Online Dating

Online Dating Is Not for the Weak

When I started dating my bf, first and foremost I was happy that I found someone that I genuinely liked and who actually liked me back. But right after that feeling was the relief that I was able to delete any and all online dating apps.

Dating in this day and age requires online dating. In my opinion, it’s a necessary evil. For some reason, online dating still has a stigma around it. Plenty of people are embarrassed to admit they met their SO by swiping right. But here’s the truth, plenty of relationships, plenty of marriages these days start with a match on an app.

I do not pretend to be an authority on anything. (I ate a pint of Halo Top ice cream for dinner last night so I would take anything I say with a grain of salt.) But I do know a few things about online dating. I spent a large portion of my twenties downloading apps, making profiles, swiping right, and doing all that other online dating nonsense. It’s tedious and can often feel like a second job, but sometimes it actually works. While I technically knew my bf in high school, we probably wouldn’t have found ourselves in each other’s lives again if it weren’t for the help of OK Cupid. I know of quite a few relationships that have started with both parties swiping right.

When you’re in the thick of the online dating scene, it can be exhausting and soul crushing. (I cannot even begin to count how many times I deleted an app just to redownload it a few days later.) I want to try to make things a little easier for you. Below are some tips that should help online dating go a little smoother.

Spend a little time on your profile. I know it’s tempting to put a fact or two and end it with, “If you want to know more, ask!” No one wants to spend a ton of time filling out their online profile but don’t leave it completely empty. Your profile is a chance to showcase your personality. You can use it as an outlet to let others know why you’re on the site and what you’re looking for. It doesn’t always work but doing this can help to weed out some of the people just looking for a hookup. Also, it’s always a good sign if a match messages you by referencing something you mentioned in your profile. This shows that they actually took the time to read what you have to say.

On the same end, take notice when someone puts effort in their profile. You’re not going to spend time filling out your profile if you’re not serious about online dating. Be weary of the profiles that have just a few sentences. This usually means the dude (or dudette) isn’t looking for anything too serious.

The block button is your friend. Coming across creeps on dating apps is inevitable. I hate to break it to you but it’s going to happen. You’re also going to come across people that will become hostile seemingly out of nowhere. The good news is that you do not have to deal with them. The block button is there for a reason. Do not waste your time responding to someone when they show signs of being a jerk. Block them and move on.

Don’t use an incredibly old photo. My motto when it comes to online pics is to use something where you look good but not TOO good. Your picture should look like you the way you look on a regular day. So don’t use a photo from your sister’s wedding when your hair and makeup were professionally done. Let your date be pleasantly surprised by how you look in person. And leave any photo that’s over two years out of the profile completely.

Don’t let it turn into a texting relationship. When you finally match with someone, I think there should be a time frame for when you actually meet in person. Of course, you don’t want to do it right away. You gotta give yourself some time to determine if the person’s a psycho. But don’t let it turn into a texting relationship. I had some guys who I’d speak to every day for months but we never actually met. Either they wouldn’t even initiate plans or plans would fall through at the last minute. If it’s been a month of talking but still no face-to-face meetups, drop it. Dating is time consuming as it is. Don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t want to actually meet you.

Be cautious on where the first date is held. Do not get into a strangers car. Do not go somewhere unfamiliar with a stranger. NEVER go into a strangers house. I cannot stress this enough. The person you’re meeting online could potentially be the love of your life or they could be the next subject of America’s Most Wanted. Finding out which category they fit in will take some time. Until you’re convinced this person isn’t going to murder you, do not go anywhere with them alone. Even if they insist, travel to the date on your own. Make sure you’re meeting up at a place with other people and always let someone else know where you’re going. I may sound paranoid but as great as online dating can be, it can also be incredibly scary. You can never be too careful.

If you do not feel anything after the first date, move on. Dating is a numbers game. The more people who meet, the more likely you are to meet someone you have a connection with. This is why keeping someone around just for kicks or cause you sorta like them is a complete waste of your time and the other person’s.

Don’t take anything personally. People can be mean. They can especially be mean online. There is a lack of intimacy when you’re communicating through a screen. It’s hard for some people to remember that there’s an actual human being on the other end. I think that this is what makes some people meaner online than they would ever be in person. If someone is being mean to you, just block them and move on.

Do not get discouraged. Online dating can be exhausting. You will go on way more bad dates than good dates. Try not to let it get to you. Remember that you’re not alone and that the guy or girl for you is out there. It just may take a few more swipes to find them.

If you need a break, take one. If you’re a single person who wants to find someone, you have no choice but to put yourself out there. I know it’s tiring but you’re not going to meet the love of your life on the couch. However, with that being said, if you need a break, take it! I wasn’t kidding when I said online dating can be exhausting. If you feel that you’re getting burnt out, take some time to decompress.

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The Eight Stages of Online Dating

online dating

Ah, online dating. If you are single in your twenties these days, either you have tried online dating, have thought about online dating, or been harassed by friends and family members because you aren’t trying online dating. Tinder, OK Cupid, Match, Plenty of Fish (Pof if you’re in the know). The possibilities are endless. If you find yourself single for a significant amount of time, odds are you’ll dabble into online dating a bit.

Be prepared! It’s a dark, scary road. Here are the eight stages you should expect to experience.

1. Avoidance – When you are single, it’s inevitable that people will start suggesting online dating to you. “If you’re single, what else are you doing with your time? How could you not be using every means possible to find a significant other?” But you know better! You’ve seen enough SVU episodes to know how this ends. You don’t want your 15 minutes of fame to come because you were murdered by the guy you met on Plenty of Fish. Besides you have this all figured out. You’ll continue going through your daily routine falling flat on your face every five minutes. Eventually you’ll fall into the arms of a hot stranger. Right?!! That’s what the movies keep telling you will happen!

2. Disbelief – After people suggest you should try online dating, they will no doubt tell you about a success story. It’s usually their sister’s brother’s aunt’s uncle’s dog’s friend who knows someone who knows someone who met her husband online. This online married couple is probably best friends with the married couple who started out as a one night stand. Do these happily married couples who met online really exist? You are highly skeptical.

3. Reluctance – Eventually you cave. Maybe you spend one too many nights in your bed watching Netflix and eating a whole pizza pie by yourself. You think, “It would be nice to order TWO pizza pies and have someone I can be fat with.” So you create an account on Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, or one of the other free online dating sites. Match and eHarmony can suck it with their fees!

4. Intrigue – So you finally join the online dating world but still have a lot of doubt. There is no way you’ll actually find someone. Then it happens. You get a message and it’s grammatically correct and actually has some substance. You check out his profile and not only is he cute but he seems relatively normal and intelligent. Could it be? Have you found someone normal and attractive online? After an hour-long deliberation on what to say, which usually involves friends and wine, you message him back.

5. Disgust – By now you’ve gone on a few dates. Mr. Seems Normal and Sends Interesting Messages turned out to be a total bust. Seems that people aren’t always what they appear to be on the Internet. Who knew? If you get one more message from a guy explicitly telling you the things he’d love to do to you, you are going to throw your laptop out the window!

6. Questioning – There will come a point where you start to question who you are as a person. You come to the conclusion that everyone on the online dating site is insane. So, wouldn’t that also make you insane? You think, “OMG, I must be just as crazy as these wackos. There are no normal people on this site, myself included!”

7. Deletion – After your hundredth creepy email, you give up! This whole online dating thing is doing more harm than good. The guys disgust you and then you start feeling disgusting about yourself. This isn’t giving up. This taking back your life. You come to the conclusion that online dating is the worst.

8. Withdrawal – So you delete your account and for a while you are doing fine! You’ll find someone on your own time. You don’t need the Internet to help. But eventually thoughts will start to creep into the back of your mind. “Meeting people in real life is damn near impossible.” “Maybe not EVERYONE on the Internet is crazy. I just need to be more selective in who I talk to.” So you cave once again and join the world of online dating vowing that this time it will be different.

*Spoiler: It’s not different. Be prepared to continuously repeat stages 3-8.