I am a very fortunate woman. I have been gifted with an amazing and caring group of friends. So it should have been no surprise that they wanted to help me get back on the dating horse. It was made clear to me that they believed a life of solitude was no way to live and that there was a whole world of opportunities just waiting for me.
It was then that a colleague very excitedly urged me to set up a Tinder account. I had always been wary of dating sites, protesting very matter-of-factly, “I don’t need that. I’d rather meet someone in person.” The truth is, I’m a sucker for a good love story, and having to tell everyone that I met the person I’m dating through Tinder was just not going to satisfy my ‘how we met’ story. But feeling like I was in no position to be picky (ahem - just got dumped), I signed up. And it wasn’t terrible.
Tinder brought a whole new game to the court. It was no longer necessary that I spend hours getting ready and hit the bar/club scene, which at that point, I was so over. Instead, I could lounge in my robe, bun planted high in all of its glory with Top Chef on repeat as I literally shopped for potential suitors with the flick of my finger. This I could do. And it’s efficient; I went on two dates the first week I signed up. Despite the stigma that Tinder users are seeking quick hook-ups, there are a handful who are genuinely looking for a partner. I only base this on the fact that I have heard of successful Tinder matches.
My first date was lovely but I was approximately two feet taller than him. This wasn’t going to work - I just prefer a bigger man. My second date had to be the best looking man I’ve ever seen. He was a foreigner with thick dark brows, delicate olive skin, an incredible accent, and to my elation, he was taller than me even in my highest-heeled boots. Charming and full of wit. The type of conversationalist worthy of admiration. A couple of moscow mules later, he asked that I go over to his place and I obliged. Upon arriving, he forewarned me that his mother had been visiting and was staying at his place, so he wanted to make sure I wasn’t surprised if she was there. Call it woman’s intuition but I knew this man was lying to me and he was living with his mother. Deal breaker. He asked me to come upstairs and I declined politely and discretely requested an Uber. Without any notice, he went for it. I shut him down quicker than it had taken me to swipe right in the first place, and I proceeded to join my knight in shining armour (Melvin driving a Prius). I was not disgusted or offended because I knew that hooking up is the intention for many Tinder users. It’s sort of a ‘play at your own risk’ type of deal. The whole experience was actually quite amusing, but that was the last time I used the app.
Two days after that date, I went to a party alone. It was one of those burner-type parties intended for all attendees to unleash their inner tribal warrior. None of my friends were interested in going but I had the strong urge to go out and do something different, so I geared myself up and went alone to a party where I knew I would know no one. And I had an incredible time. In the midst of dancing carelessly like a child to the ambient music while having the most badass of view of Los Angeles, I felt a pair of honey-brown eyes on me. As if pulled by some force outside of myself, I walked over to him and we stayed glued to the hip the remainder of the night. It was so effortless: the conversation, the jokes, the dancing. I called off work the next day. This was the first time since the breakup that I genuinely had had a great time in the company of another man. It was the moment I knew that my heartbreak was finally settling down and that all the practices I was spending time doing to improve my emotional well being were finally beginning to pull at the edges of my coiled heart.
Having gone through such a crippling heartbreak, I approached dating differently. I wasn’t as initially vulnerable as I had been before; now I don’t allow people in as easily and I don’t get attached as quickly. So when honey-brown eyes and I parted ways, I wasn’t sad, instead was I glad our paths were able to cross. He played his role: to give me first-hand experience that I could be happy with someone else. It was exactly what I needed at the time.
What makes me most excited about these experiences is knowing that I have the capability to get excited about someone new. Only now, I just don’t get tied up about it. I am able to see things for what they are, rationalize, be honest with myself, and have the courage to voice my feelings. I didn’t have this before. I was very starry-eyed, infatuated with the idea of my past relationship. I am no longer the naive woman who had hoped love would take care of itself. Instead, I am the woman that realizes that life really does go on and that there are incredible people all around us. Whether it’s through Tinder, at crazy dress up parties or while walking your dog around your block, being open to them is key. Every moment brings with it its very own opportunity to change your life forever.