Having spent the best part of my teens and early 20s in a relationship, the idea of dating, moving onto pastures new is terrifying.
At heart, I’m a hopeless romantic, so the ideal scenario would be to bump into the love of my life in a supermarket – then the rest would be history.
Spoiler, it almost certainly won’t work out that way.
After much hesitancy, I joined Bumble, the dating app that lets ladies make the first move. And ever since, I’ve found myself on an endless roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. Because every bad date felt extremely personal. It wasn’t until I started to relax, that I started to really enjoy the process. From me to you, here are just a few tidbits I’ve learnt along the way.
1. Rejection is part of life.
You meet someone that you click with, and the dates are seemingly going well, but then they tell you that they aren’t feeling it. Or they just ghost you. Either way, rejection is a hard pill to swallow, and it’s always easier to blame ourselves. While I’m yet to find someone I’d like to see for date two, I just see it as saving myself time and chalk it up to the wrong person, and move on.
2. Be prepared to reject others.
Rejection works both ways, and know that it’s ok to be upfront and honest. It’s never easy, especially when feelings are invested, but you’re saving both parties the effort of prolonging something that isn’t going anywhere.
3. There are some really weird people out there.
Dating online is like diving into the deep end of the pool when you don’t know how to swim. Well, maybe not that dramatic.
In my experience, some guys have been forthcoming with their fetishes, others have sent nudes – yes, it’s a scary world out there. Just be aware of your boundaries and assert them where necessary.
P.S I ALWAYS make sure to let my family and friends know where I’m going and who I’m with just to be on the safe side.
4. Use your time wisely.
Time is precious, which is why I tend to stick to a two-hour rule. If you’re unsure, happy hour is perfect for a first date. It’s inexpensive (most of the time), and it means you can bail if you’re not feeling it. Save those pretty pennies while you can.
5. Observation is key
It’s human nature – or maybe it’s a me thing – to observe my dates for relationship potential. It helps me suss out whether I want to see them again. You’ll be surprised at how much you can gather from a few hours.
6. Ladies, offer.
On every single date I’ve been on, I’ve offered to pay and have paid. I love a romantic gesture just like the next person, but during the early stages, I think it’s nice to show signs of being equals.
7. Trust your instincts.
Going on online dates can be pretty scary, because no matter how sure you are – they’re still a total stranger. The first date I went on, I got this really weird vibe off the bat. Thankfully, I trusted my inner voice and kept it short.
8. There’s a lot of choice.
And the grass isn’t necessarily greener. The addictiveness behind a swipe is a notion that you can always find better, which makes it harder for people to commit, and harder to trust. I’m still to get my head around this one, but I’d say the key is finding a connection and giving it a good shot.
9. If they like you, they’ll make it known.
Don’t make excuses for them either. If they wait days to text you back, they’re just not that into you. If they don’t mention a second date, then they’re just not that into you. That even applies to you reading this, if you’re not that into someone, end it. If you do, make it known.
10. Be yourself.
That old chestnut! But you know, chances are they’ll see right through pretences, so dress as you would normally, don’t lie and keep an open mind. If they don’t like you for who you are, then thank you, next.
11. It’ll happen when you least expect it.
When you don’t have that at the top of your mind and are just enjoying yourself at the moment without any preconceived notions, things will just progress organically. It’s all about timing, someone may be looking for you. There’s no perfect timing.
Have you given online dating a go? Leave all your tips and tricks in the comments below!