So yeah, Tinder.
How did a nice girl like me find herself on an app like that? Erm, long’ish story.
But one where I learned that sometimes in life we need to let go of our little judgey-pantsy prejudices and preconceived ideas and open our narrow squished-up wee minds.
So in addition to my passion being to help young women realize how precious and valuable they are, one of my other self-appointed missions in life (perhaps presumptuously) is to help young men become the Real Men they were born to be. Whatever that may be for them. Especially in the area of relationships and how they perceive, treat and relate to women. Funny that!
I guess, when I see young men who are really nice guys – who I can see would make amazing husbands or partners and fathers one day – I just can’t help myself. I just have to encourage them (I do try not to be pushy!) to envision a life for themselves beyond the short-sell that popular culture is constantly trying to pitch to them.
It’s easy when you’ve got the Big Sister thing going on. Younger guys (for me, those in their 20’s and early 30’s) don’t see me as potential relationship material and vice versa. So there’s not really any of That Complicated Stuff in the mix. And I genuinely love the energy, the enthusiasm and the passion with which many of the young men I know just go at life – with the world at their feet and their lives ahead of them. It’s awesome!
So anyway. I was working recently with one such young man. A really nice guy, but insisting that he didn’t want or need to get involved with a girl, he didn’t want to be in a committed relationship. Totally his call, and his prerogative. But I had a feeling that, if he met the right girl, all that would change for him.
So I just started, you know, hinting that it would be nice for him to meet a nice girl. That it would be such a pity if he missed out on meeting the right girl if he were otherwise occupied with Not Looking Out For Her. I did it in a nice way, in a non-judgey way (!), but in a way that I hoped would help him to see the life he could have, with the right girl.
He would smile and say ‘nah’ or give some other reasons why he wasn’t ready for a relationship at the moment, so I thought his mind was made up. So, end of Gentle Encouragement Process 🙂
What I didn’t realize, was that what I’d been saying to him had actually gotten him thinking. And without saying anything to me, he decided to go and do something about it. He joined Tinder.
So a couple of months after I ended the Gentle Encouragement Process, he told me that he’d met a really nice girl on Tinder. I was, to say the least, excited out of my mind! She sounded lovely and I begged to meet her. Talk about a Fairy Godmother complex 🙂
But wait, what? Tinder?! You mean, Swipe-To-Shag?
I screwed my nose up at the mention of Tinder. Dude, like, what?! Seriously?! Tinder is where people hook up! Ewwww…
And now it was time for this young man to return the favour and teach me a thing or two. His words seared my uptight little conscience.
“Well, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”.
Part of wanting to dole out sage words of wisdom (haha) is that you gotta be able to take them as well. And I knew, at that moment, this time, I was the one who had to do the taking on board, and the thinking.
A couple of days later, a galpal of mine messaged me asking about a Facebook friend of mine who she’d started talking to on Tinder. Again, I was like, what? You – sweet Christian galpal of mine – are on Tinder?! It kind of blew my mind. Again, it got me thinking.
A couple of days after that, in church one Sunday night I asked another galpal what she thought of Tinder. Turns out she had been on it. She hadn’t met up with anyone, but she had chatted with people. Again, another really nice person on Tinder. She said it wasn’t too bad. Maybe it wasn’t the Swipe-To-Shag it was made out to be.
So third time’s a charm. She talked about it a bit more, and I thought, what the heck. So, sitting in church on a Sunday night (yes, I know, I know – don’t judge) I downloaded the Tinder app onto my phone.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
I was not even remotely ready for what happened next.