One Year After

**Late post

At around 11pm on January 8, 2016, Dad, after enduring constant chest pains, breathed his final labored breath. I can only describe that night to be unexpected as a few hours before 11pm, he was telling all of us that the day after, we’d still get to talk to him although he won’t be able to reply evidently because of the tube down his throat. Now that I think about it, after watching mom cry and hear her ask dad if he wanted to go already, he, at his last few hours alive, still remained courageous and managed to furrow his forehead at the thought of giving up. He didn’t want to be defeated. Not for us (and I mean all of us). Aside from the old woman who came up to me and said that the same thing happened to her husband a few days prior and yet, was still able to evade the unspeakable, dad fighting gave me hope. Sabi nga nila na masakit talagang umasa. 

I’m not one to easily remember things. At some point in my life when I was younger, I used to forget my moms’ birthday. To my surprise, I can play that day from start to finish without missing a thing. I can even remember what snacks I bought at 7/11 before heading to the hospital. (two Side-Winder gummy worms and two Loaded chocolate packs)

For a year already, I’ve played that night over and over in my head. If you’ve seen me gaze into the distance, that was probably what was going through my mind. I didn’t do it to make myself feel melancholic. No. In between all the chaos and stress, there were quick moments, such as tight squeezes dad made us feel on our hands as if to say, “Stop crying” or a big nod which I know meant, “I love you guys, too”, that were comforting and would easily put a small smile on my face.

You may be gone, Dad, but you have Mom, your five awesomely talented kids, and everyone you’ve touched and helped to always make sure that your legacy and memory will forever live on. I miss you very much, and I love you even more.

What do you expect? You met them on Tinder.

There is a general stigma that people open their Tinder app and swipe left or right in the hopes of finding someone to cuddle with at night (after of course the Rated R stuff), and that’s it. Of course, that was what the app was made for, but I believe that isn’t the case for everyone.

Whenever I mention to my friends that I met a guy on Tinder, they’d immediately give a mixed look or try to be as nonchalant as they can be. (Bless my college friends, though, who don’t make a big deal out of it.) What’s the difference? What’s the difference between me meeting a guy in a restaurant, bar, or grocery store from meeting him on Tinder? Personally, I don’t go on Tinder to get the “booty”. I downloaded the app because I wanted to prove to myself that there are people out there who can actually hold a decent, substantial conversation, have the same interests as I do, and basically, are the opposite from my ex-boyfriend in terms of personality. As cliché as it may seem, I didn’t want to mark that one failed relationship as the only kind of relationship out there. Moreover, I was just generally very curious.

Going back to the title, that comment stemmed off from an incident when my friend caught his girlfriend cheating. Before I elaborate, I would like to say first that no one deserves to be cheated on. However, it wasn’t the most solid relationship to begin with because my friend had cheated on his girlfriend already countless of times. They were together for over a year, and genuinely loved each other (as they continually say).

So, what does Tinder have to do with it? Does being on Tinder immediately mark you as someone incapable of having genuine connections with another person? Does it easily make you a target for poor relationship circumstances? Is Tinder an easy scapegoat that people cannot complain if they’ve had their hearts broken over it? I’ve had friends who had relationships with people they’ve met on Tinder, and just like any relationship goes, they were genuinely happy about it. Unfortunately, they’ve all broken up already, but I doubt it was because they found each other on Tinder. The only common reason that rises of why things didn’t work out is that they weren’t compatible enough as much as they would like to be. And that’s ok! It’s normal. It isn’t a Tinder curse.

It’s littered across the media, movies, TV shows, and even on Friday night gossip sessions with friends that someone out there is either cheating on their partner, getting laid, or just out on a date. I feel like it’s so unfair to blame an app that only came along a few years back on the existing infidelity (How could you?), hook-up culture, (Remember, #ConsentIsSexy) or just plain casual dating scene that usually people my age enter into.

Out of the hundred matches I’ve gotten on the app, I’ve only met up with three of them. One was completely a big no-no from the start. He wasn’t a creep or anything. He was just exasperating. The other two, however, were great. Nothing romantic stemmed out of it which is fine with me. I consider one of them to be my guy best friend now. We tell each other everything – from mundane things happening in our day, to juicy gossip, to serious things like politic and family dynamics, and random jokes thrown here and there. The other is getting on that level. We just kind of met.

What should I expect? Nothing, really. Neither should you. It’s just online dating for crying out loud. No app (or website) is going to change the dynamics of how complicated relationships are. I don’t think adding that aspect is going to change anything. If anything, it actually makes things easier. It’s quick and saves a lot of time. Next time anyone scoffs at your alleged poor dating choices, pity them. Apparently, they aren’t as mature and open as yourself.