People tend not to believe me when I tell them “I’ve never been on a bad Tinder date.”
I love the reactions.
Those perplexing looks make me smile inside, like I have treasured secrets or a witch’s brew.
But, alas! I do not.
You too can have successful online dating experiences. And the best part, is that it is really very simple. It requires no special training, equipment, or secret service intelligence.
First, let me share what I have noticed, and personally experienced, in regards to online dating: most people approach it with laziness. There seems to be an assumption from the get-go that it is not going to amount to much. This assumption, followed by the dissociated act of swiping left or right on a steady stream of faces, is a numbing experience. We become robotic slaves looking for another dopamine hitting and ego boosting “match”.
If you relate to this, the good news is that you have an opportunity to create something new for yourself.
If you are a brain dead dating app user, you are likely attracting brain dead dates.
If you want more, you need to give more. You have to step up and set yourself up for success, from the beginning. Putting in a bit of effort is worth it when the reward is leveling up and making the most out of your time and interactions. It may take some practice, likely some trial and error, but with persistence there is pay off.
Here is my equation for how to use dating apps like a pro:
Step 1: Get CRYSTAL CLEAR on what you want. Set an intention for how you intend to use the app. What do you want? Do you want a meaningful relationship, casual sex, or a first experience being romantic with the same sex? Create a profile that lets people know what you want, in an inviting and authentic way. We all know the shirtless bathroom selfie sends a very different message than someone cuddling a dog at the park. Get crystal clear on what energy you want to put out, and also on what you want to attract back.
Step 2: Listen to your instincts. Now that you know what you want, only spend time speaking with and meeting those people who fit the bill and feel right. Become efficient at knowing who is worth your time. Chat with someone until you get a clear “yes!” before you plan to meet face-to-face. If that “yes!” changes to a “no!” – great – that means you are listening and it’s time to move on.
Step 3: Act on your instincts. It is one thing to listen to your instincts, and it is a completely different ballgame to act on those instincts. I challenge you to become more efficient, waste less time, and lead a more satisfying life by having the courage to act! Have you ever said “I knew that was a bad idea, I really didn’t want to go, but I went anyways”. Yup! Most of us have. Listening to your gut is useless if you are not going to act on what you hear. When we ignore our instincts, we create a reality that we don’t want and unnecessary stories to defend just how things are ‘not’ working out. I suggest welcoming the opposite – create a list of stories which support how well things do work out!
Step 4: Hold your boundaries. In every moment you are letting people know how to interact with you. When you say ‘yes’ – mean it. When you say ‘no’ – mean it. It will make all your interactions with another person easier. When you are honest, you also exude confidence. And confidence is sexy! It takes courage to uninhibitedly be you and not conform to fit the image we think others want us to be.
Step 4: Bow out with grace. Once you have been chatting with someone or met them for a date, you may discover that it is not the match you desire. It is now time to respectfully let them know. Gracefully end your interactions with someone with a simple and straightforward message or call. It’s not necessary to justify yourself. It is necessary to be honest – let them know what you want. You may want to propose a friendship or perhaps it’s time to just say goodbye. Either way, direct communication offers you both a clear space from which to move forward.
Step 6: Have fun! My favourite quote by Bob Basso is “If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.” If it’s not fun, it is time to reassess how you’re approaching dating apps and dating in general. Ask yourself “What am I missing? What would make this fun?”, and be sure that the answer is totally within your control. Tweak your approach until you’re having fun, every step of the way!
Enjoy the journey,
Are you looking to discover clarity around, and a deeper connection with, your own sexuality? Are you eager to move forward in an area which feels dormant? I support people to move through these and other challenges with Sexual Empowerment Coaching.