Sometimes, the stars—and dare we say, the algorithm—align
Navigating the grueling, perplexing world of online dating is not for the faint of heart; for those brave enough to try it, there are repercussions, but also rewards. “Swiper’s fatigue” is actually a thing. Many twenty- to thirty-somethings are more frustrated by this modern battlefield than thrilled at the possibility of meeting potential partners (and for some, the occasional “friend with benefits”), albeit virtually.
Intimacy these days, especially in a global pandemic, is difficult to grasp. But sometimes, the stars—or dare we say the algorithm—align, allowing strangers to meet on a dating app and fall in love. This is the case for newly engaged couple Kevin (29), a physician resident “learning from Maine the joy of making art every day” and Maine (27), designer, producer and strategist “learning how to reclaim my chill through Kevin.”
We caught up with the two and learned about their Bumble success story in an exclusive one-on-one. For pointers, and a glimmer of hope, read ahead.
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Wonder: What was your headspace when you entered a modern dating battlefield like Bumble? Were you looking for a relationship, eyeing something casual?
Kevin: I was coming from a really long relationship and in the middle of my medical internship, hence I wanted to try something casual for once and was curious about online dating. I heard good things about Bumble, and I wanted to see if after almost 10 years away from the dating scene, I still had some charm left. I also wanted to meet people outside the sphere of the hospital life and gratefully, Maine was more than I could ever dream of.
Maine: I initially came into Bumble for “research.” I was working for a men’s lifestyle website at that time, and I wanted to get to know men’s interests. Since dating apps basically have a diverse group of men for a sample size (lol), I thought having conversations through the app would be the best way to get to know their interests. Dating wasn’t really my intention but, sometimes, someone just catches you off-guard to the point of muttering to yourself, “I’m gonna marry this guy.” (Spoiler: yep that was Kevin. Not a bullshit story; I SWEAR THIS HAPPENED.)
W: Did you ever feel some sort of “swiping fatigue” and felt like you couldn’t actually get into a serious relationship through an app?
K: I’m aware that this is rare and most people aren’t as lucky, but Maine was my first date from “online dating” and turned out to be my last. I didn’t really have preconceived notions that I wouldn’t be able to find a serious relationship through an app, even if a relationship wasn’t really my mindset coming into it. I always believed though that it allows us to meet people who live in worlds different [from] ours, that we otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to.
M: Not really…since my intention wasn’t really dating, I really saw it as just browsing through potential conversations and not potential boyfriends, ya know?
W: How long before you actually took things to the next level (see: made things exclusive)? What factors did you consider to get in a relationship?
K: Two weeks after meeting Maine was enough for me to know that our human connection was genuine and that I had met someone who would be both kind and true. A month later, we were “boyfriend-girlfriend.” The busy schedule of internship was also beckoning after the Christmas break, and I just felt that what we had deserved a real shot.
M: What Kevin said! Even though things moved quite fast, it still felt very natural. I think that was also the reason why we decided on being exclusive pretty quickly. We just got along really well, we enjoyed each other’s company, and we value the same things.
W: How long have you been together since then? Can you tell us your engagement story? Maine, did you expect it at all?
K: We’re actually getting married this December, on our 4th anniversary. I think the pandemic happening and seeing how so many of us were losing something or someone, gave me the perspective of holding close the people that are important in my life. I also felt that sharing our lives together would somehow make this world that’s changing feel less scary. I got a sapphire ring because it’s her birthstone (and honestly more affordable). I always thought I was going to cry because I cry easily, but I think I was too nervous on the actual day for those tears to fall.
M: HAHA yes! Kevin’s schedule is pretty tight so I kinda knew something was up when he filed for a 3-day leave. Plus, he’s really bad at keeping secrets. Weeks before the proposal, he’d just look at me smiling and ask “Can I show you something?” or “Do you like this ring?” or “How do you imagine your proposal to be like?” It’s IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO KNOW. And I truly find the whole thing endearing, hehe.
W: What’s your advice for couples who are trying to make their relationships work in quarantine given the distance, the lack of being physical, etc.?
K: Find the time to talk, to connect, to be present—whether that’s via your screens or six feet apart. Send each other things that you know both of you enjoy—videos, music, good food. It’ll do some wonder (no pun intended) for your growth as a couple and for both of your mental health as well.
M: Basically what Kevin said! I think it’s also helpful to take this time to work on something bigger than yourselves. Being a couple is always more…meaningful or fulfilling if you can share the love you have with each other, with other people. Hang out with each others’ friends or family via Zoom or do a social project together. Whatever it is, it’ll be a good reminder that your relationship doesn’t (and shouldn’t) just revolve around the both of you.
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W: For those looking to date but feel intimidated with dating platforms like Bumble, what would you say?
K: Isn’t face-to-face dating more intimidating? I feel that at least with dating platforms, you actually have some time to take a [breather] when you need it and compose how you want to say the things that you’re struggling to put into words. I’m just grateful I took that step—because in my life, it has made all the difference.
M: I think the pressure comes from expecting a successful match every time. Think of dating apps as a way to make your network bigger. If a date doesn’t work out, you can always add them on LinkedIn and possibly have good business and work leads. I mean, as long as their bio doesn’t say “Works at Krusty Krab” or “Works at Freelance Model.”
Have a Bumble success story you’d like to share with Wonder? Leave them in the comments below or send us an e-mail at [email protected]!
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver