Dating apps, matchmakers and more
Dating can be a bit like shopping: you try out potential partners to see if it’s right for you, if you complement each other, and if you want to invest. Also like dating, singles should understand or they’re going to shop – but instead of weighing the pros and cons of the mall, online shopping, and thrift stores, daters are choosing from options like apps, matchmakers, and social events.
Instead of diving head first into all the dating routes available, below you’ll find experts and happy couples offering insight and advice on the intricacies of each option, depending on your routines, preferences and personalities. . “It’s more about what your real life allows,” says Ariella Serur, queer dating coach, “and how can you meet people who honor what your life really allows.”
Perhaps the most accessible form of dating, apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid, Grindr, and Match offer daters a pool of nearby singles whose profiles are open for reading. Thanks to Life During Lockdown, they have become incredibly popular as a way to meet new people from a distance.
The key to dating apps, says Edna Zhou, a 32-year-old woman who met her partner on Hinge, is to avoid viewing every chat or encounter as a “partner audition” and rather as an opportunity to find someone. a new and potentially exciting one. . During a 48-hour trip to Chicago three years ago, Zhou had a last-minute meeting with Hinge before his flight to Denver. The date went so well that he met her again the following weekend, and they’ve been together ever since.
“If you’re the type of person who’s genuinely curious about other people and, like, likes chatting with strangers at the bar or on Twitter, then you’d be better suited for the job dating apps take,” Zhou says. “But also, I think it requires people who are more sure of themselves and what they want, because people can certainly be awful or present themselves in a wrong way, and if you’re not in it. a place where you don’t take these interactions personally, it can really wear you out.
Serur says a good chunk of her clients feel exhausted from dating apps, due to ghosting, lack of follow-through, value misalignment, homophobia and transphobia. If apps are a pain for you, delete your profiles and focus on an alternate route to find a date.
A bar, a concert, a recreational league sports team, a group of volunteers – wherever people gather, it’s a game just to find a date. Of course, there’s a level of daring that comes with approaching a stranger, but it’s a viable path if you’re someone who frequently finds yourself in social situations where you’re constantly chatting with new people. , Serur said.
24-year-old Stacy Fernandez needed a surge of love from her friend – literally and figuratively – in 2018 when she first spotted her boyfriend, Ramon, from the across the room at a rooftop club in Brazil. But her extroversion paid off: Even though she was dating someone else at the time, Fernandez kept in touch with Ramon, and they eventually reunited earlier this year. Meeting in person, she says, quickly gave her an idea of Ramon’s personality.
“I’ve done a lot of online dating – not that online dating is bad, but you have that back and forth, that cat and mouse thing, for a week or two where you talk and you are trying to get their vibe, “Fernandez says.” Meeting in person eliminates that one week thing, two weeks and all, Will I really vibrate with them in real life? This immediately answers that question.
Work or school
Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of social events, or maybe you’ve just moved and don’t have a strong network in your new city. You can always find romance with those you interact with on a regular basis at work or school.
Of course, power dynamics are at play in these scenarios, and you need to tread lightly if a bad date or breakup creates tension. For work situations, first go through your employee handbook to see if inter-departmental relationships are allowed. While it can be hard to really determine if your coworker has a crush on you, take a close look at their social cues, only ask them out once, and be clear that there is no pressure to go out. with you.. Typically, you’ll want to avoid suing your boss or direct reports – and at the end of the day, if the separation were to derail your career path or force you to quit your dream job, it’s best to keep the job. romance. outside the office.
Having a set day (or days) and time to see each other makes these situations ideal for getting to know someone before inviting them out, says Erin Dickson, 23, who met her partner in class for the first time. college day. You are also able to see how they interact with others and problem-solve – all the good things to know before you date someone.
Family of friends
The people who know you best are uniquely positioned to tap into their own networks to find potential dates. This route is ideal for those who may find the idea of approaching a stranger in a bar intimidating and who hold the opinions of their friends in high regard.
Serur advises letting those around you know you are looking to date, explaining the qualities and / or dating situation you are looking for (relaxed, serious relationship, etc.), and telling them that you can settle down. However, it is important to be intentional with the groups of people you are targeting for a setup. “Friends and family might work for some people, but in my circles, working with gay clients, what if you don’t have a lot of gay friends? It’s not very likely that your straight friends will put you in touch with a queer person, ”Serur says.
For a professional setup, consider a matchmaker. While all matchmakers have their own approach and process, they will often work with clients who are serious about looking for a long-term relationship and connect them with other clients who share similar values and traits. Depending on where you live, the singles market may not be as strong as the matchmaking reality shows would have you believe, says matchmaker Jasmine Diaz, so it’s important to be patient.
Matchmaking is a longer-term commitment – Diaz says she works with clients for six months to a year – and singles need to be comfortable stepping into the unknown and letting go of some control when it s it is about their love life. “Basically what you’re doing is outsourcing that area of your life to someone who knows more,” says Diaz. “I really think that an ideal person for this is absolutely in a space to receive good information and good ideas.”
For those who are extremely online, digital communities can be just as rich in connections as those in IRL. Finding a date on social media is as easy as sneaking into someone’s DMs, and although the practice sometimes gets a bad rap, messaging a mutual on Instagram – most importantly, someone with whom you actually have a relationship – can be an effective icebreaker. “You might have more data to send a DM to someone you followed on Instagram to connect with them further than the data you would have seeing a stranger and want to contact them,” says Serur.
According to John Romano, 43, who has met his wife for 12 years on Myspace in 2005 (yes, they were in each other’s Top 8), finding a date on social media allows you to learn more about the person’s mutual friends, interests and communication style . Any type of personality can be successful on social media, he says. “I know it sounds strange to think, but voicing can be a lot less fearful than going to a bar and trying to find the courage to talk to someone,” says Romano. “The key is to be honest about who you are online so that you don’t create a character that doesn’t exist in the real world. “
Whichever route you choose, remember to be authentic to yourself and have fun. “Create a love life that can be long-lasting and enjoyable for yourself, especially if you’re someone looking for a relationship,” Serur says. “If any of these methods hurt you, don’t do it.”