The Digital Age has spawned a large number of communication portals and dating sites and apps, but the question is, are these tools really helping the members of the millennial generation find their happily ever after? The answer seems to be no. From fake profiles to fake personalities, casual one-night stands, and subsequent ghosting, the dating universe created by the Digital Age only appears to hinder the possibility of finding true love and seems to result in disappointment, fraud, and even some truly horrifying Tinder dating stories. Instead of updating your profile picture and swiping left or right on your phone screen, perhaps it is time to give older generation and their dating wisdom a chance. The path to meeting a great person is almost never an easy one, but from this viewpoint, it sure seems that older generations were far better at the dating game than the millennial generation is proving to be. So, let us pull out some old-fashioned dating tips, give them a test run, and see if you will have better luck with using the ‘old ways’.
Put the phone down
Here is a crazy idea – try deleting your dating apps and get out there physically; try to meet someone not over OkCupid or Tinder. What ever happened to meeting people in person? Sit at a café, read a book all by yourself. Who knows, maybe someone amazing with the same taste in books will approach you and you will have an actual face-to-face conversation. Start working out and learn how to meet a guy at the gym. Give a smile to the guy on the treadmill next to yours, strike up a conversation about dietary habits or ask for help with a particular machine. You will be surprised how much a real conversation is better in comparison to the abbreviations, internet slang and emojis. While on the subject of putting your phone down, if you have enough luck and you do meet someone in real life, be prepared for an impromptu date by picking out the right outfit and thinking about great conversation starters, not by cyber stalking the person. Where did the air of romance disappear off to? Isn’t it better to let the person get to know you by asking you real questions, and vice versa, instead of you learning all about their likes and dislikes, who their best friend is, what their ex looks like over their Facebook profile. Peel the onion, and keep at least a bit of mystery.
This might sound very old-fashioned, but here’s a crazy thought – how about not having sex on the first or second date? Yes, oldest rule in the book, but there really is something to it. How often have you regretted sleeping with someone too fast? How often has it happened that you slept with someone and never heard from them again? If a guy is truly interested he will be a gentleman and give you all the time and patience in the world. Who knows, perhaps on the fourth date you will learn something about the person that will make you want to never ever sleep with them. Besides, take the time to get to know someone, develop an emotional and mental connection before you establish a physical one, and maybe, just maybe, you will end up having someone you can truly be with, not someone whose bed you will sneak out of, never to be seen and heard from again. Another boundary you should give a try is not getting drunk. We are not in college anymore, and we should feel confident enough in ourselves to go out with a perfect stranger and maintain a sober mindset. If you're not mature enough to chat with your date without a buzz, then you should not be dating. Finally, don’t ‘hang out’, go on a genuine date, with dinner and a walk. Don’t settle for ‘Netflix and chill’ versions, as this is just plain laziness. If a person doesn’t make an effort when it comes to spending time with you in the very beginning, do you really think they will put in the effort when it comes to the later stages of the relationship?
Honesty is the best policy
Don’t be afraid of keeping it real. This doesn’t mean that you should tell your whole life story to a relative stranger, including how many kids you want and when you want to be married. Even older generations knew the secret is in moderation when it comes to information. Still, don’t shy away from telling someone a bit about your background, share funny and maybe embarrassing anecdotes about your childhood or college years. Let your personality shine through, as this is the only way you will allow someone to know and truly like you.
Don’t be afraid of labels
After a certain amount of dates, it is healthy and necessary to put a real label on things. Don’t accept the ‘we’re just hanging out’ label, because it really has no meaning. Just hanging gives the other person the excuse to see other people without feeling obligated to tell you, and you might end up wasting your time. Don’t be afraid to have this conversation and establish whether or not you are on the same page with someone in terms of exclusivity. This doesn’t mean you are forcing them into marriage and a Volvo full of kids, it just means you know what you want and are not afraid to demand respect.