The brief history of my love life is that my current boyfriend and I met in college almost five years ago, we broke up after dating for two years. The distance proved to be too much of struggle on both ends. We rekindled things Fall of 2014 (we both live in the New York/New Jersey area now) and have been together ever since. Couldn’t be happier.
That being said, let’s just say I learned a lot while single and I want to use my dating blunders to help you. There are plenty of dating apps out there and I have to tell you that they all essentially serve the same purpose and yield similar results. Do not be surprised if you see the same guys across the board on apps. Which brings me to my first tip…
Stick to one app.
You’re not going to find a treasure trove of attractive men, with great jobs, a full head of hair, and a decent sense of style. Just like in life, these men are unicorns and they do not hang out in groups. So do not join a bunch of apps in hopes of variety. If you want to try a few different apps, get a new app at the beginning of each month and deactivate the one you are currently using. Most apps store your information so it will not be like starting from scratch when and if you decide to revisit.
Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
Most guys will initiate conversation, but there are some who need to know you are interested first. Don’t be shy girl! Send that first message. It doesn’t hurt to show your interest. If you can’t think of a witty one liner, look at his profile pictures or bio and pull something from there. For example, if he says he is a travel buff ask where his favorite trip took place. Get where I’m going with this? Good!
Leave the rest up to him.
After you’ve let him know you’re interested, leave the ball in his court. He may message you back, he may not. If he doesn’t, his loss! If he is interested he will message you back, he will text you, he will ask you on a date, and so on and so forth.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an aggressive woman who goes after what she wants, in fact I encourage it. I encourage it in all aspects of life, except dating. There are some guys who go with the flow because they have nothing better to do. They text because you initiated conversation and hang out because you asked. This could go on and on until he ends it abruptly coming seemingly out of left field or goes the douchier route of not answering your texts/calls.
I’m not saying leaving the ball in his court can prevent this entirely from happening, but at least you get a gauge of his interest from the start. Don’t stop letting him chase you. Don’t text first. Don’t initiate plans. Easier said than done, but doable.
Don’t get hung up on one guy (in the beginning).
At the beginning of your online dating journey you should be going on a lot of dates. Those dates shouldn’t be with just one person. Eventually there will be a guy who stands out among the pack, but at the beginning you need to fully submerge into the online dating scene to experience the good, the bad, and sometimes the very ugly.
Don’t prolong meeting up.
The longer you text or message a person the more the anticipation builds up and the higher your expectations get. Then when you meet up the chemistry is flat and the date is awkward. Another thing to keep in mind is that if a guy puts off meeting up with you there are four possible explanations: he’s not that interested, his schedule is too hectic to factor in dating (that never gets better), he has a girlfriend or exclusive relationship (he’s waiting for a weekend she’s away to meet up), or he’s catfishing you (yes, a very real thing that happens).
If a guy isn’t free to meet up after 2 weeks of online/phone chatter cut it off. There’s a good chance you’re dodging a bullet.
Don’t meet up on weekend night out.
If you get the “I’ll be out with my friends in Meatpacking, we should meet up” text. Don’t. Your first encounter should typically be one-on-one. Also, a guy wanting to meet at up at what would be no earlier than 11:00 p.m. only has one thing in mind. Hint, it’s not getting to know your likes and dislikes. The only time it is okay for you to meet up when he is with friends is if he is out during the day. Usually these encounters are more low-key and there are no inappropriate expectations on his end. This is the time to call your wing-woman and ask her to accompany you. Personally, I still think one-on-one is always best for the first time meeting though.
Beware of the late night texters/messagers on the weekend.
If a guy texts you after midnight, just like the above he only has one thing in mind. Honestly, there is a good chance he had all day to shoot you a text or send you a message. Why would he choose 3 a.m. on a Saturday night when his liver is drowning in fireball shots? Yeah, it’s not to find out how many brothers and sisters you have. If you do answer, which you really shouldn’t, but if you do answer wait until at least noon the next day.
Shut creeps down quickly.
There is no denying that there are creepy guys on these sites. I had a 45 year old guy offer to fly me to Hawaii in his first message and another ask he can worship my feet…
In these cases unmatch, block, etc. These people are persistent and if you give them the ability to continue messaging you, they will. Sometimes you are talking to a guy who seems totally normal and then all of sudden the conversation takes a left turn. In these cases, again, end contact. Sex should not come up before you meet a person. That probably means he’s a player and also sets the tone on your dynamic. If he is offering extravagant trips before you meet him, he is probably a serial killer who likes to keep Tinderellas in a freezer. Just sayin’.
Lower your expectations.
Note that I said expectations, not standards. Don’t start dating guys you would never date normally. Nine times out of ten your first instinct is the right one. That being said, treats these dating apps like the jokes that they are. Go into it expecting the worst and hoping for the best. Best case scenario you meet a guy that you have a meaningful connection with and worst case scenario you go on a few bad dates and meet a few jerks. Isn’t that being single in general?
Know when to take a break.
Your calendar can get pretty full once you get into the full swing of things. Sometimes this can lead you losing sight of why you joined the app to begin with. Yes, it is about meeting new people, but it is also about forming a connection. If you feel yourself going on dates just to have something to do and not because you’re interested in that person it may be time to take a break. It’s not fair to you or the guy who is taking you out. I strongly suggest a one month on and one month off pattern with these apps. Give yourself the opportunity to go out and meet people in the real world. Connections still happen there, ya know 😉
Don’t be embarrassed to tell people you’re online dating.
One-third of marriages these days started out online. You can chalk that up to our society in general. We don’t even want to call a restaurant to order our sushi anymore. Seamless places our orders for us. Everything we need is at our fingertips, so it is it really a shock that now the love our life could be a right swipe away? So just get over the fact that you think it’s a faux pas. It isn’t. I know plenty of examples of online dating success stories (marriage success stories). At the end of the day, the dating app is just a starting point. The connection has to be made in person. It doesn’t matter where you start, it matters where you end. 🙂
Need some one-on-one dating advise? Email me— firstname.lastname@example.org ♥!