I have grown up with a very idealised notion of love. I lay part of the blame at Disney’s door. Whilst there was not exactly an abundance (read: none) of gay Disney romances, it does have this tendency to perpetuate the idea that true love is out there and that all you have to do is wait and it will find you (ideally accompanied by a few miscellaneous woodland creatures).
As a result, it does mean that dating in the age of Tinder, Bumble, and other such apps is somewhat tricky. Now I know that I am going to cause some mild consternation here, but whichever way these companies dress it up, you end up blissfully yea-ing or naying like some power-hungry Roman Emperor deciding the fate of some poor gladiator, ‘Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Oooh [looks at other photos] nope’.
Of course, every now and again you may get a match and start chatting. And if you’re lucky you will actually meet in person. Drinks. Dinner. Maybe a movie. A chance to figure out if this person could be ‘the one’.
Sadly, dating in the world of online abundance means that so often we don’t even give the date in question the chance to make their case. One, two dates down and you start having pangs of doubt. Niggling feelings that start chipping away, and that judgy Roman Emperor inside you so desperately wants to call out, ‘NEXT!’ in a loud booming theatre-actor kind of way, so you can run off back to your world of swiping.
Now, I like to believe in the expression, ‘there is a shoe for every foot’. The idea that there is someone out there for all of us. But the rate things are going, I may need to fire my cobbler, because the shoes so far needed more than a shoe horn to make them fit.
However, I also recognise that even in Disney films people had to work for love. I mean, just take Aladdin, he had to go into a whole underground cave and navigate a stream of lava as part of his quest, which kind of puts my dating qualms to shame.
So, for anyone else going through the perils of dating in search of true love, maybe it’s time that we recognise that while there may be a shoe for every foot, sometimes the shoe needs time to break in before it fits.
Michael Stewart-Evans, alumnus UNU-Merit