Words by Rachel Segal Hamilton
In 2012, online dating application Tinder was launched and since then, it has dramatically changed the landscape of conventional dating. Not only that, since their invention, dating apps have seen a considerable rise in users and have continued to rise in popularity. It is estimated that in 2021 more than 38% of new relationships blossomed through online dating, with this figure expected to rise to more than 45% by the end of 2023. In late October, 2021, I became part of that statistic and matched with my partner on the dating app Hinge. Dating apps simply replicate what people have been doing for centuries – they facilitate that first glance, that connection made when eyes meet across a crowded room.
Modern Love brings together other couples who also met online, casting light in their homes across the UK and Europe, unveiling the delicate nature of love and connection and a quiet assertiveness, reclining together, hugging, gazing directly down the lens. With dating apps, you don’t have to rely on serendipity to find a person who is right for you. When you set up a profile, you can be completely upfront about who you are and what you are looking for. After their first date, Eduardo told Lucy, ‘You should go on some other dates, then you might see how good this one was.’ Jacob and José got together through a queer-only dating app. Originally from Switzerland and Peru, they married and now live in Vienna. Péter and Sue met while New Yorker Sue was visiting Budapest, Peter’s home city.
Dating apps have enabled people from all walks of life, all over the world, to connect with each other. An abiding myth about romantic love is that we are all halves in freefall, just waiting to find the other half that fits us exactly. But there is no ‘one’ that fate has determined; instead, there are many ‘ones’ with whom we might share a beautiful existence – all at the swipe of a screen.