A significant era in my life has come to an end: I just deleted my Tinder app.
Tinder was my first and only experience in the online dating world.
Shocking, I know, but to be honest, I never saw myself as an online dater. It made me uncomfortable. I didn’t feel cool enough or something. And don’t people get murdered or kidnapped on those things? No, thanks.
Fast forward to waking up months after being blindsided by a huge bus we like to call heartbreak. It was there, staring me in the face every single day. I couldn’t shake it, no matter how hard I tried. I prayed, I cried, I smoked copious amounts of weed, I talked to spiritual people, and I chanted in group meditations while holding my hands in a prayer position in front of my very obliterated heart. I didn’t know how to help myself and I knew I couldn’t sit and do one more self-love affirmation exercise (although I do believe in this fully, it was just not doing the trick this time).
I called in reinforcements.
I asked myself what I needed; what could help me pull myself out of this slump and try to feel somewhat human again?
(Cue scary music here.)
We are all aware that Tinder is known as a hookup app, but in my experience, this was not every guy’s agenda.
My agenda was to feel good again, so if a guy wanted to message me and call me hot or beautiful or sexy or stunning (that was my favorite one) I was all in. Bring it on boys! I ate it up—because I needed to. I was dying inside for some sense of why the man I fell so hard for had simply vanished.
Getting my first matches was oddly exciting and kind of sexy. What was I doing?! Me, former online dating opponent and seeker of true love at friend’s parties and random jobs. It was happening. I was taking actions to heal myself. I was making space for more love and information and clues to present themselves. And present themselves they did.
I believe that each person we meet is part of a huge information system. They come in to be mirrors for us, teach us other perspectives, and let us in on stuff we maybe weren’t aware of before.
The channel they enter through does not matter—whether it is Tinder or the library or the bathroom at the diner down the street. Each and every one of my Tinder men taught me something valuable—about my body, my beauty, my pain, my confusion, my setbacks, and my beliefs.
Sure, there were some jerks and some weirdos (creepy traveling businessmen, I see you!), but something was happening as I matched with more cute guys. I started to see myself more clearly. I started to find my voice and my boundaries. I started to have fun—remember that concept? I started to feel like a badass.
It wasn’t only that I was enjoying the attention from some yummy men, I was enjoying who I was becoming in the process.
I was becoming someone who was beginning to live life on the outside the way I always felt on the inside: powerful, vivacious, beautiful, and free.
Brick by brick, I started to feel the walls I had built around myself crumbling. I gave myself permission to be the person I knew I was: bold, excited about life, ready for miracles, and open to what life was trying to tell me.
No matter what we do, it is how we do it and what we put into it that matters—even Tinder.
I knew all the judgements about it, but I really didn’t care. I chose it specifically because I didn’t want anything too serious. I wanted sexy dates. I wanted hot kisses. I wanted to feel my heart beat again in my f*cking chest since it was broken and beaten down and aching so badly that the thought of getting out of my car in the middle of traffic and screaming my head off like a lunatic just to release the pressure crossed my mind several times.
With each date, I healed. With each compliment, I allowed myself to feel beautiful again. With each piece of information, I knew that eventually, I could piece myself back together. I started to feel sexy in a way that was unknown to me.
I also realized I was feeling some peace again.
My heartbreak slowly started to burst apart and dissolve. It started to change.
Each guy I met seemed to bring up exactly what I needed to know or release or hear. It was my prayer answered, but always in ways I never expected.
There was something else I learned that I didn’t bargain for: I got a lot more understanding about how men operate. And for me, this was a precious gift, because once we understand something better, we are less likely to be hurt by it. Men opened up to me because I asked. I craved clarity, and they were more than willing to give it to me. I started to love men again, to enjoy them again. They were no longer the bearer of my pain, they were an opening to how much I was willing to love.
Even though I know I am ready to let Tinder go for the time being, I can’t help but be so grateful for it, which reminds me of one of my favorite dates: we’re in my car making out (I know! So retro!) and he leans in close to my ear and whispers, “Thank God for Tinder.”
I never thought I would say this, but I have to agree.