The New Way to Blind Date

By: Katie Porter

What love life? I replied to a friend asking how mine was going.

We complained of stale prospects. The same people from the same places with the same mediocre personalities weren’t cutting it.

She told me she made an account on Tinder, a flirty app where you “like” or “dislike” people simply based on their Facebook profile pictures.

As a young college student, I thought I had no reason to try online dating. I’m at the perfect spot in life to find a nice college guy.

But that night, a mixture of wine and insomnia led me to download it. I justified it as a curious joke, but some sort of guilty pleasure crept up. There is something vainly addicting about accepting or denying someone based solely on looks, and something even more enticing about being judged.

A few swipes and I was hooked. Instant gratification came from liking someone who liked me, with a congratulatory “It’s a match!” message. The app unlocks a message feature and the waiting game begins.

Tinder cuts out the face-to-face awkwardness of talking. I can choose to ignore creeps.

After a never-ending stream of muscle pictures and spiked hair, my phone pinged with a message from a tattooed boy with a sheepish smile. His simple but polite  “How are you, miss?” was a refreshing change.

We hit it off, and I was overly excited to check his replies. He actually seemed interested in my life, not just what I looked like.

A week later, after dozens of flirty texts and Snapchats, he asked if I wanted to hangout and play pool.

My first instinct: No way.

Meeting up with a random person from the Internet was something I’d never do, no matter how normal they seemed. There are plenty of horror stories of online meet-ups: Craigslist killers and catfishing weirdoes.

But the hopeless romantic in me turned the worries into optimism. What if Tinder was the start to my love-at-first-swipe story? By this time, I had stalked him on every major social media site to confirm that he was a real person, and he didn’t appear to be a mass murderer.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and accepted his offer.

After some drinks, laughs and a couple more dates, it has been a literal match made in heaven.

There’s no shame in using the powers of the web to spark a connection with someone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s ignited by a run-in at the grocery store or liking each other’s photos. It’s almost like assisting fate.

 

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