Tinder Unfolded ft. Francesca Gariano

I recently did an Instagram poll asking “have you ever met someone online and went on a date with them?” 40% said yes, and 60% said no. I found these results to be extremely interesting, in that they kind of shocked me. 40% is actually pretty high, I was expecting a way lower percentage. Online dating sites and apps have become much more popular within the last few years. Some people are still freaked out by it, especially because of the show catfish, and some people have met their spouse online. In my opinion, if you’re careful online dating doesn’t have to be scary. It’s actually pretty fun.

I created that Instagram poll because I signed up for Tinder lol, and I was asked out on a date. A lightbulb went off in my head and told me this could turn into a good blog post idea, so I asked for my followers to DM me their online dating stories and every single person that messaged me said that they’re either dating that person they met online or they married them. One fellow blogger, even said her friend matched with a guy on tinder, but thought she’d be a better match for him so her friend set them up. Guess what, they now live together.

My blogger bestie Francesca Gariano, has her own experience with Tinder as well. I thought it would be cool to share both of our experiences so I asked her to be a guest on this post.

“You’ve heard of success rates on Tinder and you know at least one person who has found their significant other on a dating app or website. It’s 2018, people meet on the internet now. Hell, I met my roommate on the internet (I mean, on Twitter, not Tinder, but still). I, however, didn’t have that mindset when I sent out on my swiping mission. If there is one negative connotation that friends and family could make about me in regards to dating, it’s that I’m not a relationship person. I’m not unfaithful and I’m not disloyal. I’m just afraid of commitment to literally everything. I can’t commit to a hairstyle, a sense of style, an interest. I’ve always gone through phases, so it only makes sense that the idea of committing to another person isn’t one on my radar. What if I change my mind? I’m plagued by the idea that I’m going to hurt someone with my own flightiness, so I’ve just avoided the “r” word.”

If you read my last post, The Uninspired Me then you know I made 2018 about me. I needed to finally find myself and learn to love myself and tbh I needed to test myself once I felt like I was finally secure. That meant I needed to start dating. I created my first tinder account in February 2018, during a snowstorm. The first guy I matched with messaged me and we hit it off. He was a local guy, located not too far from my town, a few years older than me and he was BLONDE. Nothing against blondes, I am one myself. I just always associated myself with dating an Italian, dark hair, tan skin, guido lol. We talked for a few weeks, actually it might’ve been a month and then one day he ghosted me. I later found out it’s because he got back with his ex. I deleted my Tinder after that.

I re-downloaded the app and created a new profile one time after that and it was deleted a day later. I just couldn’t try again so I focused on the rest of the school semester instead. Fast forward to Monday, July 16… I finally decided I was 100% ready to start dating or at least talking to guys again, so I made a new Tinder profile. Again, the first guy I matched with messaged me, but this time it was different.

This guy was older (25) and not interested in only sex. Of course, he began the conversation with a cheesy pick up line that didn’t work well lol, but I continued the conversation anyway. He was really easy to talk to and only lives 20 minutes away. We went on our first date that Thursday, and it was great. I learned that he actually went to high school and graduated with a few of my friends. Having that mutual friend thing was cool, because I got to ask my friends about him lol. That Saturday was actually his birthday and he was going to be off work, so we saw each other again. And again after that for another week until everything went south. I’m not going to get into the specifics of what happened, but it sucks that it ended. The chemistry we had was unreal. So don’t think everyone online is a robot because I promise they damn sure aren’t.

I never deleted my Tinder so after that ended I began aimlessly swiping through until I matched and someone messaged me again (I’m not a first message type of gal). I matched with two guys on the same day and they both messaged me. Same age, but two totally opposite kind of guys and they both intrigued me. I met one of them in a bar when I was out with my friend. To be honest, I didn’t think he was actually going to show up when I said “you should totally come!” But, he did. That was a very fun and drunk night to say the least lol. Not sure if the alcohol made the night better and less stressful or made a bad first impression, but we both seemed to have a good night and as I’m writing this I’m getting ready to go out with him again.

Moving on to the other guy… He messaged me on the same day and it was a completely different conversation than the guy above, but still I was intrigued. It took a week for him to ask me out which is totally fine. We went out on a Thursday night for dessert. If you ask me, any guy that wants to take me on a dessert first date, clearly has a sweet heart. The date went super well and ended with a goodnight kiss and a “I had a really great time, we’ll do this again soon!”

My dilemma… I’ve never dated before, let alone dated two guys at once so I’m kinda stuck. My mind is juggling a ton of emotions and I’m wondering, “who do I like more?” , “is one more friend material than boyfriend material?” I guess I won’t know who I really like more, unless I date both of them and figure it out along the way. It’ll suck when I figure it out because someones heart might be crushed, but I guess that’s how this dating thing works.

So, if you ask me online dating is totally fun and totally worth it. Now, here’s Francesca Gariano’s Tinder experience.

“I first downloaded Tinder when I was living in Cleveland. I was probably nineteen or so, bored, and maybe a little bit drunk. I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing or why I was doing it, but I found myself swiping through the eligible “bachelors” within a twenty or so mile radius from downtown Cleveland where I was living adjacent to campus. I think I only went on one Tinder date while I was actually living in Cleveland and deleted my profile a few times in the midst when I just got bored of the same old same old (aka seeing guys from my classes and getting too embarrassed to swipe right so I’d just swipe left until Tinder was probably like “this girl is too picky, get her the hell off of this app”).

Between college and my big move to New York City, I lived at home in Western New York again and tried having a Tinder profile there. I just kept seeing guys I went to elementary school with and just couldn’t really make any connections like I wanted to. In the back of my head, even if I knew I didn’t want an actual relationship, I kept thinking about the ticking timer that was counting down the time that I had left living at home. I surely wasn’t going to get myself involve with anyone when I had all intentions of leaving. I’m not a long distance gal, but I’m also not a monster who is going to just up and leave and be like “BYE, I’m moving to New York in a couple of weeks! I finally got a job!”

So, I deleted it again sometime around the fall of 2017 and my profile was never to be seen again.

Well, that is until I moved to New York City and decided that maybe I was finally ready. Not for a relationship, but for some good ole fun. I finally felt confident enough in myself where meeting strangers for drinks wasn’t going to make me so nervous that I would invoke actual nausea to the point where I’d find an excuse to cancel or ghost or both. How I feel about my appearance and personality is another story for another time, but it took me around 22 and a half years to finally feel okay-ish about it, so I took advantage in the newfound confidence and decided to start swiping again.

I was on Tinder for approximately a month before I finally went on a date. I had talked to a few (okay more than a few…) on and off the app, but I just talked myself out of pursuing any of them. One was too clingy too soon, the other unmatched me on the day we were supposed to get drinks so I took that as a sign that we probably weren’t meeting at The Joshua Tree at 9pm anymore. For one reason or another, as they do, things just didn’t work out. And then on one hot Saturday afternoon while I was laying on a sheet in the grass with my roommate, I got an invitation for drinks that evening and I finally decided that maybe it was time to stop putting off the inevitable.

So, I got drinks. They were fine. It wasn’t spectacular, but the guy was nice and found me funny and didn’t seem completely repulsed by my presence. I wrote the night off as a success, even if we only hugged goodnight and didn’t talk again. Sometimes you just have those people in your life where you have a fun night together and nothing too spectacular happens but it was still something that you needed. I needed a date to go well to keep up my momentum and liven my confidence a bit.

I’m not going to give a whole chronological story of the dates I’ve been on thus far, nor am I going to share the nitty gritty gorey details because, well, trust me you don’t want to hear them. I’ve gone on first dates, on second dates, hell even on fourth dates. Online dating is what you make out of it. You can have all of the dating apps in the world but if you’re not into the idea, then nothing is going to come out of being on them besides getting carpal tunnel in your hands from swiping so much. If you’re looking for something or someone specific, you’re going to find something completely different because that’s just how things work sometimes. Have you even gone shopping for a specific occasion for one very niche item and you come out empty handed but when you’re looking for nothing in particular you end up with far too many options? I feel like it’s the same with online dating.

I’m not going to find Niall Horan, try as I might (though I did bag quite a few dates with an Irish man so…close but no cigar) on Tinder, but I’ve met plenty of decent people while playing the Tinder game. You just have to keep and open mind and just make sure you’re sharing your location with at least one of your close friends! Kidding! (But not really)”

As you can see, Francesca Gariano and I are Pro-Tinder lol. There is nothing wrong with online dating and putting yourself out there. As long as you don’t edit your body or steal pictures from Google you have nothing to worry about. I say go for it, like Francesca said, “It’s 2018, people meet on the internet now.”

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