It all starts with a swipe, at least…that’s what it seems like these days. Modern dating can get overwhelming. Here are 10 tips for succeeding (and enjoying) online dating.
Online Dating Made Simple
Let’s begin where most advice ends. The most important part of dating is being yourself. Sound familiar? Almost every blog post, “top 10” list, YouTube video, or entire website devoted to this subject will tout the same, relatively simple thesis. Being yourself, feeling comfortable in your own skin, and owning every part of you will get you where you need to be.
So, wait…If you already knew that, why bother reading on? It’s almost too easy to get lost in the sauce when it comes to modern dating. Seemingly endless options on apps, a barrage of attractive people on Instagram, and a society intentionally geared toward couples can be dizzying for singles. Knowing that owning yourself is the key to all this, is more than half the battle. It’s just a matter of getting started.
Take a Deep Breath
Let it out slowly. You just matched with that super cute girl on Bumble. Dark hair, bright eyes, a smile to die for…Oh, and look at that! Only 5 miles away. Perfect.
She responds quickly with that classic opening line of…wait for it…
What now? You start panicking.
You don’t want to respond too quickly, it’ll look like your desperate, but you don’t want to wait too long, it’ll make it seem like you’re not interested…oh my god what if she thinks you’re a loser already, she probably is second guessing the whole thing and is about to unmatch. Why did you even download this app in the first place? Ugh. It’s been 10 minutes already. Seems like a good gap…Time to respond, right?
When it comes to dating, the fewer the games, the better. We play most games with ourselves and our own minds, in this case. Respond when you feel most comfortable. That may be as soon as you get the notification, or maybe a few hours later when you have more time to focus on a conversation.
Respond with a kind compliment and open ended question to get the conversation flowing. Don’t worry too much about the gaps in between responses. We all get busy, sometimes. It’s almost never personal!
It’s best to arrange for your first meet up within the first day or two of conversation. Start by suggesting something low key and comfortable, like your favorite coffee shop, or that new wine bar that just opened around the corner.
Here’s where that confidence comes in, again. Own the date suggestion, pick a date and time, and coordinate otherwise if need be. Even if the initial suggestion doesn’t come to fruition, your confidence in asking will likely secure a first date.
Be Confident About What You Want
Date one was a success. You guys met up at a new cocktail bar she recommended. The bar was dimly lit with Edison bulbs, a long concrete bar, cozy velvet chairs, and industrial stools. You couldn’t have asked for a better place to meet up. You talked about everything from the art on the walls to your childhood crushes.
By the end of the night, both of you were excited to set up another date. However, as the days pass by, you start to second guess whether or not you really clicked.
Sometimes, the initial excitement of a first date can bring up a lot of emotions. Taking a few steps back from the intensity and seeing the interaction from afar can help clarify, but also confuse something that felt so certain in the moment.
It’s always important to be open in dating, but more importantly, it’s important to know enough about yourself to determine what would work and what wouldn’t. Did you notice a really stark difference in communication styles? Were they mean to the waiter? Did they have a MAGA hat on? While it’s important to remain openminded, it’s equally important to own your likes and dislikes, identify when something really rubbed you the wrong way, and determine if a next date is worth it.
Bad Dates Will Happen: Here’s How to Enjoy Them
You read that right. You can actually enjoy bad dates.
Bad dates are one of the best ways to get to know what works for you and what doesn’t. Let’s say your date arrived 20 minutes late, was on their phone the whole time, only talked about their six lizards, and asked if you’d read the script about a futuristic world where everyone lives on blackberries and makes their own clothes out of cat hair…Yikes.
If these are things you really can’t get past, that’s great! A successful date doesn’t always have to be a good one. It’s a learning experience! You’re just one step closer to finding that right person.
Date #2? Don’t Mind if I Do
Let’s rewind to that fantastic date you went on previously. You’ve had some time to think about it, and you would really like to see her again. You’ve been texting on and off for the past few days, so it seems like an appropriate time to ask what she’s up to this weekend.
Keep it casual (museums or zoos are great options for second dates), and don’t get too upset if she already has plans. Again, most of the time it’s not personal! People have busy lives and rarely wake up in the morning rearing to ruin your life, so don’t let it!
Second dates allow you to focus on more personal topics. While there are no “rules,” per say, conversation topics like your hometowns, families, travels, more granular interests, and loosely hitting on past relationships are great conversation topics to get to know your date a little better and lead to great discussions!
After your second date, you should have a better sense for whether or not you want to pursue things further. Each person is different, so keep the lines of communication open to ensure that you’re both moving at a comfortable pace. With any relationship, new and old, communication is key.
Feeling better? Online dating is not as scary or awkward as its often made out to seem. In conclusion, own who you are, stay openminded, prioritize communication, and know when to say no.
Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. There will be ups, and there will most certainly be downs, just enjoy the ride.
You’ve. Got. This.
Got more questions? Concerns? Need to chat? Head over to my YouTube channel for more tips and tricks to master modern dating.