My Tinder relationship ended, but it became one of the most important friendships in my life

Kelly Zemnickis
My Tinder relationship ended, but it became one of the most important friendships in my life

As I sit here, listening to Beyoncé belt out “Single Ladies,” I am having a moment of wondering how I got where I am romantically. I find dating incredibly frustrating — I meet guys I click with and yet it still doesn’t work out. The reasons can be put on a wheel and spun randomly, landing on “I’m in a weird place right now,” “I need to work on my music,” or (and this is a personal favorite) “I’m in a relationship, actually…but it’s not working out.”

There’s been more ghosting than I’d like to admit, guys who just vanish à la Keyser Söze (Kevin Spacey’s character in The Usual Suspects) after we part. Do these guys fall into a black hole after our dinner-and-drinks dates? I don’t know — but what I do know is that I don’t hate online dating as much as I probably should.

I don’t hate it, because one of the best friendships I’ve found came from a mutual right swipe on Tinder.

His name is Jaime. Romantically, things didn’t work out as I had hoped — but that being said, I will count him as one of my closest friends and the peanut butter to my jelly.

My heart shattered when we broke up, but over time, we found a way to make things work in a different way.

dating app, heart

We’re not just two people who used to date and who became even closer afterwards — but I am in the process of producing my first documentary, and Jaime came on board early on.

I have said to Jaime during shoots or while we’re traveling, “Look where we are right now. You’re doing this with me because we met on Tinder!”

It’s kind of insane, really.

Life is all about being aware and listening to the sounds around us, signs pointing us in one direction or another.

I joined Tinder on the advice of my dental hygienist, who said to me (as she cleaned my teeth) that it was how she met her fiancé.

I wasn’t in the market for a fiancé, but I was sold on this Tinder thing. “Sign me up!” I replied in the dental chair (though with everything in my mouth it came out more as “Gringheeehhub!”).

And not long after, I met Jaime.

We planned to meet at the bar of a hotel, and when I arrived, I came upon a man who matched the photos I had seen — but he clearly had another person to meet. As he walked off, I messaged Jaime that I’d almost said hello to a man who looked just like him.

His reply? “Well then, he must be very handsome.”

I laughed far too loudly in the hotel lobby — but I was sold. I hadn’t even properly met him yet, and I knew we’d click.

woman swiping on smartphone

He walked in, and I knew. I don’t know what I knew, but I knew.  That night, as we talked over food and drinks, we exchanged business cards, and Jaime commented on how weird that was. Looking back, yeah, he’s right. It was kind of weird, but an interesting way of foreshadowing where lives would lead. Our next date was to be a Valentine’s Day lunch, and as I got ready to meet him that morning, I zipped up my jeans and felt something in my back pop.

I fell to the floor, and had no idea what happened. I grabbed my phone and somehow managed to convince him that I could order in lunch if he’d come uptown and help me get off the floor and to the chiropractor. As it turns out, I pinched a nerve when putting on my pants — yup! Apparently this is a thing. It was my first Valentine’s Day date in YEARS, and there I was on pain meds, eating Thai food while a man I just met agreed to rub my back while I cried.

This is FANTASTIC, I thought to myself, convinced I’d never hear from this guy again after this random lunch date.

I was wrong.

He’s been there, literally having my back, ever since.

Jaime is my ear for crazy ideas; he’s there when I need a confidence boost. In return, I provide him with countless eye rolls and bizarre stories to tell his fellow Spaniards. One day, he asked if I had any ideas he could help me with (Jaime also works in television production), and I told him my idea to follow a 9/11 First Responder I’d been introduced to. That was a little over a year ago, and we’re fast approaching film festival submissions and the prospect of talking to distribution companies.

Jaime has always encouraged me to speak out when I need to, and not be afraid. My self-confidence has required a bit of work, but this guy clearly noticed that I often held back to please others. Jaime reminded me that I needed to stop doing that, so when a big opportunity for this documentary came my way, I jumped in. And I could think of no one better than Jaime to include in my crew.

We have been through a lot together, and this is a partnership that I treasure with all of my heart. We have tons more adventures ahead of us, and many more stories to tell.

I couldn’t imagine my life without him.