woman in bridesmaid dress with boyfriend

An Ode To Tinder

As of August 2019, I was a bright-eyed, 18-year-old college freshman. Brimming with excitement and a head full of ideas about what college would be like, I moved into my dorm ready to take the world by storm. After looking into a few clubs and making my best efforts to meet new friends, I downloaded Tinder.

Before meeting my current boyfriend, my dating luck was about zero. My previous relationships have been exceptional lessons for me, in terms of learning more about myself and what I deserved in a partner, but I was ready for someone who was ready for me. You can imagine that I was eager to hop on dating apps and meet some actually "mature" college guys instead of fraternizing with the high school has-beens I was so desperately attempting to leave behind in my rear-view mirror. To no-one’s surprise, virtually everyone on Tinder was a bit of a creep! I must’ve been on a different planet thinking that everyone on there would be looking for "the one," but they all wanted a one-night stand, and I was confident that wasn’t what I wanted.

Somehow, one of the first few matches I made at FSU ended up being the absolute light of my life. The ironic thing is, I would be clueless about this for months because we ghosted each other after our first conversation. I had a gold-mine waiting in my phone, but had my head in the clouds and left myself clueless! 

heart on string Photo by debby hudson from Unsplash I remember the rest of that conversation simply being me messing with him, thinking I was the world’s funniest lady, and him playing along with my antics. I ended the conversation by quite literally saying something along the lines of: "Have a nice life; I’ll talk to you never!" It’s hard to stomach that I might have missed out on the love of a lifetime had I never messaged him again.

After that, I didn’t think anything else of the conversation until around November. I had tried dating a few other people, and nothing had worked out thus far, leading me to once again end up on Tinder. I was going through my old matches and ended up messaging Tyler again, and the conversation flourished. Talking to him was so refreshing, and I was left stunned that I had almost let him slip by me. A classic case of the right person at the wrong time. In hindsight, I wasn’t ready for him the first time our paths crossed. 

After a few days of texting, and him finally asking for my number, we planned a date! I was over the moon beaming, walking around like I was on a cloud. I almost blew it again when I flaked last minute. A friend was having a boy crisis, and instead of going to pinball, I opted to instead comfort my friend and hang out with Tyler afterward. I rushed over after dinner, eager to once more apologize for canceling our date and even more so to finally meet the guy. The rest is history.

We started officially dating about a month later and hit our one-year anniversary on New Years Day of 2021. Nearly inseparable, we spend a lot of our time watching films, laughing and goofing off. My mom likes to call him the "yin to your yang." I am infinitely grateful that I have a man so kindhearted, genuine and unquestionably hilarious to share my world with.

Nearly every time I’ve had a friend react to me having met Tyler on Tinder, they find it arduous to believe due to the fact that we treat each other so well and have a stable relationship built on trust, understanding, love and mutual respect. They oftentimes continue on to share their Tinder horror stories with me and express their personal anxieties and sentiments of discouragement associated with being on apps like Tinder in college towns. This recurring conversation, in combination with me being the biggest simp in the world, has inspired me to write an article like this for Valentine’s week. 

Not every person out there on a dating app will be searching for love! It is an unpropitious reality. Before Tyler, I too had my fair share of Tinder date horror stories and creepy guys who refused to leave me be. It’s crucial to keep in mind that for every gross guy out there, there are genuinely good guys who are exploring for someone just like you. If I, the most anxious, anti-social and terrible-at-putting-herself-out-there person, can find her soulmate on TINDER of all places, I have no apprehension that every sole reader will discover your person somewhere too.

In the meantime, take care of yourself this Valentine’s Day! Love will come for you when it is meant to be, but I have no doubt it is already surrounding you in the form of friends, family and yourself.

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