I Messaged My First Tinder Match After 3 Years & He Reminded Me That Not All Men Are Monsters

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I first downloaded Tinder while sitting on the bottom of my dorm room's bunk bed. I was 21, studying abroad in London, and determined to fall in love with a charming, young Englishman before the semester was over. Within a few hours of creating a profile, I had my first Tinder match with a cute engineering student who went to school around the corner from my building.

He asked me to grab drinks the next night, and I remember thinking, "Oh my gosh, what if you fall in love and get married and he turns out to be a secret prince?" You know, as any grown woman would.

We met at a cozy, classically English pub and chatted about everything from hangover cures to gun control over sangria and melting candle sticks. He walked me all the way home at the end of the night, leaving me with a kiss on the cheek (and no hint that he'd like to follow me inside)... and I never saw him again.

Truth be told, I didn't feel our chemistry was all the way there on date one. And admittedly, I got distracted by everyone the dating app world had just dropped at my feet, so I let things fizzle. But in the three years of Tinder-ing since — which have included pre-date texts like, "So, I might roll up to dinner a little hammered," — I've often kicked myself for letting this perfectly chivalrous Brit go.

But guess who's back in London? Oh, yes, it's me.

Magically, we're still Facebook friends. So I messaged him completely out of the blue three years later. Here's a play-by-play of what went down.

I Waited

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After sending a simple, "Hey, long time! How are you?" message his way, I waited... and waited some more. About an hour later, a read receipt popped up. "Seen, 4:45." But no reply.

"Well, this is what you get for ignoring a person for three whole years," I told myself.

He Sent Six (Six!) Messages Back

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Fifteen minutes later, he responded like an excited puppy (or a cat with a keyboard, I guess), sending rapid-fire messages back my way.

"How are you?!"

"Have you been in London this whole time?!"

"How do you like London?"

"It's been so long!"

And so on.

We Basically Became Best Friends

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From there, we went back and forth about all of the (major) life changes and exciting events we'd both experienced over the last few years: graduations, career shifts, moving back and forth across the Atlantic. Outside of the fact that this was all done over Facebook messages, it felt way more like catching up with an old friend than chatting with a near-stranger I went on a date with once in college.

We Made Plans to Go Out Again

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Now, at this point, I was ready to start buying string for friendship bracelets, and I figured I'd see if he wanted to meet up again. So I asked if he would be down to grab drinks next week, and he said yes.

Am I expecting to have a sudden, passionate love connection? Not exactly. But if I've learned anything in the last three years, it's that chemistry can develop with time. Consideration, chivalry, and kindness, on the other hand? Those qualities are trickier to come by.

And who knows, maybe that first Tinder match was the winning ticket after all.

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