App dating. It’s one of those things; you can’t judge it until you’ve given it a go. As weird as it sounds, it actually taught me quite a lot. It brought to my attention aspects of myself that I didn’t realise and taught me how to overcome them. It taught me social skills that I didn’t even realise I was lacking. And for those people sitting in a cute 6 year relationship with their high school sweetheart, it is so easy them to judge – ‘App dating is desperate and weird’ you may hear them say. But they don’t know the struggle! Meeting people can be so hard! If you’ve been avoiding internet dating, I urge you; don’t fight it. Give it a go! Because yes, although the likelihood of finding someone you really truly like is slim (but still possible!) – the worst that can happen is you come away with some hilarious, cringeworthy stories (like I have in the rest of my Dating Diary series!).
So, here’s some tips from me to you & a few thing’s I’ve learnt on my dating journey:
Don’t Fall In To The Photo Trap
This is a hard one I know, because the whole point of dating apps is to match with people you find attractive. But, some people photograph well, others don’t, you can never tell! Look for other things like, do they have a nice smile? Do they seem like they have a bit of banter in their ‘about me’ section? Are all of their photos of them at a club (cause that’s just dull!) There are so many reasons why we ladies swipe left (I even wrote about it, check it out here) but, do take all things in to consideration before making the swipe, give them the BOD (benefit of the doubt) who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised!
Be Wary Of Online Personality
Don’t be fooled by the person behind the smartphone. It is very possible that the person you’re chatting to that has so much banter over text, has absolutely none in person whatsoever, so be prepared for this to be the case! Which leads me to my next part…
How To Be A Pro At Smalltalk
Small talk, it’s an art. Despite my background as a performer, I was actually pretty shy. Talking to strangers was a big no no. However, since I’ve started app dating I’ve swung to the complete other end of the spectrum (probably too far, I’m now so open and chatty with anyone I meet that I think I may need to reign it in a little). The first few dates are gonna be hard and with a lot of awkward silences. But push through! Like learning any new skill, it takes practice! And sometimes, there will be no other option than for you to carry the date yourself and make all the conversation – but it’s a life skill you will really appreciate having.
Apps Have Made Men Lazy – It’s Okay To Make The First Move
I’ve got so bored of chatting to a guy I don’t really know for days on end and them not asking me out on a date for whatever reason. The majority of the time I end up making the suggestion and a date will follow. I have found it’s far better to go straight in there with the ‘how’s about a date’ straight away (especially with Bumble, where the girl has to talk first anyway!). And if they don’t fancy it, then at least I don’t spend the next few days talking to a total stranger about what I did that day (I find it weird). There’s nothing wrong with taking matters in to our own hands these days ladies!
Don’t Get Confused With What You Think You Want and What You Actually Want
The more dates I went on, the bigger my check list became of what I didn’t want. A blessing and a curse. On one hand it meant that I was safe from winding up in a dead end relationship with someone that I was kind of content with at the time but wasn’t actually right for me, on the other hand it made it very hard for anyone to reach the exceptionally high standards I had set. I would match with people that looked like ‘my type’ but on the date discovered they bored me to tears. When I started to branch out a little I realised what I thought was ‘my type’ was actually ‘my friends type’; because their relationships were all pretty similar and the only thing I could refer/compare to. So, remaining open minded is pretty important, because you never know, you might be surprised.
The Importance Of The Two Date Rule
I was sure that if I didn’t get immediate butterflies, there was no point in seeing them again, I clearly didn’t like them enough. This refers to the above point, my idea of falling for someone being corrupted by those blasted rom-coms. As it happens, it turns out it doesn’t always happen like that and feelings can grow. The first date is always gonna be a warm up, there are nerves flying around, impressions that need to be made and it could end up being not so fabulous. Take this analogy; pancakes (cause I love pancakes). When you make your own, the first one is always crap, it’s a tester one. But the rest after that are fabulous! So you just need to get the first date out of the way. If, after the second date, you still feel the same then don’t bother with a third. But always stick to the two date rule.
Being Yourself Is The Best Way Forward
Because if you aren’t they will see straight through it. It wasn’t until recently that I started just being me on dates; and not apologising for it. And why is that? Because as cliche as it sounds, I’m starting to love myself. How can you expect anyone to love you, if even you don’t? I always tried to portray what I thought guys wanted. Three problems with this. Firstly, you can’t keep it up. The true you is going to come out eventually so, why delay the inevitable? Secondly, you attract the wrong type of guy. If you are busy trying to be someone else, then you aren’t going find the person that is actually right for you! Thirdly, probably the most obvious, if is they can’t deal with you, warts and all, then you clearly aren’t meant to be with them.
And this is my favourite.
Online Dating Can Still Be A Fairy Tale – Just A 21st Century One
I was brought up on Disney films and romantic musicals, which gave me a little bit of an expectation about how I was going to fall in love. And there was a time where I thought internet was dating was a) for desperate people and b) for old people. That would never be me. I was going to have my very own ‘Meet-Cute’ (Ref: Kate Winslet in The Holiday). And then they introduced the apps, it didn’t seem so desperate (because you didn’t have to pay) but I was still insistent that it was just for a bit of fun and something to do when I was bored, nothing serious. Okay, so I haven’t fallen in love (yet), and there are a lot of weirdos out there on the internet but when you’ve filtered through them, my time on app dating has shown me it is possible to meet somebody and have those fairytale dates. I’m sure Cinderella would have no shame in meeting Prince Charming on Tinder if they had smart phones in her day!