I’m an honest person. At times, a little too honest. I’ll walk away from a conversation asking myself why I just shared that thought with the cashier at Trader Joe’s. It isn’t because I enjoy oversharing, but I have a constant itch to understand myself.

I don’t think people are always honest about their experiences with love and their feelings for others. They shield their true thoughts because of the fear of them being different, which can be scary.

Sometimes I will Google questions about what to do when I like someone. I pull up the search bar and type in “how often should I talk to my crush.” There is no way I am the only one who does this. I wouldn’t even be surprised if you have typed this exact question into Google.

I don’t have a lot of experience in serious relationships. I’ve had one girlfriend and besides that have only been on dates. I never felt the need to get an online dating app at college because I would pass hundreds of attractive girls every day. After graduating college it wasn’t as easy to meet cute singles near me. So, the journey of online dating began.

I Downloaded The App 

I chose Hinge and spent about three hours creating my profile. I needed to make sure that I seemed funny, but also serious. I needed to find a good picture of myself, but also with the bros. All the must haves of an online dating profile.

I got my first match. I had the whole date planned out. I would take her mini golfing, and then, if it went well, I would ask her to get some food. We didn’t get food.

I think she swore fifty times in the first hour. To each their own, but come on, it’s a first date.

I went on a few more dates that were similar. I’d match with them, go out on a date, and then it would end there. I usually knew whether or not there would be a second date within the first ten minutes. That’s why I created three rules for online dating.

My Three Golden Rules For Online Dating

You may criticize these rules, but this is what works for me.

  1. Never spend more than twenty dollars on a first date because it might not be worth it.
  2. Do something that is easy to cut short. You can’t stop playing mini golf 12 holes in.
  3. Talk to them on the app before you meet them in person. Look for signs that it won’t work out.

I Got Frustrated

After the first four or five dates, I had already deleted and redownloaded the app several times. It started driving me crazy. I was losing focus of what was in front of me.

I realized that you don’t have to be looking to date someone solely online or solely in person. Online dating is just a means to expand the pool of potential people you could meet.

Once I realized this, I took a fresh mindset back into the app and started swiping again. I started talking to a girl I enjoyed having conversation with. We went on a first date. It went well, and for the first time in my Hinge history, I went on a second date. It also went well, and we sealed it with a goodbye kiss. There was just one problem.

Rule 4: Don’t Date Someone With Your Ex’s Name

The same first name as the only girlfriend I have ever had. It was impossible to not think about her every time I said her name. Not in an affectionate way, but just in a way that her freaking face would pop up in my mind.

We went on six or seven dates and then it ended. She was an awesome person, and we had some good times, but something was missing. With the conclusion of these dates came my fourth rule in online dating, and dating in general: Don’t date someone who has the same name as your ex-girlfriend.

Don’t Give Up

I’ve continued online dating since then, but it hasn’t been successful. I’ve been on mediocre first dates and wasted time talking to people who don’t really care about meeting me. It can be discouraging at times. The fact that you are being liked or disliked based off of your pictures is strange.

But eventually, you learn to understand and realize that it doesn’t really matter what these people think. The only person that needs to think you’re cute is the person you spend the rest of your life with.

Love Isn’t Always Like In The Movies

I have found myself getting caught up in an idea. The idea that there has to be a grand story behind meeting the person I will fall in love with next. They will be the person I marry. A story that will bring tears to the eyes of the people at your wedding.

How awesome would it be to be running on the beach and find love at first sight, or to fall in love with your best friend. As awesome as this would be, it doesn’t always happen. In fact, most of the time it doesn’t happen.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter how you meet the person that you are going to marry one day. It might seem like it does now, but all that matters is that you get to be with them.. The stories and memories can be made after you meet.

I Know I’ll Find Someone

My whole life I have desired to love someone. For them to love me. To share my life with someone who knows my story and sympathizes with it, and I with theirs. Someone who accepts my flaws and doesn’t try to change me. Someone that I can be happy doing nothing with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy, but it still feels like something is missing.

Maybe this person is on Hinge, or maybe they are going to be my neighbor. I don’t know, but I want to continue to share my journey with truth and authenticity.

I wanted to show you the journey of a 24 year old man that isn’t afraid to be real about how he feels. So, stay tuned to hear about my search for love. Free from shame for pursuing it, and full of excitement for where it takes me.

Author bio: Kyle is a 24 year old guy who is looking to encourage others in finding their inner child. He believes in adventure, creativity, and love. He shares his stories and thoughts on his personal blog www.24going12.com, and you can find him on Instagram @24going12.