They Say Tinder’s Just A Hookup App, But It Helped Me Fall In Love

They Say Tinder’s Just A Hookup App, But It Helped Me Fall In Love iStock/hobo_018

I used to think that Tinder was nothing but a quick and easy way to find someone to hook up with. But when I decided to finally give it a shot, I was surprised to find that I found someone who was so much more than a hookup buddy. Here’s how it all went down:

  1. My bestie thought I was nuts. When I told my best friend I was going to join Tinder, he asked what a person like me would want to do on there since he knows I’m not a hookup person. Point taken. But something was telling me to try it out anyway and see what it was really about.
  2. I’d been on dating apps before. Okay, so yes, I had quite a history with dating apps and websites in the past. I’d met some mad people online and often regretted signing up. I’d decided never to try dating apps again. But now I thought, “Why not try Tinder? This might be different.” The worst thing that could happen was that I’d be disappointed — and honestly, that was happening anyway.
  3. I’d been single for a year. And I was willing to try something else to meet new guys. I wasn’t meeting anyone interesting in real life and honestly felt like I was running out of options. I was by no means desperate to get into a relationship, but it would have been nice to meet someone outside of my usual circles.
  4. I did it. I joined Tinder. And all I saw were the most ridiculous profile photos. I’m talking guys who were lying on highways, guys posing with big fish they’d caught (what is up with that?), guys posing with ex-girlfriends… It was freaking hilarious.
  5. It was more than just the app. Yes, I wanted to meet new people and hopefully someone special, but it wasn’t all about Tinder. It was really about how I wanted to be open to trying new things and broadening my horizons. I knew I had to do this if I wanted to meet someone worthy of dating. It was time to sift through all the cheesy and ridiculous profiles.
  6. I was ready to call it quits. I started chatting to some guys who seemed interesting and had normal and attractive pictures. But usually they didn’t have much to say, or they seemed to lose interest quickly. One or two were upfront about wanting to hook up, not find a relationship, so we parted ways really quickly. Ugh. I was on for a few days and started to lose hope.
  7. Then I saw him. A guy sent me a witty message, and I could tell we seemed to have loads in common. Plus, his profile pictures were awesome. We started chatting, and I rejected all other guys who were trying to contact me. I felt I was onto something with this guy who was clearly intelligent and had a great sense of humor.
  8. We hit it off! We got on really well right from the start and I found myself looking forward to our chats on Tinder. The funny thing was that he lived about an hour away from me in a town I’d never been to, so we probably wouldn’t have met each other if it hadn’t been for the app.
  9. It was time to meet. As someone with a bit of experience with dating apps/websites, I knew that meeting in real life could be a very different story. I feared that he wouldn’t look like his pictures or our texting connection would fizzle when we were face to face. But I had to find out! I really liked this guy and didn’t want to miss a chance.
  10. It was amazing. Our connection continued in real life, and halfway into our amazing first date, I realized I’d seen this guy around before. I hadn’t realized it while chatting to him on Tinder, but it was coming back to me. About four years ago, I’d been walking around one of my favorite shopping centers and had seen him. I’d pointed him out to the friend I’d been walking with and said, “That’s the kind of guy I want to date.” I hadn’t had the guts to go over to the guy, and sadly had never bumped into him again. But now, faced with him again in RL, he confirmed it was him all those years ago! How weird that a dating app had brought us together.
  11. App dating is pretty much the same thing as real-life dating. After trying Tinder, I realized that it’s not so focused on hookups — at least, not more than people are in real life. I’d met lots of guys in real life who were only looking for sex, just like lots of guys on dating apps are. It takes a lot for me to make a strong connection with a guy, whether in real life or on a dating app. So really, dating tools like Tinder aren’t that different from real life. It’s about trying something new, having a bit of faith, and being splashed with a little luck.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.