Advice from an Experienced Professional on the Nuances of Online Dating
By Sharanya Bhattacharya
We just hit a Pandemic and are currently going through a time where historical events are happening, left, right, and center. We hit a snag in our daily lives and have been part of a home quarantine throughout 2020. This has been the cause of a lot of breakups and even the birth of children. But what happened to those who were single? Well, they all turned to online dating. I am one of those people.
Let’s be on the same page here from the beginning – why do we turn into online dating in the first place? Getting love or getting laid? No matter what the answer is (or what you think it is), this pandemic and time away from going out and hanging with friends have given all of us a new dimension. So, today, five years, unlimited number of people to talk to, and a pandemic later, I find myself qualified enough to share my version of the perks and perils of online dating. Find this relatable? Let’s dive straight in!
They say, ‘curiosity killed the cat,’ well, in online dating lingo, where cats are a facade used to mean something different than intended, this quote comes to life. Online dating is practically the best place to meet new people without having the pressure of being someone other than yourself, finding your match by swiping left or right without letting the person know you have rejected them, and beginning a beautiful relationship from there onward.
In this pandemic, inquisitive souls like me who spend their days working from home have found new friends from online dating applications that might, or might not, turn into something serious later. But, now that the restrictions are slowly lifting off and we have the option of going out and meeting the person we have been talking to for the past few months, we suddenly become nervous. Don’t worry, though! I’m here to save you from the discomfort.
Creating a Balanced Profile
All these months, you had the liberty to say no to meet-up requests given the situation we were in, but now the scene has changed. So, if you are looking for the perfect ‘partner’ through online dating, someone you would love to meet, you need to first focus on your profile:
- The Gallery: Always tend to choose the pictures that flaunt the best sides of your personality – be it with the poses, the activities you are doing, or the places you are at. Ensure you are comfortable with the places featuring in your profile picture carousel so that you have a topic of the conversation right from the beginning. Take this from a pro online dater – don’t add pictures with your friends, pose with vehicles that aren’t yours, or post pictures of clothes you wouldn’t normally wear even though they look sexy. You wouldn’t want the other person being confused about who you are right from the get-go.
- The Copy: Next, write an intriguing bio. Everyone judges everyone on these online dating applications and, being as honest as you can always help. Write a few lines about who you are, what you are all about, what you like doing, where you stay, and what you are looking for. My profile, for example, speaks about my profession and my perception of life. This has led to several people coming up with a witty first line about their own take on the writing. Some of the best profiles include those who use ‘|’ in between single adjectives that define them. Try to opt-out of writing ‘not here for hookups’ because that is an immediate turn-off and would make most people swipe left. The aim is to create a profile for yourself that you would swipe right on. You get the drill, don’t you?
Conversations Dictating the Flow
Profile Picture – CHECK
Perfect Bio – CHECK
‘It’s a match!”
Your phone lights up with a ‘ting’ as you open the notification bar to see the above-mentioned text written in bold.
Trust me, at times I feel like these online dating applications are more excited at us getting a match than we actually are. But imagine for a second that you have matched with someone who you liked, to begin with. NEVER EVER wait for the other person to text first. This goes to all you men and women out there. If you like someone, strike up a conversation with them and see how it goes.
At this point, I would like to mention, please don’t use short forms. Please don’t. No one understands what you’re talking about, and most of the time, especially after the fact that we all are living through history right now, people don’t have the energy to speak with someone who can’t frame a full sentence. Been there, felt that.
While most of the time, “hey, what’s up?” remains the first text anyone sends, there’s no harm in mixing things up a bit. Online dating is a platform where you get to meet ‘your match,’ and showing your witty and mysterious self right off the bat would make them more intrigued about you and be the start of an interesting conversation.
As you start interacting with a potential connection for the longer run, you must be respectful towards the other person. If you have to leave the conversation midway, have the courtesy to say you’ll catch up with the other person later because you have to be somewhere else. Once you send that text, wait for an acknowledgment from the other side before running away. The key to online dating is ensuring that the other person is heard.
If you feel like you’ve had a fruitful conversation and are comfortable taking things to the next level – personally, you can shift to other text platforms. Things just become all the more comfortable when you take it slowly – one at a time. Girls, there is no harm in asking for the guy’s number if you liked talking to them. I know I did. Guys, be polite and take your time before asking for their number. Know that both of you are talking to around five other people simultaneously, and you need to be honest and put your best foot forward if you want to strongly make a connection with at least one of them.
The First Date
When you’ve reached this stage, you’ve already come a long way - I know you have. So now it’s time to take things further with a date. The physical meeting after the whole time is special, and you need to make that mark. Now, I understand that after this pandemic, it would take any occasion you get to either dress up with the best piece of clothing you own or act as if it doesn’t matter. Trust me, it matters. So, get up and take a good look at your wardrobe.
While you wear something that fits you well and you are comfortable with wearing it for a long time, choose something that attracts the attention of people. Girls, sexy lingerie is a must if you are taking your date home once things go well. Once again, you both know each other enough to go on a date, and there is no need to pretend. Pick a place close to both of your homes that cater to both of your likings; cuisine and ambiance wise. You can also get the other person a token they can take back home – flowers are the most obvious choice. Also, NEVER BE LATE.
If things are supposed to be continued at home, keep your place stocked with all the things you need for an intimate night. Walk into the bathroom and come back wearing sexy lingerie, keep sex toys near your bedside if you both want to try something kinky, or pop in some enhancement pills to give yourself that boost of confidence.
End the night with a kiss and some cuddles. Stay, if you can, but ask if the other person wants you around. Complement each other on how great your night was and the next morning; don’t forget to wish each other. If things go well, a second date might be just around the corner!
Online or not, a date involves two people and how they feel about each other and their presence in their lives. In such a case, every small detail matters, and to show you care is one of the top-most ways of showing them that they are appreciated. So, bring up your A-game and have fun as you sink your foot into the pool of dating this New Year. Don’t forget to let me know how your date went!