Life is too short and there are too many humans in this world for you to be stuck in relationships that are going nowhere with guys that don’t treat you well. You don’t have to get dressed to the nines and sit at a bar waiting to get chose anymore. The internet is a magical place. I’m still unsure why so many people in their early 20’s are so against dating apps. If you think finding someone in the wild is more “real” then by all means try your luck. All I know is that the odds that I would have crossed paths with the gorgeous man I now call my boyfriend is pretttty low.
I’m no stranger to dating apps. In fact, I love them. I have had a couple “weird” experiences (going on a date with a marine biologist that talked about sunfish for over 45 minutes and falling asleep at the table), some less than desirable experiences (going out with a foreign dude who on date 2 flipped and stormed out on me in the restaurant because he suggested we were in a committed relationship and that I had to stop talking to literally every other male in my life.. and I was like HA, no.), and some AMAZING experiences (the awesome, intellectual, handsome, funny and kind men I have briefly dated, dated long term and casually hung out with). However, my positive experiences heavily outweigh my negative ones. In fact, most of my negative experiences all happened when I was “figuring out online dating”. And when honestly reviewing my dating experiences, most negative situations could have been avoided if I just took the advice below. The bottom line, if you feel like time and time again you have bad luck with dating apps, you’re wrong. It’s not bad luck. You’re doing something wrong. But there is hope! Keep reading.
And when I say appropriate I don’t necessarily mean “acceptable by societal standards”, I mean appropriate for your intentions. When it comes to hooking up and going out, I’m not one to hate on whatever your game is. You do you booboo!! If you’re in town for a couple nights looking for a short lived good time, maybe you shouldn’t do a solo lunch date. Maybe a group of your match’s friends and you and your friends should meet up at a bar or wherever you like to go out. If you’re looking for a serious thing, maybe don’t invite him over to your apartment to “watch movies and drink wine”. First impressions matter. Speak to them the way you want to be spoken to. Don’t set a precedent for a type of behavior you aren’t interested in continuing. Dress how you want to be perceived. You can talk all day about your personality, your goals and your intentions, but if they don’t fall in line with your behavior then it doesn’t mean much. You have to show people who you are, not just tell them.
I think a lot of people use dating apps when they are “in limbo”. Perhaps fresh coming out of a relationship, or unsure if a relationship they are pining for will materialize. Part of the reason I think dating apps get a bad rep is because of this fact: Some people treat their matches like placeholders. That sucks for someone interested in a relationship who gets nothing but mixed signals from a person whose affections and attention is all over the place. That’s where you get the whole “Everyone just wants to hook up! No one is serious!” Well, that’s objectively untrue. What is more likely, is that you are ignoring concrete evidence that someone does not want a committed relationship, and you are either in denial about it, are convinced you can change it, or would rather be unfulfilled than be alone. There are people on apps who want to date. It may take time to find them. If that is what you are looking for, don’t waste time on people who don’t have the same intentions as you.
Or your own! This is essentially the complement to the point above. If you aren’t sure what you want but you know for sure the person you are seeing wants to be with you, talk to them about it. If you just want a thing on the side, be honest. Who knows, maybe the person you are seeing actually feels the same way you do! Don’t lead people on. Not only is it a super shitty thing to do, but it causes stress and unnecessary drama in your life. I’m sure we can all relate to having “that person” in your phone that sends you the annoying good morning texts you didn’t ask for. That person who asks you to hang out 24/7 and you always have to scramble to come up with excuses. The one whose messages you screen during the week and who you could NEVER see yourself dating but somehow end up texting late Saturday night when your plans fall through. Whether or not that person knows they essentially have no chance doesn’t really matter. Some people sign themselves up for that type of hurt knowing good and well it isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it is okay. Lose the extra baggage, and let them down easy. Move on. You are better than seeking compliments from the dude that doesn’t have enough self-worth to quit letting you lead him on.
My goodness isn’t this dating 101? What irks me to my core is that people let others drag their emotions all over the place. There have been plenty of times that I have liked someone that didn’t like me back. I have been led on. I have been lied to. But there is no reason to prolong that suffering. It hurts me to see women I know and love “dating” guys that are super hot and cold with them. “He just won’t commit!” “He says he isn’t sure!” “He won’t say it but the way he acts I know he wants to be with me!” If you are sure, WHY WASTE TIME WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN’T SURE? “Well he hasn’t said he doesn’t want to be in a relationship” …And you are waiting for that?! Why be with someone that needs 5 months, a handful of unanswered texts and a bunch of hook ups to decide if they really want you. Does this sound familiar: you guys have amazing chemistry, get along great, but he has some reason why he can’t be serious right now. He just has to get settled and then he can manage a relationship. Then 3 weeks later he’s dating some girl out of the blue, posting pics on his instagram complete with #bae. Yeah. 9 times out of 10, if they blame not being able to commit on work, school, family, they just don’t want to date you. What I have found: people looking for commitment can decide if they want to commit to you pretty quickly. If you really like someone, it doesn’t take long to figure that out. And I don’t believe on letting someone “grow on you”. Date someone that you like off the bat.
There are a couple concrete red flags that are worth paying attention to. One thing girls ignore far too often is a guys sense of humor. There is nothing that will make me pull the plug faster than a dude who makes a weird sexual or rape-y joke before meeting them (or literally any time ever). Im talking anything from the weird sexual pick-up lines to the casually sliding something sexual into a conversation that could not be less relevant to what you are talking about. And even if you are looking for a relationship sexual in nature, this behavior shouldn’t get a free pass. I mean come on, he can’t get through a 10 minute conversation with you without mentioning sex? 10 minutes?!?!?! Day one I don’t want to hear about your past sexual partners, I don’t want to hear about your kinks, and I don’t want to hear about “what you want to do with me”. Have some manners. People will tell you who they are. Start to pay attention to that. If someone says they’re a little lazy, believe them! If they say they have trouble in relationships, BELIEVE THEM!!! If someone comes off a certain way right away, trust that display of character. Think about it, they are literally choosing what they want to say and how they want you to perceive them. This is them doing their best. If it is less than satisfactory, go ahead and delete them from your phone. Move on.
I guess it would be reckless if I didn’t throw this one in there. For those of you that drink, don’t get plastered with someone you don’t know. Don’t go to the house of someone you don’t know. Don’t let someone you don’t know PICK YOU UP FROM YOUR HOUSE especially if you live alone. Make sure someone always knows where you are. If you are going out for what might end up being a long night, make sure to check in with someone during the span of the date. I’m not one of those people that suggests assuming everyone is out to get you. Almost everyone was a stranger to us at one point. But be smart and don’t give people the benefit of the doubt before you know them. I think we all know what that looks like. If they pressure you to do something you’re uncomfortable with (no matter how small) that’s a big no-no. And if they push one of your boundaries by saying “Come on! Do you not trust me or something?” EEEEEK!!!!!! Move on.
Check in soon for part 2, complete with a short anecdote about one of my most… interesting… tinder dates.