Relationships are difficult. Pursuing a relationship is even more difficult and anyone that has experienced the dating landscape will agree that the entire process is time consuming, frustrating and at many times overtly embarrassing.
So why do we do it? Perhaps it’s the complexity and mystery of meeting and engaging with another person on an emotional level. Or maybe it’s our avsion to being alone. Perhaps, it’s as simple as our biological predisposition to find someone for the benefit of procreation. Most likely, it’s a combination of all of those things.
If you are like me, and have experienced both dating in today’s dating landscape, as well as dating 10 years ago, you will notice three very prominent things about today’s dating environment (*Don’t worry: those of you who weren’t dating 10years ago but are actively dating now can likely still relate):
1) You Can Google Everyone
If you were dating online and meeting people 10ish years ago you needed a great profile photo (more than one ideally) and a bio that positioned you in a positive light. People read your bio because that’s all they really knew about you.
Today though, people have so many options that most people don’t even read profiles. It’s true. You can test this by putting something in your bio that is either shocking (enough to be comment worthy), or surprising, and leave it there for two weeks. I once wrote about my pet avocado named herman and only one person ever mentioned anything about it.
There is much more access now to online knowledge You can google people, look them up on LinkedIN, follow them on twitter, and even pull up images from last year’s Christmas party.
So how do you stand out? Well, here’s what you don’t do: Don’t try to be cheesy. Don’t use pick up lines or ask rehearsed questions.
Why? Because you sound fake – you sound like you’re trying to sell something. People you meet don’t want to be sold on you. They want a genuine person who is real and genuine and trustworthy.
So what do you do then? It may sound obvious but it’s true – just be you. If you’re nervous, then say you’re nervous and if you haven’t dated in a while be open about it. There’s nothing wrong with being open and transparent about who you are – in fact the more open you are the more trustworthy (to a point, please don’t go spilling your entire biography on date number one).
2) Initial Interactions Are Not In Your Favor
When you meet someone, you immediately (but unconsciously) judge them as one of the following: friend, enemy, indifferent or sexual partner. Most people you meet in a day you will be indifferent towards. Unless you have some type of positive or negative interaction with them, it’s likely that you don’t even remember them. The lady you pass in the street, the cashier at the grocery store, the man who held the door for you… indifferent.
When meeting someone that you are attracted to then, and perhaps may even want to pursue a relationship with, you’re starting out in a disadvantaged state. Most people (especially women), are wary of men approaching them in general. The location this occurs in can even make this significantly more true) – think of the gym, when you’re wiping the stair machine just as Joe Smith waltzes over to ask how your workout is going. Nope.
So how do you approach someone you’re interested in? Be confident – you are a great catch, and this person would belucky to date you. If you don’t believe that to be true then you shouldnt be trying to date in general. Number 1 is love you first. Secondly, don’t leer over them and half-ass approach them as if you’re waiting for the “best moment”. If you’re going to do it then do it – if you throw in %110 and she’s not interested then at least you know you did all you could do. Lastly, be prepared for rejection. Most of the time you’ll be shut down. It could be for any number of reasons and most of the time it doesn’t even have anything to do with you. If you get shut down and they don’t tell you too much on why, just make up a reason in your mind why. Any reason. As long as that reason doesn’t place any blame on you.
3) There is a Positive Correlation Between Your Response Time and the Number of Dates You Get
Have you ever taken a leap of faith and sent the “first message” to someone that you were interested in? Not a person in front of you but someone you either met online or exchanged numbers with and haven’t really spoken to yet. As soon as you send that message a knot forms in your stomach and you just wait in anticipation, wondering if and how they will respond. That waiting is torture.
Imagine now if instead of waiting minutes for a reply, the hours start to pass. You start to wonder if they maybe don’t like you, or that whatver you said wasn’t clever enough, or that your profile photo wasn’t your best angle. You begin to form a scenario in your mind of things that could have happened or how they may be feeling, which are completely fabricated and yet entirely possible (and in your mind, even true).
Now imagine that they do get back to you. A day after you’ve sent the message you receive a reply with apologies that they were at a conference and had just received your message. Perfectly valid excuse and yet because of all those things that had been going through your head over the past day your image of them had already been colored. Psychologically we judge people immediately in our subconscious and then find evidence to support those feelings.
First impressions matter. Response times matter. If your email response times are longer than 20minutes your chance of piquing or maintaining interest is slim to none.
Interested in the way I write? Check out 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to be Single now available on Amazon.