Tinder usually is labelled as online hook up app, but my Tinderella story is an exception. I met my current boyfriend on Tinder after he’d been swiping for a few months and myself a little while longer. With all the hype about Tinder being a way to drunkenly meet the opposite sex for one night only, here’s a sneak peek into the genuine anecdote of my Tinder experience. Hint: the first date wasn’t a hook up.

It’s a match!

When we matched, he had 13-14 matches and I had a few more, but his ‘Superlike’ made me take a second glance at his profile. Both of us had written “looking for a relationship” in our bio’s, which told me he might not just want the physical. He told me that “when I first saw your main picture, I thought you had a gorgeous smile, so I flicked through your other images, read your bio and swiped up”. I swiped right back, after seeing that he’s a runner like me and a University student too.

Who messages first and what do they want?

It didn’t take him long at all to send the first message, which went something along the lines of “Hey Katie, what’s someone as gorgeous as yourself doing on Tinder?”. Honestly, one of my first reactions was that this was just another drunken guy wanting to get laid. That’s exactly why I once messaged saying “don’t just say that as a way in”. But I kid you not he really knew how to hold a conversation so I decided to give him a measly chance. It didn’t turn out too badly because soon enough we both realised a mutual desire for a little more than sex, but a real, happy, healthy relationship. When I saw that he was over 70 miles away, I asked him twice if the distance was going to be an issue. Both times, he was adamant “for the right girl, you should be prepared to travel the distance to show your commitment”. I simply wondered what a genuinely nice guy was doing on Tinder.

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The story continues…

After almost 2 weeks of Tinder talking, he offered up his phone number. Admittedly, I played as though I hadn’t seen it and continued chatting on the app. He followed my lead, so I text the number and we texted for almost a month. After a few weeks of texting, we found ourselves in an oddly cute and non-creepy conversation wondering what the other’s voice would sound like. When Tom aired that “there’s only one way to find out”, I dared him to call me, which he did in the space of about five minutes. Communication wasn’t an issue, let’s say, as we always found something to chinwag about, be it food, recent affairs or often our similar interest of health and fitness. Endless nights of, no – not that, phone calls and WhatsApp calls were something we found ourselves consistently doing. In fact, the night before we met, I insisted that we stayed on the WhatsApp call because I didn’t want the “fairytale to end”. Please note, it didn’t.

Where would we be without our friends?

My friends weren’t even aware I was on Tinder until after we had met and knew that it might go somewhere. Tom, on the other hand, was being overwhelmed with advice from his male friends. Some insisting he doesn’t message me back on Tinder too quickly but others recommending that he needed to do the ‘phone number exchange’ sooner rather than later otherwise “she might get bored”. Once we had started dating and Tom informed me of his friends’ oh so well intended advice, I was surprised because a fast reply means interest, not desperation.

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Stranger danger

As sad as it is, people generally use Tinder to find someone to sleep with. Ask any parent and they will probably admit that they would discourage their children or any teenagers to involve themselves in the world of online dating. Why? For numerous reasons.

The first one is the obvious one, safety first. You won’t meet the ‘real’ person you have been chatting to. That’s why talking on a variety of social media platforms as well as texting and calling is a wise move, before meeting that person in the flesh. Having said that, social media can be a tricky one. If a guy asks for a girl’s Snapchat username, this is usually not good news and you should abort mission ASAP. But if a girl asks for a guy’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and he’s more than happy to let you see them, this is a positive sign. He might just be a regular guy, who happens to be quite nice and has nothing to hide.

Sometimes, the fall down isn’t the fact that “22 year old Joe Bloggs from Bristol, tall, dark and lean” might be a 60 year old male psychopath. It’s just that the promise of incredible conversation full to the brim of jokes and “banter” is a let down. You either get no message at all because they’re actually too much of a coward to message you first, or they do message you first but it’s a God-awful chat up line.

The other potential negatives aren’t necessarily that Tinder is a recipe for disaster. It might just be that people are judgemental. It’s crazy that people who have never met you in real life before and only have the information that you put onto your social media accounts will judge you. But, they will and you should not rise to it, but unmatch them because you’re a sassy, lovely Tinderer who deserves better, no matter how slow the process. It’s unlikely that you’ll find your soulmate after a day of swiping. I mean, never say never (seriously, I didn’t and look what happened!) but hold on in there. Give Tinder a chance.

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And they lived happily ever after…

In the end, the dreaded ‘meet up’ wasn’t so dreadful at all, after we decided to meet at my own University campus one early evening and go for a romantic road-trip. I can reveal that it was nowhere near as dodgy as it sounds. In fact, it was rather lovely, so lovely that we decided to carry on messaging. Who knew what would happen? Well, Friday was our 3 month anniversary. Next time you come into contact with the subject of Tinder, don’t be so harsh and put up your boundaries. You might just surprise yourself because rare exceptions do exist and sometimes Tinderella story can be quite wonderful. I won’t deny that lots of men and women do use it for solely sex, but there are genuine hearts out there who just want to be loved.

Katie is a fitness-loving blogger from Birmingham, United Kingdom. Follow her on Twitter and stay updated on her Facebook page.

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