I never thought I'd be typing this sentence. It's traumatic, really. Here goes.
Yes, I met my boyfriend online.
On one of the sketchier dating sites, in fact. Ahhh, Tinder, the notoriously designated "hook-up" app.
For some reason unbeknownst to me (in my new-relationship state of bliss), there is a negative connotation associated with online dating -- to the point that I am expected to be embarrassed to admit that that is where I met my significant other.
Instead, I find it funny.
Upon downloading Tinder, I never imagined it would actually lead to something. There is nothing romantic in swiping right based on a photo and maybe a sentence's worth of information. It's pretty superficial, to be honest. The only reason I even swiped right on my now-boyfriend is because his bio mentioned he played rugby -- a common interest. Plus he was the opposite of my normal type (tall, dark, scruffy) in terms of physical appearance. My normal type hadn't been working out too well. I figured I could use a blue-eyed, blonde-haired, all-American guy in my life.
But I didn't think it would actually happen. Little did I know, that flick of my thumb to the right would lead to a conversation on Tinder, then texting, then Snapchatting, then an actual date, and a second one... and well, you get the picture. Here we are over three months later. Because of a dating app with a terrible reputation.
So, in defense of online dating:
1. There's a big world out there -- why not expand yours? I always assumed I would meet someone in college, but I didn't, and then suddenly it was my senior year. I'm a huge believer in being compatible with multiple people in this world (not at once, obviously. Duh). Chances are there's one close who you just haven't crossed paths with, and if online dating can allow that to happen, then why not? Obviously use your judgment and be safe about it. Trust your gut. But honestly, not everyone on online dating is a psychopath. I'm 4 for 4 on meeting nice, normal guys (Well, maybe 3.5. But we won't go there).
2. Even if it doesn't lead to the love of your life, you've probably made a friend. I was on the east coast all summer and met two different guys from Tinder, both of which I spent time with over those months and keep in touch with today. It was never meant to be anything except a friendship, and I'm glad I met both of them even if it was through untraditional means. There's no hostility, no bitterness. Just two more people in my life. Harmless.
3. You have a clean slate. This person probably doesn't know much about you right away, and therefore the way you act during the first conversation, the first date, etc. can set the pace for the rest of the relationship. Obviously acting like someone you're not isn't a good idea. But pushing aside insecurities is. For example, I started the conversation with my now-boyfriend on Tinder. And asked him out for coffee. And kissed him. And told him I was falling in love with him. Not that I'm not normally one to make the first move, because I am to an extent. I just don't typically have as much confidence as I have had in this relationship, and it's because I started out on that note. I'm sure if I had given him two seconds to breathe, he would have acted on these as well. I just decided to act first.
4. You never know what can happen. Exhibit A: I've never been happier. I never knew a relationship should be so easy. I never knew someone could know me so completely and still want to be with me. Tinder led me to the healthiest, most reciprocated relationship I have ever been a part of, and there is nothing embarrassing about that.
In fact, I love online dating. I love Tinder. Thanks, Tinder.