When I used to think of the perfect love story, I never imagined it taking place on an online dating site. There’s a stigma against dating websites—people think they’re only for creepy, middle-aged people looking for that someone special in their life. That’s not the case for me. I met my boyfriend of almost a year on an app called Tinder.
The app is hooked up to your Facebook, and it shows you other users in your local area. All you have to do is swipe left on their photos to say you’re not interested in them or right to say you’re interested in them. The other person will never know you like them unless they like you back. Once you both decide that the other person is hot, then you have the option of chatting.
This app may seem like the perfect way to meet people, but it has really become more of a breeding ground for hook-ups and insignificant flings. That’s why it’s so unbelievable that I not only found someone I can relate to, but also my best friend and someone who I can see myself spending the rest of my life with. As my boyfriend and I like to say, “Everything changed when we swiped right.”
It began in the spring of 2013. I was finishing up my senior year of high school and had been going on random little dates throughout the year, but I was never really into anyone at my school. Just when I was starting to think that dating was pointless and a waste of time, my friends all started getting this new app called Tinder and were talking to some interesting guys. There was not a single guy they talked to who had honest intentions; many of them were just interested in meeting and hooking up. Regardless of how long my friends talked to the guys, every conversation ended in the guy asking for suggestive pictures or asking when they could meet up to “fool around.” Even though my friends had bad experiences with the app, they were very persistent, and eventually they convinced me to get the app too.
However, all of the guys I encountered on the app were either super old or just wanted a quick hook-up (one guy even invited me to his frat formal… which was a year from then). I had gotten to the point where I was ready to give up on this stupid app and set my goals on dating someone in college. Luckily, I opened the app one last time, and I saw that I had gotten a message from a guy who I didn’t remember liking named Nathan.
Tinder works by using your most recent profile pictures. So from the few pictures provided of Nathan, I was able to see that he was a tall, blond guy with bright blue eyes, but I was a little cautious because he was holding a baby who looked very much like him. Even though I knew that he could potentially have a baby, I messaged him back and ended up chatting on Tinder with him for a few hours before I gave him my number.
My conversation with this guy was immediately different from any other guy I had talked to. Many of the other guys had initially asked me about myself but then would ask if we could text or Snapchat, only to ask for pictures soon after. The main difference, though, was that he never called me nicknames like “sexy,” “baby” or “babe” like the other guys. Nathan was also the first guy who made an effort for us to get to know each other as normally as possible. I felt like a real person with this guy instead of being treated like an object.
After adding Nathan on Facebook and continuing to talk to him, I learned three very interesting things about him. First, I learned that the baby he was holding in the picture wasn’t his own daughter, but his brother’s, which was a huge relief. Second, I learned that he was born and raised in Michigan and he goes to the University of Michigan, but he was in Texas for a yearlong internship. The last thing that I learned was that he came from a big family; he is the youngest of 12 siblings. Something about him just seemed so intriguing to me, and I continued to text him throughout the week.
In one of those conversations, he asked me out on a date for the upcoming weekend. As weird as it sounds, I never questioned if I should go out with him. Something about him just felt right.