Dating App Fatigue? Don't Quit: Just Date Smarter!
I recently had the great fortune of hanging over the shoulders of a bestie, as she artfully perused Tinder and Bumble. My girl was no stranger to online dating, and had developed her own swipe-style criteria. In between laughter, lip smacking, and the resounding "Hell No!", she eventually landed on a guy from Bumble who made her hormones twitch. While she was definitely open to a hook-up, she also believed and hoped that it had the potential to be more.
The next two days contained massive amounts of suggestive flirting, dreaming, messaging, and obsessing. She was so optimistic that she postponed her arrival time at a friend's party to meet up with the guy. We bid her goodbye as she drove off to meet at an artfully chosen public garden...only to hear back from her an hour later that it was a clear no-go. As much as the guy had lots of what she was looking for, his pics didn't accurately represent him, and he had neglected to mention in his bio that he hated the state where they lived, and was planning to move back to Maine after he finished his doctorate in a few months! Disappointment dripped from her voice as she kicked herself for not asking the right questions, resulting in the time-suck of the last two days.
Glittery Promise of Your Dating Apps Wearing Off?
If you're sick to death of mindlessly swiping, and re-checking for messages or new blood, you're not alone. Like any shiny new toy, the novelty of "instant" results in what appears to be an endless supply of ready-made dates can fade pretty quickly, once you've experienced the real-life challenges of dating via an app or dating site. Since no one wants to spend any more time than they have to on their dating apps, follow these tips for more efficient dating:
Top 7 for How To Date Smarter
1. Do your homework: You'd never dive into a job interview without doing some prep on the company you'd like to work for; so take a few minutes and look for clues to the person's occupation and interests, and be prepared to initiate conversations about these specifics.
“That was a ginormous burger in your pic!! IMO, best burger in Seattle is Lil' Woody's, hand’s down. Ever try?" This instantly gives both of you the chance to do more than blandly ask, "Hi! How's your Sunday going?"
2. Be real with your own photos, and ask questions about theirs: Photos which don’t reflect who you each really are, and what you both really look like may attract someone for a first meet-up, but if you aren’t each other's type, it won’t go further.
Example: If you normally don't wear sexy, cleavage-revealing clothing, bright vampy lipstick, or if you're a guy, just detest wearing dressy clothes, don't share pics that give the impression that you identify with these looks. Instead of attracting those, who like you, tend to be more natural, and down to earth, you'll attract a different type. Bald, or have some extra padding? You best show it now.
RULE OF THUMB: Do NOT use any photo that is over 6 months old, and caption them to reflect this. Don't be afraid to ask your swipe-mate if their pics are recent, and represent them realistically. Show at least one photo which shows your full body. Tough in the moment, but saves disappointment later, on both ends.
If there's a deal-breaker, like kids, unresolved marital status, or joblessness, ask!
3. Be online at peak times: For example, Bumble reports 6 pm is their peak, but Tinder and OKCupid report that 9 pm is the sweet spot, per Huff-Post’s report culled from Neilson ratings. Figure that 6-10 pm are your go-to times.
4. Limit yourself to 3 dating apps or online sites: Plus, try to limit yourself to communicating with 3 people per app at any one time to have contact with at one time (too many conversations/chatting is a time suck).
5. To minimize online dating burnout: Try checking your apps only 2-3 times per day rather constantly, in the mind-numbing way most folks check Facebook and Twitter. Try sticking to a morning, lunch, and after dinner, limiting yourself to 15 minutes at a time. When your finger goes to open your app, tell yourself you'll check later. When later comes, maybe you'll have a number of messages and connections to weed through, and you can give them your full attention in a self-respecting way.
6. Find a good prospect? Ask them out within 24 hours of first contact, and suggest the meeting spot. No one likes engaging in the wishy-washy, “What would YOU like to do?” Instead: I’d love to check out a dim sum place downtown on Saturday~ you up for that?
7. If you know you just ain't feelin' it, cut everyone's losses by letting them know that you enjoyed meeting them, but it didn't feel like the right match for you. Better for both to be upfront about it than to string the other along. Set them and yourself free.
Ready to spiff up your stale dating profile? Here's how to inject new life into your sad, stale profile.