dating apps

Is Online Dating Embarrassing?

The date had gone well and he was walking me to my car when instead of asking about our second date he says “we gotta start thinking about what we’re going to tell people about how we met”. Honestly, I was a little taken back. Should I be offended? Is he embarrassed of me? about how we met?

Of course, I couldn’t really be offended because I had similar thoughts just last week. Dating apps are where all the people who have been rejected in their real life congregate. Honestly though, that’s not exactly true. If you work really long hours or in an industry predominately populated by the gender you’re not interested in then you’re just not meeting enough people in the outside world that you could even consider dating. When I first joined online dating, I was in college surrounded mainly by college guys who were only interested in hooking up and partying. Since neither of those interests me, I decided to search for people who actually matched my interests.

Perhaps 5 years ago, when dating apps were much less mainstream, the few people meeting online would be embarrassed about admitting how they met. Now though, 49,650,000 people have tried online dating out of the 54,350,000 singles in the US. For those that haven’t given it a try, they probably still know a relative, friend, or coworker who is on a dating app. So if you’re talking to someone under 75 years old then you most likely don’t have to worry about anyone asking which fishing dock is named Plenty of Fish.

But maybe the issue isn’t IF people know about dating apps, it’s WHAT they know about them. Are dating apps seen in a negative light? Do people look down at those on such sites? But with one-third of marriages starting online, it now seems like an appropriate possibility with reasonable success for relationships. Sure, Tinder will probably always be seen as the hook up app or just a mobile game everyone plays now to pass the time. But even then, I still know a couple that originally met on Tinder now planning their wedding for next year.

Or maybe, it’s time we care less about what people think of us and our dating lives. If you’re dating a guy who treats you well and makes you happy, who cares how you met him! Your close friends and family will forget all about his dating profile once they begin to see him together with you more. And for everyone else’s opinions who don’t really matter, you’ll be too busy holding hands and making future plans to ever worry about such opinions.

 

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I Finally Got a Boyfriend!

So if you read my Liebster Award post back in August, I kind of let it slip that I recently got a new boyfriend!! (which by the way, is such a weird way to say that, it sounds like I just brought one from the store or something…) He’s also Dater #4 ( the good kisser lol) from Back in the Saddle if you read that post and were taking your guesses as to whom I was going to see again.

I’ve got some bad news and good news for all my fellow singletons out there, the good news is you don’t have to have the perfect dating profile, play hard to get, or follow any other dating rule out there because finding a significant other is basically all up to chance and fate. The bad news is all this effort you’ve been putting in to having the dating scene figured out and thinking you’re another step closer to finding your partner is pretty much bologna because finding a significant other is basically all up to chance and fate. I consider all those saying about finding love complete nonsense if I’m being honest.

You’ll find love once you stop looking for it: Lies. I went on 4 dates in the same week, I was 100% looking for love. I have been on the hunt for the past 2.5-3 years now. The only way in which this phrase kinda works in regards to my boyfriend was that I had no expectations for our first date, in fact each of us were considering cancelling on the other!

You won’t find love until you learn to love yourself: Another lie. This one has always bothered me a little bit since I do struggle with self-love and the fact that I wasn’t finding a good match was just cementing the idea that I was unloveable. You’re too close to yourself to see the big picture clearly of who you are as a whole. You nitpick at yourself rather than acknowledging the general idea that you’re a good person that just makes mistakes like every other human.

I do believe in self sabotage though, whether its subconscious or not, I used to pick emotionally unavailable men because I was afraid of showing the real me and getting hurt or abandoned. It also took meeting a good guy to realize how much I was settling because I didn’t realize how much more effort and consideration I deserved from a partner. My boyfriend compliments me all the time my intelligence, my creativity, my body, my nurturing skills, and every other part of me. I know it’s up to me to work on any issues of self-doubt but his support shines the light on parts of me I overlook and often expect more from. I can be a work in progress and be loveable at the same time. I can still love someone else while learning to fully love myself.

Of course, I’m sure there will be someone reading this who had one these clichés work for them or someone they know. The cliché for me and the boyfriend is “Timing is Everything” but I would never give someone the advice of waiting for a guy or periodically checking in on old flames to see if the timing is better now haha. We weren’t waiting around for each other which made the two of us very surprised with what we discovered that first date but that definitely will not be the case for everyone else (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DON’T WAIT AROUND ON A GUY HOPING HE’LL GET HIS ACT TOGETHER OR SUDDENLY FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU) But I think everyone should take each cliché with a grain of salt. You don’t know which one will end up being yours, if any at all.

In the beginning of this article I said finding love is all up to chance… but staying in love is a choice you’ll make over and over again, don’t confuse the two.

When Should the First Kiss be?

There’s not exactly a set time, but there is definitely a window from date number two to date number four with the sweet spot being at the end of two or three. Timing is super important here. You want to make sure a connection is there before jumping the gun.

Trust me there is nothing worst than going in for a kiss too soon.

If a woman isn’t ready for that kind of intimacy than you only seem disrespectful and aggressive and that’s a sure-fire way to sink your chances with her. You can gage how ready your potential suitor might be by starting with casual touches such as shoulder brushing and a brief hand on the arm. If that seems to go well then you might lean in more during conversation or sit closer so you both might get used to each other in your personal space. From there, more frequent touching, hand holding, and hugging will help build the physical connection. It’s totally normal for it to feel a little uncomfortable from the new sensation and the nervous butterflies, so there’s no need to rush any physical contact.

That’s why it can take two to four dates in order to establish this connection and build up to the first kiss. You both want to be thinking about and craving this kind of intimacy. Of course, everyone moves at a different pace and just like the possibility of moving too fast, there is also the mistake of moving too slow. If you wait too long, he may think you’re not really interested in him romantically. You’ll go from potential dater to friend and watch as he turns his focus to other girls to pursue romantically.

When I first began dating, I obviously had a lot less experience and because of that I definitely did not want a kiss on the first date. I thought it was too soon and if a guy tried I thought it meant he was disingenuous. That was nearly three-year ago now and it wasn’t really until a couple of months ago that I changed my mind on first date kisses.

I still believe the second date is probably better and more popular but as long as I am forming a connection and climbing the ladder of physical contact then I’ve become more accepting of first date kissing. As long as your partner and you feel comfortable, than you can move at whatever pace you want and change that pace when you want!

What Male Dating Profiles are Doing Wrong

Some guys might be wondering if there’s anything wrong with their profiles that are causing the lack in lady traffic or responses. Since I’ve been browsing profiles for a few years now I believe I have seen just about everything and might be able to point out some improvements.

Don’t: The profile that only has group pictures. I understand if you’re a guy who doesn’t like taking selfies or perhaps you’re trying to show how social you are. But if your profile only consists or 2 or 3 group pictures, chances are I’m not going to know which one is you. Due to the uncertainty or the effort required on my part to now do some investigative work and figure out if you’re the cute one or no, I’ll probably just swipe left. (Chances are you weren’t the cute one anyway).

Instead: Do a mix of group and solo shots. This way we know exactly who to be looking for and we also know other people like hanging out with you.

Don’t: The shirtless pictures. I mean I understand that gym/ cross fit fad going on and you’re showing off your results and how hip you are but come on man. I’ll either think you’re shallow or you hook up with someone who is shallow. Why don’t we let your muscles be an added bonus once we met?

Instead: Of course, if you’re just here to hook up then keep the picture, a girl will want to know what she’s working with. The only acceptable shirtless picture is one from the beach because it’s more nature and less staged to show off.

Don’t: Posing with Cars/Car pictures. If the picture is just of the car then you’re just flashing your money and you’re going to attract girls who only want your money. Or this is your project car and you’re a hobby mechanic in which these girls will have to know that car is your mistress. I’m not entirely sure that posing with the car is any better. Sure at least you’re in the picture and you could maybe make the argument that you’ve not showing off your muscle car but trust me, you don’t look cool leaning against the hood with your arms folded nor stretched out..

Instead: Maybe just include a line in your bio how you would love to take your date on a drive or how working on cars is one of your hobbies.

Don’t: The next issue could be from your bio. The two biggest issues are when a guy makes demands and when he’s very negative. Requirements like ‘short girls only’ or ‘no drama queens’ will most likely not give you the results you hope for. For starters, you limit your pool and seem shallow. Secondly, you seem like you don’t respect girls or can’t take responsibility for your own actions. There’s either a reason you have a crazy ex or you’re just making up the fact that she’s crazy.

Instead: You can get away with comments like “redheads are my weakness” and the like but stay away from close minded demands and requirements. Also don’t trash talk girls while trying to talk to a girl.. Just say positive things you are looking for in a girl like down to earth, fun, or loves to just chill on the couch.

Picky Daters

For me, first dates take a lot of mental effort. It requires you to carve out new time in your routine, the nervousness of meeting someone new, and as a reserved and introverted being, the social draining from constant conversation for multiple hours.

For these reasons, I don’t jump at every date. If I’ve only been talking to a guy about really trivial things for the past three days then I may want more time getting to know him before agreeing to give him my free afternoon. I’ve been coerced into first dates before and have learned to stick with my gut now. There’s always going to be a few things you have in common with a stranger, that doesn’t mean you’re meant to be.

It’s also important I ask what their intentions are before agreeing to meet up as well. I want to go on an actual date, not just chill at your house or in your car. Those can be part of the date but not the main event. I want to know that you’re making an effort to get to know me not just buying your time before you try to shove your tongue down my throat.

So I’m picky about who I agree to go on dates with. I’m not looking to waste anyone’s time, money, or gas. If I agree to go on a date with you then it’s because I think there will end up being more than one date. I don’t want to go on 50 first dates, I want to develop something deeper than that. I’m worth getting to know and I’m worth the effort of planning a date.

 

To Ghost or Not to Ghost (Dating Honesty)

You could be getting to know a guy, only talking to him for a couple of days but it’s the weekend so he’s rushing a date you’re not really sure you want to go on yet. Or after talking for a bit you realize you’re not really interested in him, but you both already talked about your mutual love of tacos and a date was hatched days ago when you were more open to the idea (and you just can’t resist tacos).

There are two ways to get out of a date you don’t really want to go on. You either make up an excuse or be completely straight forward. Although I think it’s good to be honest and not lead someone on, some people do not accept no as an answer. Then there’s confrontation that could lead to you being guilted to go on the date anyway!

I’ve been on both sides of ghosting. Sometimes you’re both on the same page, the messages back and forth have become sporadic and you’ve both lost interest but you’re being polite in conversation. Some times I ghost you because I don’t want to hurt your feelings, you’re a nice guy with a solid job but our conversations have been bland and we just don’t have the chemistry. There’s nothing wrong with you so I don’t want you to start thinking that there is or resenting being told that you’re a ‘nice guy’. Other times I ghost you because I don’t want to deal with the backlash of your butt hurt feelings. You telling me how high you are at work everyday. We have different ideas of what fun is and I’m beginning to question how you’d handle life and stress in the future. I ghost you because I don’t want confrontation or to be bullied just because we’re not really a great match.

I get why people hate being ghosted though. You thought everything was going well and suddenly nothing. You wonder where it went wrong, if there was just a misunderstanding that could be worked out, what’s wrong with you that he left, or was it just that he found someone better? It’s arguably one of the worst dating etiquettes to break because it can really tear down someone’s self worth. It could be the reason someone gives up on love and the reason they stop loving themselves.

The thing is though, maybe the reason he leaves is the reason another man stays. Should you be constantly molding yourself, cutting off limbs so that you will be to his liking? You’re not meant to fit into everyone’s perfect match checklist box. And it’s a heavy burden to take responsibility of everyone’s self esteem. Just because someone leaves doesn’t mean you have to devalue yourself.

So ghost or not ghost, you’re still a person of worth.