Seeing Your High School Friends On Tinder Doesn't Need To Be Awkward — Here's What To Do
Swiping through Tinder is a lot like bobbing for apples, except the apples are an endless pool of singles in your area that may or may not include old flames (the horror) and former high school classmates (seriously, what could be worse?). Before you delete your account in a haphazard attempt to avoid a potentially awkward encounter, here's what to do when you see your high school classmates on Tinder.
First of all, don’t panic. Panic leads to reckless swiping and you might miss out on a second chance with your high school crush! Maybe you were too shy to tell them how you felt way back then, but you’re way more mature now and modern technology has made it overwhelmingly easy for you to let someone know you like their face without having to say a word.
Of course, not every person from high school you come across on Tinder is going to be an automatic Right Swipe. Ideally, you should have a plan for any one of the many possible ways this could go.
If It's An Ex You’re No Longer Friends With
You should always ask yourself a few questions before swiping right on an ex. In the past few years, has this person crossed your mind at all? Do you have any desire to talk to this person now or ever again in life? Has enough time passed since they hurt you or you hurt them that you think you’d be able to have a civil conversation together?
If the reason you lost touch wasn’t that big of a deal or you can’t even remember why you stopped speaking in the first place, there’s no harm in swiping right if you still find this person attractive. Maybe nothing will come of it or maybe you’ll finally have the closure sex you’ve been waiting five years to have — there’s little to be lost in either circumstance and so much to gain.
On the other hand, if this person’s name is permanently etched into the pages of your Regina George-inspirepd Burn Book, feel free to enjoy every ounce of satisfaction you gain from aggressively swiping left.
If It's Someone You Had A Major Crush On But Never Told
Say it with me: HARD RIGHT SWIPE. This is what Tinder dreams are made of. Relationship expert and founder of eFlirt Laurie Davis says, "Remember that the person only knows you've swiped if they have, too, so if it's someone you want to reconnect with (like a high school crush), swiping right might give you the chance to see if sparks exist." Here’s hoping the two of you match so you can send them a flirty text with a clear message!
Davis recommends starting a conversation with a pointed question about what they've been up to. "All the better if you have more context because you've seen their social media updates," she says. "It's a reminder that you know each other and aren't total strangers like most others on the app."
If I learned anything in college, it’s that people change a lot after high school. A more confident — and let’s face it, more stylish — you is sure to catch that old crush’s attention now. Don't spend the rest of your life or, at the very least, the rest of your night wondering what could have been.
If It's Someone You Turned Down In High School
If your feelings about this person haven't changed, you probably shouldn't lead them on with a Right Swipe. Davis adds that you shouldn't feel bad for swiping left either, since they won't really know that you did.
Conversely, if their most recent Instagram selfie made you want to double tap IRL, you should definitely try your luck. Although there's no guarantee they're still interested, it would be silly to assume this person is holding a grudge against you for giving them the cold shoulder in third-period English class.
If It's Someone Who Turned You Down
How does that saying go again? Fool me once?
While matching with this person is the ultimate chance at redemption, you're better off just letting it go. If you're no longer interested, don't swipe right purely for the fun of it (see above!). If you are interested, don't be too harsh on them for what they did or who they were back when we all had neon-colored elastic bands on our braces. It was a tough time for everyone.
If It's Your High School Sweetheart
Romantic comedies and Facebook updates want you to believe that life has failed you if you aren’t currently engaged to your high school sweetheart and planning the Pinterest wedding that fairytales are made of. I call B.S.! Sure, my parents were high-school sweethearts and are still happily married 30 years later but I accept that they’re the exception, not the rule.
High school sweethearts move away, go to college, experiment with alcohol and tattoos, and yes, lose touch or fall out of love. It happens but that doesn’t mean you should attempt to recreate the magic years after the fact. The thing about nostalgia is that you almost always remember the good times to be better than they actually were. TBH, some things are better left in the past. Swipe left and set that person free for good.
Davis says, "You never know who you're going to match with when you swipe!" But one of the best things about Tinder is that after every Left Swipe is a new potential match. If you're tired of running into your high school classmates on Tinder, try adjusting your age or distance preferences — or swipe right on every single one of them and conduct the world's greatest social experiment. The possibilities are endless.
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