If you’re reading this, there’s a 99% chance that you’re single. Whether you’re ready to mingle or not, you just probably waved goodbye to a year of terrible dates and a whole lot of disappointment in the romance department. Don’t worry, you’re not alone; but trust me when I say there’s still hope. There has to be. Because how sad would life be if all men were superficial thirsty boys and women were only interested in guys taller than them in heels and a good set of abs?
Our best option is to pretend 2016 never happened and start fresh, not only hoping to find the one that will stick around, but also hoping that you won’t have to go through a long list of rude frogs before you find the one in line to the throne. Yes, that entails a good dose of optimism, so leave your cynicism for a rainy day, and let this new trip around the sun surprise you (in a positive way, obviously) by just embracing some change in your dating game.
- Do a digital update: if you’ve had the same photos and the same bio for a few months on your dating app, it’s time to bring it up to date. Add new photos, delete old ones, freshen up your likes, and for the love of what’s good and gracious, delete those lyrics from your favourite love song or that overly cheesy quote in your bio and say something real about yourself. That only worked when MySpace was still a thing. And if you haven’t had any luck with that app for a while, switch to any of the other available ones that might help you to find a decent human being.
- Be more open-minded: this is a bit hypocritical coming from somebody who’s extremely picky, but if you really want to give your heart something to warm up to, it’s worth making the effort of giving more people a chance. Remember that opposites attract and that being photogenic is not a common quality, so instead of setting your thumb to swipe left on auto-pilot, stop to read bios and have a look through more than one picture. Looks aren’t everything. And if that first date left you in limbo, give it a second shot. You might not regret it in the end.
- Be yourself: did you just roll your eyes? Cool, because I just did that too as I typed those words. I know it’s a massive cliché, but it’s wroth mentioning. If your match turned out to be less interesting than expected, let them know; don’t ghost them. How would you feel if the tables were turned? Be honest and say how you feel. And that doesn’t just go for texting. While on a date, don’t comfort to what the other person might seem to be inclined to hear or see. Try to relax and be as laid back as you are around your friends — just dial down the crazy on the first date maybe, just in case they think you’re a tad too much for them to handle (you’re probably not).
- Lower your expectations: this goes hand in hand with being open-minded. But it’s a good universal rule that we should always keep in mind. Just because he paid for dinner or happened to kiss you just when the first couple of raindrops began to fall before a storm broke, it doesn’t mean your story is going to be the sequel to The Notebook. He/she might have a week full of dates or you might be the third one of the day, for all you know. And just because everything seems to be perfect for the first week, it doesn’t mean it really is. Just keep your guard up, don’t be too emotionally impulsive, and never expect too much from others. Best way to avoid disappointment.
- Put yourself first: finding somebody that loves you as much as you love them is fantastic, but it shouldn’t be thought of as the sole purpose of our existence. Most importantly, it shouldn’t take up so much of you that you forget to enjoy your own company. Don’t stop chasing your dreams or pursuing your ambitions to fit into the other person’s life. Remember you are a human being too and deserve as much attention as they do. Relationships should be 50/50 in terms of effort, so don’t give up your everything for somebody that might not be willing to do the same. You’re equally deserving and equally important.