How To Make Sure Your Dating Life Doesn’t Suck When Mercury Is In Retrograde

by Alexia LaFata

If you're wondering why everything seems a little more terrible than usual, look to the sky. Mercury is currently in retrograde, and we're all feeling a little more bloated, irritable, and sad than we usually do. (Or maybe that's just my period.) And if you're dating during Mercury retrograde, you might be feeling like you're bringing the sh*ttiest version of yourself to your dates.

However, the good news is that you aren't doomed to fail in the dating department during this retrograde — especially if you've been using dating apps. That's right, Tinder actually saw 4 million matches during Mercury's last retrograde, which happened from April 9 to May 3. That's a 20 percent increase from the December retrograde. People were most successful on Tinder in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, San Diego, San Francisco, Austin, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, so if you live in or near one of those cities, you're going to be juuuust fine.

But if you're panicking about making a new connection before the end of the retrograde, fear not. Dr. Jess Carbino, Tinder's in-house sociologist, gave Elite Daily some tips for how to attract potential Tinder matches and find yourself some love (or even a worthy one-night stand) this retrograde.

Invest In Yourself

First, do a little something for yourself before worrying about nailing a date. It'll make you feel more confident and ready to handle any dating app stranger IRL. This is especially important during the retrograde when everything is spiraling around you uncontrollably — you need to prioritize yourself, and that includes prioritizing making yourself feel good. "Go on a run, treat yourself to [a] quick blow out, or even have a pampering session at a spa. Do whatever it takes to give you that extra confidence boost!" Dr. Carbino recommends.

Even making a slight, casual change to your daily routine can help you get out of the retrograde rut. "Wear a new shade of lipstick, splurge on that romper you've been eyeing online, or even treat yourself to a midday smoothie," says Dr. Carbino.

There's a reason people recycle these kitschy, women's magazine-style tips over and over again, you guys. That's because they work.

Give Your Profile A Little Makeover

Can't remember the last time you updated your Tinder profile? Maybe it's time for a little housekeeping.

Dr. Carbino says to make sure that you're facing forward in all of your pictures. "By facing forward in your photographs, you signal that you're open and trustworthy. (Yes, being able to see your eyes actually tells your matches that you are honest, so ditch the shades.)" she says. Facing forward increases your odds of being swiped right on by 20 percent, so, yeah. Definitely want to do that.

Also, make sure you include pictures of you doing things you're passionate about. If you're a nature aficionado, include a picture of you hiking in the mountains. If you love the beach, include a picture of you doing a cartwheel on the sand. Potential matches want to see you in the most you state, and that usually happens when you're in the middle of doing something you love. "Don't be afraid to show your personality!" says Dr. Carbino.

Even the retrograde can't ruin a wonderfully revamped profile.

Initiate A Conversation On The App

Far too many of my friends are still nervous to start conversations with people on dating apps. In case you didn't hear, it's 2017, and you are a boss b*tch who will not passively wait around for your Prince Charming. For one, he only exists in Disney movies, which perpetuate a lot of damaging sexist norms anyway, and we are not about that life. So take control of your dating life and message a match first, dammit.

If you're unsure of what to say, Dr. Carbino suggests asking your Tinder match a question. "A great way to spark a conversation is to ask questions. Everyone wants to know that the person they're talking to is invested in getting to know them, so this is the best way to show interest," she says. If you need more convincing, 60 percent of Tinder users say they prefer matches to ask them a question about or comment on their photos as a way to indicate interest.

You could also use a funny pick up line if you're feeling bold.

Don't Go On Dates When You Feel Like Garbage

You don't have to go on a date when you feel like the worst version of yourself. You can wait for the day when you got that blowout, or for when you're feeling extra hot in that new shade of lipstick. Your match will have no idea that the reason you're only available on Thursday is because you're planning to wrap yourself in a blanket and pity yourself every other day of the week.

If you happen to have a date planned and you feel like a jerk for canceling because of how strongly you're feeling the effects of the retrograde, just know that your date won't realize a thing. "Your matches don't know that you had a bad hair day or that the spot on your blouse is from your pasta lunch," Dr. Carbino says. Fake it 'til you make it. Just smile, sip your vodka tonic, and pretend everything's fine. Then, it will be.

Talk About Your Passions And Show Interest With Your Body Language

When you've finally mustered up the courage to go on a date, try to discuss things you're passionate about. Having this type of conversation will make your date instantly drawn to you and wash all the effects of the retrograde away. "Seeing a potential partner excited about something is a very attractive quality because our senses are heightened. This type of conversation helps us get to know a person and appreciate them as an individual, making them more desirable," Dr. Carbino says.

Also, make sure you demonstrate your interest (if you are interested, that is) by physically moving in closer to your date. This will signal to them that you like them, and they'll hopefully mirror your actions. It can also relax you if you're feeling retrograde-level stressed. "Although we may not be feeling our best, generating physical closeness can help diminish those negative feelings and actually help to relax our bodies and minds," Dr. Carbino says.

Remember How Great You Are

I know, I know, the retrograde has you feeling like a monster. But the fact that you aren't feeling awesome right now doesn't mean that you're not awesome. If you need a reminder, "focus on recent accomplishments and successes, like receiving a promotion at work, finishing up your final semester, or even signing up for a 5K race" Dr. Carbino says. "Remember the pride and confidence you had after completing that task, and carry that feeling through into your date."


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