Users of the dating site Tinder would know that "swipe right" is an action you make on your mobile phone when you see a profile of the opposite sex you are interested in; otherwise you "swipe left". And while Tinder has earned a reputation as an online place for hookups and casual sex, sometimes you'll find a gem of a person you'll want to keep for the rest of your life.
Dr. Mervyn Tec was fresh out of a five-year relationship; Charlotte Mendoza, a dentist, was "NBSB" — no boyfriend since birth. But when the stars aligned, er, when they "swiped right," everything started falling into place.
Both Mervyn and Charlotte were new to the online dating concept in 2014, and they were also each other's first Tinder dates. "I am always afraid to ask anyone out, but it was different with her. She was the only one I asked to meet for dinner," confesses Mervyn, who had resigned himself to staying single for the rest of his life after getting his heart broken. It was his students who downloaded the app for him, just to get his mind off his situation.
Charlotte, on the other hand, wanted a change in her life. "I realized that I was getting old and my life revolved around a boring routine. So I tried to come out of my comfort zone to search for my soulmate on Tinder...if that’s [at all] possible. "
It turns out it is possible. The two surprisingly hit it off on the first date, saying "sparks flew everywhere."
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Says Mervyn, "she was down to earth and very, very gorgeous. At first, I thought she would be a snob, but I felt an instant connection and a deep feeling of familiarity, especially when she laughs. I guess you can call it 'love at first laugh.'"
That date was followed by another one just four days later. "I remember him saying, 'I think it’s obvious that I really like you. I just want you to know that my intentions are true.'
"One week after we first met, he composed a song for me and sent it thru Facebook messenger where he said 'I love you'”."
Things got serious pretty quickly that by the end of the second date, Mervyn already knew that "she is the one I want to be with for the rest of my life."
Mervyn and Charlotte got married more than two years later, on June 12, 2017 at the Manila Cathedral. "I've never been at my happiest," says Charlotte.
What happens now to their Tinder accounts? "It's been deactivated since I met her," says Mervyn.
Asked if finding "The One" through Tinder ever made them doubt if it was for real, Mervyn truthfully replied, "[I had] No apprehensions marrying her, but it was kind of awkward to admit to people around us how we met. This is very unusual especially coming from a conservative family, but hey, love is mysterious."
When Kat Lopez signed up for Tinder in June 2015, it was because she needed to experience what it was like for the sake of a book she intended on writing. "I would be kidding myself if I say that I wasn't really looking to find someone there," she says, but she had been in a steady relationship just a year before that, and finding a new partner just wasn't a priority.
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But she was fated to meet Dr. Paul Michael Hernandez, or PM, who had been on Tinder since 2014. "I wanted to meet women outside my circle," he says, and soon he and Kat agreed to go on a date.
First impressions? "She's nice and interesting. We come from different fields. She's in Journalism while I'm in Health Sciences. She can really talk about anything. I usually spend most of the time listening when I'm with her," says PM, and that's how he knew he was on to something. "Our dates would last for 5 hours or more, and I could really just listen to her all the time."
PM popped the question in March of 2017, and of course Kat said yes! The couple got married in a dreamy Tagaytay setting in December. "We intend to have a family soon," says PM, clearly excited about what lay ahead of them.