I was on Tinder for three months. In that time, I had the same kinds of dating adventures that most people do – the duds, the creeps, the ghosters, the ones that I’ll remember forever and the ones whose names came up in my phone months later and it took me a few minutes to put a face to a name.. but today, I realized a lot of things about myself and my life as it is now that I really value which I learned from swiping right.
When you blind date, you’re forced out of your comfort zone and you know this leading up to the moment you arrive to spend your agreed at-least-one-hour with a total stranger. You have to keep the conversation going and you have to be brave. This is something I never thought I could do. I don’t know how to strike up conversations with strangers. That’s never been who I am.
But I did do it. Well. I enjoyed meeting all these people. I loved talking to the guy who worked at Yew at the Four Seasons and served tons of celebrity guests who came into the restaurant. I loved meeting the person who had just come back from his year in Australia and told me about their tiny little $9 pint glasses. None of those dates worked out but the important thing I learned is how sometimes it’s important to have faith in strangers because some of the strangers I met were pretty awesome.
In addition to the people I met, I also learned how to step outside a comfort zone and become more confident in myself and my abilities. I could suddenly spend all night talking with a complete stranger. I didn’t even feel awkward about it. I hardly even noticed sometimes the fact that I was speaking with someone I didn’t actually really know. I trusted my instincts and in that, I became a really outgoing person. Someone who, in their new profession, is able to connect with the people around me even more every day. And I owe that to my desire to meet fellow singles of Vancouver on a hookup app. Which sounds absolutely stupid and crazy. And it is. But it’s kind of true.
Tinder is a horrible way to meet people and I stand by that. In fact, I stand by the fact that the internet in general is for the most part, an awful way to meet people. But it was good for a very introverted, very comfort zone-laden person who lacked the confidence in herself as a single person and a professional to ever move beyond this weird hovering, quivering shy person who was an empty shell of someone who had so much potential walking into a teaching practicum. It’s an odd, strange roundabout way to have found myself, but I’m glad I did. Sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone, even on a sleazy app, can do some good.