Alternative dating methods becoming the norm for college students

Opinion by Sarah O’Rourke

Sarah O'Rourke-w2000-h2000I’ll admit that I was really excited for this past season of “The Bachelor” to start. I loved Juan Pablo from the previous season of “The Bachelorette.”

By the end of the show, Juan Pablo turned into one of the most-hated men in Bachelor history. Why was that? Why don’t alternative methods of dating, like “The Bachelor,” always work out for the best?

Maybe it’s because the women on the show had extremely unrealistic expectations. The women often forgot that they were not the only ones meeting this “heartthrob.” There were a total of 27 women waiting to meet the same man. Right away, that should have been a huge red flag.

How do you get to know someone and find out if you are a good match if there are a ton of other women desperate for attention? And who knows which women were actually there for the right reasons?

In the past, some contestants on the show had significant others waiting for them at home, or they just wanted an opportunity to be on TV. Even when the women were chosen to go on dates, many of the dates were “group dates,” and each girl would only get a few minutes of alone time with Juan Pablo. Obviously, you can get to know a lot about a person in a few minutes with cameras on, right? Nope, didn’t think so. And the pressure of needing an engagement at the end of the show makes everything too forced and a high-pressure situation.

Online dating sites are better than dating TV shows, but they still have their faults. Let’s take E-Harmony for example. Anyone can make an E-Harmony profile, whether he or she is serious about finding a relationship or not. I know some people who were just bored and decided to make a profile for fun, with no intentions of getting anything out of it. It’s also super easy to fill out a fake profile, so you never truly know who you are meeting when you communicate through a computer.

When you join E-Harmony, it asks you to fill out a ton of questions about yourself. I don’t know about you guys, but I am very complicated, and it takes more than a paragraph to describe myself. Therefore, online dating would never work for me. I guess it works for some people, so good for you. But for the majority of us, meeting someone the old-fashioned way is the best (and safest) option.

It gets even better! Now there are dating apps that allow you to browse on the go. There is no need to find a computer. You now have the potential to stalk people 24/7. One popular dating app is called Tinder. This app is relatively new, having been released in September 2012. Tinder now has millions of users, and I can’t help but wonder how many of them actually expect to find a significant other for life on this app. That’ll be a good story for the wedding, if one happens.

The best way to meet a significant other is to get outside your comfort zone and try to actually meet people. In person. Not behind the cameras, a computer or your phone. Old-fashioned dating has been successful since the beginning of time, and there is good reason for that.


O’Rourke is a first-year pharmacy major and can be reached at

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