Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Modern Dating

Five and a half years ago, when I was a freshman in college, Tinder came out. We all downloaded ironically but no one would ever ACTUALLY meet someone on there. It was dirty and just based on physical attraction. Boys who hid behind phone screens would lead you on for months just to be disappointed by the lack of commitment.

It was new and gave a new way to lead people on. It made our world smaller but not always in the best way. And my friends and I usually found that the kind of guys we wanted to meet weren't on the app.

So we took to trying to meet guys the old fashioned way, at a college bar. I met guys through friends and formed a lot of great friendships, but I wasn’t meeting anyone special. So many girls had either dated guys they had known since they were like 12 or they met a guy when they least expect it. Both ways that are completely normal, but I always asked myself “why not me?”

In truth, it just wasn’t my time! But as more dating apps popped up, I’ll admit I tried them. I’ve gone on Bumble and Hinge dates and even met some guys I’ve really liked and even my current boyfriend. As the apps have evolved, and I have as well, I’ve found that once you know what you deserve and don’t waiver from it, it makes weeding out guys who are duds much easier.

It can also feel like you’re limiting yourself at times, but I promise that in the long run, you’ll be glad you said bye to undeserving suitors early on.

While I’m no dating expert, in my experience:

Bigger cities yield bigger results. 

This totally stinks and isn’t scientifically proven, however in my experience I have found that in a bigger city such as Chicago, there tends to be a bigger dating pool. I’ve always had more luck in bigger cities, just a numbers game I think.

Pick your favorite app and stick with it. 

I have friends on like 6 apps and friends on strictly one. I was on Bumble and Hinge for a while, but I always preferred Hinge. I just had better dates and better luck meeting guys I was attracted to.

Your profile. 

Every app is different, but the overall theme is: be yourself. Pick photos that highlight your personality. I always had solo shots and then some with friends, nothing crazy. On Hinge you have to have little conversation starters, I just always picked the ones that were easiest to answer! There’s no real secret here but just be yourself.

You are your best asset. Always be yourself, and don’t try to change yourself to fit someone’s idea of you. At the end of the day, anyone you have to alter yourself for is not worth it in the long run. You deserve someone who can see all the sides of you over time and accepts you for them. If you find yourself trying to change who you are to make someone you’re dating like you better, then they’re probably not for you!

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 

I used to go on one date with a guy and figure “wow I really like him, maybe I shouldn’t talk to anyone else”, I’d get ahead of myself and think to what could potentially be. It’s completely natural but this was my downfall in a lot of situations because in turn I came on too strong, and then I ended up back on the apps. This is just my advice, but sometimes keeping your options open may help you from coming on too strong too soon!

I always frame my pitch on dating apps like this: if you’re looking to get out there, get your toes wet and go one a few dates to meet some different guys, then go for it! When this is your mindset, it’s easier to not put so much pressure on yourself to make things work with the first guy you meet.

Trust your gut.

I listen to my gut in a lot of aspects of my life and dating is no exception. You can tell off the bat if something is good or bad. If you ever feel like you’re not into something anymore for any reason, end it! You don’t owe it to anyone to keep seeing them if you’re not into it. Your intuition will make it clear if you feel safe and actually like someone. Another component of this that I always tell my friends: if you wouldn’t allow it in a friendship don’t allow it in your potential relationship. If you wouldn’t let a friend or a family member or anyone else in your life treat you a certain way - why let someone you’re dating?

Don’t ghost someone! 

For the love of God, it is 2019. If you see someone and they keep texting you, and they like you but you’re not feeling it, just be honest! Leading someone on is the worst and causes so much more drama and hurt feelings. Own up to how you feel and be honest with that person!

If they ask for your snap handle before they ask for your phone number. 

That’s going to be a no for me dog. I usually unmatched guys who did this because in my experience it never leads to anything serious.

It’s a dance. 

Not a game, but it is a dance. I’m not telling you to lead guys on, but in dance, there’s a fluid movement, give and take. You have to listen and move to the current rhythm of each different opportunity.

I’ve come on too strong at times and tried to rush situations instead of being patient. I’ve gone overboard and been too available and while none of that was my fault, I could have potentially really liked some of the guys but our rhythm was off. We weren’t meant to be, but after those situations, I also realigned my expectations. Instead of assuming going on one date meant that this was something really special, I waited and ensured that I remained level-headed until I was sure that feelings were mutual.

You also have to see signals for what they are. If they’re not making an effort to see you or talk to you, then they don’t deserve you!

Ya gotta get out there! 

I can write pages and pages of every little thing I’ve done on apps, but the only way you’ll know what works best for you is if you get out there if you want to and try!

I know at times it can be nerve-racking to put yourself online like this. But I say, why not? It took a while for me to meet guys I actually wanted to date on apps, I’m not sure if it was me or my dating pool, but it did work out in my favor. I have faith that there’s someone for everyone. And if you’re open trying something new, I definitely suggest them for 2019!
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