Fearless Friday 1.4

I’m going to let my random confessions continue and see where this weekly post goes.

I met boo (we’re working super hard on the nickname but just can’t come up with anything, I think we’re trying to force it) online.

Gasping again?! You guys are probably out of breath.

I’m assuming a good amount of you are reading this and thinking, who the fuck cares. Or big woop. Or big deal. And that’s awesome. But you’d be amazed at how many people, people my age, people born, not born but raised on the internet, still stigmatize online dating.

For example, on Halloween I went to a small party with the boy. We were required to wear masks until midnight. It was supposed to be a social study to see if we respond differently when meeting people without knowing what they look like. Unfortunately, it’s hard to minimize variables in settings such as that one. We can never meet the same people again without masks, so it’s really hard to say what the result of the experiment was.

Anyway, I got to talking to this one woman, about my age. She happened to be from the Midwest as well and not totally happy with her job. So we had some stuff in common. Also, we were on the younger side of attendees. Part way through our conversation, we noticed both of our partners were actually also talking to each other across the room. I had seen them interact earlier and was curious, so I asked her how they met.

She said “Oh, you know, mutual friends at a party. The usual story.” I laughed politely and said ok. She asked where boo and I met, and I went into our canned spiel, brought to you by boo, about Hinge and how it’s an offshoot of Tinder that has users’ first and last names on the profile and takes into account common connections. For example, we’re pretty sure we were matched up because we both live in Portland and both have connections from around the Boston area. We know we don’t have any common Facebook friends, but probably a friend of a friend somewhere out there.

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, that as soon as I told her that, she laughed and said “Oh, ok, we met on Tinder then.” And that really stuck with me. I didn’t dive in and ask why she didn’t just tell me that off that bat, everyone has their reasons. But it did strike me how much I hadn’t thought about it twice.

When I started online dating over three years ago now (sheesh), I was so worried about meeting someone and having to tell people how we met. Over the years, I think it became less of a concern, but it never completely went away. Even with my ex, whom I met on Tinder, I don’t think I ever offered the information that we met online except for to my close friends. And even when I did, I know I was thinking to myself “see, it is possible to find a relationship on Tinder.” So I feel like I was sharing more as an “I’m an exception to the rule” type thing.

But with Boo, it was different. It was different for many reasons. First of all, having been on so many online dates (I won’t divulge how many, but know we’ve been online dating for about the same amount of time and I was still floored), I think he was much more comfortable sharing our online story. Secondly, I’m still so in awe of how this worked out and so happy that it did, that I genuinely want to share my story in hopes that it will help others meet incredible partners.

So yeah, my confession: I online dated for 3 years before meeting boo. The result was a lot of online conversations, a lot of sexual innuendos and double entendres, an equally large amount of assholes, a handful of dick picks, one hook up, a lot of failed dates, a few successful dates, some great stories, a couple of relationships, and hopefully my last first date ever. Hopefully.

So if you want to date but you’re worried about the stigma of online dating, fuck it. This summer, after I moved home, I told my mom that I couldn’t decide if I should go back to online dating. (Keep in mind, the woman offered to pay for my JDate membership after college). I had just had a weird relationship/break up with someone in Michigan, and, wary of my past, was worried about rushing into something new too soon. My mom, in her epic wisdom, shared the following story with me.

When my parents were in their first apartment (ok, it might not have been the first one, but when they were younger), they lived across the hall from a very religious family. The neighbors had a daily habit of buying the lottery ticket. I can’t remember if they played the same numbers every day or just did random draws, it really doesn’t matter (though I am curious). One day, my mom asked her neighbor, why, if they were so religious and believed G-d would take care of them, did they feel a need to bet on the lottery every single day. The woman told her that if G-d did want them to be rich, they were giving him/her the means by which to let that happen.

That was her long winded way of saying, sure, we can believe that we can’t and don’t control everything and that some force (be it G-d or fate or something) does, but that doesn’t mean we just sit around and wait for the right door to open, we have to go around and open some doors ourselves.

(Sorry if I messed that whole story up mom, I think it makes more sense in Hebrew).

Til next time!

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