How a very unlikely Tinder prince swept me away – YourTango

It had become a kind of mechanical game. I’d look at the bio, look at a few pictures, take a quick look at shared interests, and make a quick five-second choice. Did he seem friendly? Did he have good style? Did I find him attractive? Was her bio cute, cliche (womp-womp) or funny? Most importantly, could I imagine actually connecting with this guy?

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It’s hard to say that much about a person with an incredibly limited profile. But that’s what Tinder is all about: crunchy social networks and quick decision-making. Tinder users only have so much room to make their profiles really stand out. If he found a guy who could pull it off, he was definitely doing it right.

So when I came across one that had a stellar bio (“I was voted most likely to become a famous beard model in eighth grade”) cute photos (a couple with friends and one with him in from Iron Man) and seven shared interests, I didn’t even need the five-second period to know it was worth giving it a shot.

Added bonus: He was totally my type. For as long as I can remember, I’ve swooned over dark, beautiful people. I’m a big fan of brown eyes and he was amazing. In them, I could see a genuinely nice person.

I still remember the first message: “How did I get matched with someone as cute as you? Tinder needs to be broken :)” I had met more than a handful of jerks on the app, and this opener remarkably humble was completely refreshing break from the arrogant d-bags. I was hooked right away.

It wasn’t long before we started texting for hours at a time. He came from my area in metro Detroit, the next city over, actually. He graduated from Michigan State University and was now working for a large company in San Francisco. He had been visiting Michigan while we were matched and was returning for a more extended visit in a couple of weeks.

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We texted non-stop until our first date. He was intelligent, and our conversations were full of clever banter and energetic flirting. We were constantly designing competitions. “I’ll melt you first,” I wrote. “You’ll be a puddle on the floor.” He shot back a fierce, “No way! You’ll be a popsicle on the hot sidewalk when our first date is over.”

That initial meeting couldn’t come soon enough. I bought a floral sundress for the occasion and spent an unusual amount of time making sure my make-up was flawless. By the time he got to the door, I was nervous and sweating in several places.

He was even more adorable in person than in his pictures. We went out to a Mexican restaurant (our favorite), and then went to a park and walked. We stayed until dark, talking on the swings and carousel.

I don’t remember the topics of our discussions, but I do know that the conversations were easy and the chemistry was undeniable. Talking for hours on a first date is a precious rarity.

The next two weeks were the best of my life. We got together almost every day, watching scary movies on Netflix, going out for lunch and enjoying nature. We went to a zoo and played hide and seek in a graveyard (which was as exciting as you’d imagine…until the cops showed up).

He was unimaginably sweet, determined to make me, the “tired blogger,” believe in romance again. I had recently come out of a particularly messy and heartbreaking breakup. During his stay, he repaired the damage. I felt something deeper was going on.

“First you made me melt,” he told me one day. “You win.”

On the last day he told me he loved me. And within hours of leaving for California, she knew he loved her too.

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Even though he lives all over the country, we became exclusive. The long distance is difficult; I won’t sugar coat it. We have Skype dates almost every night. It may not be the same, but I have learned to appreciate the technology available. Fifty years ago, long distance relationships were probably almost impossible. Today, they are entirely doable with the right mindset and willingness to commit.

Seeing her beautiful face at the end of my day is the highlight. Having a boyfriend who is thousands of miles away has some advantages, believe it or not. We’re bound to learn more from each other than the average couple because we’re not distracted by things like kissing or going to the movies. Every night, we are face to face, discovering each other on a deeper level.

Being in a long distance partnership makes me appreciate the little things. From time to time, he will send me surprises in the mail. I got a gorgeous vase of flowers, a candle, and even a webcam and microphone to enhance our Skype experiences.

I graduate in seven months. I have no doubt that when the time is right, we will find a way to be together permanently. Until then, I’ll love this guy with everything I’ve got from a distance.

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Despite Tinder’s reputation as the “hookup app,” almost every reaction I’ve gotten to the “How did you guys meet?” response have been sincerely supportive. I truly believe that Tinder, or any other online dating tool, is capable of providing you with what you are looking for.

Skeptics are waning, and according to this study, 33% of couples met online. By 2040, that number is expected to rise to 70 percent.

It takes some digging, but the digital realm can be used for some truly amazing opportunities. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of it, because internet dating can turn out to be one of the best decisions of your life.

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Ashley McDonald is a writer who focuses on love and dating.

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