First of all, I’d like to apologize that I’m writing this anonymously—my fiancé doesn’t like attention, so I’m doing this for his privacy. Second, I promise that this is a true story. Our story.
If I think about where I was four to five years ago, it would have been ridiculous to imagine then that I would find the love of my life on a dating app. I had quite the traveling life. All the adventures. The road was home, so I was quite convinced that I would, for sure, meet the one for me in one of my travels. It only seemed fitting.
But I had been single for years and years. And more than myself, there were people who were more excited for me to start dating—my friends.
“Why don’t you try dating apps?” One of my colleagues asked me. I told her that it didn’t seem authentic for me; that what I love about meeting people in real life or on my travels is the “right place right time” factor of it all. When you just find yourself in a great moment and know in your bones that you were both meant to be there. That you were destined to cross paths. My colleague replied, “But that can be true for dating apps too.” “It just helps make the world smaller.”
I didn’t understand yet then what she meant.
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Artwork by Jin Xingye via The Artidote
Fast forward to a couple of months later, I got a new phone. Before that, I had only been using a beat-up android, one that couldn’t store too many apps and would freeze a lot in the middle of tasks. Again, there were people who were way more excited than I was for finally getting a new phone. Again, they were my friends. Their first order of business? Download a dating app for me. Because apparently, they were sick of my singleness and inherent lack of flirting skills.
In fact, they were so excited to come to my rescue, that after they downloaded Bumble on my phone (I swear this is not a Bumble ad lol), they also started swiping for me. Left and right. Left and right. I didn’t even see who they were swiping left and right for. They completely took over my phone. I just let them. They were having fun. I thought to myself, “I’ll just delete it later.” Which I did, that night. When I got home, I said goodbye to Bumble and deleted it.
But the seed had been planted. The possibility was there. So a couple of weeks later, whilst stuck bored in annoying Makati traffic, and on a Christmas day no less, I redownloaded the app. I even finally fixed up my profile, wrote a bio, and uploaded some nice profile pictures. And then I started swiping. For real this time. It didn’t take long before my now-fiancé’s profile came up. I swiped right. Boom. Instant match. He had swiped right for me, too.
I should note that on Bumble, only the ladies can send the first message. I contemplated for a while if I should actually send a message, then figured—hell, I’ve made it this far. So I sent him a Merry Christmas and a virtual cheers with the two beer pints emoji. And the rest, as they say, is history.
After matching with him I didn’t really use the app again, so after a few days I deleted it once more—making him my first, last, and only dating app match ever.
Two years later, we’re engaged.
I keep thinking back to that day when my friend from work asked me why I wouldn’t try dating apps. And how I was so closed off to the idea because I had planned something else in my head. I keep on thinking now how she was right, that serendipity works regardless—even on dating apps. Because whatever is for you will always be yours. Your person, the one truly meant for you, will always find their way to you. No matter what.
I see now that things only start to happen for you when you open your doors. I did. I opened my doors that night when I redownloaded the app and thought I would try again. I opened the doors when I allowed myself to be found. And how glad I am of who came knocking right away. The best Christmas present.
As you plan your life, I hope you don’t forget to leave a little room for serendipity. You’ll never know what you will find, or what will find you.