Online Dating – How to make it work

Everybody needs love, even in these dire times. One could argue it’s become more important because we’re in such dire times. The affection and company of a significant other can be monumental on your physical and mental health, and nothing could quite replicate it. For those incapable of finding love in their day-to-day lives, they turn to the virtual world. Online dating burst into the scene with relative ease and became a means for millions across the globe to put themselves “out there” without feeling too shameful about the judgment of others. A few years after, online dating has become a norm as more and more people are willing to give it a shot and test their luck.

When the pandemic hit and the world shut down, online dating inevitably became the only way to find love. But with everyone using the same outlets to search for their special someone (Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, Omi, and so on), it’s not so easy anymore. Online dating is also not without perils and pre-existing obstacles pre-pandemic; how to even get a match, ghosting (just disappears on you, the Casper), breadcrumbing (gives you enough to go on but no signs of committing) and catfishing (they be lyin’) are still there to worry about. Now that it’s even more difficult than before, how do you find “that” person for you in the big bad world of the interwebs?

It’s all in the bio

The first step is often the most difficult – getting a match. Complicate things with getting a match you actually like, and it suddenly seems impossible. How do you (and him/her) filter through the sea of people out there and find each other? Time is accelerated in the online dating world. There’s an illusion of “haste makes waste” as you don’t want that special person to be snatched away because you’re one swipe too late. The only opportunity you have to impress is in the form of a picture and a quick description of yourself. If you want something casual, there’s less pressure here. What if you’re looking for something serious? What then do you say to get the attention of not just anybody, but the right person?

The answer is more simple than it is, but not so obvious that everyone does it in their bio. One, you have to be honest about what you. Two, you have to be charming while you’re at it. Here’s where many people get it wrong; they rarely do the two things at once. Simply being honest and saying what you like won’t cut it (it’ll appear needy and demanding). Just being charming also won’t work in the long term (charm wears off, but interest and likes don’t). They’re OK on their own, but if you add them together in your bio? You may lose more swipes, but you’ll reduce all the unnecessary swipes and attract like-minded people more, bringing your special person closer to you. An example, be cheeky with describing your passion or hobbies; include the lyrics of the anthem of your favourite show or a quote from your #1 movie. Those who know it are the ones you want, and if you’re cute about it, maybe you will just get a match.

Patience is virtue

The matching period might be quick online, but the getting-to-know-them part isn’t. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect to know every single thing about the person in the first few days. Before they can become someone special, they first need to be your friend. Don’t skip steps in the hope of establishing a quick romance on the get-go because a relationship built between two people that barely know each other rarely lasts. Knowing someone goes beyond knowing their likes and dislikes, it’s also about the little things and quirks that you can only know if you invest enough time in learning about the person on the other end of the screen. Chemistry is often instant, but a bond takes time to develop. If you’re patient enough, that person whom you have instantaneous chemistry with may have a bond with you that cannot be broken even through the test of time. So, take your time and learn about them, call them, watch movies together (in the comfort of your own homes for now, sadly).

Don’t be afraid to be passionate

Once you’re past the introduction phase and know each other well enough, you need to make your feelings clear. Do you see a future with this person? More importantly, do you want them to be a part of your future? If you want something further, be passionate, and don’t be afraid to do so. No one likes to be lead on. It can be daunting to be the one to make the first move, but here I will take a quote from a marvelous movie – “all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. 20 seconds of insane bravery and I guarantee you, something good will come of it”, We bought a Zoo (2011). If you have a good relationship with them and know them as well as they know you, there’s all the possibility in the world for you. If a stranger you match with would spend almost all their valuable free time with you, laughing and crying together, and is still around after all this time happily with you, then there’s something there. Be bold and take that next step.

After all that, the only thing you need is a little helping of luck and faith. Trust in your judgment and believe in the person you chose to be brave for.

I personally believe that with the right ingredients, anyone can find their proverbial “one” out there, the interwebs make it even easier to do so, you only need to know what you’re doing. I perfectly understand flailing about in the beginning because online dating just throws you out in the wild and you tend to follow the mannerisms you see everyone sport. Nonetheless, once you’ve found your bearings and still want to give it a shot, I hope these steps help you find your way. After all, I ventured forth into it and made it out to the other side with my soulmate in my arms, and we’ve been happily married since.

Hartwick is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Author: Hartwick

Eats chicken soup for the soul on a daily basis