Three generations, three couples, three dating apps.

Disclaimer: Some of the interviewees names have been changed for their security.

Communication has evolved over time through technology, and with new technology comes new ways to meet people, and more radically, a new way to date.

Instead of writing love letters, we write pick-up lines to make someone laugh. Instead of taking it slow, we say “I love you” after the third date. We feed off of constant love and attention and can easily get it from the touch of a screen.

Although online dating might not be our first choice, it isn’t necessarily a bad one. And while it may be frowned upon by older generations because they think meeting people on the internet is not safe, in the end, we’re all just looking for someone to give us affection.

Here are three success stories of online dating to give you hope and inspiration. 

Anne & Jim

Azusa Pacific’s very own journalism professor, Jim Willis, met his wife, Anne Willis, online on New Years Eve in 1999. 

Jim Willis decided to start dating online in order to meet people beyond his daily routine.

“When you have a close circle of friends, it’s hard to meet new people because you get busy and most of your friends are married,” said Jim Willis. 

When Jim Willis was searching online for a good match, he valued honesty with the people he corresponded with. There was no Google, so it was hard to cross reference and investigate the people he was talking to.

In fact, one woman he knew hired a private investigator to scope out her online interest because she couldn’t simply look up the person on Facebook.

After meeting on, Jim and Anne Willis tied the knot in 2000,  and continue to be happily married after nearly 20 years. 

Jim and Anne Willis started their relationship with an email and intrigue; and yes, Anne Willis messaged Jim Willis first. With the promise of delicious chocolate chip cookies, they hit it off.

They currently live apart because Jim Willis is working at APU, but they get to see each other every six weeks, and continue to be madly in love. 

The couple  pitches online dating to their friends and family who are in search of a serious relationship and can thank for their marriage.

Rachel & Joshua

Rachel and Joshua met on Jdate, an online Jewish dating service aimed at Jewish singles, and are now happily married and expecting their first child.

They decided to resort to online dating after having difficulty finding a Jewish partner at a bar. They both agree it is less creepy learning about someone online than in real life. 

“All these people are looking for a relationship, whether they want to get married or want a relationship or just want to screw around, you can figure that out online without having to meet in person,” said Joshua.

Rachel had been online dating for about two years before she met Joshua. They would recommend online dating to their friends and family because it’s a useful tool in meeting a serious partner.

Isabella & Chris

Isabella and Chris are a couple who both attend APU. They met on Bumble and have been dating for six months. Isabella is a junior English major and Chris is a senior economics major. 

The couple sat next to each other in class, but ultimately started communicating on the app; it was the start of their relationship. Once Isabella saw Chris on Bumble, she messaged him and they started talking in class.

Isabella started online dating out of boredom and the lack of male student interactions she had at the university. Even though she is living on campus, she felt she had limited options — it was hard for her to meet people and make new friends.

“I think there’s a lot of pressure with face-to-face interaction. And so Bumble makes things easier to connect with people and be able to see their interests without having to meet in person,” said Isabella.

A lot of college students they know also use online dating apps to make friends or spark relationships.

Although we are on a college campus, we are in the digital age of communication. With it comes comfortability in our phones and isolation from our peers. It can make traditional dating difficult because we rely so much on our online personas, but with online dating, we can communicate in a new way, on platforms that everyone is comfortable with.