“Do you want to come meet me and some friends at a bar tonight?”

My heart was pounding up into my ears, my hands trembling as I stared at the text message on the oddly narrow screen of my iPhone 5. It wasn’t that I was inexperienced with the dating world. Though my experiences weren’t particularly numerous, I had a boyfriend for almost two and a half years at the beginning of college. This was a bit different, to say the least.

I had never met Danny before, though we had been texting constantly for almost two weeks at that point to the point that I truly felt I understood him. I met Danny on Tinder, the infamous app known for its entirely aesthetic introductions of perpetual swiping, and had begun a fantastic conversation over text that had slowly overtaken my waken moments: I no longer paid full attention in class, we fell asleep in sync and greeted each other the following morning at first light. The one time he fell asleep after school for an hour I thought I’d been abandoned. At this point we were both pretty sure we were soulmates.

“Give me his name and contact information and if I don’t hear from you in the morning I’ll call the police,” said my friend Caro when I asked her if she thought it was a good idea. Not the most reassuring advice but definitely insufficient to dissuade me from the impending expedition.

I’d always been risk-averse, never very comfortable in social situations remotely incorporating loud music and dancing. My family raised me in the typical conservative fashion I associate with the early 90s: wary of the stranger danger and always cognizant of the inherent peril in all things inordinary. A certain set of life experiences — an ugly divorce and family fracture, the breakup of my longtime boyfriend six months prior — had led me to the realization that I no longer accepted this restrictive life philosophy. I wanted to try life aesthetically, to take those risks of which I’d been afraid in the hope that I might gain from them, and out of the fear that in failing to do so would I would miss out on important opportunities and perspectives.

Ignorant of the mediocrely-fitting clothing I had dawned I skipped out the front door of my house, nothing but the shining advent star of Google Maps to guide me on my journey, boarding the MBTA 95 bus towards Sullivan Square minutes later. I had no idea the significance at the time as I rode on that bus, staring at my reflection and the usual late-night riffraff that inhabits MBTA busses, of the adventure I was undertaking.

I had taken a chance. I had stepped into the unknown and sailed off into the dark night full of hope and anticipation and not without concern, but I had taken a risk and I had committed to doing so.

The first of what was to be many TinderVentures had begun.

Vol 1: Danny, the OG TinderBoy