Dating in the Digital Age: Online Dating in 3 Steps

Dear Stephanie,

I’ve never gone out with someone I’ve met online and I am going to take the plunge. What’s the best way to go about it? I’m not really new to dating but am new to blind (sorta) dates.

Sincerely,

A Novice Swiper


Dear Novice Swiper,

I am so glad that you wrote into me with this question, because I can relate. I actually met my own wonderful and amazing boyfriend who I love very much on Tinder, of all places!! Prior to meeting him, I went on my fair share of “blind” dates ranging from really bad to really great. Online dating sometimes still seems weird and mysterious, but when you break it down it is actually just 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Picking the Right App or Website

The first step is to pick a website or app that “aligns” with what you are looking for. As I mentioned above, I used Tinder, and while it worked for me in the long run it was not the very best place to find a serious relationship, in the sense that it is regarded as a hookup app. Because of the app’s reputation and the way people were using it, I ended up meeting a lot of people who were looking for much different things than I was; and as a result I went on some pretty bad dates and wasted a lot of my time. However, when I did eventually swipe across my beloved, he really stood out to me because he was clearly looking for the same thing I was. So all that to say, in the spirit of saving time, pick an app or website that approaches dating and meeting people in a way that you relate with. No matter what you choose, I am a firm believer in “what will be, will be” and I think you will meet your person eventually and no matter what app or website you use.

Some apps and websites to see what works for you:

Step 2: Building your Profile

We all have a photo from a few years ago that we love because we look so damn cute in it!! You might think that is the BEST photo to put in your profile, but you are wrong. Even if you look largely the same, you will still look a little different. AND nothing starts a blind date off on the wrong foot like meeting someone who doesn’t look like what you expect. Unless you somehow now look better…That may sound shallow but it’s true. Everyone deserves to be attracted to their partner. The problem with dating apps and websites IS that is largely based on physical interest first. Then the more important parts of attraction and relationships follow. When you arrive at a date excited and expecting to meet one person and then you meet an older, balder and heavier version its hard not to feel a little deceived. There is nothing wrong with being older, balder or heavier just be who you are now not who you were a few years ago. So extend the same curtesy to your future dates and upload honest and real photos of yourself. I can guarantee your dates will be more fun and foster more meaningful connections, because it is already starting out truthful and there is a mutual attraction.

As for the photos you do post, be sure to show your who you are. We live in such a visual time ( which is why blogging is so hard) and people absorb so much information from photos. In your photo selection pick the photos that make you feel confident and show who you are: your personality, interests, favorite past times, sense of humor and what your idea of fun is. You are trying to paint a whole picture of who you are.

As for your bio, I went for a minimalistic approach and I had a lot of luck posting a John Belushi quote that I thought was funny and that I related to. I believe it gave anyone who came past my profile an idea of what my sense of humor is like, which was something I wanted to convey. Others like a more verbose profile where they go into detail on what they are looking for and all their likes and dislikes. That’s not a bad thing, but when I was using an app I rarely read a whole profile if it was super long. (Because we are so visual or was I just lazy?) I would just rather match and talk to the person to learn those things about them. If I were you, I would think about how much or how little I would want to read about each potential match, then base the length of your own profile on that.

Also, there are a few good apps mentioned above, that have you answer some questions and then they post the answers as your profile making it super user friendly and concise. Hinge is one of them. Check it out.

Step 3: Date Night

Look at you! You matched with someone, they seem nice, interesting and funny!! You also find them to be attractive and they appear to not be serial killers. Bonus!! So you’re excited and a little nervous about the drink you’re getting with them. Don’t be! They are in the same boat as you and certainly feel the same way. It’s human nature.  Just be yourself and try remember that while you want to make a good impression, that this is JUST a drink, or coffee or whatever. It might turn in to something or it might not. Go in with low expectations and a sense of humor because no matter what, you’ll have a story to tell, good or bad. Also, your sense of humor will help you deal with the annoying parts of dating.

Now, be prepared to repeat step 3 a few times. That’s ok and part of the process. Enjoy! Being single can be just as fun and exciting as it is to be in love and in a serious relationship. Embrace this stage of your life.

With Love,

Stephanie

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Me and My Dude. Sometimes we time travel.

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