Online dating: Everybody’s doing it. A recent Pew survey found that 41 percent of Americans know someone who uses online dating to meet people, and nearly 30 percent know someone who met a long-term significant other on a dating site or app. Even the older crowd is getting into it: In 2015, 12 percent of adults aged 55 to 64 used online dating sites, compared with just 6 percent in 2013.
So nobody—or rather, nobody important—is judging you for joining eHarmony or browsing OkCupid. But online dating apps are a slightly different story. The swipe-right-for-sex mechanism almost seems too easy, and as a result these apps still have a rep for promoting hookup culture over real relationships. So what do you tell people if you happen to swipe into true love?
You could try telling them the truth, though that might lead to an awkward conversation with your ultra-conservative grandmother. But you don’t have to. Making up a fun, fake story to tell people about how you met is a pretty harmless white lie, assuming you go about it the right way. “You want a story with longevity,” says psychologist and relationship expert Tracy Thomas, Ph.D. “It needs to be something you can imagine telling people five, ten, twenty years from now. And you should be able to have fun with it—and with each other—while you’re telling it.” I mean, what’s the point of rewriting history if you can’t make it interesting?
If creativity isn’t your thing, here are some ideas to get you started.