#GrowingUp: Tinder Improved My Life

It was the spring of 2018. I had finally joined the Tinder bandwagon after a rough winter break and zero validation from the men around UNC-CH. Naturally, undecided about what I wanted/ needed from Tinder, I went straight into friends with benefits territory (which I wouldn’t recommend unless you’re completely sure) and found a taker.

It wasn’t my first rodeo, but it was definitely different. We talked. A lot.

Pillow talk is a weird thing. It can be a good opportunity to get more comfortable with someone, but it also has a weird side effect that typically ruins the dynamic – feelings.

Sparing everyone the drama, we actually became a thing. Which, I know, rarely happens. But, a year and a half later, I feel pretty confident that he’s here to stay.

I know everyone says that, in order to develop a relationship, you have to be your best self, but I really don’t think that’s true. When I met my partner we were both at our lowest points, and we grew as individuals together.

Throughout our relationship, I’ve learned several skills that have helped me become a better person and improve my daily life, the most important of these being open communication.

As an only child with mommy issues, I was never open about my feelings with my close friends, partners, etc. I learned to bottle up my emotions, so when my partner wanted to communicate constantly, it just became part of the routine. I soon realized: Why would I suffer in silence when I could ask the person to change their behavior or consider my concerns? I know – what a concept!

My partner also encouraged me to go to therapy. Although I wasn’t a fan of my therapist, I do think the process pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to talk to a third party about my problems, instead of burdening my closest friends and family members. I grew up exchanging grievances with my friends, so I never thought about the emotional strain it can put on people when they are your main source of support. With therapy, it’s more of a transaction.

If you’re not your best self at the moment, but something just feels right, go for it (unless you feel like it’s bad timing, obviously). It’s okay if you’re not completely confident or if you’re having a bad semester. Partnerships are about supporting each other through the bad times as well as the good, and there’s always room for personal improvement.