My Tinder date became my good friend

I became familiar with Tinder during my last semester at Bryn Mawr College. Late at night, my friends and I would gather in my room to swipe right.

We would regale one another with our ridiculous Tinder conversations and compete to create the funniest profiles.

My bio read "Tryna get that ring by spring" and my second photo was George W. Bush's self-portrait.

We never took our matches seriously and never met them.

Then my friends and I graduated and found ourselves in different cities. I moved to Washington, DC where I knew very few people.

I was lonely and, for the first time in my life, I had a hard time making friends. I did not work with anyone my age, I lived alone in a basement apartment and, through FaceTime and WhatsApp, I was able to stay in constant touch with my friends all over the world.

But I was running out of things to contribute to our conversations because I had no life.

Tinder was suddenly not so much of a joke. I was spending much more time on the app and was considering meeting some of my matches, even if just for the human contact.

One of them, Connor, lauded my ring-by-spring bio and the Bush portrait. He asked me to meet over drinks. I agreed.

When we went out, I had a good time. A really good time. He was easy to talk to and we had a lot of shared interests.

At the end of the night, we split the bill and hugged. It felt nice.

Connor and I chatted intermittently that week and planned to meet on Saturday night.

When I found him, he was taller, funnier and more handsome than I had remembered. Late in the night, he kissed me and we left for his apartment shortly thereafter.

I spent the night and, early the next morning, we watched my then favourite film, the 2012 Frances Ha, about a woman's journey to find herself and a place to live.

He had not seen it, but said his sisters loved it. And when it was over, he loved it too.

Afterwards, I ordered an Uber ride and he kissed me goodbye.

I liked him a lot. Possibly more than I had liked anyone I had hung out with only twice. But whether I liked him in particular or just liked the idea of having someone, anyone - at a time in my life in which I had never felt more alone - was unclear.

A week later, when I returned from a trip out of town and had not heard from him, I was bummed and took action.

"You want to get drinks next week?" I texted.

A while later, I received a reply. "I'm sorry, Hannah, I just moved here and I'm not looking for anything serious."

I did not know what I was looking for, but I had no friends in Washington and I had had a great time hanging out with him, even without the physical part.

"That's cool," I said. "Can we hang out platonically?"

It took a couple of minutes for him to text back. "Sure homie, always looking to add to the crew."

And add to the crew he did.

It has been three years since I swiped right on Connor and it would be nearly impossible for me to imagine my time in Washington without him.

We have met each other's families. He comes to my college alumnae events, we have spent religious festivals together and we binge-watched all of Broad City.

I have also become close with Connor's closest friends in Washington. I cried with them through last year's presidential election returns, rang in the new year and protested more than once at the White House.

We have gone to my grandparents' house on the North Fork of Long Island for a long weekend, spent Memorial Day tubing the Shenandoah in West Virginia and formed a co-ed flag football team for the summer.

Many of Connor's college friends know the origin of our friendship.

But for those who have come to know us since, I often get asked: "Hannah, how did you become friends with the group?"

When I say I met Connor on Tinder three years ago and have become friends with the rest since, there is usually shock and awe.

The ones who know us well are surprised to learn our beginnings were rooted in a very brief Tinder romance.

My friends who have not met Connor have a hard time fathoming that, aside from that one night, we are totally platonic.

Some do not believe me, as if Billy Crystal's line about how "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way" in the 1989 film, When Harry Met Sally, is the 11th Commandment.

Through the course of our friendship, though, I have come to know Connor well enough to know we are not a fit romantically.

We are both incredibly blunt with each other - an asset in platonic love - but not necessarily in romantic love.

I have seen Connor through quasi-romances and he has seen me through an 18-month-long relationship. We talk in depth about our crushes and what we hope to find in terms of love in the future.

Recently, he told me he is moving back to his parents' home in Ohio to study for the Law School Admission Test.

I will miss him, but I am happy for him. Through Tinder, I am fortunate to have found him. And through him, I am lucky to have found friends much like the group with whom I would gather in my room late at night in college and swipe right.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 09, 2017, with the headline 'My Tinder date became my good friend'. Print Edition | Subscribe