Tuesday, April 16, 2019

So You Wanna Give Dating Apps a Try?

Whether you've been dabbling for years, just getting back on after a relationship's tragic end, or you're new to the online app game. Well, you're in luck. I have been dabbling, on and off, found something, lost it, came back, forth and every which way. Between my experiences and sharing stories with my friends, I have developed some rules, a handbook if you will, and I am here to pass it along to you.

1. Any selfies especially selfies in cars, no thank you.

2. Thrist traps of any kind, I'm talking pictures with dogs, babies, moms, grandmas, and anything of the like, if to be swiped left.

3. If he owns any of his own cats, avoid him.

4. If he asks you for your Snapchat handle before your phone number, good day to you sir.

5. A piggyback off of rule number 4, if they ask you for your Kik account, you need to change your preferences in settings.

6. If within the first few messages he asks "so, what're you looking for on here?" I can guarantee you he is a loser! Thank U, Next!

7. Any pictures next to jazzed up cars, pick up trucks, etc., swipe left!

8. Pictures with dead animals have just never really done it for me. Proceed as you wish.

9. If he's never watched The Office or Friends, he's not worth it.

10. Shirtless mirror pictures, hahahaha.

11. Gym selfies, pictures in tanks, flexing, quotes about how he loves the gym, just again a personal preference of mine, let's save ourselves the time.

12. Clubbing selfies with his bros, anything resembling Jersey Shore, you're better off without him.

While the first twelve rules are funny and probably no-brainers, what happens when you start to feel something? When you go through all 59930585834 guys on an app and you match with someone you think you might actually like? Maybe eventually even like-like?

13. Making plans.

You've matched, exchanged witty banter, and now exchanged phone numbers. Although having someone to talk to and something to look forward to is fun, please, please, please respect yourself. Do not invest months into something that doesn't enter offline. I usually give about a week or two (depending on the situation) for there to be room and time to organically make plans. However, if the someone you matched with doesn't seem to want to also put forth the effort, it's a bummer but they might not be worth it. It's so crushing to decide but it's a decision you'll be glad you made in the long haul rather than waiting around.

14. Keep an open mind.

It's so hard because sometimes we feel so invested in something that's all online, but try to keep an open mind in my versions of the word. Keep your mind, heart, and options open. I suggest not tying yourself to one person or zoning on one person until you have actually met in real life. Taking your time to weed how who is worth your time is so crucial and you don't want to hyperfocus on someone who is unworthy of your affection.

15. You're easy, you're breezy.

I cannot tell you the number of times I've repeated this out loud and internally. I used to spend hours over analyzing timing, word choice, social media and let me tell you, it didn't help me align with any of the boys I for sure thought I was meant to be with. Trying to keep things light and flowy, especially in the beginning and the first few times meeting, helps you and your date feel more at ease.

16. Your first time meeting is a meet and greet, not a contract.

One time while discussing app datings, a friend made this point to me and it really stuck. Once you've weeded through some guys and you decide to finally meet one in person, this doesn't mean he will be your significant other. You can be a perfect match on paper and have no in-person chemistry and vice versa. Do not put too much pressure on yourself of the situation. Think of it as networking, it's beneficial but doesn't guarantee instant gratification.

17. Be Yourself

No matter what app, where you are, who you are, or where you wanna be, be yourself! It is nothing but a waste of time and energy to pretend to be something you're not. You are wonderful and uniquely created to be you. The right person is out there for you. I am a firm believer in and that. I also stand by the saying: you never know until you try.

Everyone is different and on a different path. But I feel that certain truths are inevitable and all happen to us through our lives. Although a lot of these rules are humorous, they all stem from either a first hand or second-hand story that taught someone I love something important. It was something about themselves.

A huge piece of dating, offline, online, anywhere, is believing in yourself. You spend 24 hours a day with yourself. If you don't love yourself, who will? If you're not an advocate for yourself and what you deserve, who will?

When I truly started to believe in myself and exude confidence and my self-worth, all of the boys I found myself pining over and overanalyzing for so many years feel to the wayside because they weren't right for me. I realized what I deserved and suddenly I didn't find myself putting energy into people who weren't putting effort into me.

That's not to say going forward from that I completely knocked it out of the park. That, I did not. But I began to have real relationships that truly taught me something. They made me a better person and taught me more things I wanted and didn't want out of a relationship. And that's not time wasted.

So wherever you are in the world of romance, remember that at the end of the day, what really matters is whether or not you believe in yourself and what you deserve.

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