According to a survey by The Nerve (a data insights company), more than half of Filipinos are open to meet people online. In fact, online dating app users are more active days before Valentine’s, while newbies are more active after February 14.
Being a nation that’s always excited about love or making memes poking fun about being single, it’s no surprise that a lot of people are pressured to meet their soulmate as soon as they can. Together with the dawn of the Internet and dating apps, a lot of people turn to online dating to search for ‘the one.
The Internet is a vast world with lots of different people. You don’t completely know them or their intentions, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Whether you’re just satisfying your curiosity or hoping to meet the love of your life, here are tips on how to safely navigate through online dating apps and potential partners.
Be open — but, not too open.
Be open to the fact that you’ll meet a lot of different people. Their culture, values, morals, attitude, and opinions may differ from yours. Try to be open to meeting people from different backgrounds. Conversations may be interesting since you get to share things you know and also learn a lot of new things from them.
Be respectful and keep an open mind. Give them a chance to show you who they are, and don’t be so judgemental. You might encounter rude or creepy people along the way, but turning them down respectfully could avoid making things worse. Don’t get pressured into meeting up personally if you really don’t want to. Know your boundaries and when to drop it. Trust your gut when it’s already trying to tell you that things are getting uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to abort mission!
Collect, collect, select.
Know your worth and don’t settle for less. If you’ve been single for quite some time, taking the first offer can be exciting. It’s good to establish a friendship first before taking things to the next level. Try not to fully commit yourself to just one person, or get the person’s hopes up of having a romantic relationship with you if you’re not really ready. Establishing your intentions might help filter out who you want to continue talking to. Whether you’re looking for love or new friends, keep conversations light and open, and get to know the person you’re talking to. You’ll know whether you vibe or not after talking to each other for some time.
With a lot of people out there, you might also want to be selective. A good, well-written profile or bio may give people an idea of what type of person you are. Now it’s up to them whether to swipe right or not. Sometimes, even though you have the same interests and backgrounds, you still might not be on the same vibe — that’s why it’s important to get to know the person you’re talking to.
It’s normal to get rejected throughout your adventure seeking for ‘the one,’ but that doesn’t lessen your worth as a person. It may hurt — especially if you like the person — but that’s how the wrong ones are weeded out. If you’re meant to be with someone, it will happen.
You do you!
Just be yourself! Remember, these people don’t know anything about you, your past, your dreams, your regrets. Sometimes it feels great to start on a new slate and introduce yourself
Meaningful connections are formed by like-minded people. Finding people you have similarities with can let you talk about things you’re both interested in. Again, make your profile and bio engaging enough that it will reflect who you are. Post clear photos that are honest and stay true to yourself.
A lot of people are pressured to project themselves based on things that they think will attract a lot of people, but the right ones will accept and love you for who you are. You can’t please everyone, but those who like you will stay.
You don’t have to conform according to what the person you’re talking to likes or to attract a specific person. Don’t misrepresent yourself. It’s hard to keep up an image you really are not, and you might not attract the right people who really match with your true self.
Confidence is key.
Being who you are and letting people truly see that lets connections become true and deep. Take pride in your strengths and uniqueness, and let your light shine from those. Being confident in yourself makes you interesting, and could draw more people to you. You are a work in progress, and there’s no shame in being who you are!
If you want to keep on threading through dating apps, be active and just keep on swiping! If you enjoy talking to a particular person, be consistent in communicating with them and show your interest. Ask questions (but not too personal)! Show them that you’re interested in what they’re saying, and make an effort to get to know them. Don’t let every conversation to be about you.
Just a friendly reminder to avoid flooding their inbox or being too pushy! It’s not so good even if they take some time to reply back. Know your limits, set boundaries, and understand that they have lives and responsibilities, too. If there are certain things they’d rather keep private or put aside until they’re more comfortable to share, respect their choice and don’t pressure them to open up. You haven’t known each other for a long time, so choose what are the things you will and will not share.
Don’t make them the center of your world no matter how much you like the person or enjoy meeting new people. Go on with your everyday activities and continue doing your hobbies. They’re only a part of your life, so don’t lose yourself over them.
Online dating also has its fair share of horror stories — from people with profile pictures that are far from how they look like, to people that are creepy and dangerous. Don’t give out personal information, especially where you live.
After some time of chatting, it might’ve already crossed your minds to meet each other personally. It’s best to go somewhere public and comfortable, and to inform a friend or family member that you’ll be going out on a date. Keep in contact with your friend or family member to let them know how long you’ll be out and where you are. As a general rule, steer clear of people who insist that you come over to their place, or who seem to be pressuring you to meet before even getting to know each other.
If you’ve decided to hook up with someone you met online or have them for a one-night stand, remember to use contraceptives to you want to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You don’t know the person’s sexual history and health condition, so it’s best to keep yourself safe and protected. Make sure you both use protection. If the person refuses, that could be a big red flag to watch out for. You’re responsible for your own health and safety. You’ll never regret taking extra precautions!
Know when to move on (ouch!).
Moving on seems to be the most difficult part of any situation. A lot of people may find it difficult to move on because of the scarcity mentality. Their minds are often filled with ‘what if no one else comes.’ This makes them settle with someone they’re not completely sure with or chase someone who does not reciprocate the same time, effort, and interest that they put out. Moving on is a step to getting the best one for you
Take things slowly.
Taking time to establish the connection and foundation helps build a stable and long-lasting relationship — whether it’s friendship or a romantic relationship. You don’t have to rush or force things to happen. You have time to build connections and get to know whether it’s worth pursuing or not.
Life is not a race and looking for love isn’t a scavenger hunt that will reward who looks for it the fastest. Take your time.
Enjoy the experience!
Enjoy the excitement that comes along with meeting new people and exploring online dating. You don’t have to pressure yourself or set goals. You might also discover things about yourself that you’ve never noticed before. Just like any other experience, you’ll learn new things, too.