Both Martin and I actually met on an online dating site (read: not a hook-up app). Before that, I went through the gamut of mediocre to horrible dating situations. Meeting prospects offline at parties or social functions proved to be equally difficult, since most people were glued to their own circle of friends or, worst yet, phones. I was pretty much ready to give up. Then Martin came along and proved me wrong. On our first date, we chatted for three hours, non-stop, as if we were long lost friends reconnecting where we had left off. It felt natural and effortless.

But our story isn't one without any trial and tribulation. On our second date, things had went awry after an awkward kiss goodbye. This initiated our falling-out for approximately a year and a half. Luckily, as fate would have it, we met again on a night out with mutual friends and took another chance on each other. Alcohol helped of course, but if it wasn't for our straight-up, no bullshit approach towards dating - there would be no #TomTin (foreal, that's our nickname for each other).

We've been together for more than a year now, and our relationship continues to thrive not just through our similarities but differences as well. As complex as that may sound, it's really about committing to the idea of date as play. It's important for us to learn more about each other by interacting and exploring the world around us - and truly treat every day as a play date.

I've never felt particularly compelled to share my online dating success story until now, especially in light of the Tinder and Grindr dating culture that we live in. From what I've observed in my own circle of friends and many others who spew their dirt around the internet, online dating is one big time sucker and an emotional detriment. I am here to tell you that it doesn't have to be this way.

Because the next big thing for online dating is here. And it's called


- the

Hotel Tonight of dating apps

. The app is designed to send you out on a date TONIGHT by eliminating the fluff in between. I am talking about extensive scrolling, messaging, and planning that takes so much of your time and energy on most mainstream dating apps.

Whim helps you cut to the chase by curating same-day dates with singles - pre-screened for you.

You're free to say yes/no to each one. Then at around 6pm, the app will ping you and your match to go on a date with a suggested time and place - all in the same evening.

I wouldn't be advocating for an app like this if it didn't make sense in the fast-paced, social media-inundated world we live in today. Dating should be fun, spontaneous and stress-free. So why not do it on a Whim? Sign up is free.

Here's where it gets even better: Whim and I are partnering up to give away a $200 AMEX giftcard for your first date through Whim! All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter widget below before 8/13/14!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Open to US residents only who are 18 and over

*Participants must sign up for the Whim service to be eligible for the prize

*Giveaway is generously sponsored by Whim