Being Picky On Tinder

Being Picky On Tinder

Yes, I'm on Tinder. Sorry, mom.
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Confession: I’ve swiped to the end of Tinder. In a college town. With thousands of people my age. Multiple times.

You might say I’m picky. To give you an idea of how picky, a few weeks ago, I was joking around with my roommates about it and I wrote a list of my Tinder turnoffs and deal breakers. The grand total? 40.

You read that right. 40 things about a guy on Tinder that will make me swipe left. And those are just things I’ve come across. I’m sure there are more that I just haven’t realized yet. That said, if I like you, you’re probably pretty awesome.

Granted, not every single one of these items was 100 percent serious. I won’t actually refuse to be with someone I really like just because he doesn’t like cats (not liking Disney or the Yankees, though, is another story).

I’ve theorized since joining Tinder about why I’m so picky. Maybe it’s because I’ve been single long enough to know what I’m looking for. Maybe it’s because I’m non-committal. Maybe it’s because I’m just a good enough judge of character to see through six pictures of a guy with his car.

Some people have said I’m wasting my time, and sometimes I think they’re right. I know it’s not realistic to expect a relationship out of Tinder, and I’m not a fan of random hookups. I’m also a hopeless romantic, so the idea of digital dating isn’t exactly my cup of tea. All of this begs the question, is this even worth my time?

The answer? I have no idea. But what I do know is that there are things I’ve learned from Tinder that have nothing to do with relationships. Maybe I’m defeating the purpose of the whole idea, but there are perks to being as picky as I am, even if they have nothing to do with finding a guy.

Tinder has given me the confidence to talk to new people. Despite what many of my friends think, I’m painfully shy and have a very hard time meeting people. I’ve always tended to gravitate toward people I’ve known for a long time, which made Tinder super intimidating in the beginning. After having conversations with a few matches, though, I felt more comfortable recognizing that they’re just people, and we’re just talking.

It’s taught me to value people over attention. There have been times when my profile has been super-liked, and my first instinct has been to swipe right, because how often does that happen? In many ways, though, that wouldn’t be fair to the other person. If I like them, sure, I’ll swipe right. But what if we have nothing in common? What if we live completely different lives and have completely different values? Doesn’t he deserve the respect of not having his time wasted? Doesn’t he deserve the dignity of being liked for who he is, not for the attention he gives?

More importantly, being on a platform where people are actively seeking romantic connections has forced me to examine what my standards are and what I really need in a partner. In a way, Tinder has played a vital role in my journey of learning how to be single. It’s helped me to recognize what I have to offer in a relationship, and to be selective with the people I give it to. It’s OK to say no to someone. It’s OK not to give that attention to someone just because they like you.

I’ve also avoided connecting with people who I know will not help me to be the best person I can be. I’ve had nothing but positive conversations with people I’ve met, and have managed thus far to bypass the people who give Tinder a bad name.

Now, none of this is to say that all the people I swipe left for aren’t good enough. It is also not to say that using Tinder for casual meet-ups and not caring whether you have anything in common is a bad thing. Everyone is on Tinder for a different reason, and that’s perfectly OK.

I may not have found love on Tinder, but I have had nothing but positive experiences with the people I’ve talked to. Settling for less than you know you need has never done anyone any good. Maybe I’m being shallow; maybe it shouldn’t matter if a guy uses the wrong form of “there” in his bio (okay, that one’s actually non-negotiable for me, sorry).

I have a guy friend who has says that girls shouldn’t complain about being single or not being able to find a guy to hook up with. As long as they’re willing to lower their standards, offers will come pouring in. Maybe that’s true. Maybe if I was willing to sacrifice some of my expectations, being on Tinder would be much more fruitful. The fact remains, though, I’ve gotten more out of Tinder by being picky than by lowering my standards for the sake of validation.

Cover Image Credit: silentjourney.com

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

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2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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An Open Letter To My Amazing Boyfriend On Our Two Year Anniversary

Here is to the past two years and the many to come! Our story!

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Dear Sam,

This is a little tribute to Sam and I's story, how we met, and some of the most amazing things that have happened over the past two years!

Two years ago today at the time of 10:25 am made April 25, 2017, the day that I would cherish and remember forever. My boyfriend and my best friend, Sam asked me to be his girlfriend after Spanish class, which was the class we had together. Sam was a senior in high school and I was just a junior, we had Spanish class together in the morning, every day.

But how did this all happen?

Where it all began, Sam and I had Spanish class together, we had never said a word to each other, I knew his name, saw that he was cute, and loved his laugh. Lost in confusion in that class we continuously looked across the room at each other and laughed and made weird confused faces. We played a study game in class called Kahoot, both of our goals was to win and beat out the other on the leaderboard. He usually won.

Then there was social media which played a little roll in how we started talking, in the early weeks of March 2017, I put my Snapchat on my Instagram story because I had a major crush on Sam and wanted to see what would happen. After the 24 hours of it being on my story, nothing happened, so then I went and put it in my Instagram bio and just left it there. Two whole weeks later, I got a notification on my phone saying that Sam had added me on Snapchat. I freaked out (that is a bit of an understatement) and added him back.

I was shocked and thought he must have been looking at my Instagram. I waited a few hours and decided on March 16, 2017, that I would send the first Snapchat, it said "Don't forget to wear green (with a green heart)", this seems really random, I know, but there is a reason behind it, the next day was St. Patricks day and our Spanish teacher said that if the entire class wore green we didn't have to take the quiz, we all needed this, so I just wanted to make sure he didn't forget.

At this point, all I knew was there was this super cute guy in my class, who I liked a lot.

After Snapchatting for a little less than a month, and to be honest not ever talking in person because we were nervous and cheesy, I walked into Spanish class on April 7th, 2017, to Sam dressed in a blue button-up shirt and a pink bow-tie (which he says was for baseball) holding a poster that read "Will you rock with me to prom but before will you rock with me to the Zac Brown Band concert?" Of course, I said YES!

Promposal 2017 Photo by Molly Hudson

Now not only was I going to prom with this amazing guy that I had never talked to before in person, but he also found the way to my heart, with what is now one of my favorite bands, Zac Brown Band.

Still communicating on Snapchat, one night I was Snapchatting him as my sister was driving a friend home, I told him that I was running out of data and couldn't Snapchat right then, he responded saying he was too, which made no sense because he was at home, but at the time I believed it, (we both were not running out of data we just wanted each others number), once we had each others number, the rest of our story kind of all fell into place.

A week or so later I invited him to come with my friends and me to go bowling, he agreed, and this was the very first time we hung out and even talked in person.

Our first date: I was out at a birthday dinner on April 23, 2017, for my friend and when I got home I got a text from Sam saying "I am coming to pick you up, what is your address, let's go get ice cream?" To say I had butterflies in my stomach or that I was nervous is an understatement, I had never had a conversation with him just him and I, what was I going to say?

He got to my house, HE CAME TO THE FRONT DOOR, we got in the car, and drove to Sweet Republic, a local ice cream place not too far away, it was a little quiet because it was quite obvious that we were both nervous. We got to Sweet Republic, Sam got mint chocolate chip, and I got brownie swirl, we ate the ice cream talked, and played games, at Sweet Republic they have games, we played a couple of different ones. This has become our spot, every time we are home together we make it a tradition to go.

Oooh the first kiss: Driving home from our first date on April 23, 2017 we arrived back at my house, he walked me up to my front door, I wasn't expecting anything, it was our first official date together, I went to unlock the door and say bye, and he grabbed my hand and pulled me back for our first kiss. It was great. That's all I am going to say.

Back in Spanish class on April 25, 2017, we had a normal class, but what happened after, is why I am writing this article, I walked out of Spanish, Sam and I would talk before I went to English which was my next class, right then he asked me to be his girlfriend, I said yes of course. Best. Day. Ever.

It was now two days before Prom, May 5th, 2017, we were headed to the Zac Brown Band concert, he picked me up from my house and met my parents for the first time. The concert was so fun, the best concert that I have been to, I may be biased, I mean going with Sam was definitely a plus and made the concert so memorable.

May 7, 2017, was our first prom together, Sam showed up to my house dressed in his all black suit with "Champagne" colored tie and vest to match my black and "Champagne" dress, with his parents and his sister, so not only was it prom I was also meeting his family, I was nervous, but looking back on it now, I wouldn't have changed the timing of it all, what so ever. His family was so nice and welcoming, made me feel like part of the family right away. To make this short his family is amazing and I love them. We had the most amazing time at prom, danced the night away at the Phoenix Children's Museum and lived up to the prom 2017 theme, "Forever Young."

"our wedding party" running joke....Photo by Molly Hudson

After less than a month of dating, Sam told me he would be going to college in Ohio, although I knew this was far, I didn't think much of it. The thought of not doing long-distance never crossed my mind, we tried not to think of it throughout the summer, we just made the most of all of the time we had together. I was and still am proud of him, he was going to follow his dream and study business management.

The night that we said bye and you left for your freshman year of college, was one of the hardest days of my life, at this point we had only been dating for four months almost five, I don't think I have ever cried so hard in my life, it felt like everything was being ripped away from me, I am not exaggerating when I say I felt like I couldn't breathe, my heart ached. We are a few weeks away from completing our second year of long-distance. We have done what many wouldn't even try to do.

From my two trips to Ohio to visit, exciting winter breaks together, Valentine's day when he said he was coming home for my senior prom, lots of country concerts, trips and hikes, and so much more, life with Sam is more than I could have ever imagined possible. Although long-distance isn't always easy, we are killing it!

To our families and parents, thank you for believing in us, and helping us through one of the hardest things we have to do right now, thank you for showing us what love is, and continuing to ensure our confidence that we can do this. We love you!

To Sam, thank you for being my best friend, my biggest supporter, and my whole world. Thank you for all of the laughs, the thousands of FaceTime calls and for making me feel like the most amazing girl in the world, I am the luckiest girl to have such an amazing guy like you in my life. I love you! Happy 2 years, here is to many more amazing years to come.

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