Serious dating on Tinder may have been a unicorn—only talked about, but never really seen. But for these intrepid daters, faith in swiping-based apps paid off.
Sumeet and Jean Claude on their wedding day
First and Only Tinder Date
Sumeet (44) and Jean Claude (44)
First Swipe: February 2016 in Toronto, Canada
Engaged: May 2016
Married: August 2016
Family doctor, research scientist and associate professor Sumeet was ready to make good on a New Year’s resolution to go on four Internet dates during the month of February. (Valentine’s Day is a strong motivator.) After three on Bumble, a younger PhD student gave her some invaluable advice: “Go on Tinder if you want to make the most of your experience.”
On the cab ride on her way home from the airport she gave Tinder a whirl. “That’s when my now-husband Jean Claude turned up. I swiped right—I thought he was good looking,” she confesses. Sumeet and the business consultant started chatting right away and went on her their first date four days later. “It was my very first Tinder date… and my last,” she says.
Is she nervous to tell people how they met? “I’m not embarrassed. I think we have a really nice story and am happy and proud of it all.”
Gina and Blake
Dog? Check. Outdoorsy? Check. Beard? Bingo!
Gina (36) and Blake (34)
First Swipe: November 2013 in Denver, CO
Engaged: December 2014
Married: September 2015
Public relations professional Gina was well aware of Tinder’s reputation. “People are always so surprised. ‘You met on Tinder? It’s a hook-up app,’” she says. And because of that skepticism, Gina approached it with few expectations.
But when she saw oil and gas industry designer Blake’s picture she was pleasantly surprised. “Dog, outdoorsy and he had a beard—all the superficial things,” she jokes. “It seemed like we had similar enough interests to get a conversation going.” And that, she says, was enough to see where values would fall over time.
That time to meet, however, was delayed from both the holidays and because of her grandmother’s illness, which led her to travel back to Chicago. After matching in November they didn’t get together until the end of December. The anticipation, however, was “built up because of so much texting,” says Gina. “I wasn’t in the best place emotionally, but I thought, ‘I like this guy.’” The feeling was mutual—Gina and Blake were married less than two years later.
Samra and Brian
Peace (Corps) and Love
Samra (31) and Brian (31)
First Swipe: August 2014 in New York, NY
Engaged: February 2017 in Cuba
Wedding Date: October 2018 in Jersey City, NJ
When we talked to Samra she and her fiancé Brian were on their way to the wedding of her cousin—who met his wife online. There’s no stigma to it for her or her family. “It’s an efficiency thing,” Samra says. I did not have time to be going out to bars and dates. I could do my swiping before I went to bed. It was my ten-minute activity. I could swipe and wake up to messages from guys.”
One of those guys was Brian. She swiped right on him, well, because he was “super handsome, so that helped.” She also points to the specific challenges of being a woman of color on dating apps. “It’s actually much harder for women of color to go on real dates from a lot of these apps because you’re either not getting as many responses or the kind of responses you want.” Because of that, Samra was very critical of her suitors and on the lookout for a man of color.
When she saw Brian, she had a good feeling. He had a picture of himself with ten little kids—a kind of Peace Corps photo. “Oh, he volunteered!” she noted, herself a Peace Corps alum. “That was the picture that made me actually swipe right.
On their first date a week later, the two who work in non-profits bonded over their passion for social justice and youth development. And then when Brian casually used the word “pedagogy” in conversation, Samra was truly smitten. “Intellectual and super attractive? This could really work out!” The couple is set to tie the knot next October at a New Jersey venue that overlooks downtown NYC.
Jessica and Leon on their wedding day
Outside Her Comfort Zone
Jessica (30) and Leon (29)
First Swipe: April 2014 in New York, NY
Engaged: September 2015
Married: August 2016 in Deal, NJ
“I was looking for a serious relationship,” says Jessica, who knew about Tinder’s reputation, but put it aside. “I thought this was an easier way to connect with people.”
The senior marketing director didn’t expect to connect with someone so outside of her comfort zone— a licensed massage therapist. Leon used a professional picture in his profile, indicating he was a “European masseuse or something weird,” and also did some modeling. And on paper, they had very little in common. She grew up solidly suburban and Leon had emigrated from the Ukraine at age two and grew up in Brooklyn—he was not the investment banker that she thought she was going to marry. However, Leon was very handsome—why Jessica swiped right—but it was his manner of being really kind and thoughtful right away that made her rethink things.
He friended her on Facebook soon after they started communicating and suggested they go on their first date to Turkish Baths. Not a huge fan of the idea, she nixed it, so he took her to one of New York City’s nicest restaurants, Gotham Bar and Grill.
She didn’t expect that the person she would connect with would be a model/masseuse. Neither did her friends who assumed that because he was different from her other boyfriends that “people didn’t attach seriousness to it.” But Jessica did, and they were married in just over two years. “Without Tinder our paths never would have crossed,” she says.
Mollie and Josh
JSwiped Right for Love
Mollie (29) and Josh (30)
First Chat: November 2014 in Chicago, IL
Engaged: September 2016
Wedding Date: October 2017
Mollie had a thing about height. So after the first message from Josh, who she had initially swiped right on, (“He was very cute!”) she noticed that he was shorter, a typical dealbreaker for the public relations professional.
But “our conversations were incredible,” says Mollie. “He was very smart and funny.” Because they connected during the tough holiday time, which was also a busy work travel month for banking consultant Josh, they built up a rapport through the app. Soon, they were finishing each other’s sentences.
Mollie cancelled their original first date, but quickly rescheduled. However, she was so excited to meet him that she spontaneously contacted Josh to meet her out the night before their date at a bar where she was spending time with a friend and her sister. They have been together ever since and are set to marry this October.
Not only is she not embarrassed about meeting on an app, but, she immortalized it on her phone. In her contacts, his first name may be Josh, but his last name is JSwiped Right for Love.
The photos thats started it all for Rachel and Andrew
You Had Me at Pink Gorilla Costume
Rachel (39) and Andrew (37)
First Matched: May 2015 in Los Angeles, CA
First Date: May 2015 in Los Angeles, CA
Engaged: December 2016 in Palm Springs, CA
Wedding Date: September 2017
After writer Rachel had just been dumped, she rejoined the dating app Hinge because, “I knew I wanted marriage and kids, and you know that ‘When Harry Met Sally’ quote, ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible’? Well, I needed to meet him, first. So I wanted THAT part to start as soon as possible.”
So she put her profile back up, complete with a picture of her in a pink gorilla costume. That pic, from a poker game with a Las Vegas-themed costume requirement, turned out to be an inadvertent conversation starter. Violinist and composer Andrew soon messaged her, “I was hoping to meet the pink gorilla of my dreams.” And indeed he had. In September he will make an, um, honest ape out of her.
Does she ever hide the story of how they met? “Heck, no,” Rachel says. “I think it’s more and more commonplace to have met online, and technically, since it’s an app, we met over the phone, which is even more antiquated and adorable.”