Technology has made it easier than ever to find that special someone. Of course, digital dating also can be overwhelming. What are the best dating sites and apps? How do you avoid getting lost among thousands of other singles?
Fortunately Eastside dating expert, coach, and author Renessa Strong has some great tips for rocking your dating search and keeping sane in the age of Tinder.
Starting your search
Online dating has in many ways replaced traditional ways of meeting new people at work, bars, or dinner parties. This is especially true on the Eastside, where young professionals are tech savvy, but stretched for time.
“Technology is now the middle man, bridging us to people we would normally never meet,” she said.
Regarding which apps and sites to try, Strong recommends starting with Match.com. It’s one of the oldest dating sites and is still popular across all age groups. The site allows you to create a basic profile and will send daily match suggestions based on your interests. Although the site is subscription based, ($20-$42 a month, depending on the plan), you can try it for free for seven days.
One of the most popular dating apps among younger singles is Tinder, which shows you a list of potential partners in your local area. You “swipe right” to like someone or “swipe left” to move on to the next profile. If two people select each other, the app will open a chat channel. The basic version of Tinder is free, though you can upgrade to a premium version for $10 a month.
Sadly, digital dating mirrors the real world in that men are often more forward, and women often receive a lot of unwanted attention. That’s why Strong highly recommends the Bumble dating app, which puts women in control. If a man and woman choose each other’s profile, the woman gets to decide whether she wants to message him. Otherwise, the suggested match disappears after 24 hours. Strong security tools also make it easy for women to report creeps. Bumble also supports a large LGBT dating community, in which case either person can start the connection.
“Women like being able to set the pace, while guys like how they don’t have to message a hundred people and not get a response,” Strong said.
Crafting the perfect profile
Strong is well aware of how easy it is to get lost in a sea of profiles. However, she has a few tips for helping you stand out from the pack.
First, your profile should include at least three recent photos. One of those pictures should be of you having fun with friends. Not only will it show you know how to be sociable, but it establishes a certain level of trust. Photos where you’re wearing your favorite T-shirt are OK, but have at least one pic where you’re dressed for a night out on the town. And be sure to smile.
“Smile is your style,” Strong said.
Also, keep your personal description snappy and interesting.
“In the first three lines of your description, you should share something funny and sincere. It’s OK to show a little vulnerability,” Strong explained. “Most people will only read the first three lines, but if they like your first paragraph, they will read the rest.”
Instead of simply listing hobbies, write about how you want to share your interests with your partner. If you like the outdoors, for example, describe how your perfect weekend would be camping along the coast. It’s great to describe what you’re looking for in an ideal soul mate, but avoid doing it in an insulting way. Consider saying that you want someone who is active and ambitious, instead of saying you only will date people who are super fit and make six figures.
As far as what not to do, Strong cautions against being overly negative about past relationships.
“Don’t get super personal about why you’re single — stay positive,” she said.
Keeping it real
Once you’ve made an online connection, don’t be afraid to go on a first date. Think of it like a job interview. It’s a way to learn about someone without making a major commitment. It’s also important to be civil and polite, even if you don’t feel chemistry. She’s heard horror stories from her clients of how their date walked out after just a few minutes.
“Any date can be an opportunity to engage or make a new friend,” Strong said. “You can meet cool people along the way and keep that positive mindset, which will help you to attract your partner much quicker.”
It’s also important to keep looking in the real world. Be willing to go to singles events or volunteer for a cause you believe in. Strong helps organize nearly 80 events a year, which can be found at her website.
Finally, remember that the one thing you can control in your dating search is your positive attitude.
“Dating is an emotional experience, either positive or negative,” Strong said. “I can control my own personal feelings, be consistent with my emotions, and know that I consistently put out good energy. That energy can affect the next date.”
Connect with Renessa Strong at renessa.tv