We haven’t always been friends, you and I. It’s pretty much been a love/hate relationship, with more emphasis on the latter. There have been times when even saying your name out loud would make me cringe.
Friend: “Where did you meet him?”
The short version: I wasn’t having any luck.
The slightly longer version: I wasn’t having any luck, and sometimes it just wasn’t any fun. There I’d be, genuinely looking for an interesting person to potentially date, and you’d serve me the “no shirt look at my muscles mirror selfie” guy. Or a guy whose profile included some crude innuendo followed by an eggplant emoji.
Now, I realize that this is what you sign up for when you use dating apps. I also realize that I’m not the first girl to feel this way and that some girls may really like mirror selfie guy. Maybe even eggplant emoji guy. We’re all looking for something, so to each his/her own. But they just weren’t for me and I was getting frustrated.
If I’m being completely honest though, the majority of my frustration came from what happened when I actually did match and go on dates with men. Sometimes, we just didn’t fit. Other times, there would be some interest, but ultimately, I was finding it difficult to meet someone who was looking for a genuine relationship.
After getting tired of blaming the guys and getting nowhere blaming myself, I had no choice but to place the blame on the real person responsible for my single status.
That’s you, Tinder.
Of course these men didn’t want a relationship! At any given moment, there could be five, ten, fifteen women in their pocket – many of whom they could potentially “meet for a drink.” How could they possibly allow themselves to get attached to just one person when there were so many other options right at their fingertips?
At least that’s what I used to ask myself…
As the summer of 2016 came to a close, I was so ready for the tides to change. Luckily, I had a work trip to California planned in early September. I happily headed out west for a little break from New York and a break from the Tinder scene.
It was just what I needed.
While in California, friends of mine brought me to The Chakra Shack in Laguna Beach, a wellness store with unique gifts and jewelry. Some of the people who work there also do spiritual readings. I perused around, glancing at pretty gemstones and smelling a few essential oils. Then, I started chatting with one of the mediums, an older gentleman named George. On a whim, I told him I was a Sagittarius. He stood back slightly, squinted his eyes, and looked me over from head to toe. Then, rather matter-of-factly, he proceeded to tell me the following:
- Someone was going to come into my life shortly. I would learn about this person in mid-September, but wouldn’t meet him right away. Perhaps in October.
- He would have dark hair and light eyes.
- He would not be from New York.
- We would have a great love that would be fully realized by the end of the year.
- After the great love was established, this relationship would also spark a career change for me.
I mean, whoa. Pretty detailed, right? All of this information came from me simply telling him my Zodiac sign. I wasn’t sure what to make of his predictions or if they would ever come true, but I left the store feeling strangely encouraged.
The rest of my trip went well, although no light-eyed men were met. Pretty soon, I was on a plane back to Brooklyn. It was September 15th and I got home super late. Thank goodness the next day was Friday. Feeling a bit jet-lagged, I completed my work day and decided to just stay in and rest.
When I awoke on Saturday, I felt refreshed and happy – more so than I had in the past few weeks. I got up, grabbed coffee, and took a stroll around my neighborhood. I snapped and posted the following picture, which clearly expresses the good mood I was in:
And I was feeling grateful. Sure, things hadn’t been perfect, but it’s always important to recognize what is going right in your life. I took time that morning to appreciate the blue, sunny skies, the last days of summer, my wonderful friends on both coasts, my family close by, and the absolutely delicious taste of my iced coffee.
Sometimes you just gotta practice gratitude, right Tinder?
Now, this is the point in my letter where the apology comes in. I thought I was right in blaming you for my single status, but I was wrong. I’m sorry. Truth is, there was no one to blame because everything was always going to happen when the timing was right and the right person was met. I learned that lesson in the past, and I learned that lesson again on this day and the days that would follow.
It really is true that when you practice gratitude and positive thinking, you allow good things to come into your life. In many ways, I’m also grateful for you, Tinder. Grateful for the experience of finding what I don’t want, grateful for the dates that didn’t work out, and grateful that I decided to give you one last shot on the night of September 17th…
His profile showed up on my phone after about 20 minutes of swiping. At first glance, I could tell that he was most likely British, a very good soccer player, and extremely handsome.
At a slightly closer glance, I could see how well his dark, almost black hair complimented his light, blue eyes.
Needless to say, I swiped right.
We were a match. I couldn’t help but smile. But I played it cool, put my phone down for a bit, and probably poured a glass of wine in preparation for another quiet night in. About an hour later, he sent me a message. Opening my phone, I read it and immediately knew things were gonna get interesting. I wrote back and we went on to have a lovely first conversation that lasted for the remainder of Saturday night. I learned that he was super funny, very genuine, and only in New York for business. On top of that, he was flying back to England the very next day so we wouldn’t get to meet in person.
I’m gonna stop us right here, Tinder. Are you scrolling back up to those predictions from George the Medium yet? Because so far, he was batting a thousand. Normally, I would have been bummed to learn that this really cool guy was flying back to England. But George said I would only learn about someone new in mid-September, not meet. Speaking of England, George also said mystery man would not be from New York. Two for two. And let’s not forget about the dark-hair-light-eye combo.
Three for three.
George was on the money. Next on the list? #4: We would have a great love that would be fully realized by the end of the year. George wasn’t wasting any time! But stranger things have happened, right Tinder?
Over the next few weeks, we kept in touch. We texted frequently, got to know one another, and quickly realized that there was something special between us. In time, we started talking on the phone, sometimes for hours. But we never FaceTimed or Skyped. I wanted to make sure that when we finally got to see each other, it wouldn’t be from behind a screen.
That time would come in early December when my mystery man, Danny, flew back to New York. (October, December – so George was off a bit.) It was the day after my birthday and I met him outside my Brooklyn apartment. Once I saw him in real life, with his bright blue eyes, adorable laugh, and navy wool coat, I became sure that he was the one. We already knew we shared the same values and could get along and laugh together; once we added in the chemistry, everything else just fell into place.
The week in New York was perfect, from ice skating at Wollman Rink to frozen hot chocolates at Serendipity to meeting my parents in my hometown.
After Christmas, I flew to England for a week, where I was able to meet his family, see where he grew up, and fall more in love.
It was also there, as 2016 came to a close, that we decided we wanted to spend our lives together. We rang in the New Year at a beautiful restaurant in Birmingham to celebrate that decision.
Four for four.
Danny moved to New York at the end of January and officially proposed on March 18th, exactly six months and one day after we matched on Tinder. It was a cold, rainy day in the city. We were strolling through Grand Central Terminal and Danny led me down a walkway towards the Whispering Dome, a passageway outside the iconic Oyster Bar Restaurant. As we approached, I heard a man with a trombone begin to play our song: “This Year’s Love,” by David Gray. Before I knew it, we were in the middle of the passageway and Danny got down on one knee.
Of course, I said yes. By then, a small crowd had developed around us and everyone began to clap and cheer. Danny put the beautiful ring on my finger and we danced to the rest of the song right there in the middle of the Dome. It was just magical.
In the Spring, we had a beautiful and intimate wedding in Manhattan, surrounded by our closest family. And our love has only grown stronger since then.
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost September, almost one year since George made his predictions and Danny and I exchanged our first words. So much has changed since then.
I know what you’re thinking, Tinder. Did I end up changing careers, too?
#5: After the great love was established, this relationship would also spark a career change for me.
While I’m still working for the same company, the answer to this is yes. I am on the verge of starting a very new career, my most fulfilling yet.
It’s called motherhood. In just a few short weeks, once again in September, Danny and I will welcome a baby girl into the world.
Five for five.
Thank you, George and thank YOU, Tinder.
To my amazing partner, Danny, I love you forever.