The first thing you should know about dating is that you need to actively be doing it. “What people often don’t realize is that there is a silent and online dating component to dating,” says Teena Weigel, a dating expert and co-founder of Webdate.org, a website that focuses on modern dating. “People often don’t realize that they’re not on, if they don’t put themselves out there,” she says. And going on dates, especially without knowing what you want out of a relationship, is the best way to figure out what you want in one.
Dating is hard, and I want to help you make it easier. Read on to get started, whether your goal is dating or marriage.
1. Have an open mind. It’s super easy to fall into a familiar stereotype and pigeonhole people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, profession, physical appearance, etc. Look at them for what they are and you’ll find someone who you’ll have a good time with, Weigel says. Keep your mind open and try not to think of anything else.
2. Get face time. The majority of people don’t meet in person unless they’re absolutely certain they want to do that, Weigel says. Almost every successful relationship starts with meeting in a social setting, either in a bar or at a party. Which is why it’s important to venture out and try new things, Weigel says. And although you don’t have to start your dating journey at a bar, you should at least try to meet someone in a social setting, even if it’s a place where you’re not the most comfortable, like your grandma’s house. The point is, you need to spend some time with people you’re interested in to start to figure out what you like and don’t like in a potential date.
3. Always put yourself out there. “Any time you’ve felt sexual attraction, you’re dating,” Weigel says. If you’re not doing that, you’re just trying to have sex. Don’t be ashamed of being sexual; it’s natural and healthy. But it’s also important to start dating without an agenda. If you are looking for something more serious, go do something on your own to make sure you’re on the same page; we all have different expectations of what we’re looking for in a relationship, but usually that’s something along the lines of love, companionship, and a happy long-lasting relationship.
See, romance used to be way more boring. Really, it was the same kind of formula every time. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl. And here we are. There’s really nothing sexy about that. That’s why the internet is such a blast, because it frees you from the constraints of the traditional dating scene. You can read reviews on the best sites to improve your style, you can find a celebrity you’ve had your eye on for a while, and you can plug in your personal information to see if anyone’s out there for you. Now that we’re all single-minded in our pursuits of love, the only real rule is to let the chemistry do the talking. So follow these steps and you’ll be the most sophisticated, modern dater in town.
1. Make a profile.
You know you’re going to have to make one of these, right? Look, it’s your first step out of the gate, so don’t make it any longer than it needs to be. Give yourself 40-50 characters to tell people about yourself, and focus on the most important aspects of your personality—meaning you shouldn’t say you like shiitake mushrooms if you’re a mushroom lover. While you’re writing the profile, be sure to include URLs to your Twitter, Facebook, and/or blog, as people will want to see this information if they are in the market for a new romance—and if you’re on the site for more than a few weeks, those links will allow you to more easily contact people.
What websites are the best for finding someone new? | Image by Brian Lam.
2. Look for the match.
One of the great things about the dating site is that it’s the only way for you to see if any matches are out there for you. There is no guy in the world who wouldn’t love to find out that there is a woman who loves shiitake mushrooms as much as they do, right? The tricky part is that you have to trust your profile, and you can’t fake yourself, you have to know how to speak the truth about yourself.
Luckily for you, there’s no rule that says you have to look for someone you’re actually attracted to, either. At least, there shouldn’t be. If you’re looking for that soulmate of yours, you should have your expectations set high and they shouldn’t be realistic. There are thousands of girls and guys out