Cheating Destiny on Grindr

What did we do in the days before Grindr or Tinder or Match? How did we meet people before social media put everyone in our backyard – hell, in our bedrooms and bathrooms? Having met my husband a decade and a half ago, I remember the days before our computers or cel phones opened a portal to the world.

Back then we didn’t have instant access to like-minded individuals who shared our love of Madonna. We couldn’t easily connect with or identify those who had a similar obsession with Blanche’s bathrobes on ‘The Golden Girls‘. We had to rely solely on the tricky touch of destiny and luck, putting blind faith in some greater unseen power, trusting that love would find its way into our lives. The chance encounter in the subway, the random run-in in a grocery store, the incidental meeting in a bar, or the casual introduction by a friend – these were the haphazard ways we stumbled upon love in the olden days.

That’s not to say that there aren’t wonderful and lucky couples who have met online and through social sites. And part of me, the cynical, cold, analytical and pragmatic part – feels the best way to have a lasting relationship is to find someone you’re perfectly compatible with and take the difficulties out of compromise and arguments.

Yet the other part of me, the hidden romantic, the guy who believes in love at first sight and star-crossed lovers and all the co-dependent gooey stuff we’re not supposed to believe in, still thinks there’s a place for destiny.

If I’d had to rely on a dating site to pair me up with Andy, it would never have happened. I would not have checked Cars/Automobiles as an interest. He would not have put Thai as a favorite food. I would have steered clear of anyone having anything to do with the police. He would have avoided anyone who was anxiously waiting for the next Tom Ford Private Blend to be released (‘Venetian Bergamot’ in a few weeks – eek!!!) The point is, based on paper and facts and self-admitted traits, we would never would have met. But love doesn’t work that way. When fate stepped in during the last hours of a rainy Sunday evening fifteen years ago, and I saw Andy across an empty old-fashioned gay bar, it was not something that could have been orchestrated by every single preference we could have fed into a computer.

I think if I’d met someone through one of the social sites, I’d always wonder if it was real. If it was meant to be. If it wasn’t forced or manufactured. Given just how different Andy and I can sometimes be, yes, there are also moments where I wonder if it might be easier. But I wouldn’t change knowing him for anything, and I wouldn’t trade the worlds he’s opened up to me, and vice versa, for the ease of instant compatibility. I’m just weird like that. The best things rarely come easily. They are rich and wondrous and worth the work that destiny requires for such magic.

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