Washington - 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'd regale each other 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 Bush's self-portrait. We never took our matches seriously and never actually met them.
Then my friends and I graduated and found ourselves in different cities. I moved to Washington, D.C., where I knew very few people. I was lonely; and for the first time in my life, I had a hard time making friends.
Tinder was suddenly not so much of a joke. I was spending much more time on the app and was actually considering meeting up with some of my matches, even if just for the human contact. One of them, Connor, lauded my ring-by-spring bio and the George Bush portrait. He asked me to get 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 check and hugged. It felt nice.
Afterward, I ordered an Uber and he kissed me goodbye.
I liked him a lot. Possibly more than I'd liked anyone I'd only hung out with 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 hadn't heard from him, I was bummed and took action.
"You want to get drinks next week?" I texted.
A while later I received: "I'm sorry, Hannah, I just moved here and I'm not looking for anything serious."
I didn't know what I was looking for, but I had no friends in Washington and I'd 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's 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've met one another's families. He comes to my college alumnae events, we've spent Passover Seders together, and we binge-watched all of Broad City.
Many of Connor's college friends know the origin of our friendship. But with 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's 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 of them don't 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" is the 11th Commandment.
Through the course of our friendship, though, I've come to know Connor well enough to know we aren't a fit romantically. We're both incredibly blunt with each other, an asset in platonic love, but not necessarily in romantic love. Our story is When Harry Met Sally in reverse.
I've seen Connor through quasi-romances, and he's seen me through a year-and-a-half relationship. We talk in depth about our crushes and what we hope to find in terms of love in the future.
Recently, Connor told me that he's moving back to his parents' home in Ohio to study for the LSAT. I'll miss him, but I'm happy for him. Through Tinder, I'm fortunate to have found Connor. And through Connor, I'm 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.