A few weeks ago I posted a photo on Instagram for the weekend hashtag project “Made with love”. In the caption I explained that the sheets of writing in the photo were pieces of prose I’d written in response to pieces of music Dan had played on his guitar, recorded and sent to me during our first summer together.
I later wrote up the pieces of prose into a book and gave it to Dan for Christmas, a gift, made with love.
In the comments a couple of people asked whether or not I would consider writing a post about how we met and how we went from strangers on Tinder to loved up. So, after getting Dan’s permission – here it is.
To start, I should probably go back to the end of my previous relationship. It was just over a year before Dan and I met. The end of the relationship was a difficult one (aren’t they always?).
There was no malice or wrong-doings by anyone. We simply realised that while we loved each other, we wanted different things out of life and ultimately wouldn’t make each other happy. Having that realisation and ending things was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
After it ended, my vision of the future was smashed and I completely lost confidence in who I was or what I wanted in life.
This was nobody’s fault, it’s just something that happens after relationships end. I took time to reconnect with myself and my values, went on some travelling adventures and began to feel more like myself again.
After a while I felt ready to start dating. Being an introvert and with most of my friends already coupled up, I resorted to Tinder. And to be totally honest? My experience on there was pretty good… apart from maybe getting a little obsessive with it all initially. The whole gamification aspect of Tinder is very strange, but boy is it fun when you get your first ‘match’.
I ended up seeing the first person I met from Tinder for a few months. That fling fell apart as quickly as it came together, but it gave me confidence that I knew what I wanted and, crucially, what I didn’t want. I had self-belief and self-assurance.
(taking a break in Costa Rica)
Dan ‘super liked’ me soon after. To those not au fait with Tinder, you get one ‘super like’ a day, and when you ‘super like’ someone, they’ll see the notification, even if you haven’t ‘matched’. So when I saw this guy had used his super like on me and sent a message, I was intrigued.
We chatted for a week about favourite films, travel, where we lived (10 minutes away from each other) and what our passions were. At this point I was getting a little frustrated… was this guy going to ask me out or what?
I ended up sending him my number and asking him out for a drink, realising I didn’t have to play games and wait for him to ask. That’s something that’s been true for us since day one – we don’t play games, because ain’t nobody got time for that.
When I first saw him I sighed with relief and then immediately panicked. He was way hotter in real life.
That first date we drank red wine and talked with zero awkwardness. He doesn’t drive, so I offered to drive him home (don’t worry kids, I only had the one glass of wine). He’s since told me he felt awkward about that – but I didn’t care, it was nice to extend the date a little longer.
During those early dates the conversation never stalled. Physically however, we were doing an awkward dance.
(lettering by Ashkahn)
And this is the thing about meeting people from sites/apps like Tinder – you think because you get on well and you find each other attractive, you’ll immediately feel physically comfortable. I would question after just three dates, why is it not comfortable yet? Before realising that, actually, we still barely know each other.
Our minds were connected, but our bodies were still getting used to one another. Of course, over time, our bodies caught up with our minds and everything fell into place, like a pile of collapsed, happy limbs.
In that haze, I remember feeling what I described to friends as ‘incredible, overwhelming, movie-style love’. I was feeling that passion and intensity couples in romance movies seemed to live off.
We would spend hours just looking at each other, getting butterflies. I would feel physically dizzy – as if the world was spinning too fast, and he was the only thing keeping me steady.
I still feel that today when I think back to how he kissed me goodbye this morning. Our love has deepened as our visions for the future aligned. We have the same morals, values and even, to some extent, personalities. There are differences of course, fun quirks and habits that we’re learning to navigate, but at our core, we’re very similar.
(lettering by Ella Frances Sanders)
We listen to each other; when we’re upset, we’ll talk it out. We don’t hide things from each other and we’re always on the same team. Of course, it must be noted that I’m writing this less than two years into our relationship… I have no doubt that we will come up against trials and tribulations in the future, but deep down I know whatever happens, we’ll be OK.
Some thoughts for those in the dating game
Before you start dating, make sure you’re comfortable with yourself, who you are and know what you want out of life.
Don’t immediately disregard apps like Tinder, there are some good people on there, you may just have to do a little digging.
Don’t get toooooo into Tinder, it can be very addictive and we can quickly start to use it to validate ourselves and our self-worth. You are more than someone’s ‘match’.
Don’t worry about making the first move or ‘super liking’ someone – I am thrilled Dan was so bold! And pleased I took the move to ask him out. Leave game playing at the door.
When you do start dating someone, don’t worry if the physical side doesn’t happen straight away – it’s OK to take it slow and get to know each other!
I’m certainly not a dating or relationship expert, but the more time I spend with Dan, the more I feel I’m learning about what makes for a happy relationship. And I cannot bloody wait to see what the future has in store for us.
Are you dating or loved up? Any other Tinder relationships out there?
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