Appily ever after: The search for love online
One filmmaker will shed light on our obsession with finding love through apps, starting with his very own online quest for ‘the one’. Jason Bartlett reports.
Self-confessed “app addict” Ehsan Knopf was just 17 when he began his first online relationship. More than a decade later he is turning his search for “the one” into a powerful documentary on the nature of love, romance and apps – Lovesick.
The talented film-maker and director is basing the movie on his own experiences navigating the apps so common to the gay community. Performance artist Amy Mills – a first time online dater – will join Knopf on his quest.
Knopf, 27, has launched an online crowd-funding campaign to raise $30,000 for the feature-length documentary.
“The number one thing I hope to achieve with Lovesick is to dispel myths surrounding romance and online dating and unscramble the mysteries of our modern search for love; some of the more mysteries being, does our ideal partner really exist, and how best do we find love?” he says.
“We're all struggling to make sense and meaning of our lives and our romantic interactions.
“We all want to understand our cultural and personal obsession with love and how we can improve our search for it and meet compatible partners. I want viewers to be empowered with new knowledge and insights about themselves and others that will give them fresh and hopefully more effective approaches to the idea and pursuit of romantic love.”
Knopf said the first thing he did with the new phone his mother got him for his 17th birthday was turn to an online texting app to meet a partner. His first cyber relationship tanked soon after, but Knopf well and truly embarked on the search for love – aided by various apps.
“With the rise of online dating, we've been given these incredible tools that have empowered us in our search for the ideal partner,” he tells SX.
“With such tools at hand and the ability to readily filter out people who don't match our idealised image of a partner, it’s easier than ever to believe we can indeed find (him).
“We very rarely admit to ourselves that this may be a delusion however,” Knopf adds.
“Using such apps and services, I’ve noticed that they’ve encouraged us to have checklist expectations and tunnel-vision.”
“I've been using online dating websites and apps for the last ten years, without much success. I haven’t been in a single LTR during that period, and not for a lack of trying. Plenty of times I’ve wondered if the medium was the problem, or if the medium was encouraging attitudes and approaches that worked against establishing meaningful relationships with other people.”
VIDEO: Check out director Ehsan Knopf's story below
Knopf said in many ways gay men are the “pioneers” of the new forms of dating.
“For many people, particularly my generation, using these services is second-nature – it’s almost a reflex,” he says.
“I know from many conversations with GLBTI friends how a big part of our romantic interactions now play out exclusively over and through these apps.
“It's a huge talking point as we are all constantly looking to make sense of our online dating experiences and in turn our lives.
“Part of why is that this new world brings with it a whole lot of opportunities – the dating pool is vast and presents endless possibilities. Yet it doesn't come with a map and compass.
“We want to embrace these possibilities but at the same time we’d all love to have better insights about ourselves, others and these interactions and how to make them more successful.
“The documentary therefore is a chance to really explore in-depth topics that are fundamentally universal but also resonate deeply with GLBTI audiences.”
Top image: Performance artist Amy Mills will co-host filmmaker Ehsan Knopf’s documentary, Lovesick: Myths of Modern Love documentary
To help Ehsan Knopf with his documentary, visit the Kickstarter page for Lovesick here.