By Amber Carpenter
Q: I’m newly single and haven’t been on the dating scene in 3 ½ years. However, the dating game is different now – there are now direct messages on social media, Tinder and tons of other apps. How do you navigate being single without feeling like you’re one of a dozen girls the person you’re interested in might be dating?
A: Being single in the heyday of Twitter direct messages, Tinder and Bumble makes it as confusing as ever to stay in the know about digital-dating etiquette.
Take everything in stride, and you’ll be in the clear.
Here’s how to up your online dating game in five easy steps:
- Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
Gay, straight, bisexual or queer: have no fear! If you’re a single lady and find a match attractive, don’t hesitate to message first! Whether it’s a witty pun or just a simple “How’s it going?” I guarantee that even if he or she doesn’t message back right away, it’ll at least have gotten the ball rolling.
- Keep it light, but be as transparent as you can.
Even if there’s an immediate connection, make sure that you’re taking it slow.
Be transparent about your intentions. If you’re there for a hookup, make it known. If you want something a little more serious, voice your need for more than a one-night stand.
- If you’re going on a date, be as safe as you can possibly be.
Let your friends know that you’re going out with a Tinder prospect. Give them a code word in case you need an escape.
Always make sure that you’re meeting in a public place for the very first time, and establish a level of trust if you end up wanting to go home with that person.
- If you’re playing the field, your crush probably is too.
Double standards are the worst, but it’s time to be honest with ourselves: if you’ve got a favorite match but are messaging other people within the app, that probably means they are too.
Don’t devote all of your attention to just one match unless you know it’s real.
If things don’t work out, you’ll save yourself some heartache and wasted time knowing that you weren’t more invested than they were.
- Have fun!
Be yourself and don’t be afraid to be silly! Practice your best pickup lines with no shame for what your match may think. Don’t be afraid to shoot a winking GIF or two.
If you’re into a match and it doesn’t work out, consider it a sign from the universe that it wasn’t worth your time anyway.
Don’t be afraid to ask him/her out first. Don’t be afraid to tell him/her you want more than a hookup.
Sometimes, being single feels so isolating, especially if you feel like everyone is in love but you. But just know that this is your time to cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself, while also getting to know other people.
Have fun, be safe and fall in love responsibly.