Three stories of love in the time of YouTube, Tinder and eHarmony.
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
TOLD TO SARAH LAING
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