I didn’t know what to expect with Tinder, but watching all my friends get cuffed one by one made me feel like I should take a bigger risk. After all, what is there to expect? The boys on Tinder are probably not looking for what I am looking for. This app is superficial. How the hell are you supposed to find something real when everything is limited? I’ve never been about this kind of dating. Behind those clever (or sometimes, lacking), bios and filtered pictures, there’s a person there. But how can you tell?
I had originally gotten Tinder to mess around and see what kind of weird people were on there. Everyone I knew from school was an automatic swipe left. Sometimes I would swipe right when I see a cute guy with a bio that didn’t make him sound like a douchebag, but I’d immediately regret those swipes when I get an unwanted pic without even a hi. Days went on. A few swipes left, a few swipes right. A handful of conversations that lasted a few hours, some that lasted a day. Another handful of guys that got blocked. I was about to delete this app, when someone in particular caught my attention.
I stumbled upon the profile of a guy with a cute smile. I don’t know how to feel. His bio was just like the rest of them. He had something douchey about motorcycles and working out. But something about this one made me feel like I should take the chance, so I took a risk.
Days pass by. I get notifications about all kinds of guys matching with me; all except the notification I want to see. I felt stupid, waiting for a guy who is probably just like the rest on this snake pit of a dating app. Maybe it’s my bio? “Possible social experiment”, it read. Obviously, it’s a joke. Did people think I was some kind of Catfish? Like, swiping right would make Nev show up with a camera on their front door.
Then finally, a match.
“So this is a social experiment, what kind?”
What seemed like minutes was actually hours spent in a dim room with the light of my phone reflecting my wide, 3AM grin. Do I want to meet this boy? Maybe. For all I know, he could be some weird old man. I’d need something to prove he isn’t a creep. The last thing I want is to end up as another face on a milk carton.
After a reassuring Snapchat of his face, we decided to meet at a Thai restaurant. At first, the awkward Tinder-induced silence struck, and I found myself talking a lot. He was noticeably quiet. Was intimidated? Am I intimidating? But after dessert, I found myself in the comfort of a guy I can relate to. Finally, this whole Tinder experiment paid off.
And just like that, the deal was sealed with a kiss.
It’s been a year and a half since that night. We’ve endured 8 months of a long distance relationship. Is it easy? Hell no. But when you got a guy like Tomas, you make it work. Relationships are about finding a middle ground that transcends what society sees as the ‘norm’. Whenever someone brings up the idea of a long distance relationship, it is always assumed that it won’t work out. Will it? Will it not? It’s not really for anyone to tell. But the only thing I know for sure is that we love each other enough to be willing to struggle a little and make things work.
There are nights we spend on the phone. There are nights when I had to ignore him for a while because college was dragging me to the filth. Then there are the nights when it becomes so unbearable to be without him.
Looking back on meeting him, I feel like a crazy person for having met my boyfriend on Tinder. How many swipe lefts did it take before I met the perfect swap right? Sometimes the best memories are made when we take the biggest risks. You won’t always get what you’re looking for behind those VSCO filters and superficial bios, but if you’re willing to wait, it will come.
To this day, I still get butterflies when I think about him; the same sensation swiping right.