Hi Dr NerdLove
My girlfriend and I have been together for over six months. We met on Tinder.
This morning we were having some friendly banter about how some guys were sliding in her DMs over her latest Instagram story post. To cut a long story short she was telling me how guys would continue to do this sometimes for over a year before getting the message that they had no chance with her. At which point I recounted my own examples of getting zero responses from Tinder matches until months later, and how refreshing it was when I matched with my now girlfriend at how easily the conversation flowed instantly.
At which point my girlfriend re-downloaded Tinder to her phone to reminisce over our initial conversations. She’d always told me how she only downloaded Tinder initially to help her sister see if her then boyfriend was cheating on her (turns out he was). My girlfriend insists she matched with me by mistake (I super-liked her) because she’d never used the app before and didn’t know how it worked. But ultimately it didn’t matter, we exchanged details and the rest is history.
However she then asked me to re-download Tinder to my phone. I thought nothing of it and obliged. She grabbed the phone off me and straight away went to my messages. There was no conversations since I matched with her, but three matches in the weeks after we matched with each other, none of which I messaged. I matched with my now girlfriend in December and deleted the Tinder app some time in January.
My girlfriend has not reacted well. She’s accusing me of not taking things seriously during those first few weeks of dating and disrespecting her, questioning why I would be still swiping girls profiles. I don’t recall when I stopped swiping, in fact those subsequent matches may have occurred weeks after I initially swiped (as often used to happen). I have tried to reassure her that it means nothing, that there was no chatting or flirting with anyone else after the time we met each other. I never messaged or flirted with anyone, either on Tinder or any other dating app, any social online media or in real person.
But I am 37 years old and have been stung before by going “all into” relationships very early on, so if I am guilty of anything it would be having the fear that dating this girl might go nowhere and if I do things symbolically to show my long term commitment in those first few weeks of dating, that it would jinx the relationship.
My girlfriend is 24 and never really had a proper serious relationship before (she was a virgin when we met). She is from the Balkans in Eastern Europe and I am from the UK. We are generations and cultures apart and I don’t think she understands how the dating world works in my culture.
She wants to break up with me over this. I can’t convince her otherwise. I don’t feel culpable of anything, certainly to warrant ending the relationship now! Ultimately I think it’s a culture clash that I can’t get her to understand. In her culture she would expect us to have been at least engaged by now, and if it hadn’t been for covid-19 lockdown restrictions, I probably would have been engagement ring hunting. We have been through quite a bit in such a short space of time (including being locked down together because of coronavirus restrictions), but I have been in no doubt that she is the one for me and am fully committed and loyal to her and have been for months.
I’m at a loss at what to do as I thought this girl was really going to be the girl I would spend the rest of my life with. I really don’t feel like I’m in the wrong or deserved to be judged. Maybe I am wrong and if I am, I would appreciate the help into understanding and why and what I should do about it.