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I used to be pretty old-school when it came to dating. I was in an eight-year relationship with my ex from ages 19 to 28. So while my friends were out picking up guys at bars and online dating, I didn't have to. I met my ex in college; we were initially friends and then started dating. It was easy. So when we broke up in 2014, I was pretty freaked out, to say the least, about entering the dating scene.

The casualness of modern dating scared the crap out of me and I really didn't think I'd be able to handle it. Before breaking up with my ex, I always said I'd never pick up a dude at a bar, speed date, online date or get into a casual relationship. I had this naive fantasy that if things didn't work out between us, I'd meet my next guy at a book store or a coffee shop, you know, like in the movies.

Funny thing is, last year I did all the things I swore years ago I would never do. I was in a casual relationship for most of the year, I went speed dating, I went on a dinner date with a dude I met at a rooftop bar, and joined Tinder just a little over a month ago. It was almost like my single status forced me to grow up and get out of my comfort zone.

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I hate to admit this now, but I was initially really "judge-y" when it came to online dating. It wasn't that I thought I was above it, I was just scared and intimidated by it. 

The thought of swiping right on a dude based on how he looked, or vice versa, seemed shallow to me. Until I realized, wait what's the difference between swiping right and going up to a dude at a bar? 

You know nothing about him and you're probably only going to go up to him if you like the way he looks. The same applies to Tinder and you might even find out a little more depending on what he decides to write on his profile. 

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It's also 2016 and online dating really isn't as taboo or weird as folks thought it was in the '90's or early 2000s. I'm a busy girl and have a better chance of meeting someone through a dating app than in a Barnes & Nobles or a café — let's be real. I swallowed my pride, faced the fears, and gave this whole online dating thing a shot. What do I really have to lose, right?

I was initially surprised at how easy it was and the amount of normal-seeming dudes on Tinder. The guys I've matched with so far have been handsome, polite, and kind of funny. The banter with some of them has been amusing and I have yet to receive a penis pic or shady message.

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While I have been a little hesitant to meet up with dudes for a drink, I did go on my first Tinder date a few weeks ago and it was great. The dude was cute, hilarious, and not a serial killer. My next date is this coming Sunday, with another dude that I've been vibing with who also seems really cool, so far anyway.

Now I find myself side-eyeing single chicks who swear they'll never give online dating a try. Go figure. If only they knew that it's really not as big of deal as we make it out to be and a lot more fun than you'd ever imagine!