Tinder: The Real Dating Experience

Tinder: The Real Dating Experience

Because I had absolutely nothing to lose.

Okay ladies, let’s talk Tinder.

I was first introduced to Tinder my senior year of high school. At my small, private boarding school the pool of guys to choose from was more or less the same for four years straight, so I’m not surprised my peers decided to broaden their horizons. None of my friends really used Tinder for dating, but rather to see what hot guys they could match with, or to get a laugh from the ridiculous messages sent by immature high schoolers (asking ‘DTF’ is sooo last year).

Me, being the romantic that I am, still believed in the genuineness of meeting someone in person, so I refused to download the app. Gradually though, the allure of Tinder started growing on me after spending weeks watching my friends match with man after man, and reading message after message. So, come senior spring I downloaded the app and decided to try it out for myself. After finding the selection of men to be rather sparse in the rural setting I was swiping in, the app lay dormant on my phone for four months.

Fast forward to September of my first year in college, where I traded the suburbs for bright lights and the big city. Here, I found that almost everyone I knew used Tinder and (shockingly) went on dates. My preconception of online dating was that it was mainly for lonely adults aged 30 and over (thanks eHarmony). I was shocked to find that an entire generation was changing social norms of online dating. After deciding to reopen the Tinder app, I found myself becoming slowly addicted. My matches were piling up, and the date requests were pouring in. Still, I was too embarrassed of Tinder to go on an actual Tinder date.

I spent so long swiping left that my thumbs would cramp, and my virtual standards for Tinder were obnoxiously higher than in real life (it is the internet, after all though). After turning down copious amounts of men, I finally found a guy that seemed perfect. He was a fellow science major from ENGLAND (hello British accent) interning at Harvard (husband material) for the summer. After some witty lines and generic "getting to know you" questions, we ended up texting on a daily basis for a few weeks. By coincidence, I found out that we attended the same concert at symphony hall the day we matched on Tinder. I took this as a sign, and when he asked to go on a date I gladly accepted.

Since he was new to the city, I ended up having to plan our date. This was fine by me because I could plan for a worst case scenario, along with planning to my comfort zone. Our busy schedules only allotted for a casual Friday night dinner, which was later changed to a stroll through a local museum. This made my Tinder guy seem even more perfect because, shockingly, drinks, clubbing, and "Netflix and chill" hold little appeal for me.

On the day of our date I was more tired than nervous, but that was mostly due to the 47 hours I had spent in class or at work that week. This combined with the fact that I was going on an essentially blind date made me decide early on that I wasn't going out of my way for looks. I donned a casual dress, sandals, a cardigan, and did my makeup the same as always. I wasn't planning on trying too hard for my Tinder man. While walking to our date, my biggest fear toggled between him looking vastly different from his pictures, and me being catfished.

I decided to get to the museum early to settle my nerves and observe my surroundings in case I had to find a way to escape our date, should things turn sour. While inventing a code word with my friend to let her know that I made it home safely, the moment we had all been waiting for happened: my date showed up.

Meeting him face to face for the first time made me realize how tall he truly was (roughly 6'3" to my 5'2" stature), and how he was the spitting image of his profile pictures (hallelujah). After getting past the initial awkwardness, our conversation started flowing naturally. He was really sweet and definitely interesting to talk to. I also loved the museum as a first date because any awkward silences could easily be masked as admiring the artwork.

While talking to him was nice, I wasn't feeling a connection beyond possible friendship. We stayed in the museum for about two hours, and then after he asked if I wanted to go for coffee or dessert. I knew he wanted to spend more time together but something was lacking for me, so I instead suggested that we start walking back.

On our nighttime stroll, I made the mistake of mentioning that his T station was very close to my dorm. From there, he started a train of thought that I quickly shut down with a few friendly words. But, in hindsight, I feel as if telling him my favorite exhibit was 'Art of the Ancient World' was a mistake because of all the phallic references found in their art, and the copious amounts of naked statues. I probably set myself up for that.

From there our walk back seemed slightly more uncomfortable, and I was glad the date was almost over. We stopped at an intersection to say goodbye and he went in for a hug, which I was thankful for.

I didn't text him after our date, and he hasn't texted me.

Reflecting on my experience, I can finally understand why my friends go through phases of installing and uninstalling Tinder, and I’m tempted to follow suit. While Tinder doesn’t deserve the bad rep it has, it originally started as a hookup app, so be aware and know what could be in store for you. With technology’s constant evolution, apps like Tinder will continue to pop up and change the way we meet new people. It is becoming more and more socially acceptable to go on online dates, regardless of your age demographic, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes life and work gets in the way, impeding us from finding guys on our own time. While I won't be going on anymore Tinder dates anytime soon, I won’t say that I’ll never do again.

Cover Image Credit: Wired.com

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To the Man Who Said I Need to Be Nicer

... If I ever wanted to find a husband.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry your ego is so small that me being 'not being nice' to you has disrupted your archaic way of thinking: that a woman's only purpose is to please a man. I'm sorry that you think the only possible reason I was 'mean' to you was because I'm taking out my "same-sex attraction" out on you. I'm so sorry that you are so full of yourself that you couldn't possibly think that maybe you and your sexist remarks are the problem. I am so sorry that no woman has ever told you how arrogant, condescending, and misogynistic you really are.

I'm sorry that I lead you to believe that the only goal I have in life, as a 20 year old college student, is to find a husband. I'm sorry that instead of preparing myself to be a good little house wife, I learned how to have a mouth on me. I'm sorry I'm not the quiet, small, petite, nice girl you think I should be.

I'm sorry that you went your whole life thinking women were supposed to soft little flowers every single waking second of their life. I'm sorry no one told you women aren't soft spoken, Disney princesses. I'm sorry that despite being around women your whole entire life, you have no idea how to interact with one that doesn't like you. I'm sorry you live under this illusion that you are God's gift to man kind and women should fall right at your feet.

But lets be real. I'm so not sorry.

I'm not sorry that I don't care what you think. I'm not sorry that I'm not some ditsy air head that feels ever so lucky to be in a mans presence. I'm not sorry that I'm smart enough to correct you when you're wrong. I'm not sorry I'm that I intimidate you. I'm not sorry that I'm well-educated. I'm not sorry that you feel threatened by a strong independent woman.

I'm not sorry that finding a husband at my age (which, again, is 20) is not my number one priority. I'm not sorry that I think finding myself and being single when I'm young is a great plan. I'm not sorry that I would rather get my degree than be married right now. I'm not sorry that I would rather spend Friday nights hanging out with my friends than stay home to make a man a sandwich while doing his laundry.

I'm not sorry that you're offended by this article. I'm not sorry that I don't like you, or other guys that act exactly like you. I'm not sorry that I can see through your "nice guy" facade, and know how big of a pompous creep you really are.

This is not hate piece on all men. This a hate piece on you.

Have fun finding a wife.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.alphr.com/technology/1000773/the-uncomfortable-truth-about-sexism-in-tech

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21 Days Of Heartbreak

Journal entries recording 21 days after a breakup

If you’ve ever experienced heartbreak then you understand that it’s some of the worst pain there is, but you also understand that you learn so much from it. Writing gave me a way to express my emotions in a very real and honest way and it helped me to eventually heal from that pain. I recorded 21 days of journal entries after breaking up with the first person I ever fell in love with and I decided to publish it because even though at the time I felt like no one could understand what I was going through, I now realize that there are tons of people out there who can relate to how i was feeling. The message I want to send is one of the hope, love and faithfulness that God offers us even in the toughest seasons.

Day 0: I cried all my makeup off before work today, then you surprised me at my doorstep with three yellow roses and three red ones. We kayaked on the reservoir and then watched the sun go down on our dock and held each other like it would last forever. You texted me "I love you always. until next time my best of friends" and I answered with "I love you forever." I do.

Day 1: I woke up to the white noise of your phone call after crying until 3 am with you on the line, then I cried for 2 more hours. I spent the day with friends and everyone wanted to go to Applebee's, but I couldn't go because we had just been there Monday night and you let me order my two favorite appetizers. I couldn't look at that table where we sat without my heart splitting.

Day 2: We said goodbye until September 7 because we both needed time alone; I'm counting down the days. I kept my phone on ring tonight in case you called, even though I knew you wouldn't… then I cried my heart out until I could fall asleep.

Day 3: I didn't wake up crying this morning, even though my dreams were about you. I didn't cry until the song we slow danced to at prom came on the radio. Another boy called me beautiful today and it didn't mean anything because it didn't come from you.

Day 4: I woke up from a dream about you and I could feel you with me again. Also seeing pictures of happy couples makes my heart just crumble because that should be us.

Day 5: I was driving near your house tonight and it took everything in me not to pull into your driveway and knock on your door just to feel you hold me again.

Day 6: I told you that I missed you today and you answered as if we were friends, not in love anymore, and my heart shattered into pieces and I cried until I could fall asleep.

Day 7: I woke up at 4 am and wished I was in your arms. During the daytimes, I've been okay, but at night time I lay in my bed and wish you still wanted me. It makes my heart break.

Day 8: I think you went to our favorite Starbucks yesterday. I haven't been able to go because it makes me too sad.

Day 9: The beautiful flowers you gave me are dying now, so I have to throw them away before college but I saved petals from them.

Day 10: I had a dream that my house was flooding and I had to take as many things with me as I could carry. I took your box of letters and polaroids with all my most important belongings.

Day 11: I got on a plane and flew a thousand miles away from you today. I don't think you know how hard it was for me not to call you one last time last night.

Day 12: You were in my dreams again tonight and I kept accidentally calling you babe and you were telling me it's ok, but it wasn't.

Day 13: Today we drove in the pouring rain and I thought about how when you're driving and you can't really see what's ahead when you drive under a bridge and there is some clarity and security and everything stops. Being with you was being under a bridge, but now it's pouring on me again.

Day 14: I kept thinking of the night we said goodbye and how you wanted to kiss me one last time and I didn't let you. I wanted to only remember the happy kisses, no goodbyes. I couldn't stop thinking about how you let me just walk away and how you said goodnight for the last time and I cried until I could sleep again.

Day 15: I had a dream that you wanted me back last night. It's been 2 weeks since we broke up, but it feels like I haven't seen you in forever. I miss holding your hand.

Day 16: I wanted to bring you back something from vacation, but I couldn't really find anything. I miss you. You look like you're doing really well and you're really happy.

Day 17: You gave me all this happiness and love, then you took it all away from me and it's not fair. I have to get up every day and pretend that I'm okay with the fact that I loved someone with everything I could and it wasn't enough for him to stay with me and it's not ripping my heart into pieces even weeks later. I cried until i could sleep again, for hours. Until i felt like i had no more tears left.

Day 18: I got to my new home in Lakeland and it's perfect and I love it, but it still doesn’t really feel like home without you.

Day 19: I moved in and hung a photo of us from New Years on my wall because you're too important to not be in one of the pictures.

Day 20: I actually forgot to write to you this day.

Day 21: They say it takes 21 days to break a habit and I don't think of you so much anymore. I don't leave my phone on ring at night anymore either.

Day 184: I’m finally happy without you. I’m so happy and content and it feels good.

Heartbreak is sad and it can be lonely and so hard some days, but it has taught me that there is always hope and these things don’t last forever. Although it took more than 21 days, one of the biggest things I’ve come to realize is that seasons of heartbreak and loneliness are only temporary because there is always victory in Christ. Romans 8:38 tells us that “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” - we are MORE than conquerors! We are overwhelmingly victorious because God is so much greater than the lies that heartbreak feeds us. Lies like “I’m not enough," “I did something wrong," “If he didn’t love me then who will?” - God is greater than any doubt or any fear. He’s greater than toxic relationships, lust and rejection.

No matter what season of life you’re in, I just want to encourage you! Throughout every season of life whether it’s a time of joy or sadness, God remains faithful and patient with us. How lucky are we to receive a never ending love from the One who knows every part of us? God sees the good, the bad and the ugly and His love never wavers. He allows us to endure seasons with a purpose and He promises to carry us through it all.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Jicha

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