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Digital Love

No, it's not a new club night... but a new way of life!


Like it or not, dating has gone digital. Forget those misconceptions of desperation and lonely cat lovers, it’s time to shred the stigma around meeting people online. GT talks to two readers about their relationship and the positives of meeting someone online.

Calum Sherwood, 22, charity co-ordinator Tom King, 20, Politics student

Tell us how you both first met?
Calum: We are both really interested in politics, and ended up following each other on Twitter because of that. We weren’t looking for a relationship, but after talking to each other for ages things started to get a bit more flirty. We started texting each other most days and then started speaking more on the phone. In the end we decided to meet up at a Labour party conference that we were both going to and got on really well. We just really clicked.

We guess you really can find love in a hopeless place. Do you think social media is the modern way to meet someone?
Calum: The good thing about social media is you get to see someone as a more all rounded person. If they’re tweeting about their daily life and talking about everything they’re doing you can probably work out if they’re someone you’d want to spend time with. It’s definitely good for building friendships that could lead to more. I still think there’s a place for dating websites but the younger generation are definitely more likely to use social media.
Tom: I think it’s good that you can meet someone through social media for a proper relationship. It’s like meeting people in a normal situation where you meet them through friends of friends. It’s just taking that online.

Tell us about your first date.
Calum: After the conference we decided to meet up in London the following week. We went to an anti-war demonstration to try and stop the war and after that we went to Pizza Express for a bit of a date. It wasn’t exactly the most romantic first date but it was appropriate to us. I then ended up staying over and we just hit it off from there. I felt like I already knew him because of speaking so much online. We just felt really comfortable with each other from day one.
Tom: The date was very us. It might be a bit boring and geeky to some but it was nice. It was very unique.

It’s definitely different. How does meeting online compare to in person?
Calum: I found it easier. I think social media is taking things back to the days where people didn’t need alcohol or anything else to be able to meet someone because it’s so conversation driven. It’s about talking to someone, finding them out as a person and not just valuing them on if they look good in a club and you end up stumbling home with them.
Tom: If you meet someone in a club, you’ve got no idea if they’re interested in the same things as you or if they’re the same sort of person as you, whereas me and Calum definitely are. And we got to know that beforehand because of Twitter.

Do you think being friends first made your relationship stronger?
Tom: Yeah definitely because you know that there’s an underlying friendship and interest with each other. It’s not like catching someone’s eye in a club and thinking they’re a bit fit and trying to go home with them. I’m probably far too shy to even do that anyway, so I think I prefer being able to get to know someone first and then take things further rather than trying to build a relationship from a one night stand. There aren’t any expectations when it starts out as just friends.

Exactly. The first year of your relationship was long distance. Did social media help?
Calum: I think it makes long distance relationships a lot easier. I was in my final year of uni in Bristol and Tom was in his first year of uni in London when we first got together. Twitter meant we could keep up to date with each other and know what was going on in each other’s lives without having to rely on texting or ringing all the time. It felt like I had a more overall impression of what Tom was doing despite the distance.

You then both moved in together after the first year. Tell us a bit about that.
Calum: It’s going really good. We don’t have any complaints. It just felt really natural. I think if you can get through a year of long distance it makes it more worthwhile that you’ve put the effort in throughout the year and it’s paid off. Now we’ve got a flat and it’s really nice. We like where we live too. It’s all really exciting.

Where do you see yourselves heading in the future?
Calum: I think we are just taking things as they come. I don’t think I could see myself spending my life with anyone else. Tom is everything. We spend so much time together, we have so much in common and we never run out of things to talk about. As I’ve got older I’ve become so much happier and a lot of that is thanks to Tom. I don’t think I could be any happier. Right now we share each other’s lives so much and we’ve got this chance to create this life together. It’s exciting that equal marriage has been legalised and we have that choice now too.

Tom: It’s obviously really good now that we can get married. That’s really exciting. I can’t ever imagine not being with Calum and one day we will get married. It’s not that I felt like something was missing before, but now that he’s in my life he just completes everything and makes me really happy. Everything just seems perfect. I instantly knew when we first met that he was someone I wanted to be with. Without Twitter I don’t think I could have found someone so similar and so perfectly matched to me.

We wonder when it’ll be our turn for a happily ever after? We aren’t bitter at all… *Sighs* You can follow Calum and Tom on Twitter here @CalumSPlath @Tomilo

Words: Jordan Mann (@JournoJord)

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