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Julia, 32, Kyiv — Uppsala: Using Pure as a refugee, adoring men, and post-war plans

Julia, 32, Kyiv — Uppsala: Using Pure as a refugee, adoring men, and post-war plans

Julia is from Kyiv. She has been living with friends in Sweden, where, after evacuating from Ukraine, she traveled for three weeks. Once in a new country, she installed Pure — but the joy was short-lived: the profile was banned, and all chats were lost. Julia contacted our support team; we sorted it out and restored the account. She also told us how therapeutic and important making new acquaintances has turned out to be during this challenging time. We couldn't get past Julia's story, so Lena Borovaya, our editor-in-chief, decided to have a one-on-one conversation with her.

“On Pure, the men are totally different

Julia, 32, Kyiv — Uppsala: Using Pure as a refugee, adoring men, and post-war plans.description. 1

I found out about Pure about two years ago. My friend actively used it at the time and told me that it was not like other dating apps — first of all, she said, in terms of the audience. I didn't understand what she was talking about. But once the war began, I got out of the relationship and decided to give dating apps a try. So, I started with Pure: I connected with people from all over the world and, of course, from Kyiv, where I wish to return. Then I finally understood what my friend was telling me.

On Pure, men behave completely differently than on most dating apps. If you match and connect, then a dialogue is necessarily started, and you exchange photos. I think this is because the chats expire — people are actually interested in communication and are “set up” for results. But this is far from the only difference.

I’m instantly met with admiration on Pure: "You're amazing, I’m so lucky!"

Why? I'm a plus-size girl. It takes time to mess with someone in other services. Not that anyone has questions regarding that, but before genuinely connecting with someone, I have to communicate with two, three, and sometimes eight men. Not on Pure, though: I’m instantly met with admiration on there. And not in the form of dirty jokes or backhanded compliments, but words like "You’re amazing, I’m so lucky!".

I think there are a lot more people here who are in therapy. I think it can be a marker of adequacy — not only on the app but just in general. Of course, there have been some “meh” moments, but I remember only one: I had an amazing, sexually charged chat in the evening with somebody, and the next morning he deleted everything. I'm not one of those who start planning their wedding after one conversation, but that was frustrating.

The energy of connection helped me climb out of rock bottom

Pure in evacuation

When I arrived in Sweden, let’s just say I wasn’t in the best mindset for dating. I didn't know what to do, where to run, I didn't understand why it was so cold there and it was snowing again (it was already springtime in Kyiv). But I wanted to connect with somebody, so I downloaded Pure.

Now I'm talking to guys from all over the world. But I have a couple of matches from Kyiv, too — I keep in mind that I will be able to invite them to my place when I get home.

Julia, 32, Kyiv — Uppsala: Using Pure as a refugee, adoring men, and post-war plans.1. 1

The right to have joy and pleasure

The energy of connection helped me climb up from rock bottom. I started feeling hopeful again, walking around the city with music in headphones — during the first month of the war happiness was completely off the table for me. I started talking to people and immediately felt better about myself and life in general. 

I tried to understand why I couldn't let myself feel good: read articles, listened to podcasts on the topic. Some mentioned the 4F reaction: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn. Only the authors added the fifth point: F**k. Apparently, this is my option now — because dating has definitely helped.

I want to come home alive, joyful — and invite this Kyiv guy for dinner

But I’m still having this ongoing internal conflict. I don't understand if it’s possible to be happy if there is a war going on back home, people are hiding in basements, being assaulted and killed. Is it possible for me to go on dates? Well, I do it, so probably yes. But on the inside, I still haven't given myself permission to feel good about life. My mind tells me that it is right to live, receive and conserve energy. I need to feel good because I want to come home alive and joyful — and invite this Kyiv guy for dinner. 

Julia, 32, Kyiv — Uppsala: Using Pure as a refugee, adoring men, and post-war plans.2. 1

After the war

At the same time, I have enough strength to make plans for the future. For example, I can’t wait to come back to work. I love my job. I want to walk around my favorite city. And of course, go on real Pure dates. In Kyiv.

Lena Borovaya

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