We all know that moment in rom-coms where the two leads finally meet each other. That moment that they’ll eventually talk about with each other and their children. These moments, albeit sometimes cringe, can really fuel a hopeless romantic’s heart. But now that dating apps are here and hookup culture consumes college campuses, is hoping for a meeting cute unrealistic?
More and more, I hear stories of couples meeting on dating apps. A part of my hopeless romantic heart gets disappointed by these stories. They make me think, “will I ever have my coffee shop/bookstore/in-class meet-cute?” Whichever way you meet your significant other will always be special and cute, but there’s something about the natural, in-person meeting that I can’t help but hope for.
For me, I think about meeting my future partner in a bookstore, while I’m browsing for books. Or while I’m sitting in a cafe, drinking my coffee and doing homework. Or even just walking to class one day.
I don’t think about meeting them while swiping left or right on my phone. I imagine them approaching me (maybe that’s just because I’m shy); I don’t imagine us matching on an app.
Can we still have these cute moments in person anymore? Lately, I’ve found that people hardly introduce themselves to strangers in person anymore. Little conversations in elevators hardly happen and much less in more open areas. I’m not sure if that’s because we have gotten so used to meeting people online or if it is because COVID-19 put a pause on interacting with people face to face. Regardless of why it began, I don’t think it will end any time soon.
You can’t talk about romance in college without having to mention hookup culture. There’s nothing wrong with participating in it, but it most definitely is not for everyone. As someone who finds herself drawn to romantic comedies and romance movies in general, I want something like that, not 2 a.m. booty calls.
Even if I were to meet a significant other on a dating app, there will always be a part of me that wishes I could have a meet-cute like the ones in the movies. Even if it’s a meet-cute with someone who isn’t “the one,” they make the best stories.