Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you either love or hate. Personally, I love it. I loved it being single and using it as an excuse to buy myself expensive chocolate and a hot outfit to wear out. I love it in a relationship because it’s a day that is socially acceptable to dedicate to appreciating your plus one.
I thought back and forth on the type of Vday post I wanted to do. A gift guide for her? For him? Other things you can do that don’t require money? And then I decided to gift you with something that is near and dear to my heart, which is my two cents on dating. Specifically, online dating. Oh yeah – I’m talking Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Grindr, Match.com, whateva.
NEWS FLASH – Bill (the boyfriend) and I met on a dating app. That’s right. We both swiped right. Some of you may know that. Some of you may not. When we first started dating, I was so EMBARRASSED about telling anyone that I forced him into telling our friends that we met through a mutual friend. This was half true, since the app we met on, Hinge, only showed you people that you have Facebook friends in common with. #GetHinged
Looking back, I wondered why I was so afraid to tell anyone the “real” way we met. It came down to the social stigma of online dating. Like, am I honestly that rough where I can’t meet someone in real life at a coffee shop? Were people swiping drunk and looking for a one-night stand or were they dedicating their lives to finding their soulmate the easy way? Was online dating creating a hookup culture ( Read: Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”)?
Well for me, it was a mixture of bored in my one bedroom apartment in Uptown, drunk, and wanting to expand my social circle. Lol. So I found myself on Tinder and Hinge, swiping right with one eye open in the middle of the night (more like 2 a.m.) and I came to a realization of who the fuck cares. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, maybe a hookup, but more so just to put myself out there, meet some weird dudes, and go with the flow. So I kept swiping on the down-low.
I met up with a few guys. Drinks. Dinner. Nothing more. Some were weird AF. Some were nice. Some got too clingy. That’s when I typically dropped off. Until Bill of course.
Long story short, Bill and I became best friends over the course of 6 months and grew into something so much more. It was slow for a while. It literally took me 6 months to come to terms with myself and acknowledge that this was a relationship I wanted to be in and grow. Bill and I got the luxury of getting to know each other, awkward ice breaking questions and the “what are we” conversations included. Sometimes I can’t believe I am part of the online dating statistic but the happiness I get from my relationship every day will always outweigh that hint of embarrassment for me. I value that much more than the perception of the online dating stigma.
I’m no expert (I also feel like I need to stop prefacing my posts with this because you all know that) but FINALLY here’s my two cents on online dating:
- Go in with an open mind. If your heart is set on finding a boyfriend, you will either be thoroughly disappointed because no one meets your expectations or you will be shooting yourself in the foot because you have none. Set the tone of your online dating experience and know that you won’t know if he’s a total douche or prince charming until you swipe right.
- Update your GD profile pictures. Do unto you what you’d want for others. Everyone knows you were skinnier in high school but for the love of being honest and making it easy to meet people in person, UPDATE YOUR PICTURES. Use VSCO filters if you need to, but do not use a picture that is older than 5 years.
- Meet for drinks. For me, drinks are so much easier because a. it eases the nerves (just try not to get hammered) and b. it’s low commitment which is great for an exit plan. If you’re finding the situation to be a BIT awkward, you can just say you have a big thing at work tomorrow or you have somewhere to be and boom you’re outta there. If you do the whole dinner thing, you may get a free dinner, but also have to suffer through an uncomfortable date. Side note: I did this to Bill. Poor guy didn’t get dinner so he was starving and I was super content with my 2 beers so maybe let your date know it’s just drinks 😉
- Be honest about how you’re feeling. If you’re not feeling it, guess what? YOU HAVE NO COMMITMENT TO THIS GUY. Just say hey, yeah, this isn’t working out and be on your way. Easy peasy. If you are growing feelings, keep things going, but know you don’t need to be in a relationship after the third, sixth, or tenth date. Relationships come after dating and dating is just the period of time you get to spend really getting to know each other.
It’s crazy to think that online dating is a real thing, but the truth is you’re not the only one doing it. Aziz Ansarsi found that a stat from a study done by the University of Chicago: Between 2005 and 2012, more than one-third of couples in the US who got married met online. If you haven’t read his book, Modern Romance, buy it on Amazon or ask me to borrow it because it’s funny as hell and really interesting.
Happy Valentine’s Day, babes! Enjoy it with your gals or your man (or men if you’re into that), have a glass of wine (or a few), and maybe even swiping 🙂
SHOP LOVEY LOOKS