Let’s set the stage: 12:30 a.m. on a weeknight – Summer 2013
Having just graduated from college that spring, I laid in my bed one night unable to sleep. I had recently just gotten out of a relationship with, for lack of a better word, a shitty human being, and I was ready for what life had next. While I laid there, I suddenly had a realization – I’m allowed to have Tinder now. I had remembered back to the fall and winter when the app first became popular, watching others use and abuse it. But now that I was single, I wanted to download it for myself. Not necessarily to even meet someone, but perhaps more so for the act of independence it brought me. Little did I know that from my bed that night, the swipe of my thumb would introduce me to the love of my life.
Now, before I go on, I understand that this story could take several directions. I could tell you about the dates I went on prior to meeting Brian (the boyfriend) in person and the horrific yet wonderfully entertaining things men on Tinder do. I could recap a few highlights from dates where I quickly realized I was uninterested, so I proceeded to drink wine and slowly develop a british accent throughout the date. I could (and probably should) write a ‘Tinder Handbook’ for men, because there is a desperate need out there for guys to shape up their Tinder game. But instead, I will take this time to tell you about what happens once you get past all of that – when you meet Mr. Wonderful, want to date Mr. Wonderful, and suddenly realize you have to tell everyone how you met Mr. Wonderful.
Okay, so fast forward from the night I swiped-right on Brian to a month or so later. The thoughts in my head went something like this:
He’s, like, a REALLY good guy. Like I’ve never dated anyone with such incredible character and wit and charm and handsome manliness yet sensitivity and such a warm heart and he giggles like the Pillsbury doughboy and oh my God I could love this boy.
But then you realize – how can I possibly convey all of this to my friends/family/coworkers by truthfully answering the first question everyone always asks… “Where did you meet him?” They will never believe me!
So, naturally, you tell lies that aren’t 100% lies.
“We met at a restaurant in Uptown” – True, because technically, our first date when we actually first met in person was at a restaurant in Uptown.
“We have mutual friends” – Which is true, because had we not have had a few friends in common show up on Tinder, I may not have given him the right-swipe.
We both learned that you can also just start stating facts, and people will naturally fill in the pieces. “We went to rival high schools.” “We both work downtown.” “We both like boating.” Really, you can get away with pretty much anything.
But Brian and I soon realized that this was going the distance, and we couldn’t keep telling lies to our family and friends. We eventually were going to have to expose the other person to the potential scrutiny and judgement that being on Tinder suggests.
His sister just laughed. My mom said she knew the whole time. But what shocked me most about coming clean wasn’t the expected turned-up noses and questionable intentions from friends, but more-so the lack of such things.
Instead, the more common reaction I started hearing when telling the truth about how we met went more like:
- “Oh my gosh okay will you give me advice on this situation? I am talking to a couple of different guys and blah blah blah.“
- ***girl slaps friend’s arm “See! I told you it works!“
- “Will you help me set up a profile?“
I soon realized that by owning the whole situation and being proud rather than shy of saying it, I allowed others to talk freely as well. I realized that there was nothing to hide, and if people wanted to judge, let em! I had an amazing man by my side, and if someone wanted to criticize how we met, it just wouldn’t affect me.
I suppose that nowadays, it may be more mainstream or accepted to have met on Tinder. But I do know that even some of my girlfriends who have only recently started dating someone they met online or through Tinder feel embarrassed saying so. I am here to say more power to ya. If you can find the love and happiness that I have found with Brian by swiping left and right, do it! And own it!
Every person I was in a relationship prior I had met through “normal” tactics. And look how those turned out? Two years later with Brian and we’ve never been better. So who cares how you meet? Because really, it’s all about what happens after. So here’s to my right thumb – I owe you big time, little guy.