I Went on One Bumble Date and Met the Love of My Life
Why you shouldn’t give up on dating apps just yet
It’s just one date, it’s no big deal, it’s just one date, it’ll be over soon, I kept chanting in my head as I walked toward the café where I was supposed to have tea with the first guy I’d ever met on a dating app.
No matter what I told myself, my anxiety just kept soaring higher and higher.
The concept of dating apps seemed stupid. Choosing a random stranger to go on a date with? Isn’t that a bit too… unnatural? Marketing yourself like that?
Seriously, it’s like people can’t just ask each other out anymore. Everything has to go through the system.
Every time I got a match and Bumble happily twirled that I had 24 hours to make a move on a guy, my stomach lurched. I swiped left so many times my thumb almost fell off. How do you start talking to an absolute stranger? How do you ask them out without sounding like you’re taking it too fast?
I wanted to punch my anxiety in the face.
Despite my serious doubts about dating apps and despite the temptation to uninstall Bumble and throw my phone in the bin to be as far as possible from all these strangers chatting me up, I took a deep breath.
I swiped right.
Jump! Jump! Jump!
After 4 years of being single, I decided I wanted a boyfriend. Turns out, wanting something is much easier than actually doing something about it, and so I spent months and months just living my life while on the lookout for a potential husband.
I turned a corner, and I smoothed my hair. Would he stand there right now?
I entered a university classroom. My heart started beating faster. Is my future boyfriend sitting somewhere in here?
I looked at the men sitting around a table I was in charge of in the restaurant I worked at. My eyes automatically swept over them, examining if there was an attractive face to catch my attention. Will one of these guys ask me out? Who knows what could happen.
The world was brimming with possibilities. There was one tiny little problem, though — no matter how many men I looked at or talked to, I didn’t fancy any of them. 50% of people around me were of the gender I aimed for, and yet I had no luck. It got to a point where I seriously started doubting my own sexuality.
Then the new year rolled around. Boyfriend nowhere, potential prospects nowhere, one-night stands turned out to be a complete disaster. And I knew I was ready. Ready for a serious long-term commitment, ready for love.
What else was there to do?
The world of dating apps was right there at my fingertips. I no longer had an excuse. And so I jumped in.
The falling is blissful
The reason so many people are reluctant to give dating apps a try boils down to fear.
If love simply happens to you, you don’t have to put in much effort before you’re already tumbling down the pink clouds, a daft smile plastered on your face because you’re so in love!
Dating apps, however, require you to put yourself out there. You need to step outside of your comfort zone, create a profile that might resemble a marketing strategy in a way too uncomfortable for some, and swipe through dozens of people before you arrive at someone who might be worth the shot.
What’s more, you have to go on a date with a stranger. For someone who used to suffer from insane levels of social anxiety, the date part actually made me want to throw up.
I’m not going to lie to you — I cried before I went on my first Bumble date. Two days before I met the guy face to face, I talked to him for about two hours, thought he was funny and interesting, and decided to stop wasting any more time.
I asked him out. My social anxiety was howling at me to throw the phone in the toilet and never get out of the house again, but I swallowed my fear and agreed on the time and the place.
When I went to meet him, every step forward felt like climbing a mountain. This is the strange thing about social anxiety — it physically makes you want to retreat.
For some reason, my brain perceived dating as a threat, and while I walked to the café, I felt a heavy tug in my stomach as if something was pulling me backwards, telling me to run away, to cancel at the last minute, go back home and cry under the covers.
But I knew I had to go on. If I wanted to take charge of my own dating life, if I wanted to stop waiting for love to just happen to me, I had to open the door of the café. And walk in. And talk to a stranger for an hour while I sweated, shivered, and stammered my way through a conversation.
It’s ridiculous, but that date probably counts as one of the most stressful experiences of my life. Granted, he made it so much better because he was amazing — handsome, chatty, polite, strange in all the right ways, funny and sincere.
I was too freaking stressed to fall in love in one hour, of course. But I agreed to meet him again.
And again. Until I did fall in love, until I lost that sense of anxiety around him, until I moved in with him and started planning a future with him. He’s the best man I’ve ever dated, and I’m incredibly lucky to have met him.
I still can’t believe it took me one single Bumble date to find a boyfriend after years of nothing.
But you know what? Call it luck, call it fate, I think a big part of this miracle is that I chose to act on what I wanted.
I took charge. I went to meet a stranger and I fell in love with a man who treats me the way I deserve, who makes sure I’m happy and content, who always supports me and who gives me all the cuddles in the world I could possibly need.
And then some.
Why not jump too?
“I’m just not sure about the whole dating app thing,” my friend said for the hundredth time. “I want it to happen naturally, you know? Maybe we’ll stumble upon each other at the library, or maybe he’ll be in my class and we’ll lock eyes…”
“Or maybe you can take some action,” I offered. It’d now been a year since I met my current partner on Bumble, and so I didn’t hesitate to share my wisdom with anyone who was willing to listen. “Instead of hoping for a hypothetical situation to happen to you, you can just as well go and make it happen yourself.”
She sighed. “I know, I know. I think I’ll give it time, anyway.” She was 22 years old, she’d been single her whole life and she wished for a loving partner with all her heart.
It’s been a year since that conversation, and she’s still single. I’d love for her to magically stumble upon a great guy she’ll fall in love with — after all, it’s still not uncommon for people to actually meet each other without the help of a dating app.
It might take a very long time, though. And that’s okay if a relationship isn’t something you’re currently seeking. But if you want to have all those cuddles, kisses and all that falling-in-love miracle in the near future, chances are you’ll have to wait a long, long time if you just live your life and wait for someone to ask you out.
They say the moment you stop looking is the moment love finds you on its own. Well, that might or might not be true, but this certainly is: The moment you take charge of your life and act on your desires is the moment your chances of finding what you’re looking for dramatically increase.
I’m not saying you’ll find your prince charming on the very first swipe of your finger.
But the more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities open up to you — and the more likely you are to gain some experience, figure out what kind of person you want to be with, and even find that love you’ve wanted for so long.
I’m not saying that dating apps are the only possible way to find love in the 21st century. Not at all.
Many people still find love in the most unexpected places, and it’s beautiful to see. Similarly, people can go on dozens of dates with strangers and still not find what they’re looking for.
What I am saying, however, is that putting yourself out there and giving dating apps a try increases your chances of getting what you want. And even if you don’t end up with a great partner, at least you’ve met an interesting variety of people you wouldn’t have otherwise stumbled upon.
Who knows? Some of them might even become your friends.
As weird as dating apps are, I’m extremely grateful for them. I wouldn’t be sitting here, writing this article while looking at my boyfriend in our cute apartment, weren’t it for Bumble.
Sometimes, a little bit of courage is all you need to go and get the love you’ve wanted for so long.
Are you going to keep waiting and hoping? Or will you take charge of your love life?
That’s up to you to answer.
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