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.

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How We Almost Became Strangers Again

“I don’t feel the same way anymore.” I told him that last Friday while we were having dinner with my college friends. We told them we were going for a walk, but truth is, we were just outside the restaurant trying our best to patch things up. He kept telling me he loved me, and I kept telling him “I don’t know”. (Actually, I did know. I was just being stubborn and didn’t want to get hurt again.) I was crying, and he teared up as well.

Before all this happened, we were definitely so in love and happy. He thinks its the happiest we’ve ever been. We were even daydreaming about going to Palawan on one of anniversaries when we were old enough and had saved up enough money. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? But just like on any roller coaster, when you first muster up the courage to take your seat, pull down the safety bar, and wait anxiously and painfully (with maybe tears streaming down your face) for the coaster to climb for what feels like an eternity, before you are swept away into a high and a mixture of happiness and vulnerability…  – we were there. We were in that struggle again. The only difference this time is, the tracks on this coaster we rode on seemed to be at a dead end before it reached the top.

He hurt me greatly, and I told him that I’ve had enough. Typical. I automatically built my wall again, which he was successfully able to tear down before. We took a break for a week. The first two days were terrible. I kept checking his twitter or facebook for updates, but on the third day, I got over it. I got scared that it was that easy for me to almost give up on this almost 2 year relationship, but I was frustrated and all my guards were up that I didn’t care.

He texted me on the fourth day at 5am. He texted so many messages simultaneously that the text tones created like a continuous alarm tone that eventually woke me up for work. His messages were heart felt and I finally knew what I was searching for on his twitter and facebook accounts, that he was hurting too. He texted a lot about how sorry he was, how he would change, and treat and love me the way that I deserve to be treated and loved. I kept replying that I wasn’t sure if we were going to be okay again or that I didn’t trust him anymore. I was scared. He kept telling me he loved me, but I couldn’t say it back just yet. I cried some more, and I think that he did too. He was all talk, so I really couldn’t completely see how sincere he was until he would deliver it with actions. I invited him to have dinner with my college friends and I on Friday to hopefully make things better.

I didn’t know what to expect or do when Friday came. I was 60% sure of forgiving him and 40% sure of just hiding behind my wall, trying to play all tough and out of love. My friends and I picked him up at St. Francis Square. At that time, my friends didn’t know that we were having problems. I didn’t want them to worry. He had yellow roses with him and wore a yellow polo top. He has never given me flowers just because in the whole time we’ve been dating. You knew he would do everything he could to win me back. My friends got all giddy, and I have to admit I did too, but again, I was stubborn and still behind my wall to show any emotion.

And now, we’re back to the beginning of this story. We talked, and I told him I didn’t feel the same way anymore. That wasn’t completely true. It was a constant dance between me holding his hand, and 5 minutes later, I would let go or me giving him a hug and 10 seconds later, I would look the other way with a complete blank stare on my face. One thing you should know about me, if I wanted to break up with someone already, I would’ve done it by the beginning of this story. I would’ve done it cold heartedly without caring for what the other person thinks or feels. But, this was different. In the words of Rachel Berry, “He was my person.”

After crying some what uncontrollably in the mall (luckily there weren’t many people around), I finally said what  we both needed to hear out loud, “We’re going to be okay, right? ” “Yes, we are.” We were like Hazel and Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars. “Okay” was our safe word. At the end, I listened to the 60%. 

We finally reached the top of the coaster, and dropped, holding each other’s hands. Excitement, thrill, adrenaline, and happiness were rushing through our veins as if that struggle to climb was nothing but a dream. We looked each other in the eye and smiled because we knew we were always going to be okay.