Stephen Hawking once said that we are all connected by the internet, like neurons in a giant brain. With this, I concur — and would even posture that this is most true when it comes to dating online. The internet, which, among its many gifts, has given us a platform to thirst after such internet boyfriends as Timothée Chalamet as well as slide into each other’s DMs, is a great wingwoman. And, believe it or not, beyond right swipes and Bumble back-and-forths, there are tons of places to meet prospective dates — from Reddit subthreads to Facebook groups to Twitter mentions.
Ahead, six real-life online meet-cutes of the non-catfish variety, all of which prove how boring it is that I met my own boyfriend the old-fashioned way — on Hinge.
The Couple Who Randomly Met On Chatroulette — & Then Got Disconnected
“I met my husband on Chatroulette back in 2010. A friend showed me the site and I was like, oh that’s really cool, you can connect with people around the world at random. I was living in California at the time and was on there one afternoon when I came across this guy and I could see that where he was it was nighttime. I was like, ‘Where are you?’ and he said ‘France, where are you?’ and we just struck up a conversation because we were both super curious about where the other was living. He started teaching me little French phrases — not to mention, he was super cute. And then we ended up getting disconnected.
“The thing about Chatroulette is that there are no screennames and everything is completely anonymous and random, so I was like, oh no, how I am going to find him? I decided to just keep going on the site to see if we got matched up again, and lo and behold, 20 minutes later, we were matched again. He asked for my Facebook and Skype and said he’d love to stay in contact. We talked online for two months, and then he said he was going to come visit me in California. I was hesitant, but I had been talking to him on Skype and I knew he wasn’t a catfish. I was also living with two guys at the time, and they were like, ‘Hey if he’s weird, we got your back, don’t worry.’ So he came to visit, and he was amazing, and we’ve just been together ever since. That was 10 years ago. We dated long distance for two years, and then he was able to get a job in California for a year. When his visa was almost up, he asked what I thought of moving to France. I was like, yeah! We got married and I happily packed up and moved to France. and that was probably three years into our relationship. Then six years later, we had our daughter.” — Jessi, 33
The Couple With A Six-Year Tumblr Friendship
“It kind of started all the way back when he and I were both actively using Tumblr at around 18 years old. It was never an intentional search for a partner, since I was actually in a relationship when we first met! We kind of just bonded over similar interests like film and music, and then maintained a friendship for six years before actually meeting last summer. We had remained in contact via Tumblr, and then when that died out we were friends on Snapchat, and then when that died out we followed each other on Instagram!
“We were always in contact in one way or the other, but it seemed like time wasn’t on our side — either I would be in a relationship or he would be, so the occasional flirtation was never followed through, until last February when we both happened to be single, stable, older, and wiser. I decided that I’d fly out to meet him, since he lives in Arkansas and I live in Virginia. It was honestly a leap of faith, and we’ve been happily together (long-distance) for six months!” — Jocelyn, 24
The Couple Who Reconnected On Facebook A Decade Later
“Our parents were friends when we were very little, and we were pretty much inseparable during that time. But then his family moved away and we lost contact, during which time my family moved to California. Fast forward a few years, and his mum friend requested my mum on Facebook! I can’t remember exactly who requested whom, but then I think it was probably me who friend requested him. The first conversation was pretty much: ‘Hey, remember me?’ ‘Omg of course, how are you, what’s been going on?’ and we just caught up on where we both were in our lives.
“We started chatting a lot and got very close very quickly, and were even Skyping each other most days. He actually changed his sleeping schedule so that we could talk more. We were best friends for about three years or so, and were always flirty with each other, but I think neither of us wanted to ruin the friendship. There were a couple of times where we almost got together, but it never really worked out. I knew that I was completely in love with him, and in 2014, I decided I’d had enough of not being with him and just told him how I felt. Luckily, he told me that he felt the same way, and we decided to give long distance a try. Five months later, I went to England to visit and we met up. It was the first time in 11 years that we’d seen each other! I was terrified that it was going to be awkward or that there wasn’t going to be any chemistry, but it was incredible and felt so natural and easy. Two months later, I moved back to the UK to be with him, and we’ve now been together for over five years.” — Emily, 23
The Couple Who Met Through Their Twitter Community
“My husband and I met around 2009 on Twitter. We are both Colombian immigrants living in New York, and he started the hashtag #colnyc, which was mostly used by Colombian students and young professionals to share news, thoughts, etc. One day the members of the group decided to meet up in person, and we both went to the meeting at a restaurant called Iguana in NYC. We both were in very serious relationships at the time, so nothing happened, but we never lost contact. Fast forward five years, and Miguel texted me. We discovered we were both single, and went on a date.
“We dated for five years and got married last summer in Central Park. We recently discovered we lived five blocks from each other when we both first moved to New York, and my husband worked at a theater five blocks away from the school I was attending at the time. But if it weren’t for Twitter, we probably would have never met — we are both very shy.” —Lina María, 31
The Couple Who Found Each Other Through Instagram Explore
“According to my S.O., he followed me on IG because he saw my photo on the Explore page and he felt like he had met me before. Realizing that he didn’t know me, he still decided to follow me because he says he thought I was interesting. I followed him back because he seemed intriguing to me. He liked my photos continuously for months, and I liked his too. Then on October 18, 2015, I drank some liquid courage and ‘slid’ into his DMs. I wanted to get to know him so badly, so I just went for it because he was taking too long to DM me. The first thing I said was, ‘Hi *smiley face*,’ and immediately threw my phone, anxiously waiting for his response.
“We talked like we had known each other for years, and from the beginning I felt so comfortable with him. Then we finally had our first date, and after that, we became inseparable. We lived about an hour away from each other at the time, but it didn’t stop us from being together. We moved in together after three months of dating and just recently celebrated our four year anniversary.” — Celeste, 26
The Couple Who Met On TikTok And Starting Dating A Week Later
“My boyfriend and I met on TikTok and started dating a week or two later. I had been following him for a bit, but he followed me back and DMed me on Instagram saying I was cute. I was super excited because I had obviously already thirst-followed him, so we DMed back and forth for a couple days before deciding to meet. One of the first things my mom said when I told her I was going to meet up with a boy from the internet was, ‘Have an escape plan’ — just in case he was a catfish or a serial killer! We met up in a park, talked for a few hours, and immediately hit it off! We’ve been together for 10 months now.” —Dillon, 18
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