As quite a few of you probably know by now, I’ve been seeing this guy, Ray, since the end of May. The beginning of the year was filled with a couple of one night stands and bad dates, all leading nowhere. And then I met Ray. For the first time, maybe ever, I met someone who said, “Hey, I want to make this work.” And not only said that, but has been active about keeping this long distance thing real.
We met on Tinder, and you can say what you want about that, I’ve heard it all, but I’ve been using Tinder for over a year and out of all the guys I’ve met, he’s one of a few. Living in a college town, the local guys are usually assholes and they aren’t looking for anything serious. Which sucks. Because for a long time I didn’t even know if I wanted anything serious, but I hated brief encounters and I wanted something more than whatever it was I was finding. I know, Tinder is not the place you look for a relationship off of, and in all honesty I wasn’t fully looking for one. I just used it as a way to meet guys and go from there – most weren’t worth the meet, and I had a few awkward or used instances.
A friend of mine told me to use Bumble because it’s better at finding relationships than Tinder, but I actually had less encounters on there and it was overall the same to a worse experience. Unless you live in a city or are able to drive, it’s not worth it. Which is ironic that I started dating someone who lived an hour away.
Tinder is set up (or it was over five months ago) that if someone from outside your range likes you, they still show up in your feed. So even though I had my range set up for 10 miles, I had people from over 40 miles away showing up. It’s kind of a cool glitch because you know who liked you that way. But also sad because majority of my matches were far away, and I had been trying so hard for local. It wasn’t meant to be, this town sucks.
So Ray and I matched, and we started talking. We met within a week of talking, and at the end of the first date, he kissed me and told me that he wanted to give this a try. And we’re still together. Within a month, we went on an out of town trip together – just us.
And let me state for the record – in the entire five months that I’ve known him and been talking to him, he has not asked for a single nude or made me feel uncomfortable in any way. Hell, he tells me I look beautiful or nice when I’m not even trying. People associate Tinder with guys sending dick pics or just trying to hook up (I met quite a few), and I guess this is my way of saying there are a handful of decent guys on there. We’ve texted every single day since that first one, too.
The other night, I was out with some coworkers at the bar. This one guy practically lives at the bar, so I knew him sort of by association, but that was the first night I really had a conversation with him. He basically asked if I was seeing someone and I said yeah. Then he told me it’s not a real relationship until you put labels on it. I just shrugged.
I dunno, do you think labels are necessary before calling it a relationship? I like how Ray and I are doing things. When we got together, I just wanted to go with it. I didn’t want to rush into labeling us or jumping into making it official. Honestly, I think more because I was scared of scaring him off. Now we’re at that point where I’ve met his friends, and he’s met my mom, but I don’t really know what we are. Maybe I should bring it up when I see him next weekend. I guess I just enjoy living in the moment too much with him, that I’m nervous that he’ll say he doesn’t want to label it either. But I feel that’s also silly, because this guy obviously cares about me, I can tell in the way he says things to me, and the way he acts towards me.
I’m just used to people walking away or leaving. And I’m getting attached to him. I’ve never been in a real relationship, or had something last this long. The closest I had was a fling that lasted four months. Okay, “unofficial” relationship that turned into a fling. Ray is the first guy I’ve ever spent the whole night with, or gone anywhere with. Even told my mom about him from the second date.
You may not know me that well, but this is ground breaking for me. And I get scared it may all go away before I have a chance to truly appreciate it. Yet, I don’t see it ending anytime soon. I trust this guy, he likes me, all is well. And I really don’t care what other people think of it. What matters is how I feel, and how Ray feels. You know best when it comes to the person you’re seeing. Maybe this is why none of the others ever worked for me – they were all little lessons. Teaching me what I really don’t want, what I know I’m better than, what I deserve.
My current relationship makes me happy, and it’s long distance, not easy, but I feel it’s worth it. Completely worth it.
October Writing Challenge #17