I’ve Gotten Really Good At Online Dating—Here’s What I’m Doing Right

A lot of people complain that online dating sucks and is super annoying, and while I understand where they’re coming from, I feel like they’d find it a lot easier if they just approached it like I do.

  1. I know this is totally sexist, but I try not to talk about my job. Hear me out. I’ve recently discovered that most guys’ egos are way more delicate than ours. A guy bragging about his job will impress me, whereas a girl bragging about her job will turn a guy off. I find that when I go on and on about how great my job is, the guy in question tends to want to compete. He instantly feels like he should be doing better, gets insecure, and stops talking to me. I keep the details of my job to myself at the beginning, which ensures that he doesn’t perceive me as a threat and knows that I’m on equal ground with him. I wish it didn’t have to be like this, but it does.
  2. I wait for him to ask me out. Under no circumstances do I make the first move, ever. It can be hard sometimes, especially when it seems to be the norm now for a girl to ask the guy out instead of the other way around, but I find that the guys who ask me out first value me more and stick around longer. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I think there’s something to this waiting game.
  3. I date several guys at once. Dating more than one guy at a time is crucial if you want to attract “The One.” I feel like when I’m dating more than one guy at once, I’m projecting an energy that attracts guys to me. It’s like how whenever I’m in a relationship, guys seem to be all over me. Dating a bunch of guys at one time makes you feel and act like a hot commodity, which makes you more desirable. It’s totally a thing.
  4. I get back to them in no less than 24 hours. For me, 24 hours is the absolutely maximum limit to wait to text someone back. Wait longer and you’re just being offensive. I find when I give a new message several hours before replying, it teaches the sender to be patient and grateful for their reward (which is my response). It’s like training a dog, honestly.
  5. I talk on the phone with them before the date. Online dates can be super awkward, especially when the only thing you have to go off is the dude’s picture and a few shallow lines about his interests. I suggest beforehand that we talk on the phone, even for just 10 minutes, to break the ice. That way, when we get together, the anxiety is lower and we feel that much closer to each other.
  6. I tell them the truth from the beginning. This is really hard to do, but it keeps me from wasting time dating someone who won’t accept everything about me. I’m a pretty open person, so it’s easy for me to spill some deep stuff right off the top. Nothing having to do with my past relationships, but I do try to steer the conversation towards deeper subjects as soon as possible. That way, I’ll know to move on if they aren’t willing to accept my demons.
  7. I stick with one app. When you use more than one app, you’re pulling from several different types and demographics. I use one app and one app only and it’s the one that reflects what I’m looking for in a potential partner. Tinder is fun, but not the type of pool I want to dive into, that’s for sure.
  8. I let him lead the evening. I could give you a million ideas if you asked for them, but the second I invest too much time, energy, or money into the date, I risk coming home disappointed. This is why I let the guy do all the planning, suggest the place, pay if he wants to, and contact me afterward (if we both actually want another date). I’m just along for the ride and it lets me see right off the bat who’s serious about me and who just wants to play around.
  9. I make my profile kinda obscure. I don’t give people many reasons not to message me. I keep my profile super short and sweet with a few general things about me. Even though guys probably care more about the picture, I don’t want to sound like a crazy person with a uber long profile and a list of every book I’ve read in my life. That’s overkill.
  10. I give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong. It’s so easy to immediately reject a guy because you get a feeling he’s not right, he does something that irks you, or he doesn’t see eye to eye with you on some political things. Instead of following your instinct to write him off right away, give him another chance. We forget that he might be doing those annoying things because he’s insecure and wants to impress you. He might be a lot more calm and cool on a second date, you never know.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.