“You’ll be fine soon enough” is the motto of this year, and if we ever needed to hear those words, it’s as we close out 2020 and enter 2021. The last year has been – um…how can we put this delicately? –A motherloving, God-blessed, piece of the ship, crappy ash hole of a year. For people who enjoy dating (which is like pretty, much every single human – and quite a few who aren’t as well), being in some form of lockdown for months on end put a damper on our social lives – to say the least.
Luckily, the light we’re beginning to see at the end of the tunnel does not appear to be a train. There is a real cause for hope. Vaccines are on the way and – at least some nations – are starting to flatten if not wipe out the viral curve. This should mean we’ll soon be able to put on adult-like clothing and enter brick and mortar establishments that serve food and adult beverages (remember those?). After that, we might also choose to travel to a location where a DJ plays repetitive yet rhythmically inspirational music, to which we may decide to dance. And we’re gonna dance with somebody, we’re gonna feel the heat with somebody…and that’s going to be the crucial part of the merriment, “with somebody.”
How are you planning on finding that “somebody”? Well, if you were born anytime after the last great plague of 1918, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking for love (or just fun, which is fine) online. There are hundreds of dating websites to choose from – from massive “we-have-two-billion-members” options to niche sites for yodeling aficionados.
It’s worth checking out some of the new players on the scene. For example, in the beNaughty review, the site mentions its icebreaker ideas, active chat rooms, and free membership for women. With 700,000 registered members, areas such as BeNaughty are big enough, but not too big to be overwhelming – not that size matters, of course.
But before you move forward in your quest for some flirty action, it’s time to freshen up your personal “brand.” Those who do shall be rewarded, and those who don’t shall be relegated to the back of the line. Dating, when it’s stripped of its romantic ideals, is marketing. You’re promoting yourself, and you may not be all that good at marketing. Here are some simple tips and ideas for re-developing your dating identity as we enter the new year:
1. Be Unique
Yes, this statement is slightly oxymoronic as if everyone is unique, no one is, but hopefully, you get the gist of the idea. If – for example – your profile pic looks generic, it’s an instant red flag to others that you aren’t confident about who you are. Sure, the dude whose pic shows him skydiving with his pet may look “cheesy” to you…but at least he saying something about himself – he’s adventurous, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and likes to live on the wild side. As the website INC.com notes, “…people will decide whether or not you’re attractive in 3 seconds.” Make that first impression – usually your profile picture – count! This leads us to the next tip:
2. Don’t Bother Worrying About What Others Think is “Attractive”
Ever seen a gorgeous person with a partner who is, at best a “4”? Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. That first date is made or break for most, so bring your real game – not some phony A-Game. If you like hoop earrings and short shorts…wear them! If you generally dress more conservatively, don’t sex-up your look – if you look inauthentic, you’ll feel inauthentic…and hardly anything stinks as much as “fake.”
Yep, we know that suggestion is used in a patronizing way by male chauvinists, but still, smile. Smile genuinely – the way you really smile when you’re happy. This applies to your pics and the first date (unless you hate the person, in which case feel free to frown and or leave). Smiling is our ancient and universal human communication signal, and we learn a lot about a person by the way they smile (and laugh).
4. Don’t pander
She asks if you’re free on Thursday night, but you’re not. Don’t hem and haw and go, “Um…Thursday…um….yeah…I can move some stuff around and make that happen…umm…yeah, Thursday should be fine.” Instead, stick to living your life and be honest: “I have a video game date with my guy friends Thursday night…but Wednesday or Friday works.” Nobody likes a suck-up.
Finally, let us end by saying “thank you” to you for reading this post and reminding you to express gratitude after a date. Not subservience or groveling, but a simple thank you. Something such as, “Thanks for recommending that beef noodle place, the food was great.” Even if you don’t plan to see the person again, expressions of gratitude are wise as you never know who is in that person’s social circle; they could also pop up again sometime in your future. And besides, feeling and expressing gratitude is right for you anyway…so why not?