How to date in the modern world? The dating game has changed and it’s a question thousands of us are asking. Whether you’re a millennial, Generation X or somewhere in between, dating can be tricky – but it doesn’t have to be.
From social media challenges that didn’t exist a decade ago to the breakdown of gender boundaries, we’ve got your back with the best tips and advice.
Let’s start with a biggie. Love it or loathe it, social media is only getting larger. We’re not saying you need to become Insta-famous or be a serial Tweeter, but following this simple advice will make a huge difference to your dating appeal.
Friend or Follow? When Is It Appropriate?
It may feel strange to have the person you haven’t spoken to since school on Facebook, but not the person you’re casually seeing. The thing is – ‘friending’ someone is a surprisingly personal move. So much of who we are is on social media, so major stalking potential will be at their fingertips.
Wait until you’re in a solid dating routine before you add them; it might take a few weeks or a couple of months. If they have profiles on multiple platforms, test the water by adding just one, rather than getting click-happy.
Catfishing: Don’t Fall for it Hook, Line and Sinker
For all the perks of social media and online dating, beware of catfishing: a term used to describe someone pretending to be someone else. Catfishing is not only morally wrong; it can also be incredibly dangerous.
If you’re yet to meet the person you’re speaking to online, request a video call. You’ll get to see exactly who they are and have more immediate, honest responses. If you’re concerned about their identity, ask yourself some questions about their social media. Do they have genuine interaction with other people? Are they tagged in group photos and social events? Essentially, you want to see that this person is more than just a profile picture.
Keep Your Private Life Private
Yes, it’s a personal page and there’s nothing to stop you from posting whatever you like. However, try to avoid putting every detail of your relationship online. Before you post something, think: “would I tell this to each and every one of my followers in person?” If the answer’s no, don’t post it.
This is most important when it comes to an argument. Plastering feelings all over social media is a bad move (Taylor and Calvin, we’re looking at you), especially if you don’t have the guts to say it to your partner’s face.
Your relationship is private. While occasional posts, photographs and check-ins are fine, don’t bring an extra hundred people in on the dirty details.
Whether you’re more of a Tinder or Match.com enthusiast, online dating is a blessing and a curse. Lucky for you, we’re here to save you: like Superman to his Lois Lane.
Keep it short and sweet! With thousands of profiles to sift through, an essay on your life isn’t going to get someone’s attention. Many sites have a word restriction, but try to write succinctly even if they don’t. Two or three (short!) sentences on the most important and interesting things about you is perfect. If you have the space, add some humour to help you stand out and up your chances of a better match.
Like a Kid in a Candy Shop
With so much choice on offer, assume they are probably dating other people at the beginning of your relationship. If they’re playing the market a bit, don’t take offence. It’s far more commonplace than it used to be and isn’t a reflection upon you.
If you want more commitment, make time for a conversation later on to establish if you’re ‘exclusive’. From this moment on, any outside dating is cheating, so be ready to commit and say goodbye to swiping right.
The Man Should Pay? Why?
Fifty years ago, women were less likely to work and were viewed simply as pretty things. Nowadays, in the immortal words of Beyoncé, who run the world? Girls. Who should pay the bill? Girls (and men). Many people prefer to split the bill but if one person is insistent on paying, let them; it may come across as insulting if you refuse.
We’ve saved the most important point until last and this one has nothing to do with your date. Being confident in yourself doesn’t always come easily, but it should be your number one priority. If you struggle to live happily on your own, you’re more likely to become clingy and stifle the relationship.
Have the self-respect to wait until you’re ready before you jump into bed. For some, kissing on the first date is a no-no. For others, sex on the first date is acceptable. Don’t feel like you should or shouldn’t act one way or the other. So long as you’re both ready, go however far you fancy. There are no set rules anymore; it’s about what you want. If it’s a case of being horny, remember you don’t need someone else to satisfy yourself!
When it comes to dating, the sexiest thing you can have is confidence. Be self-assured and own who you are: if they don’t like it, they’re clearly not right for you. It’s a scary world out there but don’t let that stop you from having some fun. Equip yourself with these tips, put on your best armour and conquer the dating game!