Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Dating app stigma makes for an awkward holiday dinner

3 min read

College students face unfair stigma from family for using dating apps (Pratik Gupta | Unsplash.com)

By JAI-LEAH GARCIA

Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, students are prepping for the break and spending time with their families. Although the holidays provide family-bonding time, it does spark the question of relationships and extended family asking about significant others. In an age where dating apps have become central to finding a match, negative stigma from older generations and the concerns involved are unfair and outdated.

For many college students, dating is now done through apps such as Tinder and Bumble. For most, Tinder is seldom seen as a way to actually end up in a serious relationship. More often than not, the idea is that the people we meet on dating apps are looking for more casual relationships. This causes a negative stigma because dating apps are portrayed as an easy way for a hookup and not as a way for a serious relationship.

“I never used dating apps seriously. I usually went on to look at other people and it was cool to talk to people,” said junior biology major Grace Montes.

Our generation has grown accustomed to dating through the internet and apps, but with the pressure of questions from family and fearing the response of older generations, for some, avoiding the question of relationships is the easiest route to go.

“I have not told my family that I met my boyfriend through a dating app,” said Montes. “They would see it as not being responsible and for doing something potentially dangerous.”

As we approach the holiday breaks students are beginning to have to think about these reactions their families may have. The holidays are a time where all the family gets together and they want to know how their dating experience has gone. Each generation has a different form of dating, and with our form being online, there is a disconnect between the old and the young. The older generations have a different mindset on dating and the pressure of meeting those standards rises more during the holidays.

“The stigma against dating apps definitely could rise during the holidays with people bringing their significant others around family, especially older generations who may not understand the situation as well as we do,” said freshman communication major Erin Matuczinkski.

Montes agreed, “people go home and are with family and feel that they can’t be honest about how their dating experiences have gone.”

The holidays also come with the pressure of introducing significant others to the family. These interactions can illicit unwanted conversation or questions about meeting online.

“I usually let my family meet my boyfriends pretty early, whether or not I met them through an app,” said Montes. “I just lied and told my family I knew my boyfriend from school, but that was still partially true.”

The negative stigma around dating apps is high, but we should strive to lower it, especially with family. If we want our families to know who we are with, we should be honest about our generation finding people through apps. Even if it is not a significant other, we still find friends online who many chat with and share close connections with them.

“This has become a common form of dating and should be respected as one,” said Matuczinski. “I told my family right away about meeting my boyfriend on an app because I felt it shouldn’t be taboo.”

As a younger generation we shouldn’t keep our dating lives and the method of online dating private, but instead embrace it

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