Our very own success story

Selene

love

Finding Real Love Online

For this week's exploration into the world of online dating, we turned to a member of our own team, our very own success story! Our Head of Direction, Selene Casale, is all the proof we need to show that you CAN find love on a dating site. For context, Selene is Italian and lived there prior to coming to London. Upon arrival, she downloaded Hinge and shortly after fell in love.

                                         

Can you describe your experiences with online dating before coming to the UK? Are the same ones popular in Italy as here?

I never used dating apps in my life. I’ve always dated (or went on dates with) people I already knew, my friends’ friends or that I met at my workplace. I’ve never liked the idea of dating apps and had never felt the need to download one. In 2018, my ex flatmate convinced me to download OKCupid to try to make new friends. I was really busy at work so I didn’t really feel like going out to mingle. I went on a total of 4 dates - 2 were a complete disaster and one brought to some kind of friendship. I gave up. 

I’d say that Tinder is the most used dating app in Italy. It’s easy to use and you can arrange a date within minutes. I think that offline dating is more common though, in big cities. When I lived in Milan for 2 years, I never had trouble meeting people. The coffee shops are always full and Saturday Happy Hours really draw a crowd.

Which dating app did you select here in the UK and why?

Some of my friends were using Tinder but I’ve never really been a hook-up person. I knew it wasn’t the app for me. I tried Bumble but I deleted my account on the same day I created it - I found the conversations to be boring and I didn’t like the pressure of making the first move all the time! Finally, I downloaded Hinge. I liked the idea that it is “designed to be deleted”. Hinge creates the opportunity to write an original bio using questions you select and it allows you to connect with like-minded people. Hinge was the app for me!

Selene noted her profile included a variety of different images showing full body and up close. Using bright colours and completing all aspects of her profile definitely worked in her favour! Take note. 

Did you find online dating to be difficult at first?

Yes. You want to find love but when you have so many profiles to choose from...things get complicated. You start to wonder what if I find someone who’s better than the person I’m talking to?

When you finally figure out what you really want, online dating becomes easier. You will also realise that your idea of the ‘perfect’ man falls apart when you start exchanging messages. I’ve always preferred tall blonde guys, with green or blue eyes and tattoos. I completely contradicted myself when I went on dates with the complete opposite of what I just described. It is good to know what you want, but often these fantasies do not relate to real life. I got what I wanted, kind of, my boyfriend has strawberry blonde hair (it’s still blonde, eh!), blue eyes & he’s tall(-er than me).

Advice for initiating the meet up after exchanging a few messages?

Use any common ground you have established to pick the best date venue. Did he tell you that he likes coffee (or tea)? I’m sure you drink coffee too. Take him to your favourite local spot, or ask him to show you his. If the weather forecast is good for Sunday, suggest a walk in Hyde Park. Do both of you like crazy golf? Well… you know what to do. 

Be brave and ask him out, fight those gender norms.

Was the prospect of meeting a stranger scary?

I was TERRIFIED!!! Even though I have worked in customer service for many years and I am an extrovert, meeting a stranger made me really anxious. I could only do it three times! When I went on the first date with my now-boyfriend, it was a mix of anxiety and excitement. I guess it was because I liked him and I wanted it to work.

Would you recommend online dating?

Absolutely yes. It’s interesting what you can learn from other people. It also gives you an idea of what you don’t want in a potential boyfriend.

Did you have any bad experiences with online dating?

I didn’t have bad experiences, only boring dates! I went on a date with a guy who spoke about his cat for 2 hours, another one kept on telling horrible jokes that he considered funny, they were not.

Do you think there is any stigma associated with dating apps? Are people surprised when you say you met online?

Yes, at first I wasn’t comfortable telling people how I met my boyfriend. Dating apps (and the internet in general) can be dangerous. I think that people are scared of the idea of meeting someone you’ve never seen in person. Who knows what could happen.

What attracted you to your now-boyfriends profile? If you can remember.

When I took a look at his profile I really liked 2 of his photos. Also, what made me laugh is that one of his pet peeves is people who stand on the wrong side of the escalator or wear massive bags on the tube. He was describing me as I used to do it from time to time, hard to adjust to the UK’s love of the left-hand side. 

Did you research anything about creating a good profile before starting? Do you recommend people do this?

To be honest I didn’t really think about doing some research before creating my profile. Before uploading my photos and writing my bio, I took a look at some other profiles to understand how Hinge works and to look for inspiration to write something funny. The next step was uploading some photos I thought people would like. Looking back I’d change some of them. My answers to the questions were pretty boring though. Lack of fantasy, I guess.

There you have it, proof that online dating works. We can't believe it took us this long to discover we have our very own success story. Thank you to Selene for sharing her story & restoring faith in online dating.