Thursday, April 11, 2013

Love at first Skype: Long-distance dating in a high-tech world

By Kellen Westering, Guest Writer
In today’s world, a lot of dating is done through the use of technology. For many, Skype, Facebook, texting, emails and websites are how they first meet someone. For others, these technologies help keep their relationships going.
Everyone has different experiences maintaining a relationship online.

Senior Ian McMichael met his fiance through mutual friends over Skype. “Using Skype has been great for us,” McMichael said. “It was a very relaxed and no-pressure way to get to know each other. We both went into the situation with the attitude of whatever happens, happens.”
When asked how often he communicates with his fiance, McMichael said “at first we went through a honeymoon phase where we talked and Skyped every day … now, we talk frequently over the phone and Skype just once a week.”
Another senior at Pacific Lutheran, Samantha Wofford-Hall, met her boyfriend while studying abroad in Germany. Now she uses technology to keep her relationship going. Wofford-Hall Facebooks with her boyfriend every day and Skypes him every Wednesday and Sunday.  
Wofford-Hall said being in a long-distance relationship is worth it “but you have to be able to trust each other.” Her boyfriend is planning to make the trip from Germany to visit Wofford-Hall this coming September.

McMichael and Wofford-Hall     have both had the opportunity to meet their significant other in person. However, it is possible to have an online relationship with someone you’ve never met.
Sophomore Reland Tuomi met her boyfriend on Reddit. He lives in England, and she said they hope to meet someday, but until then they communicate online.
When asked if she ever thought she would meet a significant other online, Tuomi said, “not at all. Every time I saw one of those EHarmony commercials, I scoffed at them.”   
The first time she Skyped her boyfriend, Tuomi said, “it was awkward, and I was nervous — like being on a first date.”

 For these three PLU students, technology has had a huge impact on their relationships. Each said they are happy and looking forward to the future … so maybe there is love at first Skype.