When you are ready to try again
So you're single and reluctantly preparing to give it another go and hit the town to try the dating scene again?
Maybe it has been awhile. Maybe your last relationship left a bad taste in your mouth. Or perhaps that nice guy or gal your mother's friend tried to set you up with turned out to be a total sociopath?
Whether your dating past looks like a steady collection of "almost could have been" or a list of "do not try this at home," there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for the bounty of bait in the big ole puddle of fish.
A few things before you put yourself out there
First off, a friendly piece of advice that will make this whole process easier for you (and possibly your dates). Make sure that you are over your past relationships and the wounds or baggage they may have left you with.
There is nothing worse than meeting someone who is attractive, well-rounded, and has their collective "stuff" together than to send them running for the hills with your insecurities or constant tales of bad relations past.
It is not that we do not feel compassion for what you may have been through, but no one likes to constantly be measured against the ghost of a memory.
In other words, have your bags packed and mementos filed away and ensure you are open and receptive to a new experience. If not, then you might as well stay home and torture your cat a bit longer. (Sorry, not sorry.)
The dating landscape might have changed a bit
If it has been awhile since you were on the proverbial market, take a second to catch up with the current dating trends.
While you were out of the loop for a few years, things went digital and they move faster in the fast and free culture of online dating.
The problem with a society that stresses the importance of variety being the "spice of life" and having 50 choices for any decision we make from household goods to music, to headphones, to coffee flavors and, yes, even dates or mates, is that our attention span has grown shorter also.
In the mighty world of online dating there are a few key websites to visit and definitely some to avoid. But no matter which site you decide to put yourself out there with, one fact is consistent overall:
You have about 4-7 seconds to make an impression before they swipe left (the common method of passing on a profile and moving to the next — thanks, Tinder!).
Grabbing yourself some much-desired attention, and convincing someone to look closer or even swipe right to signal an interest in your profile, takes a careful combination of class and allure.
The recipe for a winning profile that brings all the hotties to the page
It takes a subtle balance of sex appeal and witty, sarcastic or funny information. Here are a few hints to help you craft a show-stopping, jaw-dropping profile.
1. Your main profile pic should be sexy, intriguing, even provocative.
Yes, sex sells! However, so does that old-school classy version of sexy. You do not need to show all the goods, ladies, and fellas, keep your shirt on.
Have more than one picture, be original, and if you are trying to attract dates, no offense to your platonic friends of the opposite sex but you will only throw mixed signals if you are arm in arm with your best friend/gender counterpart.
Limit the kid pics, stop scribbling out your face (we still know it's who you are), and please, for the love of all things holy, STOP with the bathroom mirror selfies and duckface pouts. This holds especially true for the guys. I mean — seriously?!
2. Your bio will be most effective if you write out short, concise sentences free of YOLOs and horrific grammar. It makes it easier for everyone to scan through and absorb the main takeaways.
Sure, we want to know a little bit about you, but leave something to talk about if we ask you out on a date.
Yes, it is good to know what you do for a living other than party, and it is always a bonus to know if there are little ones to consider. However, we get it, ladies — most of us live for our kids.
Try and keep it light, witty and leave something to the imagination for future talks. Be positive but real. Nobody wants a laundry list of pet peeves left over from your past crappy relationships. Not all of us are total creeps.
3. Be honest! If you are a little bit bigger than you want to be, it is not a deal breaker. What is a turn-off is listing your weight or height as "???" or "prefer not to say." You are beautiful or handsome just as you are. Just be real, the truth will only come out in time anyway, why lie?
Do not play yourself out by being a demanding prima donna, and I'm sorry guys, but the role for God's gift has already been filled by their five kids that are their whole life. You'll never compare.
4. When trying to make contact, have more to say than, "Hey!" Or some dumb cliche about how "hottt!" or "sexy" they are. The truth be told, most of us are secure in our looks and your approval is not needed.
Instead, try offering a real and genuine, thoughtful comment. I know, it might be tough. Try not to burst a blood vessel. Again, just be real and maybe even make a witty remark about something you liked about the profile you just pretended to read.
5. Be respectful and be responsive. It is not a crime to have no interest in the person that steps up to the plate and takes a swing. If they strike out, there is no need to boo them into the dugout.
There is a market for everyone, and if they are not on your shopping list then politely say so and wish them the best. A little bit of class goes a long way. And hey, you never know, you might make a new friend who has the perfect friend for you.
If you are the rejected one, be humble. There is no need for name-calling and childishly dejected retorts. Wish them well and swipe away, swipe-meister J!
Dating should not be painful or demeaning
The bottom line is this:
Online dating does not need to be so painful.
If we all just take a second to realize that we are all online looking for some sort of connection or distraction from our busy and mundane lives, we might just be able to find what it is we were looking for.
If not, well, there is always Netflix and chill.