7 Game-Changing Dating Strategies for 2015
By: Naomi Lane |
Looking back on 2014, how would you rate your dating situation? No offense or anything, but I’m going to guess that if you’re reading this you may be thinking it was just a tad less awesome than you would’ve liked.
Join the club, sweets. Many other singletons have felt like the Sisyphus of dating this past year (and last year… and the year before that). Oftentimes, it’s just dumb luck. But there is a possibility it’s got a little something to do with what you’re doing – or not doing. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to shake things up a little.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (As opposed to drinking a bottle of Southern Comfort and setting fire to your ex’s car – at least that’s what the judge told me.) The point is, if you want different results, you’ve gotta do something different.
If you’re stuck in the dating doldrums, it could behoove you to take a giant leap out of that zone o’ comfort you’re in and incorporate one of these new strategies.
1. Get Out More
There’s no question that in the past decade, online dating has changed the way we look for love. And it’s great! It’s convenient, allows you to filter and gives you access to hundreds of other single folks who are looking for the same thing.
However, you shouldn’t get so comfy in the cloud that it becomes your sole means of soul mate seeking. If you walk outside into the physical world you will notice that, lo and behold, there are people there! People who need people. People who can’t lie about what they look like because they’re standing right in front of you.
Participating in real world activities ensures you will meet fellow people. Sign up for Meetup – there are Meetup groups available for practically every interest and hobby on the planet and the folks who attend are there to meet others as well. If nothing else, you can make some friends. Friends who just might have very cute, eligible friends they can introduce you to.
2. Stop Fearing Rejection
Here’s the thing about dating that every single person on this planet has experienced and there’s simply no way to avoid: not everyone is going to like you.
That’s just the deal, folks. And the faster you accept it and become okay with it, the easier time you will have at dating. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. The fact is, not everyone wants the same thing, so some people will like you while others won’t.
If someone rejects you, instead of wallowing and overanalyzing and resigning yourself to celibacy, just say, “Okay, that didn’t work out. Too bad. Moving on.” I understand that rejection doesn’t feel good. But it also doesn’t mean you’re not totally and completely awesome, and it shouldn’t stop you from moving forward and trying again.
Got it? Great. Now that you’ve got a grasp on that concept, it’s time to…
3. Ask Someone Out
This directive applies to all genders. Yes, ladies, I mean you. And men, I mean you, too. At this moment I have 35 matches in my Tinder queue and only three have sent me messages (to be fair, I have not messaged them either). What is the point? Step it up, peeps!
In some cases, potential mates engage in an eons-long tennis match of e-mailing or texting, but they never actually meet face-to-face. Several of my girlfriends complain about this precise phenomenon. “He keeps messaging me and we chat all the time but he just won’t ask me out!” Guys, what is this all about? Do you want a pen pal or a date? And ladies, if he’s not putting out, just do it yourself. Throw out vintage notions of men making the first move and just say, “We should meet up for coffee sometime.” Super easy. Just do it, Sandra Dee. Better than wasting all that time, amiright?
Lastly, and this one may be a toughie but you’d be a rock star: approach someone in public. Yes, I mean actually walk up to someone in the flesh and start talking to them. This never, ever happens to me these days, and I’m pretty darned cute. But we’re changing our game, right? Take the plunge, my friends.
4. Be More REAL
So often, I see daters posturing like politicians, saying whatever they think will win them votes – or dates. Naturally, we all want to put our best foot forward, but that doesn’t mean faking an entire persona. Look at your dating profile. Do you really enjoy rock climbing and volleyball or are you just saying that because you think it makes you more appealing?
Review your profile and ask if it gives the reader a good idea of what makes you authentically unique. Too often I run across humdrum profiles that all sound the same. Everybody loves hiking, wine and The freaking Shawshank Redemption. If you really like these things, it’s fine, but what’s going to make you stand out? One guy’s profile I came across said he is really good at watching movies in sweatpants. I messaged him because I love that he owned it.
Please keep in mind that keeping it real does not mean airing your dirty laundry and disclosing all your odd fetishes in your profile. Revealing some endearing quirks is good; revealing what could be viewed as a personality disorder is not.
5. If You Like Someone, Let Them Know
Stop playing it cool. Stop thinking that if you act like you don’t really care, then the other person will care more. Or that if you act like you care, then the other person won’t. You are not 12.
If you like someone, tell them. Just say, “I really like you.” And when you do, don’t tense up and run for cover afterwards. OWN IT. The worst that can happen is that they won’t return your feelings. And so what if they don’t? Remember #2 up there? You will not die. But chances are they will like you back and will be impressed by your confidence.
A few years ago I started dating a guy and after the third or fourth date he called me in the middle of the day and very matter-of-factly said, “I just called to tell you that I’m crazy about you.” OMG. I melted. He was so self-assured and sincere in his delivery and it turned me on in a big way.
However, I do feel the need to caution you to not be an overbearing pest about it. And if you get a strong sense that the other person is really not into you, maybe don’t employ this tactic. But if you think they might kinda like you, just fucking go for it. I’m rooting for you.
And exactly how can volunteering up your dating game? You are meeting folks who you may not have met otherwise — good ones, who want to do good things.
An extra incentive for men: women outnumber men on the volunteering front, so the competition will be light. And if you really want to increase your odds, donate your time to an animal rescue – I know from experience they are veritable estrogen societies. Ladies, where can you lend your efforts? Homeless shelters, political campaigns, environmental organizations, or anything sports-related.
The caveat: be sure to volunteer for something you actually believe in. Don’t be the creepy creep who is clearly just there to pick someone up. Others will be able to smell it, and it is a most malodorous cologne.
Regardless of whether you meet the love of your life, you will be giving back to society, elevate your self-worth, become a more well-rounded person, and ultimately, increase your overall attractiveness.
7. Reconsider Your Dealbreakers
You know you’ve got a list, even if it’s only in your head. Maybe you’ve got specific age or height or even hobby requirements. Rip it up.
Online dating has made it very easy to narrow our searches down to the most persnickety of details – but we could very well be missing out on some awesome people in the meantime.
Think about that person at work you’re friends with or maybe even have a wee crush on. When you first met them, perhaps you pegged them as uptight or boring or just not your type. But over time, you got to know them and found out how funny and likeable and good-hearted they really are. Give someone a chance.
The people we fall in love with are human, complete with flaws and nuance, and they may not always check all the boxes on our list. Consider this excellent line from the movie 500 Days of Summer:
“I think technically the girl of my dreams would probably have like a really bodacious rack, you know, maybe different hair. She’d probably be a little more into sports… But truthfully, Robin is better than the girl of my dreams. She’s real.”
Only you can make it happen, folks. Take 2015 by the balls and get your game ON!