“I was swiping through the app when some of my friends asked to help out, which — encouraged by a couple of beers — I agreed to,” Ian told me in an email.
“When they started seeing other guys appearing on it, it was pretty obvious I wasn’t straight.
“I didn’t know how to flirt with a guy.” But on Tinder, Landwirth says, he could finally just relax, because the app took some of the guesswork out of things.
There was no fear he’d be hitting on a straight guy — which meant he could finally focus on figuring out who he was attracted to, and whether they were interested in him. I was able to let loose,” he says, “to try the lamest pickup lines or do some serious flirting.” Plus, having these exchanges on the internet felt less intimidating than interacting with someone face-to-face.
After confirming this, it was a lot easier to just be blunt about who I was interested in.” For Ian, this way of coming out mercifully lacked the drama of making a formal announcement.
“It’s a lot easier when it comes up in conversation or there is a reason to show your orientation,” he wrote.
Landwirth and Vidal matched on the same day Vidal downloaded the app.
After three and a half years together, the couple got engaged this past April.
Landwirth had been single for two years after breaking up with his college girlfriend, a woman whom he loved but knew, deep down, that he couldn’t spend the rest of his life with.
“My biggest fear was that I was going to get married, have a family, have kids, and have this huge secret that would blow up and either end up destroying my entire family or destroying me,” he said.