I have been single for about a year now and luckily for me, apps are making it easier to meet people outside the usual spheres of school and work. Clearly not an expert (!) but wanted to share what I have learned in this journey thus far:
1. Momentum is everything
In this life of constant overstimulation and information at your fingertips all of the time 24/7, you know what is important? Momentum in conversations and actions…
2. One day rule to schedule a first meet-up
This rule follows from rule #1 and in my experience, I find that if you hit it off in text or just think the person is super attractive, suggest a first meeting quick! Quick in my book is the same day that you started chatting. No one wants to become pen-pals with a stranger… I can barely keep track of all my whatsapp groups with friends and family so even less interest in establishing a multi-day text ping-pong with someone you have not even met. Am I right? Remember the first meeting is an initial filter so you want to get through it quickly to check if you do want to see them again. And girls, we are in 2018, so if he does not do it and you are reaching breaking point – ask them yourself! If he is interested he will say yes and if he’s not, you may as well find out now and move on.
3. Do not take things too personal
That person you seemed to get along with stops messaging? Been there done and raked my brain asking myself “what happened?” I will not even attempt to run through all the speculations but reasons could range from the accidental to the intentional so no point in worrying too much about it. If it helps to control the anxiety, just unmatch them so you don’t get a reminder of their MIA-ness.
4. Alcohol is useful to a degree
Meeting a stranger for the first time is nerve-wrecking, no matter how much of an extrovert you are. I went on one fateful date with a Frenchman who not only did not drink but also did not like oysters… (eye roll). I considered not drinking either but you know what? It helps me with the nerves and, also, no point in pretending to be someone that you are not. Alcohol can act as a social lubricant and can help smooth out your anxieties. If you are someone who is constantly monitoring (your actions and others), it can be a helpful way to be 85% “on” rather than “100%” on, if you know what I mean. Remember that alcohol is an un-inhibitor so it tends to bring out what you naturally have inside you – dominant person when you’re sober? Probably even more so when drunk. Chip on your shoulder when you’re sober? Block on your shoulder when you’re drunk. So be real with yourself and ask if that’s who you want to bring on the first date. Maybe wait for the 3rd or 4th. 😉
5. Post-date messaging: Do what you feel like!
Did you enjoy the date a lot and are going home in a taxi and feel the urge to message them? I cannot tell if this is the “right” thing to do or not, but go ahead!! As long as the message is not a marriage proposal, be yourself and text them! Also it could serve as a test to see if the chemistry was mutual. More “covert” ways of texting would be sending something referencing a topic that came up in conversation – link to an article, a song, or whatever!
6. You cannot judge a good decision by the outcome but by the process
Most of us would love to find a true connection whether irl or through the apps. Do not despair if you are on date 1000th, and that has yet to happen. Remind yourself that finding connection is difficult in any scenario so your outlook and approach will dictate how you feel about the whole experience. Use it to practice your conversation skills (useful for network for work!), get to know places in the city that you have been wanting to try out, meet people who you would otherwise never naturally cross paths with (in my case, musicians, creative directors, pilots?) and learn something new about those lives. My evaluation metrics for a date: did you have fun? Was the person interesting? If the answer is yes to those two questions, date was good no matter if you felt a romantic connection or not. Try seeing it as interesting life experiences rather than unsuccessful attempts at finding “the one”. Which also doesn’t exist anyways but that’s for another blog post! 🙂
Have fun swiping!
@stick figure drawing credit: the multi-talented colleague and friend Morgana Castro who has been a loyal confidante to all things dating