breaking stigmas around dating apps

I Met My Fiancé On A Dating App, And Our Love Couldn't Be More Real Life

I found someone who has helped me become my best self, encourages my walk with God and loves me unconditionally by swiping left.

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My fiance and I met on Bumble.

We texted for about a month before we ever went on our first date, but once we met in person, there was no looking back. It's crazy to think about the fact that we probably would have never crossed paths had it not been for us both choosing to download a dating app.

Some people, even my friends, said to me warnings like, "do you really think that you're going to meet a good person on one those?" I always thought to myself, "Well I'm on there, aren't I?" Even though I really didn't feel like what I was doing was wrong, I sometimes tried to hide that I was on dating apps. I just never knew how someone would react to it. I think it's incredibly important be extremely cautious when meeting people online. You really never know who you could be taking to. It's sounds weird, but you get used to doing the most to figure out who someone is.

I was always open with my family about being on Bumble, so when it was easy to tell them when I met Trent.

Off the bat, we didn't tell everyone we met on a dating app, for fear that people would question the legitimacy of our relationship. We knew of the stigma that these apps strictly for "hooking up." But I found someone who has helped me my best self, encourages my walk with God and loves me unconditionally by swiping left.

Eventually, we just decided to be open about it. We told everyone when they asked how we met.

Of course, there were some shocked responses. But the interesting thing was, the more we told people, the more we found out how many more couples met through Tinder, Bumble and even Instagram direct messages. People were so excited to tell us that's how they met, too. Mostly because they also had experienced the same judgmental comments and pressure to hide the start of their love story.

These days I don't think twice before I tell someone how Trent and I met.

I wouldn't change our story for the world. Truthfully, I know so many people who have met their partners on dating apps. And they're all incredible people. So before you judge your friend for being on a dating app, think about the wonderful person they are, and the fact that maybe, there's another person just as wonderful waiting to match with them.

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To The Toxic Relationship I Was Afraid To Let Go Of

To my younger self... I'm sorry.
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As time goes on the question that echoes in my mind is: "why?" Why did I let someone who was so undeserving have my love, time, and affection?

We all like to think that we have what it takes to mend the damage someone carries, but the fact of the matter is we don't. Hurt people, hurt people – and it was only when I tried to heal a bruised heart mine became the one in trouble. When you're young, vulnerable and under someone's spell you don't realize that you shouldn't have to rip yourself apart to keep someone else whole. I was scared of losing someone I didn't really have and I thought it was better to have someone halfway than not at all.

The irony of it all is that I grew up in a healthy environment. I have two parents who love my sister, each other, and myself unconditionally. They practice the same values they preach, some of which being loyalty, forgiveness, and how important it is to love each other despite the flaws that consume us. Those values were engraved so deep in my heart and soul I couldn't recognize when enough was enough or when to pull back and that just because I displayed these traits didn't mean they would be reciprocated. It took me a while to figure out I had to draw the line of determination from desperation.

It was a bittersweet realization when I looked up from my treacherous journey only to see it led me to a dead end, but I have never felt so liberated.

There's no denying I came out of the storm a different person and most definitely with a different heart. There were so many important lessons learned, both good and bad but the one thing that's for certain is it took me getting lost to find myself. You don't fully understand what you deserve until you experience something you don't. I learned the importance of self-worth and how crucial it is to not beat yourself up over the "coulda, shoulda, woulda's." I learned that in order to love someone, you have to start with yourself.

I know I'm not the only one who experienced this and I know I'm not the only one who wanted to figure it out on my own terms, but what I do know is that no one deserves it. I'm in my twenties now and still unsure of the actual meaning of love, but I know with absolute certainty that what I felt then was not it. I have so much growing, learning, and experiencing to do – and I fully intend on taking only those who deserve to be with me on my journey. No more and no less.

Everyone's story is different but the one thing they have in common is that we get to decide whom we share our stories with and how they make us feel. You never know which page your story will end with, so make sure it would be one you would be happy with. I urge every single one of you to rid yourself of people who do more harm than good. Life isn't forever.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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12 You Should Know About Your Significant Other After You've Been Dating 12 Months Or More

You have multiple food orders memorized.

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Dating someone for a year+ means that you are bound to know things you might not have known in the early months of the relationship. You also might act differently than you did at the beginning of the relationship.

Here are 12 things you know when you've been dating for over a year.

1. Clothing size, shoe size

This one you can probably be able to figure out early in the relationship. But, you start to keep in the back of your mind and think of that person when you see clothes or a pair of shoes they might like.

2. You can guess what they are going to text back

Especially if it is just a casual conversation about nothing in particular. You know their go-to responses.

3. You have multiple food orders memorized

Their food orders, of course.

4. You have that one TV show you can put on and neither of you will complain

And that is "The Office."

5. You don't get jealous

How could you have lasted in a relationship for over a year and not have any trust?

6. You know likes and dislikes

And can assume if they are going to like or dislike something.

7. You got a LONG Snapstreak

474 day streak over here.

8. Their successes make you just as happy as it makes them

Seeing your significant other do well and accomplish something great is just as rewarding as if you had done the same.

9. Your friends are his friends and his friends are your friends

And you can all hang out together.

10. You have your favorite restaurants

That we always end up going to.

11. You've met everyone in the family and extended family

And you feel like part of the family.

12. You know extremely personal things about each other

That you would not necessarily share with the public.

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