Who doesn’t love a good ‘how we met’ story? Perhaps it’s because we get an intimate look at how two people, once strangers, came together after a chance encounter. But I can’t help but notice the amount of tight lips I’ve seen in response to the relatively harmless question. It’s as if we’ve forgotten the role it plays, and see the reality of 21st century dating as something that doesn’t stack up against fairy tale expectations.  I can’t count how many times I’ve seen friends shy away from sharing their relationship’s concep- tion. Making eyes in a sweaty club isn’t exactly ro- mantic, and meeting through mutual friends feels a little lackluster. But God forbid you struck up a conversation on Tinder with someone and it worked out. So many women think their story is embarrass- ing and would rather create a backup. I think the stigma is self-perpetuated: we’re still dreaming of a princess moment, rather than a #girlboss one.

But this story is one that should be told. It’s the one you’ll be asked to share a thousand times over the course of your relationship; the anecdote guaranteed to make the best man’s speech; and one day you’ll tell your children too. For those reasons especially, it makes for an important one. I’d say it even trumps the proposal. For example, how did your parents meet? I bet you know. It’s a memory of theirs you regard like a keepsake, often above all others.  I’ll give it to you though – times were simpler back then. They probably met at school, on a blind date or some other PG-13 way. They had corded phones, drive-ins and milk bars. We have iPhones and Netflix (and chill). Tinder, social media and online connections are the reality of communication today. Come 30 years from now, no one will blink an eye at the Internet’s role in match making, or any other socially acceptable way of finding a mate in 2017.

Someone wise once said the truth is more interest- ing than fiction, so resist the urge to fabricate your story to perfection. No one wants to hear some semi-romantic, convoluted plot about a glass slip- per. We can watch a Jennifer Aniston rom-com for that. Your friends, family and everyone in between just want your honest account of a menial moment that became something else. Even if you did meet on Tinder, your story should still be about your cheesy chat and unrefined reactions.  I met my partner on a club dance floor. Leading with the ‘treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen’ approach, he asked me why I was wearing a penguin costume. I was, in fact, wearing a soldier inspired dress but couldn’t explain that very coherently as I’d lost my voice. Ini- tially I wasn’t too keen on sharing our vodka and lime soaked story, but I laugh hard when it’s brought up now. So I encourage you to embrace yours, in all its awkward, comical, honest-to-goodness reality.

Words—Casey Vassallo | Image—Evie Kemp