Swipe left. Swipe right. If you’re beginning to go cross-eyed at all the options for dating apps—not to mention the bleak options for dates within the apps—maybe it’s time to get over the myopic choices and seek out the winning boo. It seems like everyone is doing online dating, and everyone is frustrated with it. There’s the common dynamic of having to invest the time to get to know someone, travel to meet, endure the boring or awkward date, and then begin the process all over again. Women often feel that men only want to date online to have sex, and men often feel that women only want to date online to get a free meal. The discord is real. If you’re feeling that it’s time to establish a real relationship and delete those apps from your iPhone for good, here are our best tips for actually finding a relationship.
1. Present Yourself Accurately.
The best relationships are rooted in honesty, whether with friends, colleagues at work, or potential boos. Nobody likes the bait-and-switch. It’s a common experience in the dating world: you’re drawn in by the profile picture of a hot guy with a full head of black hair, piercing cerulean blue eyes and winning smile. You have mutual interests, begin a conversation and find out he’s really into sailing (yay) and croquet (ew). You invest the time and effort in warming up and getting to know him and set up a phone date. You have a ton in common, so agree to meet all the way across town at a restaurant, where you see that he’s actually balding, lied about his age (he said 24, he’s probably 34) and used a photo from college. Sound familiar? Nobody likes to feel deceived. The best way to save yourself—and others—lots of time is to be authentic, genuine, and to state what you really want in your profile. Are you not into hooking up? Say so. Really, really like gimp outfits and whips? Desperately want marriage, 3 kids and a house in the suburbs? Say so (although… well, good luck finding someone who says they want that upfront). Just looking for a threesome with your girlfriend? Say so. Also, use recent photographs, not shots from five years ago.
2. Be Inventive.
People who use dating apps are used to going on the same kinds of dates. Coffee. Dinner. A movie. It’s fun to find new ways to meet people—and a new dating scenario might open up a whole new spontaneous way to connect. Skip the Starbucks, and instead head to play mini-golf. Paintball! Go-karts! Racecar tracks! Bungee jumping! Get inventive.
3. Don’t Judge Too Harshly.
It’s easy to have a list in your mind. Often, the things we think we want may not really be what we want. You may think you want a partner that has a stable job. This is a good quality. But then you date a woman with a stable job—that’s an accountant. And after awhile, you discover that she’s boring. So if someone doesn’t check all the boxes on your list, it may be best to give them the opportunity to meet in person.
4. Don’t Get Discouraged.
After a few blah dates, it’s easy to get discouraged. But keep in mind that it takes the right scenario and chemistry to meet your ideal partner, which takes time. So keep your head up and heart in the game – you’ll find the winner eventually.