The dating landscape is an unforgivable terrain, but it is one that continues to adjust and develop. Modern day technology has transformed the fiery and elusive world of firsts into a game, a game judging on a few written lines and an album of carefully selected images. Strangers laying themselves bare to the world, keen eyes eagerly awaiting a response -awaiting the invigorating possibility that their soul mate lies behind their screen. Possibly. Maybe. Searching for them too. 

Romance doesn't come as easy as the movies make it out to, and online dating is another story altogether. Photographer Irene Palacio had her own questionable start to the world of online dating, and becoming a somewhat expert of weeding out the no-go's, she stumbled across a boy she just had to meet. Milan, 21, ironically of Vietnamese and Polish descent living in London. Young, yet full of enticing character. Seemingly simplistic, thriving off life's pleasures, the less obvious quirks seeming more attractive than the lavish suits and now intolerably witty bio's so regularly encountered. She swiped right.

They meet. Intentions: clear. Awkwardness: none. Sun tickles the wooden floorboards while the dust particles dance in its rays. Irene's lens captures familiarity and comfort, an ideal love story replicated by two strangers, documented with ease. She depicts the essence of a relationship's first, allowing you to envision a story of two lovers locked away in their loft-like apartment. It is simple, candid and lustful. Why has it become so easy to romanticise the basic attributes of relations? Are we better at playing make-believe to how we want it, than to frankly and wholeheartedly feel and live it?

In this day and age it can often feel like we're swiping into the endless abyss of eligible singles in the world. A tiring cycle that never seems to end - you'd think we were running out of singletons left in the world, let alone in your 5-mile radius setting. He leaves and tells her that she's awesome. They hug. "We are friends, right?"

Words by Brogan Anderson.

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