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Dating apps: the good, the bad, and the lonely

Is true love really behind a computer screen?

For Nicole Turpin, it was. The Fresno State student is a success story, but the hit-or-miss online dating market is not for all college students.

OkCupid, Tinder and Plenty of Fish are popular online dating apps most college students find easy to use. Another selling point of these apps is they’re free. The apps usually consist of filling out a brief profile, answering questions and uploading a picture. Then the apps go to work and find possible matches.

Three students weighed in on online dating, sharing their success — and mishaps.

A comfort zone

Harout Sagherian, a business major, said it is a lot easier to use online dating because the apps do all the work. At least on dating apps, he knows if a woman likes him back.

“Everyone feels a little more comfortable at home, and in the privacy of my house I’m in my room, and I can message you and be like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’” he said.

Sagherian used online dating apps for quite some time before he transferred to Fresno State — OkCupid, Tinder and Plenty of Fish.

“I went to the app store and I looked up the top dating apps and those are the ones that popped up,” Sagherian said, adding, “Those are the free ones anyway.”

Sagherian said his main advice for first-time online daters would be to tell the truth; people are going to find the truth out anyway.

“Watch out for fake profiles,” he said.

Not for everyone

Psychology major Tia Hartsock, 22, used OkCupid and Zoosk for a year before stopping six months ago. She found not all app users were serious about a relationship. They did not want the things that she wanted.

“People just wanted sex and dirty pictures,” Hartsock said.

Building a family

Turpin, 33, an English major, took a different route to the online dating world and used social media to find her match.

“I did online dating before I met Carl,” Turpin said. “I had a son, and I wasn’t really going to clubs because I was a busy mom.”

Turpin said that she met her husband through MySpace, and she did not realize that he was living in England.  She said that when she saw his picture, she immediately thought he was adorable. She also said that they liked the same music on MySpace.

Turpin said that they talked for eight months before he flew to the United States to meet her. She said that she was extremely nervous but excited that he was coming. They got married in August 2010.

“He actually ended up adopting my son,” Turpin said. “He is now the legal father of my son.”

Turpin said that the most important thing when using an online dating site is to get to know someone really well before meeting them. She said honesty and patience are crucial, but it is important to also be cautious.

Turpin said, “If you get a bad feeling about somebody, you are usually correct.”