5 Reasons I'm Glad I Stayed on Tinder Until It Paid Off
Tinder gets a bad rap. It's a relatively shallow dating app that's earned a reputation for facilitating quick hookups, but not everyone on there is looking for cheap thrills. When I joined over two years ago, I wanted a relationship. Having just moved from 3,000 miles away, I didn't know a lot of people and it way an easy (and yes, fun) way to meet guys. Having said that, Tinder doesn't come without its share of frustrations — but then again, welcome to dating in general.
I can't speak for anyone else, but Tinder worked for me. Trust me, no one is as surprised as I am. Here's what happened and what I learned.
It made me patient.
Tinder wasn't my first foray into dating strangers. I started with OKCupid when I lived in New York, because all my (conveniently coupled up) friends told me to do it. Over my three years dating on websites and apps, you learn that instant gratification is not a real thing when it comes to dating. Yeah, you can message back and forth with a cute guy and get an adrenaline spike, but it's just temporary. Waiting for the right person who will make you happy for the long haul takes time — and it should.
It allowed me to explore new people.
I went on dates with guys I never would have come into contact with had I not been on Tinder. Were they all romantic connections? No, in fact out of the dozen or so guys I met for coffee, I only met one guy for a second date — the one I'm still with. I don't regret going on those dates and I don't view it as a waste of time. (OK, maybe it felt like a waste of time at the time.) Meeting new people is good! You sharpen your social skills and get outside your routine. I had just moved back to my hometown and it gave me something to do.
I reevaluated what I wanted.
We all have checklists in our heads about qualities we're looking for in a partner. This checklist is your enemy. Erase it, and scrub it out of your brain. What I was really looking for was someone I enjoyed spending time with. Someone I actually wanted to see again. Someone who I wasn't forcing myself to meet for a second date because maybe "attraction is something that grows over time." Wait for the guy who makes you genuinely smile, not the one with the Rolex who doesn't ask you any questions about yourself. (Side note: It's shocking how many guys ask you zero personal questions.)
I got to a breaking point.
Ironically, the date that I met my future fiancé was going to be my last Tinder date. The week before, I had met up with a guy who was fine enough, but I just didn't click with. That's the thing with online dating; it's not like the majority of dates are terrible experiences, it's that a lot of them are just so-so. You meet and despite your text rapport, you don't really jive, so you say goodbye. I was ready to take a break from dating, but this guy was being persistent about meeting up. "Fine," I thought. "One more." That's when it happened.
It allowed me to appreciate this guy.
I met Blake for coffee on a Monday. I invited him to a movie on Tuesday, we went for a walk on Friday, and met at the farmers market for breakfast on Sunday. I knew when he picked me up at my mom's house (where I was living) for dinner the following Thursday that he was "the one." He's the one person I wanted to see again and again, and I am shocked on a daily basis that not only do I love him, I like him. I want to be around him. He's not a weirdo (well, he is) or a jerk or a boring person. We have things in common and we teach each other about new things. I know so much more about comics and board games than I ever thought possible, and likewise, he now knows who Blue Ivy is. It's been two years since our first date, and we recently got engaged.
Dating can be a painful, demoralizing process. It can make you feel lonely and like you might die alone in your condo someday, but it can also lead you to the right person. Then again, you could meet the person of your dreams on your first Tinder date — Blake did, the lucky bastard.