-sized col­lec­tion of his al­leged cor­re­spon­dence with women via text mes­sage— I guess he wanted to pre­vent it from grow­ing.

I in­vited him to join me at an in­vite-only fash­ion show. How­ever, a ca­sual date for a reg­u­lar per­son like my­self was a big com­mit­ment for him. Pos­si­ble media cov­er­age of our time to­gether had to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, so our plans were cen­tred around his Toronto home. His need for se­crecy while get­ting to know some­one was hard to process.

A week af­ter our whirl­wind ro­mance ended rather abruptly (he wanted to call the shots; I wouldn’t let him), I liked one of his photos on In­sta­gram. Out of 5,999 peo­ple who liked it, he no­ticed my like and blocked me. Or­di­nary peo­ple and celebs may have dif­fer­ent dat­ing rules, but when it comes to the end...the rules are much the same.

Heart on (the) line

You know those mirac­u­lous tales of peo­ple who meet their spouses online? It ac­tu­ally hap­pened to Toronto- based screen­writer Alexan­dra Clarke. And get this: Her now hus­band was her first-ever match. So why did she for­bid ev­ery­one from men­tion­ing how she and so­cial worker John Wood­ley met dur­ing the speeches at their wed­ding in May 2014? Al­low her to ex­plain….

“In 2011, I moved back to Toronto af­ter five years spent work­ing in New York. I was in my late 20s, and all of my friends were set­tled down. One Satur­day, I was sit­ting alone in my condo when this cheesy ad for eHar­mony came on h

TV. They were of­fer­ing a free week­end, and I was like, ‘I’ll try it,’ even though I hated the idea of online dat­ing. I wanted des­tiny, eyes meet­ing across a room and just know­ing it was fate.

“A guy named John was my first match, and he mes­saged me right away. He’d ac­tu­ally been liv­ing in South Korea and had just moved to Toronto; he’d signed up for the free week­end as well. I didn’t re­ally take it se­ri­ously, so, although we’d email back and forth, I al­ways took my time re­ply­ing to him. He kept on pur­su­ing me, and we fi­nally had our first date. It was re­ally fun, but we both left not re­ally know­ing how to read the other per­son. John texted me again and we made a brunch date—for which I was three hours late. I think sub­con­sciously (even though I re­ally liked him) I was try­ing to sabotage it be­cause of the whole online-dat­ing thing. I ac­tu­ally went on two other dates with men from eHar­mony, and they were so bru­tal I was like, ‘I should re­ally text this John guy back.’ We made it of­fi­cial a few months later, but it was a slow pro­gres­sion.

“John is su­per-open about how we met— for him, online dat­ing was just another way to make con­nec­tions in a new city. As for me, for the whole first year of our re­la­tion­ship, I told ev­ery­one that we met at a bar. (Tech­ni­cally, we did: Our first date was at Bier Markt.) Even­tu­ally, I told most of our close friends the truth, but at our wed­ding, in May 2014, I still asked ev­ery­one not to men­tion how we’d met in the speeches. My dad had al­ways seemed a bit em­bar­rassed about it too, so he was the one per­son I didn’t for­bid—and, of course, he spilled the beans!

“I still have a hard time telling peo­ple how we met, even though that’s how I found the love of my life. So I cling to all the weird con­nec­tions I found out we have—like how I used to spend my sum­mers at my grand­fa­ther’s cot­tage in Muskoka and John ac­tu­ally went to the sum­mer camp across that same tiny lake—and I tell my­self that online dat­ing was just des­tiny’s way of telling us what our hearts knew all along.” AS


He said/ She said

Two YouTu­bers, Cana­dian beauty maven Eman (@eman­makeup) and Brazil­ian vlog­ger Alex (@alex­made­costa), now both based in L.A., talk us through what it’s like to share their re­la­tion­ship with a com­bined 500,000 sub­scribers who tune in to watch them get cof­fee, go on va­ca­tion and just gen­er­ally hang to­gether. Eman “We ‘met’ on YouTube. Around Jan­uary of this year, Alex found my chan­nel and, to get my at­ten­tion, he got his view­ers to leave com­ments on my videos.” Alex “Eman’s video ran­domly popped up on my YouTube feed. I was in­stantly in­trigued. I spon­ta­neously de­cided to ask my view­ers to com­ment on her latest video. She got over a thou­sand cheesy pickup lines in a few min­utes.” Eman “I was so con­fused. But I checked out his chan­nel and he was re­ally cute, so af­ter hun­dreds of com­ments, I had to go on a date with him!” Alex “We weren’t sure if we wanted to have our re­la­tion­ship out in the open for a while; we kept it be­hind the scenes for around seven months be­fore post­ing our first video to­gether in July.” Eman “You’re open­ing the doors for peo­ple to have an opin­ion on your per­sonal life. But Alex is such a big part of my life, I couldn’t make videos and not in­clude him.” Alex “We are still set­ting bound­aries. We have to be re­ally mind­ful of how we act in our videos. If I make fun of Eman, for ex­am­ple, even if it’s in a re­ally lov­ing way, her sub­scribers might ac­tu­ally get mad at me.” Eman “I just dis­cov­ered the term ‘ship­ping.’ It’s when some­one is to­tally in­vested in your re­la­tion­ship and they ‘ship’ you. [This is peo­ple writ­ing fan fic­tion about celebs or fic­tional char­ac­ters they want to see to­gether as a cou­ple.] Peo­ple started leav­ing that in my com­ments, and I had no idea what it meant. It’s sweet be­cause it comes from a good place.” Alex “We are worka­holics. Our dates con­sist of us brain­storm­ing ideas for fu­ture videos while hav­ing din­ner. It’s great to have some­one get it when you say ‘My thumb­nail looks awe­some.’” Eman “The down­side is that if some­thing goes wrong with the re­la­tion­ship, I’ll be stuck hav­ing to share that too be­cause my view­ers are go­ing to ask so many ques­tions and they won’t stop un­til I an­swer them.” Alex “Ran­dom peo­ple in public who see us vlog­ging al­ways think we’re try­ing to take a selfie and ask if we need help.” Eman “You get to share some­thing with some­one that no one else re­ally gets. Plus, in the end, we have all these great home videos that we can look back at.” n

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