I Met My Wife on Tinder

I met my wife on Tinder. I was looking for women with that familiar bio line "I have a boyfriend but he's OK with me dating women", or some version of that.

As I swiped a face with sparkling eyes starred right at me through the screen. The face had beautiful full lips that were cocked in a now all too familiar half smirk. My attraction caught me off guard at first: I never really pictured myself being drawn to someone so androgynous. I’m typically attracted to more feminine presenting people, but something about them caught my eye.

I took a deep breath, swiped right, and we began typing. I started to sweat as I saw the … as they messaged me back. Conversation flowed easily, and we seemed to share similar interests, were in the same stage of our lives, and they came across as genuinely thoughtful and caring. It felt like we were hitting all the markers for what I wanted in a relationship, so I did something out of character and asked them to meet in person.

I was due to head out to Mexico for the first time in about a week, and had so much to get done. I contemplated skipping out on our plans, but I remember looking at my phone and thinking “Well, who knows if we’ll even be talking when I get back”.

I have often looked back at this moment and thanked myself for fighting the anxiety of meeting someone new. My life would look totally different if I hadn't been brave that day.

We met at a Starbucks. Monika had been staying at one of their best friends' house the night before and had to drive back to Penticton, where they lived at the time. We ordered coffee and sat down, and before we knew it hours had passed. We stayed connected all throughout my trip and I would send them Snaps of moments that I was enjoying and let them know I was thinking of them.

When I got back, we started to meet up more frequently. Matt, my partner, and Monika seemed to get along really well, and Matt and I began to talk about the idea of making things with Monika more official. I knew I wanted to be with them, so after Matt and I discussed our relationship, I invited Monika to a pride event that was happening in Penticton, BC. We rented a hotel room and got ready together, and the whole time I felt as if I’d known them for years.

That night we danced in our 80's inspired workout jumpsuits, and when we crawled into bed Monika laid down and ate pizza like a drunk otter. I mustered up the courage to squeak out a quiet "Do you want to be my girlfriend?" and they responded "yes, I Do!"

From then on, we were in constant contact. We lived 45 minutes apart—long distance is tough! We would sneak visits with each other between everyday life and meet halfway, in Peachland, BC. Monika had a partner of 11 years, but as I learned more it came to light that they had been feeling a disconnect romantically and their relationship had turned to a friendship. Not long into our relationship Monika came out officially and ended their relationship with their previous partner and moved to Kelowna, BC where we were able to see each other more often.

Things progressed naturally as Monika and I became more connected. They were at our home all the time, and eventually we invited Monika to move in. When we started to experience some issues with our landlord we decided to find a new space for the three of us, our dog and 2 cats.

We found a home and became a triad. I knew that I was falling in love, and on a trip to Nelson Pride I told them that I loved them.

It was an amazing weekend together and we’ve made it an annual event. We expanded our little family to include their dog, Benjamin, who is going on 12.

Towards the end of 2019, I fell into a depression. We had unexpectedly lost a few close friends, and one of our cats went missing and never returned home. I was struggling to keep my head above water and it felt like everything was crumbling through my hands. Finally, after many nights of gentle nudges from Monika, I took a stress leave. They helped me get into counselling and held me when I couldn’t hold myself together. Monika created a space for me to experience and grow through the depression in a way that only they could. The experience was made tender, and her love resonated through me and led me to seek support and create better health.

While I was healing from depression, Monika had approached Matt and asked his feelings on asking me to marry them.

Matt had been married before and always expressed it wasn't something he wanted to do again, but knew it was something that I wanted, and gave his blessing.

They designed a custom ring with a local jeweller featuring my favourite mountain range displayed with a crescent moon and 3 topaz stars to represent our family.

A long-time client gifted us a two-night stay at Sparkling Hill, and we arranged to have my good friend Hannah, who I've known since I was 5, flown out from Ontario for some much needed pampering and TLC. Little did I know, Monika and Hannah had been scheming and had planned the proposal before I was depressed. Monika had me book the nights at Sparkling Hill during Hannah’s stay—I had no idea what was coming!

The night came and we were whisked off to Sparkling Hill. I happily poured myself a glass of wine upon arrival, and was instructed to drink quickly. Monika took my empty glass and returned with a new glass. I looked down and read “I love you to the mountains and back”, which had been written on the glass. I’m a sarcastic person by nature, so despite this beautiful gesture I laughed and pointed out that the mountains were right outside.

After a while, and after my second glass, Monika suggested to Hannah that she explore the dessert place downstairs. I asked if I could join and laughing Hannah replied no, adding that she needed a moment for herself, which I totally understood.

When the door closed I returned to where I’d been sitting and Monika approached me with a third glass of wine in hand.

They were shaking quite a lot, almost throwing the wine at me. As they handed me the glass I could see the words "Will You Marry Me?" and in their bravest voice Monika asked "Chelsea Anne Turner, will you do me the honour and marry me?"

I burst into tears and nodded, the first words being “Destination wedding—no one’s invited!” We laughed, cried and held each other. Not long after Hannah returned and we all celebrated together, experiencing an amazing night. We swam around the outdoor infinity pool as massive snowflakes fell from the sky and I will always remember looking up at the sky and feeling them land on my face.

Planning our wedding during the pandemic was an absolute gong show. We’d hoped that by waiting for April 20, 2021 restrictions would have lifted, but that wasn’t the case. I feel as if we’ve planned a thousand weddings. When ours finally arrived, it was exactly as it was meant to be, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I now I get to call Monika my Wife, and I have never been more proud. They have found and kissed every wound I’ve ever had on my heart and every wall I'd put in place. Having them come into my life was something I wasn't expecting, and the life I'm making with them was something I didn't think I would or could ever live. Despite my doubts and what society told me was possible, I'm living my best life. I have a home with my Wife Monika, Matt, our two dogs and cat; alternative but perfect.

If you allow love to be the loud, proud, happy joy that it is, you won't be disappointed by the outcome.

 

 

Wedding Photos by Pala Mikayla

 
Chelsea Turner (she/her/they/them) is a fibre artist living in Kelowna, BC. She began exploring embroidery as a way to cope and process depression, and the practice has become a passion that has grown into a business called The Stitchy Witch. You can find her creations hanging in Kelowna’s Friends of Dorothy Lounge, and at the Salmon Arm Pride Project’s Pop-Up Shop! She hopes that her story inspires others to pick up a needle and thread, and that you feel brave to try something new and creative as a way to self-care.