Whether you’re looking for a fun hookup or need to fill a boring night, Tinder is the app to go to. I downloaded Tinder because I go to a women’s college, so meeting boys can be challenging. Most of the boys I swiped through all looked incredibly sketchy, and my occasional matches all came at me with nausea-inducing pick-up lines. Of course, there were also those classic 3:00 a.m. “wanna come over ;)” and “you are so beautiful” messages.
One day while on Tinder, I came across a boy who looked pretty nice. His name was Colin, and his profile picture was a photo of him standing next to an Iron Man statue. Add that to his glasses and shaggy haircut, and he gave off an equal parts geeky and adorable vibe. I swiped right, and we were matched immediately. When I checked his profile, however, I saw that he actually lived 98 miles away, not two miles away as Tinder had originally suggested! Disappointed, I decided not to message him.
A couple of hours later, however, I received a message from him. It read, “Hey, I like your name.” Our names, Colleen and Colin, sounded totally similar. I messaged back “Thanks, I like yours!” Pretty soon, we were in engaged in typical small talk. We talked about our majors, our friends, and our jobs. Even though the conversation was plain, I really enjoyed talking to him. When he asked for my number, I gave it to him without hesitation. He seemed genuinely interested in my life, and I felt as though I could trust him. Texting Colin always made me smile, and we had so much in common. The distance disheartened me, though. Even though I thought he was great, deep down I realized our chances of ever even meeting were slim.
Weeks of texting turned into regular Skype dates. When our relationship began to progress, we knew we had to meet up. There’s a train that runs from my college town to Colin’s city, two hours away. We picked a date, and I arranged for a friend to join me—the thought of traveling alone to a place I had never been was nerve-wracking!
The days leading up to our first meeting were filled with anticipation—I could hardly focus on anything else. But just a few days before the trip, my friend told me she wouldn’t be able to go with me. I was crushed—it was too late to find someone else to travel with me, and there was no way I was going to go on my own. I told Colin over Skype that we would have to reschedule, and though he tried to hide it, I could see he was disappointed. Talking to Colin before bed normally made me fall asleep with a smile, but that night, I went to bed feeling miserable.
When I got up the morning I was supposed to take the train out to see him, I suddenly decided I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity meet Colin in person. The train was scheduled to leave in an hour, but I knew I had to make it work; I showered, got dressed, and made it to the station in record time. I made the train with only minutes to spare, and I was a bundle of nerves.
When I got off at the right stop, I met Colin outside the station. The minute I saw him, I felt my nerves melt away. It didn’t feel like I was meeting up with a stranger. Instead, it felt like I was meeting up with an old friend. We had so much fun exploring the city together. The best part was early in the day, when he took my hand, and hardly let go for the rest of our time together. At the end of the night, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I was so happy I could barely even contain my “yes!”
Five months later, Colin and I are still together. He drives down to my school to visit me most weekends and I occasionally take the train to see him. We’ve both met one another’s parents, and our relationship is stronger than ever.
Telling our friends that we met on Tinder was hard (and telling our parents was even harder). After all, most college students view Tinder as a hookup app, not a relationship app. At the end of the day, though, it’s an app that connects us with people we otherwise might not have ever crossed paths with. Though the origins of my relationship with Colin might be a little unconventional, it’s not how we met that’s important—it’s where we’ve taken, and are taking, that relationship that matters.
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