Relationships

My Experience with Tinder and Online Dating

For those of you who don’t know my story, my husband and I met on Tinder almost 3 years ago. If you’re not familiar with Tinder, it’s a dating app that connects you with endless profiles of possible matches and sometimes gives you hope but also slowly chips away at your hopes and dreams.

Ok that was dark but it can be the worst.

I know you and Conor met on Tinder but what was the process like for you? It seems frustrating and like a lot of effort with minimal returns.

Chances are the app has changed a little in the past 3 years and according to the 20-somethings I know, it’s all about Hinge right now. So I can share my experience and talk about online dating in general because our story is proof that it does work. I tried Bumble and Hinge for a day or two – both weren’t much of a thing yet. And Tinder was one of those things I’d do for a week and then delete my profile because I just couldn’t deal, so it was very on and off.

I have received so many messages from readers in their 20s and 30s who feel hopeless when it comes to dating. And I how hard it is to meet someone worthwhile who wants the same thing you do that you have a connection with and see a future with. The older I got, the less I wanted to settle.

Overall, I actually didn’t have that terrible of a time on Tinder minus feeling really meh about a couple of guys and dragging things on with one guy who clearly wasn’t interested but I convinced myself he was great anyway. Why do we do that? I met and dated three really nice guys pre-Conor, for about 3 months each. All good guys but just not for me. Two were so nice and clearly wanted a relationship but they just weren’t for me.

But yes, it is exhausting. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to meet someone for a drink when you just want to binge watch Friends while wearing anything other than real pants. And then you get to the bar or wherever you’re going and the connection isn’t there and you feel stuck. Just swiping can be draining and discouraging. My left to right ratio was so crazy – maybe 1 YES for the 50 times I was like NO NEVER. Like the guy in a tutu at the piano. Or the one with the shirtless photo. Ok I gave one of those shirtless guys a chance one time and he was awful so learn from my mistakes and do not fall for that.

Once you get past swiping YES to someone based entirely on their appearance and the short little blurb they may have written in their profile, you’re able to message each other (assuming he liked you, too). When the first message is awful or offensive delete delete delete and move on. Don’t waste your time.

I always appreciated seeing what Facebook friends I had in common with someone if any – something that made me feel better about Conor since we had a few.

Any advice for those of us who are dating with an end goal of marriage? How do you get through dating without focusing on “he’s great so we should get married” vs honing in on the qualities you want in someone? And finally, how do you build a genuine connection & not have blinders on where you’re dating someone?

 

It’s so hard to build connections when you spend most of the time texting each other and then see each other once a week, isn’t it? When it came to Conor, I never really had to pine over him because I heard from him after our first date and pretty much every other day after that. And we saw each other a lot, so we actually got to know each other. I probably broke every rule by doing this but never wanted to waste my time, so if I was interested enough in a guy, I usually let him know early on that I was looking for a serious relationship and that if he wasn’t that things weren’t going to work. I didn’t ask for a commitment but just made it clear that that’s what I wanted and if that scared him off, byeeeee!

The whole “casual dating” thing wasn’t what I wanted and I didn’t want to spend 2 months dating someone and then let them know I was looking for more.

Here’s the thing. It’s so easy to make excuses for the ones that don’t call for a week and were “busy” with whatever. From my experience, if a guy wants to see you, he will make the time. Period. He won’t drop off the face of the earth and won’t play games. I dated this one guy who played them and said something along the lines of “I’m not going to ask you to date me and I’m looking for something serious so if you’re not, let’s stop seeing each other” but he assured me he wanted to make it work. Then I found out he was busy because he had a soon-to-be ex wife and baby and girlfriend I didn’t know existed.

Yes. That’s a true story. It happened to me.

That’s who I dated right before meeting Conor so when we met, I was in a “men are the worst and I hate dating” sort of place. But I decided to just take a peek at Tinder and see if anything interesting was happening. I was also the first girl Conor went out with after getting out of a serious relationship so he wasn’t really looking for something serious, either. But we saw each other all the time and were both off Tinder just a few days after we met. It just sort of happened.

Truthfully, I spent the first few months waiting for things to end because from my experience, something had always gone wrong but here we are. I almost think it was a good thing that I was so jaded when I met Conor. I was hesitant but enjoyed being around him, so I went with it. So what’s my point? When it’s right it’s right. Even if someone just got out of a relationship.

Try not to make dating your number 1 focus, and do what you can to enjoy this time. I loved living on my own and had great friends and a job I loved, so focusing on the good (even though it felt lonely at times) helped a lot. And not lining up date after date helped me put the right energy out there. One more piece of advice! Don’t waste your time with the ones who aren’t worth it. It’s so easy and comfortable to stay but it’s so much better to be on your own and to put your time and energy into things and people that deserve it.

Have you tried online dating? Any questions, thoughts, or comments? I’d love to hear from you! 

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