how to swipe right
I talk a lot about dating ‘rules’ in my writing and how unnerving it is that we have become too particular about how to date, who to date and how to maintain mutual connections. We rely on rules and regulations, tips and tricks to secure positive dating experiences or ‘make’ someone fall for us. Be it our own precarious stream of consciousness - swooshing about ideas of who we think would be ‘perfect for us’ - or those superficial and outdated ideologies conjured up by other people.
You can read more on this here.
I wanted to mix things up a bit and discuss the do’s of a dating method that 100 years ago would have been ridiculed, eye rolled upon and disbelieved. Dating apps and internet dating has undeniably become the ‘easier’ more accessible option. We now let our index fingers and thumbs decide our fate / next date. Sometimes we accidentally swipe who could be a great match back into cyber space. You can reverse this though if you subscribe by clicking here.
(I’m just kidding it’s a link again to another post of mine that I’d really like for you to read.)
It would be wonderful if we all spoke to each other more, exchanged a few more smiles, if we could be a little more approach/ing/able. But we are all far too riddled with anxieties, insecurities, and pride to do such a thing. Smile at the dishy fe/male with kind eyes that caught yours in the coffee shop queue? DON’T BE SO ABSURD.
And a lot of us think we are ‘too busy,’ for dating, which is why apps are convenient. No time for such a thing. How else are we going to find the time to binge watch killing eve and scroll through media feeds, adding things to our basket on the wish app only to wait 4-6 weeks for their arrival. There just isn’t enough time.
We are not too busy; we are just becoming lazy. Take Tinder for example. Tinder has been described as the McDonalds for sex right? And how do you order your food at Maccers these days? That’s right, with your busy little swipey fingers. You can’t be arsed to actually TALK to a human if you have the option not to, correct?
And these apps have made us lazy in the sense that we now know how easy it is to get a date, or a hook up or a relationship. So, dating has become just a disposable as the gherkins you toss off from burger to bin. And that my fast food fanatics, was not a euphemism.
Anyway, I hate to impose ‘rules’ as my previous posts have suggested I am just not into that. Let’s call these seven suggestions to put the fun and kindness back into dating. Seven submissions that could prevent us being a little lapse and half arsed when deciding who we want to spend a little or a lot of time with. That being said, you don’t have to take on these suggestions but there is a much kinder way for tinderellas, bumble bees, hinge lingerers and plenty of fishers to avoid dating becoming as unlucky and disappointing as McDonalds monopoly. Plus, my advice isn’t to help you find ‘THE ONE’ by changing everything about your gorgeous self – it’s merely a strategy to help men and women bring more honesty and enjoyment into socialising, OKAY?
How to swipe RIGHT!
1) First, decide what you are looking for, be real, be honest, be true to yourself. Want a hook up? Use tinder. You know, the McDonalds for sex. It’s fast, it’s bad for you, you feel a little guilty and dirty after, but you secretly LOVE IT. If only you could get a side order of fries. I’m kidding, no more McMetaphors.
If you’re looking for something non committed, no strings, then say you are from the beginning. Don’t be wasting time. If you are looking for something lovely and committed, say from the beginning, don’t be wasting your time or anyone else’s. That being said, don’t assume that everyone you match with is looking for the same thing as you. Go on dates, go on lots of DATES! And oh my listen to this:
1 hour, 1 drink. Based on only this, form the decision on whether you would like to have dinner with this person – upping the date time to 2-3 hours. GENIUS!! THEN decide if you want to see them again and perhaps do something a little less formal and, on that date, decide if you want to see them again…and so on and so forth.
2) My second suggestion? A picture paints a thousand words. Gentlemen, three selfies, a picture of you snuggling ya spaniel and a further of you with your finger in a fish’s mouth is selling yourself short. And ladies, selfies are great but so is wine, everything in moderation. Try to show more of you. Hinge is great because it gives you prompts for photos and stories to tell. A selfie is fine, but a picture of your favourite place, a piece of art you have created, an image of your favourite album is going to tell swipers more about you than a sepia filter. Part of the reason we have become swipe insensitive is because we see the same types of pictures, the same selfie angles, pouty, candid poses. And ‘if everybody looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other...’
3) Thirdly, create a bio and read other peoples. If you/they don’t have one? Why not? That’s like sending a CV off without any employment history. Or a wordless eulogy (corrr imagine that?) Show that you love yourself (I know it’s cringey but it’s so true that you must.) I hear so many people say, ‘I’m not funny,’ ‘I’m not good with words,’ ‘I’m not *insert word here* enough.’ Of course you are! You’ve been in relationships before, you’ve sustained long lasting friendships and bonds. If you immediately brush yourself as not something or not worthy of something, then you’ve told ya damn mind you’re not and ya mind has created a little neuron narrative that now believes you are just that. Everyone is an expert in something, everyone has a passion for something. And if you don’t? Find that first before finding your next date because that would suggest you can only find happiness in another human being. WHICH IS TWADDLE. Make it fun, tell your favourite joke, recite your favourite poem, movie quote, or lyrics from a piece of music you love, talk about an achievement you are proud of, a country you would like to visit. These will all make for better initial conversation too, not the MSN-esque dialogue I mention a little later on.
4) In at number four is do try and steer away from easily misinterpreted and quite generic phrases. One I see A LOT:‘looking for someone who doesn’t take life too seriously.’ Life can be a pretty serious affair sometimes, but we don’t all go around in a permanent state of sincerity. I mean, who are you meeting to say this? And if this is a just a courteous way of saying you’re not looking for anything ‘serious’ then up your honesty game. Say that.
Other phrases such as ‘no time wasters,’ and ‘honest people only’ imply to yourself and others that you only attract dishonest people that waste your time. This isn't a post on a Facebook buying and selling page. Dating should not be a platform to discuss past experiences. Maybe that will come later if it has to, but you don’t start a new job and talk about how awful or how great your last one was – you immerse yourself into the new experience. And anyway, nobody wastes anyone’s time. Every fleeting meeting, past relationship of 2 days or 2 months or 22 years is an experience that has got us where we are today and made us who we are. You’re still alive right? Well thank fuck for that one night stand, give thanks for that bloody good ghosting, send gratitude to the ex-boyfriend who shattered your heart into a million pieces so much so that you are still finding little bits in the carpet…but thanks to him YOU ARE STILL ALIVE ‘N KICKIN BABY HALLE-BLOODY-LUJAH!
Do list some interests but please prevent insinuating that you are only going to be interested in ‘outdoorsy, spontaneous, travel-types , dog lovers with a passion for cooking, rock climbing, techno music, philosophy, surfing and scrabble.’ Jheez we don’t ask for much do we? It throws potential connections off - meeting new people should bring new experiences, new hobbies and interests. And anyone that writes anything along the lines of 'if my dog doesn't like you, I won't' or 'I bet you can't make me love you as much as I love my dog' CAN GO AHEAD AND MARRY THEIR DOG.
In fact, I have a task for you. Grab a pen and paper. Write down a list of who your ideal match would be. Get a pen and paper now, go on. I SEE YA. Please, I implore you. This will really benefit you.
Got your pen and paper? Right, now take just five minutes to write that list. You can do bullet points, spider diagrams – draw some pictures. You have five minutes, starting...
NOW BURN IT.
The ideal DOES NOT exist. You have to learn to sacrifice your false idea of your ideal and work on learning and accepting people for all they are. It would be boring if we didn’t have to do this. If someone met ALL your superficial expectations. If someone didn't bring us new ideas, new ways of looking at things, new interests. Think about it - it would be boring. If you met the person of your utmost ideal, someone who had no qualms or idiosyncrasies, agreed with everything you said, did everything you wanted, well...bore off I say.
5) When you match with someone, be brave with your conversation: Avoid bland three worded msn-esque exchanges.
Get straight to it honeys, stop wasting time and data. If they have a good bio, pictures that tell you something and you’re looking to date. Get dating! That’s when you really get to know someone. Save boring responses and admin for your outlook inbox at work. Plus, if you get too into a textathon, that becomes the norm. And when they can’t keep up the text thread after you’ve been hanging out for a while, you start to doubt and question things because before you were sending each other a thesis each time you interacted.
6) Limit yourself. I don’t just mean your time on it. But this too. As in we don’t want dating apps to become like the other apps we use - scrolling aimlessly, liking auto-pilot-ly and auto-polite-ly for that matter. You can set up little time restrictions now on your device for apps. Sounds silly but swiping is addictive and our brains release chemicals when we get a message or a like. Digital instant gratification is unhealthy. Let's take it back to the real thing! But also limit your connections, have three at the most that you are determining date worthy. It becomes too much admin otherwise and then you end up ignoring each other and that’s always going to make someone, somewhere feel inadequate. Even if you don’t realise it. You ‘like’ or swipe right someone or vice versa and then nothing further. It’s slowly eating away at us. Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Ever smiled at an elderly gentleman in the street only for him to ignore you? Makes you feel a bit crap doesn’t it? You probably even end up cursing the ignorant little shit in your private thought cave. Although it is likely he didn’t see you or he was looking past you into his car window at his dog or something, it still made you feel a little insignificant. And you know, we can’t get back to everyone, but even the conversations that do fizzle out could do with a little honesty update ‘sorry, I’m going on a date with someone else / I’m chatting to a couple of others / I think you’re looking for something more / less / best of luck with it all sonny I'm gonna leave the conversation there, it was nice to match with you.'
7) If someone likes you that you are not attracted to, send them love and good vibes. (I really don’t want to use the term good vibes but it’s the only phrase I can use without saying positive feels which is just as flinchy.) Either whisper to yourself or internalise a ‘thanks for the like Steven, I appreciate it, but I am not attracted to you, I hope you find your match soon.’ It’s just sending out a bit of kindness and gratitude out into a world that needs it most. Let’s make swiping less superficial and judgmental. We all do it, when someone not to our ‘taste’ sends us a like or strikes up a conversation, we almost seem a little insulted. But the fact is, we are not better than anyone and until we realise that and begin noticing our judgmental and superficial behaviours, dating will be a shit storm. And hey, who says you can't be friends? The more men and women befriend each other the more they learn about one another, right?
Dating should be fun and if it isn’t then you are doing it wrong. I know I have ranted (kindly) previously about how we should not be told how to date. But for one this is a free perspective, and more importantly I’m not telling you to change you, you are great…but do bring awareness to your actions in order to make better choices. We as a collective have corrupted something that should be natural and enjoyable. So self love first, followed by the one date / one drink advise. Remember to remove intense expectations, have fun and get busy with those fingers! Wait...not those ones, I mean yes those fingers but you know with your touch screens I mean. Stop it.