Online Dating Apps, Do They Work?

The story of how I met my boyfriend.

Beautiful Agnes! This gives some much needed hope to all the patient lovers out there! Thank you for sharing the moment.

A response from Sean Michael (thank you for the inspiration, Sean!) has prompted me to share a little bit of my love story and my experience with a dating app.

Tinder, Bumble, Okcupid, Match, to name a few. The online dating apps and sites are on the rising. Love stories that were once would have been considered rare have now turned into somewhat of a normal thing.

Yes, we met on Tinder/Bumble/(insert online dating sites/apps)” is something that can be heard often these days.

It is even considered as a sort of sweet, magical fairytale.

It’s got to be fate/destiny. There are millions of people in the World Wide Web and you found your ‘one. What else could it be?

So everyone rushes over to join the new big thing. People can’t open their wallet fast enough to pay for membership for the extra perks. In Tinder, for example, if you pay for the membership, you can connect with potential suitors from all over the world as opposed to the limited local selection.

You can also SUPER LIKE someone to show that person you’re VERY interested (it will show up in his/her notification that you’ve Super Like him/her).

A quick Google search also revealed that there is now Tinder Gold where you can have:

  • Unlimited likes (who doesn’t like a boost of ego?)
  • Rewind last swipe (you can now rectify the mistakes your fast finger commit)
  • 5 Super Likes per day (Woohoo! Double ego boost!)
  • 1 Boost each month (Not sure what this is. Maybe like… you get launched into the super cyber love space once a month?)
  • Passport to swipe around the world (if only it’s a real passport that can actually be swiped to enter all the countries in the world…)
  • See who likes you (you can now go through selection process faster, with more efficiency!)

Tinder has been so successful that the term ‘swipe right’ has been a slang coined as ‘yes I dig this dude/chick’.

The question is:

Does it really work?

Can we find love in our small cellphone/computer screen?

I cannot speak for everyone as I have heard some very successful online dating love stories. However, as a former Tinder and Bumble user, I can offer you a little glimpse, an insight into the world of dating apps.

I used Tinder for the first time in my hometown. A big town with the population 2.5 million people.

2.5 million people. You would think that I could swipe all day all night and not run out of men to choose from.


I had my Tinder Trial when online dating apps were still considered as something for those who are not able to find love.

In other words, those who are not desirable (outrageous!).

I would occasionally bump into my friends on Tinder and it always resulted in an awkward banter about the topic when we meet to hangout.

“Hey, I saw you on Tinder!” *insert small awkward chuckle*

“Yeah, just wanna have fun and decided to give it a go. You’re there as well!” *insert awkward laughter*

Far from having a line-up of men, it was a pretty dry place to find a possible partner.

Until I moved to Bali.

The paradise island, filled with tourists and people from all walks of life.

Should be easy to find love, right? I mean… it’s BALI.


A short fling and a few dates, some bad and some were just downright terrible.

A guy kept asking me which part of China I’m from after I told him a gazillion times I’m born and raised in Indonesia.

A guy who insisted I should go to his house rather than drove me back to the yoga studio where I worked cause it was raining (we were on a bike). When I refused numerous times, he said, “We had a date and you’re not gonna even ‘come over’ (yes, the type of come over with a quotation mark) to my house?” Talk about self-entitlement. Repulsive.

After a number of super fun and ‘I would love to jump off a cliff right now’ dates, I finally gave up.

I was mentally drained.

It was going nowhere and it was definitely not a place (for me at least) to find a partner.

I deleted the app from my phone and gave up on the quest of actively seeking love altogether.

“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Love will come when the time is right,” I told myself.

Lo and behold! A few days after I deleted the app, a charming, kind-hearted guy asked me out on a dinner date. We have been together for nearly 2 years now.

Oh, the things you see when you finally lift your head up from the phone screen you’ve been buried in.

What I was looking for had been there, in front of my eyes all along.

Our love story is not without its bumps. After a month filled with fun and adventure, he left to continue his backpacking journey and it wasn’t until months later that we reconnected and we end up where we are, in a relationship.

Does online dating apps work?

I honestly cannot tell you the answer.

Some might find their one true love in their little screen. Some might not.

I, personally, have tried and failed (miserably).

Location and time play important roles. It’s difficult to find love and connection in an island full of tourists who are just looking for fun, for example. It’s not impossible but you have to be very very lucky or have good timing.

It’s also difficult to date someone from a different timezone. I used to have a friend whose girlfriend moved to the US while he stayed in Malaysia. They broke up after 6 years of relationship.

The Internet is also littered with predators. Tinder has taken precaution by making it compulsory to connect one’s Facebook account upon signing up. But we all know how easy it is to create a fake Facebook account.

When it comes to love, I am a bit of a paradox. I am a romantic at heart. I used to be an idealist but the world has turned me into a realist.

I do think that online dating apps work.

Love is love, no matter how or where it transpires.

It just doesn’t work for me.

I didn’t find love in online dating apps but who knows? Maybe you will.

Give it a go.

Take a chance.

Writer by heart. Teacher (English, Yoga, Pilates) by trade. Avid reader. World traveller. Model. You can reach me at

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