If you haven’t tried online dating, then you probably know someone who has. In fact, approximately 1 in 3 relationships now begin online. While online dating is a great way to meet new people, it can also be time-consuming, exhausting, stressful, and negatively impact your self-esteem. Here are my tips to help you survive the world of online dating.
Be Selective with Your Dating Apps
Dating apps and their endless sea of matches make us quite selective as to who we actually swipe right on. You have to be just as selective when choosing which dating app to use. There is a new dating app almost every month so there is a tonne of choice. You really have the option to be strategic with your app choice depending on what you are looking for. While you may want to download every single dating app to hedge your bets, I suggest only using two consistently. Reason being: most people are on multiple apps so you’ll just end up seeing the same profiles again and again. Also, checking dating apps daily can take a lot of time. While I haven’t used every dating app out there and I haven’t used them in months, here are my thoughts on the ones that I have used:
- Tinder to me was always more of a game then a serious dating app. I know people who have met great partners on Tinder, but for me I found that I mostly got crude messages. If you are looking for a laugh and some terrible profiles to cringe at with your bestie, then Tinder is right for you. It also has a large group of people using it so the odds are good that you will meet someone decent.
- Bumble was my favourite app by far. I found the matches to be more serious and more my type. Only once or twice did I get a crude message. I know a lot of people don’t like the whole “girls messages first” thing, but I actually really liked it because I didn’t have to wait for someone to message me after we matched. Rather, I knew the ball was in my court. As well, I got a lot of responses whenever I messaged because I tried to say more then hey 🙂 with my first message. If I asked a question or commented on a guy’s photo, I was much more likely to get a response. When I got messages from people, I always found it easier to message them back if they gave me something to work with. I did the same thing when messaging and found it worked well for me. Bumble was by far my favourite app.
Coffee Meets Bagel
- I wasn’t a big fan of Coffee Meets Bagel simply because not a lot of people were using it when I was on it so there weren’t many matches. I have friends who have said they love it so perhaps it is better now then when I used it.
Plenty of Fish
- Back in university, my roommates and I joined Plenty of Fish to help me get over a break up. While it was hilarious and a great bonding event, it isn’t an app I would try again just because I was looking for something more serious.
- Yet another bonding event. A friend and I joined together to support one another and while it wasn’t a terrible experience, I definitely preferred Bumble.
- I joined eHarmony with a friend (see a pattern here? For me, it was always easier to join with someone else to share the ups and downs of the dating world with. Luckily, I always have a friend who is game for an adventure) because our mutual friend met her amazing fiancé on it. There didn’t seem to be a lot of people our age, but the questionnaire was super fun to complete and, in general, people tend to take dating and finding someone more seriously if they are paying for it.
It is an unfortunate reality, but there can be dangers associated with online dating. Trust your gut and if you feel something is off don’t ignore that feeling. Catfishing does occur so if someone avoids meeting up with you time and time again, be cautious and use trust your instincts. Similarly, ensure someone knows who you are going out with and where you are going to be. I always ensured that first dates occurred in a public location. Most people are honest and genuine, but you still have to be cautious when meeting someone for the first time.
Be honest about what you are looking for: both with your dates and with yourself. Are you looking for something fun? Or something more serious? Be honest about your intentions so that you find people who want the same things that you do. It helps you avoid a lot of heartache (both in terms of giving and receiving). Plus, it can help you stay focused on why you joined the apps when the going gets tough.
Celebrate the Good Dates and Laugh at the Bad Ones
You have to be realistic with dates from dating apps. Not every date is going to be awesome. And not every date will be terrible. Most dates will be mediocre at best. However, treat these mediocre dates as a chance to hone your dating skills. Practice small talk and conversation starters and practice being open and honest. As for the bad dates, just think what a great story they will make during your next brunch date with the bestie. And the good ones? be excited that they went well. Hopefully, the good ones lead to a second one, but, if not, know that another good date is likely just around the corner. The reality is that online dating and its nearly endless matches make it easy for people to ghost so if you stop hearing from that amazing match, don’t take it too personally.
Take a Break if You Need To
As previously mentioned, dating apps can be exhausting as they can be quite time-consuming. Also, rejection is a natural part of dating apps, but that rejection can be quite hurtful at times. If you are beginning to feel as if all you do is check apps, go on dates, and be disappointment then take a break. Give yourself a month or two off from dating apps and come back with fresh eyes. This way, the dating pool will refresh and you’ll come back with more energy to deal with it. Remember that the most important relationship you have is with yourself so take time to invest in that relationship.