I can't remember the last time I actually met someone I'd consider dating in real life. You know, like a meet-cute at a bar or a grocery store. Or maybe in the library, where I meet the love of my life when we both reach for the same book in the self-help section.
Dating has primarily moved itself online and onto phones now, since we are all introverted robots apparently who do not know how to do things that involve leaving the house and talking to people in public. But when romance became an app, finding love became a little bit trickier.
It can be hard to make your online match develop into something meaningful. So if you met on a dating app, here's how to make your online relationship last in the long run.
I'm currently chatting with a guy on a dating app who messaged me back every three days. At that rate, we were on the slow track to nowhere. Finally, he told me he is bad with Tinder and requested we move the conversation to texting. And it turns out, he is bad at that, too.
Life moves pretty quickly when you're swiping, and if you don't respond at a regular pace, you're going to lose your chance. So looking for love online requires consistency. Conversations should feel like a ping pong match where you're responding in a timely manner. Otherwise, they'll just get bored or feel rejected, and move on to the next person.
Online dating is a bit of a meat market, where you're talking to several people at once.
Jeff? Which Jeff? I am literally talking to 17 Jeffs right now.
In this case, in order to foster a real relationship with someone, it's important to feel excited about each and every Jeff you're talking to. Exhausting, I know, but if you're truly looking for something meaningful — and looking for it online — then you need to take each match seriously and actually try to get to know them in a unique way, whether that be through personalized questions or following up on the things they've told you about them.
Stay excited at the idea of finding love, even when you feel carpal tunnel syndrome coming on from swiping and typing so much.
Sometimes, you might feel like meeting online can take the romance out of dating. People become avatars, and when you finally meet up in real life, you're not quite sure if it's a date or if you're just hanging out with a pen pal — some person who has existed on your phone for weeks and is finally manifesting IRL.
If you've met someone online, make sure to establish that your first meet up is actually a date, if that is what you're looking for. Bring a present (Flowers? Wine?), make sure you compliment your date, and be affectionate. Flirt, and take the time to dress up if that makes you feel good.
4. IRL Meetups
Yes, at some point, you're going to have to move that online relationship to IRL. Four years ago (yes, four years ago), I matched with a guy on Tinder. We have been talking ever since, but he has never asked me out. We have plenty of mutual friends and work in the same industry, so I could never figure out why he just wanted to keep our relationship online.
At first, I thought maybe he was married. I did my research, though, and he's not. Maybe he was too busy. Maybe he was just not interested. Maybe he was afraid of me. I couldn't find a justification.
Last week, I came to my senses and stopped responding to him. Sure, it took me years to do it, but this is a guy who is just not going to come around. And then, that's when I got a long email from him, asking what he had done wrong.
When it comes to online dating, I'm not looking for a pen pal. I'm looking for a potential partner. So if you're on a dating app looking for love, be dating-minded, and get ready to move the relationship offline after a few messages. Otherwise, you might lose your chance.
5. Phone Conversations
If your relationship is going to work, you actually have to pick up the phone and hear one another's voice. Scary, I know. But if you can't put in the effort to call someone, how are you going to put in the effort to be in a lasting relationship with them?
It always feels a little insane to me that people think calling is too personal, yet we'll have sex with someone on the first date or go out with a complete stranger.
Talking on the phone is how you establish personal intimacy, and it helps you cut to the chase — quickly. You can say on the phone in one minute what it takes 30 texts to say, and sometimes, those texts can be misinterpreted and misunderstood. Plus, picking up the phone differentiates you from everyone else your partner could be dating and will put you in the front of the pack. And believe me, there is probably a pack.
Online dating is tricky, and so is dating in general, relationships, love, and also everything else. But there are ways to go about it to make your relationship as successful as it can be.
Stay excited and consistent, and make sure you are being romantic with your partner. And at some point, you gotta move things from online to IRL. Otherwise, you're just dealing with a pen pal, right?
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