2021 is here, but, like many of the things stressing us out, the demoralizing process we refer to as modern dating (in a pandemic, no less) is much the same. But on a hopeful note, January is scientifically the best time of year to be online dating. Typically, when dating, I tended to make lists of dating “resolutions” each year. Those dating resolutions ranged from “Go on 4 dates per month” to “Delete my Bumble account” and “Stop dating emotionally unavailable Narcissist.” None of these was scientifically informed, but the idea was to date better or rather, smarter, so I would waste less of my time.
It is natural to want to create healthier, smarter habits at the beginning of the year. But as with any resolution that affects your well-being, you want to be sure you are setting achievable goals. According to a recent Hinge study, two out of three users are optimistic about dating in 2021. They feel confident that it will be better than 2020. Here is hoping.
Because of how things are now, you are definitely not going to be meeting anyone in a crowded bar any time soon. Here are a few ideas and strategies to motivate your new resolutions for smarter dating online in 2021.
1. Find your blind spots.
Whether it is your first or 50th time into the dating arena, taking a moment to give yourself an honest self-evaluation is a healthy first step. From there, you can then begin to identify specific behaviors that might be preventing you from finding the connection you are looking for.
2. Be specific about what you are looking for.
Details always matter. They help spark conversation and allow potential matches to get a better sense of who you are.
For example, suppose you asked someone what they enjoy doing on the weekends, and they replied, “sleeping.” In that case, it may be an automatic invitation to be disinterested. On the other hand, if they responded with, “I love to try out new, different recipes on Sundays and then binge-watch Game of Thrones,” that is something you can work with. Give your matches something to work with.
If you are using a dating app and it provides questions or prompts, take the time to answer those questions thoughtfully. People love humor, but you cannot be all silly or severe. People are really looking for that combination of vulnerability and humor. The idea is that you should show a few different sides of your personality to give people a sense of who you really are and what you stand for.
3. Quality control.
Dating is not a number game. Sure, you may need to meet a certain amount of people before you find someone you click with, but the critical component is really thoughtfulness. If you show up but do not put thoughtfulness into the profile, you cannot be intentional with your potential match.
In other words, sending out generic resumes to every job you can find will not yield the results you want. It will not guarantee you a job offer. You are better off crafting a resumé to a few jobs you are a perfect fit for. This mindset should be applied to your dating life. Whether it is curating a well-rounded profile or writing a playful message that might compel a match to want to engage. It may take more time, but the extra effort will increase your odds in the long run.
4. Put yourself out there.
Group gatherings like birthday parties and book signings may be off the table for now. Still, you can always strike up a (masked) conversation if you are at the dog park with your pup or even from a safe six feet away while you are waiting in line to get coffee.
The silver lining in “pandemic” life is knowing that we are all going through the same things in one way or another. Because of this, we have a great starting point for a new conversation.