As a bride-to-be, I’m obsessed with all things weddings. This means I’m watching every typical wedding show from ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ to checking Style Me Pretty on the daily. What gets me invested in these stories is the story of the couple. Whether they’re high school sweethearts or met at work or on the subway, I’m a sucker for a romantic story. Then there’s my fiance and I. We met on Tinder.
Nowadays, when someone asks me where we met, I don’t even hesitate to tell the truth. When we first started dating, we felt like we had to hide the fact that we met on Tinder. We didn’t want people to judge us or question whether or not our relationship would last. You would not believe the looks we still sometimes get when we tell the story of how we met.
It was December of 2014 and I had just moved to New York state to start my first big girl job, basically fresh out of college. My fiance was in his first year at the United States Military Academy at West Point. I had used the app in college for fun so I figured what better way to meet new people or at least find recommendations for restaurants and things to do than Tinder? We matched pretty quickly and chatted a bit within the app but it was February of 2015 before we actually exchanged phone numbers. My fiance tried his hardest to get me to meet up with him and me, being the anxiety filled person I am, wasn’t having it. I’m not sure what came over me but in March, I finally agreed.
It was a rainy, cold Friday night when I picked him up for the first time. I pulled into a roundabout type parking area and waited for him to show up. I didn’t know it then but that would be the first of many times I would pick him up in that location. We didn’t even go on a typical date. It was more of a “Let’s hang out and see how this goes” type of deal to start off with. Being a first year at West Point, he could only go five miles away at the time so we went to a local ice cream shop and I bought myself a scoop. The rest of the night, we spent in my car next to a pond in a local park. I remember looking at the dash clock and thinking “Okay, one more hour” and before I knew it we had talked for nearly five hours and it was almost time for him to be back in his dorm. Contrary to popular belief, we didn’t hook up either.
I don’t even remember what we spent all that time talking about. All I can really remember is the way I felt around him. Calm, complete, like my soul had found a place to finally land. When I think back to those romantic relationship stories, how the girl wasn’t sure about the boy until many years later, or how the two were best friends but couldn’t imagine each other romantically, I can’t help but laugh. For me, it was instant. I can’t explain to you what happened that night, or because of an app better known for hookups than building solid relationships, but something clicked that night for us.
I guess the reason I’m sharing this is because I’m tired of girls (and guys) feeling ashamed for putting themselves out there on Tinder. It’s true that I had my fair share of cheesy pick up lines and unsolicited dick pics before I met my fiance but we’re proof that you can find the best in even the most unusual of circumstances. Are we that afraid of love that we keep ourselves from using something just for the fun of it? More importantly, why are we shaming girls (and guys) for being brave enough to put themselves out there, even if it is through a dating app? Regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a relationship or a hook up, it takes guts to sign up for something like Tinder.
That’s why I share our story, with a laugh, a smile, and sometimes even a shrug. Because where we met isn’t a big deal. I could make up some lavishly romantic story akin to the high school sweethearts and sorority/fraternity couples of the world but I don’t want to. Instead, I want to use our story to inspire this and future generations to be brave and to put yourself out there. At the end of the day, what matters is your relationship and the future you want together. Where you met is just a sidenote.
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