I Tried Tinder for the First Time and This Is What Happened

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One message received.

“I’m sorry. A lot is going on right now and it’s my bad that I can’t handle them well. Sorry.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I told myself.

It’s been awhile since I’ve given dating another chance. My last relationship left a mark which took some time to heal. I had to make sure that I’m ready to put myself out there before I welcome the possibility of a new “person” in my life.

In today’s modern world, putting yourself out there means being at the right place, at the right time. Or else, timing can be a real b*tch.

Flashback to 3 months ago.

“I think I’m ready.”, I told my gay best friend over a cup of coffee.

“It’s about time. So, what’s your plan?”, he answered back.

That’s the thing with “modern day dating” – it’s not enough that you’re ready. You must be at the right place, at the right time. You must also know the next steps to take and have some kind of a floor plan at hand – unless you want to get lost in this confusing maze of mind games and a sea of emotions.

“I don’t know.  With my hectic schedule at work, I don’t have time. I don’t know how I can meet new people. I have to be out there to make it easier for the universe to find my “perfect match”. Right?”

I looked at him and found him busy with his phone, not even listening. Or so I thought.

“Here! Try this!”


“Yes, Tinder.” My best friend smiled while handing me back my phone with this controversial app installed on it.

I’m not a stranger to it given the various impressions I’ve heard from other people. Some people say it’s for hook-up, for fun or a good way to pass time when one’s bored. I guess, no one really takes it seriously.

As they say, you wouldn’t really know until you try. So, a few sips of my coffee after, there I was swiping right and left.

There’s no turning back. I knew it – I’m in trouble.

A week after, I matched with him. We clicked the first time we met. He’s smart, articulate and a good combination of fun and mature. With him, things were instant. Our first few conversations consist of him reminding me to not skip meals, be safe going home and wishing each other a good day/good night ahead – and vice versa.

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For the past few months, we bonded over a few several experiences and insights in life. We jived well. We both like outdoor and physical activities. Our daily interactions can go from flirting with each other early in the morning to sending messages during meetings at the middle of the day to sharing mundane details of our everyday rendezvous until we both fell asleep. I would like to think that our connection was way beyond intense physical attraction. It might have something to do with us being both eldest in the family or simply mere good chance of fate.

Things were light and fun. Things were different.

He was different from the previous ones. I was different.

That’s when I realized “I’m ready”.

One message received.

“I’m sorry. A lot is going on right now and it’s my bad that I can’t handle them well. Sorry.”

I received a message from him at half past 10 at night. I was at a Christmas party. Just a few minutes ago, I was in full holiday mode until his message came. In between happy greetings and cheers, I was hit by a familiar feeling. It felt as if I was put under a blinding spotlight in a stage of emotions where I was confronted by reality. Except, no one was watching. No one noticed the sudden loss of spark in my eyes. I was smiling on the outside but felt a bit confused on the inside.

The words keep playing in my head.

“I’m sorry. A lot is going on right now…”

I wish I could do something about it, but I can’t. I want to, but I can’t.

“I’m sorry. A lot is going on right now…”

I’ve heard that before.

I’m no stranger to this kind of conversation, therefore I should know better.

“We at least deserve to give it a try, right?”, I asked.

His answer was “Sorry.”

For a moment, I had flashbacks of his playful smile and the way he looked at me. Those rare moments where I found myself lost for words while talking to him. The way he could distract and fuel my thoughts in a unique way. I needed that – his sense of adventure, his smartness and coyness altogether.

After replaying his words in my head and trying to decipher any hidden glimpse of hope, I stopped. I breathe in truth and let go of my fantasies.

On this cold December night, I was reminded how we should always be ready for life’s uncertainties – love included. Through the years, I’ve learned that love is a choice. If a person wants to be with you, he will be with you.

No buts, no ifs.

It’s not your fault and it’s not his either.

Maybe, it’s timing. Maybe, it’s your priorities.

There are a few possible reasons why the relationship could not happen, but the question is: “Aren’t there a lot more reasons that it can?”

Maybe, it’s as simple as he’s not ready yet. Or you aren’t.

Maybe, it’s as clear as what his message was: “A lot is going on right now…”

It’s as simple as the actual truth. The fact of life. The reality of now – of “what is”. No matter how promising the “what could be”; it just doesn’t fit perfectly in the blueprint of the present.

If you’re anything like me, you might have the “fixer mentality”. You meet someone, and you see the good in them -even after all the red flags. Well, the truth is, when a person tells you that they are too busy, confused or doesn’t want a relationship you need to believe them. There’s nothing you can do to change their mind.

Trust me.

It’s a decision that they must make and as hard as it is to hear, there might be a chance it will never happen.

It’s a commitment two people must be willing to take. It’s not easy to keep up with the uncertainty of the future brought about by life’s external factors.

One message received.

“I’m sorry. A lot is going on right now and it’s my bad that I can’t handle them well. Sorry.”

Truth be told, I still think about him. I let myself do.

In my experience, acceptance is key. Accept that you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always control your interpretation and reaction to the situation.

It’s not that simple but it’s possible. It’s miles away from easy but no one said you have to rush.

Trust time.

Just take one step forward and then another. One day, you’ll look back at the unbelievable distance you’ve taken until it doesn’t hurt anymore.

One message received.

“I’m sorry. A lot is going on right now and it’s my bad that I can’t handle them well. Sorry.”

Weeks after I received this message, I made a decision. I chose to see it a beginning rather than an end. I decided to bring my heart to a place of new hope.

Will we see each other again? No one knows.

Those were my thoughts as I run before the sunrise that morning. Almost out of breath, I felt the cold December breeze and listened to my heart beating so loud.

I stopped and reached for my phone and looked for that “fire icon” I’ve intentionally avoided for the past few weeks.

“Are you sure you want to delete this app?”

I pressed Yes.

Do you have your own Tinder stories to share? Let’s talk and comment below.  


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