OK Ladies, 2015 will be your year! That’s right, if you’re single and ready to mingle, then it’s going to be a big year for you. I know it sounds ridiculous, but just hear me out. Dating has evolved, and it’s about time we set up some game-changing rules on how to handle Dating in the Smartphone Era. After all, even ordinary dating can be confusing, sometimes daunting and downright crazy.
Below is a quick 10-step summary on how to handle oneself when trying to find your catch in the online dating world.
1. Know what you want
We don’t always know what we want, I know. Sometimes we just need to figure things out. Have a think about the type of romantic relationship you would like to be in. Will it be a cheeky fling? A rebound? A friendship that might evolve into something more? Something serious and long term? You don’t have to share the details with anyone else, but be honest with yourself. What happens if you meet someone that is not on the same page as you?
Go with the flow, but don’t become too emotionally invested at the start. Let it evolve naturally and see how things go. Have fun on this journey.
2. Choose your platform and create a profile
Now that we have established what you are after, choose your online dating platform. Depending on the type of relationship you’re after, there are many different dating platforms. Just in case you need a little guidance, here is a taste of what is available:
- Tinder and Plenty of Fish (mostly hook ups)
- Oasis and eHarmony (dating and meeting new people)
- Epic Catch (the new kid on the block, based in Australia)
You don’t have to share the details with anyone else, but be honest with yourself. What happens if you meet someone that is not on the same page as you?
Once you have chosen your desired platform it’s time to create your profile. Be open and honest – never lie! It could come back to bite you. Choose recent pictures that reflect the great person you are and choose more than one photo. The more photos in your profile, the greater the likelihood of people believing it’s actually you.
3. Choosing your suitor
When choosing your suitor, sometimes all you have to go by is their profile picture and a few tid-bits about themselves. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to steer away from profiles that only have a single photo, any profile pictures that feature tigers of any kind, topless selfies – or any selfies for that matter!
4. Congratulations! You have just matched!
Awesome – you have just matched with a suitor! Once you’ve started a conversation and had a chance to chat, it’s probably a good idea to give each other a call. Remember, don’t give out your number but request that they give you their number instead. Let’s be honest, at this point you wouldn’t know them from a bar of soap. Be safe and hide your number when you call your suitor. Once a phone call has been initiated, it’s a good idea to set a date to meet.
If your date suggests the following activities then they could be translated as:
- Tea or Coffee: “I just want to meet and see how things go”
- Dinner: “I want to get to know you a little”
- Dinner with a reservation: They are organised and impressive, with a touch of maturity, this person knows what they want and wants to get to know you
- A pre-organised event or gig: They are adventurous and nice, they want to get to know you and enjoy something with you (this is a really good sign!)
- Late night drink: potential hook-up
Remember, don’t give your number out … Let’s be honest, at this point you wouldn’t know them from a bar of soap
If a date is not set within a week of your first chat encounter, it might be a good idea to keep your other options open. It’s a ruthless game, but there are plenty of fish out there and you don’t want to miss out.
5. Date Set! Perfect, but remember be safe
Great news! Your date has been set, now let’s be sensible. This is a person you have never met before, they don’t know anyone you know (most likely) and may turn out to be a little bit of creep. So let’s take some safety precautions:
- Tell your friends–hell, shout it out from the rooftops! This is one of the few times where you need to let your loved ones know exactly where you are. Make sure your “Find my iPhone” setting is set to “ON”.
- Meet somewhere very public
- Text your bestie right before walking into the venue
- Ask your bestie to give you a check up call within 15 minutes of arriving at your agreed destination
6. What to talk about? The Conversation – keep it light and fun
Just remember you are fabulous, fun and every one wants to be around you. Talk about the fun stuff, ask a silly question. My personal favourite is, “If they were an animal what would they be?”(Very insightful–if they answer, “shark”, RUN!).
7. Go with the flow
Sometimes nerves just overtake us when on a first date. I know because it has happened to me too. Just relax, enjoy and have a couple of drinks. But, don’t have too many! You want to feel composed and relaxed at the same time. A general rule is to alternate between alcoholic beverage and water, that way you remain sober for longer.
8. All went well, or maybe it didn’t?
The date may or may not have progressed as smoothly as you would have liked. It’s OK to leave whenever you want to. Even if all went well and you would like to progress things further, you can still wrap up the evening and leave. What matters is how comfortable you feel with the progression of the date, and if you feel safe.
9. Keep the communication channels traditional
Once the date is over, say your goodbyes and let them know if you are keen to see them again. In most circumstances suitors will message you to thank you for a lovely evening, but sometimes that does not occur. If you feel like it, text them the next day indicating that you had a lovely evening and you hope to see them sometime soon.
Talk about the fun stuff, ask a silly question
Keep the communication channels strictly to text and phone calls. Try to remove yourself from the dating platform that you were on. Believe me, you don’t want to be snooping around seeing when they last logged on. For your own sanity, do not connect on Facebook, or Snapchat, or Instagram or any other social channel for that matter. Sometimes it’s better to just go with the flow and see what unravels. The simpler the communication channels, the better. Think back to the good old days when we only had a landline – wasn’t it much simpler?
10. Have fun – don’t read too much into it
The date may have been great, but don’t read too much into it. It was a great moment, great experience and most likely great conversation. I bet you can’t wait to see them again. Ladies take note – at this point in time, do not create these wonderful fantasies and daydreams on what your wedding day will be like or how your children will look. Repeat after me: “It was just a date. It was just a date!”. If there is no call back, that’s all good–there are plenty of fish in the sea. Get back on that bandwagon, girl! What are you waiting for?
Meray Azar is founder of Epic Catch, the dating app that will change the dating rules forever. It all started with one First Date! When she asked the guy out, what followed was one amazing night out. After a debrief with the girls the next day, it was decided there could be only one solution: develop an app that will change the dating rules as we know it. An app that only allows nice guys and girls to join, where everyone will have the chance to go on an Epic Date with an Epic Catch!