I'm just gonna be up front about this: dating in Northern Colorado really sucks.

Since moving back to Fort Collins from Orlando a little over 3 years ago, my dating life has been the weirdest that anyone's ever heard about or witnessed. I'm not joking - I have so many stories to tell; from driving across the country to go on a first date, to having guys fall in love with me on the first date and ask me to be their girlfriend that same night (what a TERRIBLE problem to have, right?), I certainly have no shortage of adventures both strange and fun. I'll save those stories for another time, but basically my life has been a whirlwind of me trying to find a genuine human connection worthy of my time and energy - something that has been far from easy, and I've been pretty hard on myself this whole time.

It took about a year for me to really get back into dating once I moved back to my hometown. I'd gone through a nasty breakup in college and really wanted nothing to do with love, yet being a human being, I so desperately wanted (and needed) human connection that wasn't just another friendship. (I had enough friends.)

So I joined Tinder, OKCupid, Bumble, POF (yuck), and even invested in Match.com (double yuck) because that's just what you do in the 2010s.

Online dating in Northern Colorado gets old real quick. Once you get past the first month of using your account and perusing other people's profiles for potential matches, you begin to see the same guys (and probably gals, I don't know) on any given site. I would see the same people on various sites and apps, too - hell, I was that person (obviously). I realize the dating pool could be worse size-wise, but Northern Colorado's dating pool is definitely not the largest and that's what made things so frustrating. What's the point in continuing to be on a dating app or site if the same exact people that you're not interested in keep popping up as potential matches? (There isn't one.)

To some people, online dating is still a bit taboo. It shouldn't be (it certainly isn't for me), but I think the problem with online dating is that some of us haven't yet opened our minds to expanding our horizons even more. Like, step out of your Northern Colorado comfort zone and go on dates with guys or gals in Denver or even the mountains. There are some REALLY great people out there on these sites and apps (and some REALLY lonely people in the mountains), and if you're not finding them in Northern Colorado, then you should check out what other parts of the state (or other states) have to offer.

I began swiping right (and left, left, left, left.....left, left, left....and left) in the Denver area quite some time ago and while I almost lost hope in online dating altogether, I kept at it and have an incredible success story to tell.

I will (try to) keep this short and sweet and not super mushy, but I met my boyfriend Aaron on Tinder and he lives in Denver. Holy wow, I have never found such an incredible human being here in Northern Colorado. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great guys up this way, but I wasn't having any luck connecting with them. It wasn't until I took Denver dating seriously that I was able to find someone so amazing who melts my heart, takes my breath away, makes me laugh, and feel so cared about the way that Aaron does. He has my heart.

Also, topic for another post - how the HELL did I find someone so great on Tinder??! Gosh I don't know, because Tinder really sucks! But our first date was 15 hours long, as we just didn't want the night to end (and none of that was spent in the bedroom). He's awesome.

So I guess what I'm saying is this: if you live in Northern Colorado, don't date in Northern Colorado. If you've been frustrated for a while with seeing the same failed connections online, or you're just looking for some different experiences, update your match location filter to 60+ miles and just see what happens. When you find that special someone, driving down highways and interstates to see them (and vice versa) is going to be so worth it.

Good luck!