By Derek Reimherr
Today on Millennial Marriage, we’re trying something different. If you’ve read about how we met, you know we started dating through fairly traditional means. The thing is, we don’t live in a traditional world anymore. There’s meetups, online dating, and dating apps - most famously, Tinder. And wouldn’t you know, one of my closest friends met the love of his life on Tinder.
So we called them up to find out how the heck they managed to met on Tinder...and get married! Yes, people, you heard that right. Zach (Z) and Jessica (J) swiped right and now a year and half later THIS WEEK, they’re saying, “Baby, I’ll swipe right on you forever.” Read below for our interview with them.
Why did you go on Tinder?
Zach: It was January and I was hanging out with a friend watching a terrible movie. He was on his phone the whole time. Turns out, he was on Tinder. Out of curiosity, I downloaded the app. It’s pretty shallow since all you’re doing is looking at someone’s appearance. So, swipe swipe swipe....and I deleted it after 45 minutes.
Jessica: My cousin mentioned that her brother met a girl via a mobile dating app. She wouldn’t stop going on about it, but I wasn’t so sure. Even though I’d heard horror stories, I gave it a shot - I knew I wasn’t going to meet anyone in Gwinnett County (where Jessica works, a suburb of Atlanta). I will say, it definitely gave me a confidence boost. Somehow Zach made the cut.
How long did it take y’all to match?
Z: Maybe three days? I deleted the app, but I reinstalled it later and had a few matches. Want to guess who?
J: Probably only a few days. Tinder gives you conversation prompts, and Zach’s was “Say something witty.” And that’s exactly what he said to me - “something witty.”
Did you go on any other Tinder dates?
J: Actually, I was at a Braves game, and one of my matches was there. So we met up...it was weird.
How did y’all go from matching to a date?
Z: We definitely had to, as they say in Language Arts class (...what?), we had to establish some rapport. It took a few weeks.
J: It definitely took a while. My profile said “Jesus lovers only” and creeps would STILL come around. Zach mentioned the Passion conference (Where Maggie and I met) which really got the conversation going. But you know what won me over? Talking about Taylor Swift. He almost lost me with his crush on Justin Timberlake (I, too, am guilty as charged with having a JT man-crush). But he gave me his number and we started texting every day. Eventually, I dared him to call me since I’m bold like that sometimes. But we ended up playing phone tag that night because he was dancing with his Mom. Cool, right?
What was y’all’s first date? Was it awkward? How was it meeting a stranger?
J: Well, we went to get Starbucks...but we showed up at different ones. I had stalked him on all forms of social media, so I knew what he looked like (classic #millennial) and we figured out that we weren’t at the same location. Once we found our way to the same place, he SPRINTED to the door to make sure he opened the door for me. So yeah, it was awkward.
How did y’all go from the classic Starbucks mix up to dating?
Z: I made it super clear the first time we hung out that I wanted to be really intentional. At that time in my life, EVERY dating relationship I was in ended up being full of games. (J: You’re terrible at games!) There were so many times where I scheduled a date with a girl and she would abruptly cancel with reasons like “last minute babysitting job." And I’m like, are you effing kidding me? So after our first face to face meeting, I just laid it out there. “I like you, you like me, let’s see where this goes.”
We had a movie night first (J: We sat on opposite couches, didn’t even touch). Then we went to a brewery where I ran into my ex gf, her husband, and her parents (J: And he spilled beer on me, but I’m not bitter), so that couldn’t have gone any worse. But we kept going out.
When did y’all get serious?
Z: We went to Texas Roadhouse where they were literally line dancing in the aisle. I couldn’t hear a word she was saying; I couldn’t even hear myself think. But I started thinking, “You know, I think I love this girl. I could sit here and just look at her and that would be okay.”
J: Well, first we had to get past Zach’s terrible kissing. At first, he would jab his tongue down my throat and pick up my head from the forehead. It’s okay, he learned.
On the way home from a Super Bowl party, we started talking about our past and our relationship struggles. The conversation got really deep. He went to drop me off, but it was raining. We got out and kissed in the rain where he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. (Nicholas Sparks couldn’t write it any better, folks.)
When did you say I love you?
J: Well, we went to a party. Someone decided to bring Fireball...things got out of hand. I was talking with my eyes closed.
Z: Yeah, and crying. At one point, she just said, “I’ve had it. I’M GOING TO BED,” (with her eyes closed the whole time) and she went upstairs. I felt bad, went after her, and found her in bed crying into a pillow, staining the pillow case with mascara. I just looked at her and said, “I love you.” Her reaction: “You....you do? I love you, too.”
J: The next morning, as I’m not feeling too great, I look over at him and just go, “THAT’S when you decide to tell me you love me?” Romantic, right?
Were you embarrassed to tell people you met on Tinder? What did people say when they found out?
Z: Oh, yeah. We told our friends we met at Starbucks for probably the first six months. But once everyone learned the whole story, they were actually really cool about it. The girls at my office started saying, “If Zach can meet the love of his life on Tinder, why can’t I?!”
J: We still told our close friends. But random friends got the fake story. I always made Zach tell them.
(Maggie: I feel like we knew really early. I would say, “Wow, Zach is dating a really pretty girl!” and Derek would say, “Oh yeah, they met on Tinder!”)
When did y’all know you were going to get married?
Z: It was pretty early. Probably in the first six months.
J: Well, I went through a weird phase where I thought, “Mmm, yeah we’re not gonna end up together. But I don’t feel like I should break up with him yet, so we’ll just hang out.” At some point towards our first summer together, something clicked. I knew he was awesome and I wanted to end up together, forever. It started to become a conversation, and we discussed timelines. As a teacher I knew we’d have to get married in the summer.
Z: One of my married friends kept asking questions about me and Jessica. He said, “Do you love her? I can tell you do. Listen bro, my wife and I had a 37 day engagement (WHAT?!). Just go for it.” Yeah, no. Funny, though - their story isn’t too different - they met at church and reconnected years later on MySpace (#tbt). I still asked him for advice, and he encouraged me to make it a conversation. Within a few weeks of talking about it, she started sending me pictures of rings.
J: Zach wanted to wait another year because he felt like our relationship was moving a little quickly. But because of our life situations, we decided we couldn’t wait - just seeing each other on the weekends wasn’t cutting it. We wanted to be married and be roomies.
Do you think you would’ve met without tinder?
Both: I don’t know…..
Z: Seriously, when I pray, I say, “God, thank you for Tinder.” I’ve gone through some tough things in the past year, especially medically, and I had this amazing source of hope and encouragement in Jessica. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. Tinder is amazing.
J: If it was meant to be, I feel like God would’ve worked out. But Zach never came to Gwinnett County (where Jessica works, a suburb of Atlanta), and we only had one mutual friend, so I don’t know how our paths would’ve crossed.
Would you recommend Tinder?
Z: It depends what you’re looking for. I had just dated two psychos and I had given up on girls. I thought, “I’m just going to be a monk.” But Jessica was in pretty much the same place, right, babe?
J: With girls it’s so hard. It’s weird (in the South) to be 24 and single. My best friend and I were in the same boat. Everyone around us was getting married (because we Southerners are crazy), but eventually I accepted what God had given me. So would I recommend it… I don’t know.
Z: Same for me. I think Tinder was just the vehicle that God gave us to meet. It might not be for everyone, though...
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How'd you and your sweetheart meet? Let us know in the comments!