Be yourself. Play hard to get. When you meet them, you’ll know. Click on a dating advice article and you’ll likely find one of these played out platitudes. While there’s truth to these kernels of advice, they can only take you so far.
Call them unpopular opinions, but here are a few online dating tips that no one will ever tell you.
- The idea of “the one” isn’t real. At least not in the way we’ve been taught.
While romantic to some people, the idea that there’s only one romantic partner for every person on earth just isn’t very realistic. No relationship is perfect. Instead, I think there are multiple combinations of people who could fall in love and work together. At the end of the day, it’s less about fate and more about who you choose to spend your life with.
- You might not know the instant you meet the right person.
There are lots of couples I know who felt that they were meant to be together on the first date. However, I also know lots of people whose love story was less linear. One of the happiest couples I know — my friend Lina and her husband Rob — met as friends first. As she describes it, Rob asked her out again and again but she always turned him down. One night they hooked up after a drunken night at the campus pub. Lina was ready to write it off as a one-time thing, but through a series of events they both realized that they actually worked really well together. They’ve been married for over a decade.
- There’s a fine line between “being yourself” and being a terrible date.
Online dating experts love to remind us that the trick to a great date is to “just be yourself.” While you want the other person to like you for who you are and not some made-up version of yourself, sometimes being completely yourself isn’t the best option — especially when “being yourself” means showing up to the date in ragged sweatpants and dominating the conversation with stories about Jerry, your pet tarantula. While the other person may be okay with these aspects of your existence once you’ve been together for a while, when you’re first meeting you want to focus on making a good impression. This means wearing real pants.
- Stop trying to read into everything they say.
If I had a dollar for every time one of my friends showed me a text chain and asked, “what do you think this means?” I’d be a rich lady. More often than not, their texts mean exactly what they say. The time you spend obsessing over and trying to “decode” stuff that’s not real is time that you could spend doing things that actually bring you pleasure.
- Sometimes there’s just no explanation for other people’s behavior.
You can read articles about “why people ghost” until you’re blue in the face, but the reality is that sometimes there just isn’t a logical explanation for why other people do the things they do. Some people are just jerks — simple as that. It’s not your responsibility to understand other people’s shortcomings, but to accept them and move on.