We Picked Key Qualities of a Truly Sexy Guy – How Many Do You Possess?
The traditional definition of “sexy,” courtesy of Merriam-Webster, can be something either “sexually suggestive or stimulating,” or “generally attractive or interesting.” But what’s the fun of sticking to tradition?
The idea of what makes someone sexy has drastically shifted throughout the years. The 1960s saw what can only be considered a total revolution when it comes to how people expressed themselves through fashion and the arts. Now, 60 years later, while some might prefer a man who jugs protein shakes, wiping his mouth using his shirt that’s hiding a set of six-pack abs, others aren’t necessarily pining after a purely physical specimen. Personality wise, nice guys don’t necessarily finish last anymore either, proving that even the most average of Joes can still catch the attention of a gorgeous woman from across the bar.
RELATED: The Most Traditional Dude Habits You Can Leave at the Door
As a society, we’re constantly reevaluating what traits in men we think are appealing (along with what we find overtly gross and sexist). That’s why, as it can also be difficult to stay on top of sexiness trends, here’s a comprehensive list of TK things we’ve deemed as sexy behavioral traits that will never go out of style.
- You don’t feel the need to constantly brag about material goods.
- You make sure those close to you are valued and appreciated.
- You know your limits when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
- You know that women are worth more than just their looks.
- You don’t expect to be treated greater than because of your gender.
- You’re respectful even if things don’t go your way.
- You have a strong sense of humor that shines bright.
- You have life goals, even if you’re still on your way to reaching them.
- You’re not helplessly terrified of commitment.
- You know a craft beyond the one that pays your bills.
- You’re not afraid to ask someone out even if it means getting shut down.
- You’re man enough to walk away from a fight instead of instigating it.
- You question the world in an insightful and informed way.
- You’re cultured, well-informed of the world even if it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you directly.
- You value both a classic slow dance and an opportunity to bust a move.
- You’re willing to listen and respect the opinions of others.
- You don’t need to dominate and control others to prove that you’re a man.
- You don’t play games when it comes to texting someone you’re interested in.
- You’re there for your friends when they ask for help.
- You don’t shun beliefs that directly oppose your own.
- You know how to show affection in your own way.
- You’re active enough that it keeps you energized with a good attitude.
- You’re open-minded in regards to identity, gender, sexual orientation and representation.
- You’re not afraid to cry during an emotional movie.
- You take good care of your possessions.
- You’re not afraid to say how you feel, even if it hurts you to do so.
- You hold the door open for others, regardless of their gender, color or creed.
- You participate in philanthropic events and organizations without bragging about it.
- You understand the value of money, savings and investments.
- You can stand out from a pack.
- You know when to put down a wall in order to get close to someone.
- You don’t find the need to take everything personally, and can take a joke.
- You have a great relationship with your parents, valuing quality family time.
- You’re proud of your friends’ successes, praising them instead of putting them down.
- You’re always trying to be a better you.
- You understand consent, asking someone if it’s OK before you touch them in a sexual manner.
- You have conviction in your morals and beliefs.
- You don’t cheat. Period.
- You call your parents to see how they’re doing before they have to call you.
- You have a sexual confidence that has nothing to do with what’s between your legs.
You’ve probably got some work to do.
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Dating During COVID-19 Times Just Got Easier, Courtesy of These New App Features
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The coronavirus has cancelled just about everything. From your spring getaway with the guys to your personal training sessions, things are pretty much at a social distanced standstill. Even the act of putting on normal clothes has slowly become a forgotten art.
But what’s one thing it didn’t cancel? Online dating. Sure, you may not be able to grab drinks or dinner with someone IRL, but all your go-to apps have been adding new features that make it easier to keep dating while you’re social distancing.
RELATED: A Guide to Dating and Finding Love During COVID-19 Times
While this pandemic has probably affected your life in a myriad of ways, there’s no reason why it has to press pause on your love life. As you continue to swipe (because there’s really not much else to do, here are a few dating apps that have added brand new features to assist you in finding love without ever leaving home.
With it being insanely difficult to get a vibe check from behind a phone screen, that’s where Bumble’s in-app video chat and voice call features come in. Truth be told, these are not new features to Bumble, but they’ve become increasingly popular these days for obvious reasons.
“With a video chat, it adds that extra dimension in getting to know someone while hearing your date’s voice and seeing their smile,” says online dating expert Julie Spira. “While texting and messaging are important to create a flow and to build continuity, going on a video date is the next best thing to being there. When you ramp up your dating game with a video chat, you’re letting your date know that you’re investing more towards the relationship.”
Keep in mind that women get the option to call or video chat immediately after matching with you. Men, on the other hand, have to wait for their match to make the first move. After you receive that icebreaker message, you’ll see a video icon and a phone icon in the top right-hand corner of the conversation screen. The best part? You won’t even have to exchange phone numbers to meet face-to-face or hear each other’s voices.
Thinking about reaching out to an ex during quarantine? Not sure how to set up an awesome date over video chat? No matter what dating conundrum you’re dealing with, Match may be able to help you figure it out. The company’s new Dating while Distancing hotline is staffed by a team of experts who are down to advise you on any of your dating-related questions and concerns, or to just provide an ear for listening. The hotline is totally free to use, available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CST.
Whether you’re curious how daters in other countries are faring, or you just want to learn how to say “hey” in another language, Tinder Passport is here to save the day. The feature, which is typically only reserved for paid Tinder Plus and Gold subscribers, is now free for all users through April 30. Just drop a pin anywhere in the world to start swiping through all your prospects. After that, you can begin chatting with others at the destination of your choice.
To change your location using Passport, just tap your profile icon, open “settings” and scroll down and tap “location.” While you can only virtually date in one city at a time, you can change your location as many times as you wish. Who knows? You could very well spark up an international romance without ever leaving home.
Plenty of Fish
Another unique way to vet your matches is by using the new LIVE! Feature on Plenty of Fish, allowing you to record and watch livestreams from quarantine, a la Instagram Live. It’s currently available in more than 80 percent of the U.S. (mainly areas that are most impacted by the coronavirus), and will be rolled out across the globe by the end of April.
Just tap the “LIVE!” icon within the app to get started. From there, you can see who’s viewing your stream, search for other streams nearby, leave flirty comments on the ones that make an impression, and eventually move your convo to a private message.
When live-streaming, you can also choose to play NextDate, a game that emulates speed dating by allowing streamers to share 90 seconds of live video chatting with potential matches. If you hit it off with any of your virtual dates, you can choose to transition the convo to one-on-one video.
“With the NextDate feature and other video speed dating apps — which will rise in popularity now — if someone shows up in the queue who isn’t your type, you won’t have to invest extra time chatting if you’re not feeling it,” adds Spira.
This app prides itself on being picky for you. Not only does it personalize prospects to your liking, but it only shows you people who you actually have a shot with. Best of all, The League has a slew of features that will come in handy while you’re isolating, like the 10-second video trailer you can add to your profile to show off your personality (and win over potential matches, of course). You can also arrange one-on-one video dates with any of your matches via the messages tab.
League Live, a live speed dating session, also offers another awesome shortcut for testing out the chemistry. After you’re matched with three users in your area that fit your preferences, you’ll go on a 3-minute video date with each to see if the sparks fly.
According to The League, people who match through video date are 3.5x more likely to exchange digits and meet offline, and the match rate for League Live is 3x the rate of the rest of the app.
With the odds definitely in your favor, what are you waiting for? Change out of those sweats you’ve been wearing for three days in a row, run a little pomade through your hair and get ready to make a killer first impression right from your couch.
Once you start feeling a connection with a match on your app of choice, Spira advises putting some thought into your virtual dates with them. Her favorite ideas include using the Netflix Party Chrome Extension, which allows you and your date to stream the same show or a movie simultaneously from your homes, as well as posting your comments and reactions.
Spira also suggests scheduling a virtual happy hour over video chat where both of you can bring your “quarantini” of the day. If that goes well, graduate to a dinner date where you cook the same meal from your own kitchens or talk about your day over a delivery meal.
“Whether you use Zoom or FaceTime, at the end of your virtual date, you should make plans to schedule another video date to keep the spark alive,” she adds.
Who said you can’t find love from the comfort of your own couch?
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Looking for Long-Term Love? Try These Dating Apps
The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.
Dating apps were created to make finding your next relationship easier. With so many different platforms to choose from (and plenty of members signed on for a good time, not a long time), trying to find a match who’s here for the right reasons can feel kind of impossible. If you’re starting to get burned out from your online search for “the one,” it might be time to reevaluate your strategy — and the apps that you’re using — in order to find her. If this sounds a lot like your current online dating life, it’s time to rethink the process and platforms you’ve become accustomed to, and try using something new.
We asked a few dating experts for their best tips and advice on which dating apps will help you find a match who’s also looking for commitment. Here are some recommendations for the best apps to use if you’re ready to settle down, along with a few smart strategies that will help you find her in no time.
Finding a Serious Relationship
Are you done with the awkward hookups and unsatisfying one-night stands? Do you yearn to spend time with someone you care about, and are excited to see on a regular basis? Are you looking to be attracted to someone’s mind and spirit, rather than just their body? These are signs that you’re ready for a serious relationship, and in the age of hookup culture, that can confusing.
How do you separate the potential relationship partners from all the casual daters? How do you put yourself out there without getting hurt? Nowadays, one of the easiest ways to find a relationship involves using the right dating apps for your needs, and screening out those people who aren’t looking for a relationship. Below, you’ll find advice on how to do that, as well as which apps offer you the best chance of finding a significant other.
How to Use Dating Apps to Find a Serious Relationship
If you’re struggling to find what you want on a dating app (read: someone who’s interested in finding a serious relationship), one challenge you may be up against is that you’re not sure what your matches are looking for. Elena Murzello, author of “The Love List: A Guide to Getting What You Want,” says to take a cue from this, and make your own intentions clear on your profile. “Saying, ‘I’m interested in marriage and settling down immediately’ comes across too strong,” she says, “but something like, ‘I’m looking for a committed relationship’ opens up the conversation.” When writing your bio, Murzello says to keep it short and sweet, and include what a potential long term partner would want to know about you. “Complete a solid profile. Having photos that showcase your personality is key: Do they invite others to want to get to know the real you? Keep in mind that no one has time to read a novel, so write succinctly and include your interests!”
RELATED: Best Dating Apps for Hooking Up
As far as determining whether or not your matches are here for the real thing, Murzello says a picture’s worth a thousand words. “Look at the photos carefully,” she suggests. “Are these all half-naked photos? Maybe the person is looking for a hot hookup. Are they half drunken photos? She’s probably partying and not looking for something serious.” Low-quality photos or profiles without a bio are also signs that this person isn’t putting much effort in, and isn’t looking for something serious.
The time of day or night that you’re typically chatting with a match can also be a telltale sign of what she’s looking for. “Pay attention to when they’re making conversation with you,” says Lauren Levine, dating expert and co-host of The Margarita Confessionals. “Is it during the workday when they’re bored and trying to pass the time? Is it really late at night? This is probably someone who’s not looking for a relationship. Also, the conversation should have substance to it. If it’s just, ‘How was your weekend?’ or ‘What are you doing today?’ for days on end, they’re probably not looking to get to know you on a deeper level.”
Levine says to also keep this rule of thumb in mind when you’re messaging matches. “If they have a real conversation and want to get to know you as well, they’re probably interested in something more,” she says. “If you’re getting one-line responses, they’re probably not trying to invest in someone. Also, meet up as soon as you feel comfortable. It’s so much easier to understand what someone is like and what they’re looking for when you’re with them face to face.”
The Best Dating Apps for Relationships
Coffee Meets Bagel
The more potential matches you have, the more likely it is that you’re going to find the right woman for you, right? According to James Anderson, dating expert at Beyond Ages, this way of thinking can actually end up backfiring when you’re in the market for something more serious. “Many dating apps and dating sites are essentially a numbers game,” he says. “You look through hundreds of profiles, message dozens of people, and maybe get a few dates. With Coffee Meets Bagel things are very different. You receive a daily match that is properly filtered to be in line with what you are looking for. Since you only get one match a day, each person actually takes the time to review the match instead of making a decision in two seconds based on the photo.”
Check out Coffee Meets Bagel
.You’ve seen the commercials, you’ve heard the success stories, and while you’ve probably toyed with the idea of putting money behind your search for a relationship, you still haven’t pulled the trigger. If you haven’t recognized the theme here, let us be straightforward with you: The more involved a dating app is, the less likely users will use it for low-commitment casual encounters. There are plenty of functionalities you get with Match that make the process more straightforward, from algorithms that point out similarities when viewing profiles to the ability to upload more than a handful of photos, so that you get a fuller picture of the person you’re chatting with.
Check out Match.com
The League operates under a similar limited match system as Coffee Meets Bagel. In fact, you may even have to wait to sign up, whether that’s a few days or a few months depending on the user base available where you live. After you jump through those hoops, you’re given three matches per day based on the preferences that you outline, which include proximity and age. While getting started on The League can take a while, the app’s acceptance process does ensure that the people using it are taking it seriously. The League will actually kick inactive users off after two weeks, which ensures the people you’re matching with are actually using it.
Check out The League
Online dating burnout can happen to anyone, but for relationship-focused women who are getting grimy messages sent to their dating app inboxes on the regular, this can end up making them throw the towel in. Bumble combats this by making the app’s messaging features ladies’ choice. “One of the biggest turn offs from online dating is that women are absolutely bombarded with messages from guys,” explains Anderson. “This can turn a lot of eligible women off and lead to some uneven power dynamics with many online sites. With Bumble, once you match with a potential partner the woman must make the first move. This allows for a better experience for women, a high quality of users, and overall a better experience for everyone.”
Check out Bumble
If you’re tired of trying to determine your compatibility with potential matches based on a few photos and the three emojis they include in their bio, look no further than Elite Singles. In order to sign up, members need to complete a comprehensive personality test, which is then used to identify matches in your area. After you’re signed up, the site sources 7-10 potential matches per day, which eliminates the time suck of swiping back and forth, and makes for a more commitment-oriented user base (because no one in their right mind is going to spend 45 minutes on a questionnaire if they’re just trying to get lucky).
Check out Elite Singles
In case you haven’t been paying attention to billboard ads, the O.G. dating site OkCupid is having a rebranding moment, positioning themselves as a relationship-focused app. This means chances are high that single women in your area have recently re-downloaded this app in hopes that this isn’t some false advertising. Commercials aside, there are features on OkCupid that lend well to finding a match that’s looking for the same level of commitment you are. For starters, the platform features a more comprehensive profile, which allows members to fill out their interests, what their typical Friday night looks like and what they’re doing with their lives, giving you a more well-rounded idea of who you’re chatting with. You can also search using keywords (think “commitment” or “looking for something serious”). Depending on how many questions your match has answered on issues that are typically off the table for first date talk like politics and religion, you’re also given a percentage of compatibility to see what your odds are.
Check out OkCupid
Similar to Coffee Meets Bagel (and true to its name), Once gives you one match per day based on your preferences. You also won’t come across any blurry, low quality photos on the app, since there’s a team that verifies each profile photo uploaded to ensure it’s of good quality (which can take up to 24 hours). While not as extensive as some of the other apps on this list, there are a list of questions you’ll have to answer in order for the app to start curating potential matches. Your daily match expires within 24 hours, which means users stay engaged in order to make sure they don’t miss out.
Check out Once
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Struggling to Get Matches on Tinder? Here’s What You Need to Know
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Tinder has become the go-to app for people looking to date, hookup, find a long-term relationship, or simply see what kind of interesting singles might be in their area.
Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, online dating sites have been waning in favor of dating apps for some time now, and Tinder has cornered a massive portion of the dating app market.
For many young people, the very name of the brand and its functions have become synonymous with dating – you’re likely to hear young singles saying “I’m back on Tinder again!” as a shorthand for their relationship status, and “I’d swipe right!” used as a widely-understood idiom for finding someone attractive.
RELATED: Best Tinder Conversation Starters to Get a Response With
Yes, Tinder is an always-available, pocket-sized method for finding the person of your dreams – or, at the very least, a regret-free hookup – but the app can be frustrating when you don’t completely understand its functionality. To ensure you get the most out of your experience, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to dating with Tinder.
Here’s everything you need to know, from how to use Tinder to how to get matches, and how to move from the app to the real world:
1. Does Tinder Work for Guys?
The first question on the minds of plenty of guys is, “Does this thing even work!?” The answer is clear: Yes, it does, but that depends on a few key components entirely under your control. That includes your profile, swiping strategy and messaging technique, as well as first clarifying what you even mean by “work.” Let’s take a closer look at how people use Tinder for different outcomes before moving on to some tips for getting matches:
Is Tinder for Dating or Hooking Up?
There is some confusion about what Tinder is even for. Is it for serious dating, or just for casual hook ups? The short answer is both: You can use Tinder for a variety of reasons, varying from making friends to something casual to dating with the intention of finding your forever person. While Tinder started life as a hookup app, it’s no longer appropriate to assume that everyone who is using it is looking for sex — some really are just looking to extend their social network.
How Do You Know Why Someone Is on Tinder?
If Tinder is used for so many different purposes, how can you tell whether the person in your match list are looking for friendship, hook ups or serious dating? Well, there are a few key signs and phrases. For example, if you see the phrase “no ONS” on Tinder, that stands for “no one-night stands,” and means that person is unlikely to be interested in casual sex. The same goes for phrases like “no hook ups,” “seeking something serious or long-term” and “no players” — anything along these lines will indicate something more serious. Equally, someone hinting at casual sex or a one-night stand will probably use wording like “no strings” or “casual fun only,” or less explicitly, with phrases like “only here for a good time.”
What Are You Looking For?
You can use Tinder for any of the above reasons, but it pays to be clear with yourself and everyone else; if you know exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll have a better chance of finding it. If you’re not looking for anything more than hooking up, you should make that clear, ideally in your bio (“not looking for anything serious,” “seeking hook ups”) or at least once you start chatting to your matches (more on that below). If you’re looking to date seriously, that should also be immediately evident to anyone interacting with you.
Once you’re clear about what you want and you’ve made sure everyone else is, you’re going to need to craft the perfect profile to maximize your chance of getting matches:
2. Crafting Your Tinder Profile
If you’re one of the few remaining singles on Earth still unexperienced with Tinder, the first step is to create the best possible profile with the best possible pictures. Yes, Tinder is largely a looks-based endeavor (most dating apps are) and can sometimes feel superficial for that reason, but remember: It’s not really any different to meeting someone at a party or bar. You tend to approach the people you find physically attractive in real life, and then talk to them to see if there’s a deeper connection, right? It’s the same story with Tinder. Make sure that you’re creating an excellent first impression by following these Tinder photo tips:
It’s important to use a flattering (but not misleading) picture of yourself in your profile, and starting with a clear, well-composed, smiling image is your best bet. Make sure that your leading pic is a solo shot without other people in it — you don’t want potential matches to fall in love with your best friend.
RELATED: How a Bad Tinder Profile Photo Can Ruin Your Dating Chances
Helpfully, Tinder has a “smart photo” function which continually tests the success rate of the photos you’ve uploaded to your profile, and automatically shows your best-performing photo to other users first. It’s well worth enabling this function as it doesn’t cost anything extra, and Tinder claims that it boosts right swipes by 12 percent. Like it or not, choosing the right Tinder pictures is the key to your online dating success.
Ideally, you want to take advantage of all the photo slots Tinder offers you to provide as much information as possible to potential matches. Consider that your pictures give away crucial information not just about what you look like, but also how you like to spend your time, matches are going to form a certain impression of you depending on whether you’re squatting in the gym, splayed out on a beach with friends or chugging back beer at the game.
Don’t partake in kittenfishing – the lite version of catfishing – by uploading misleadingly flattering photos, and make sure your images are recent enough to show what you look like now. Remember, there’s no point in being dishonest. It’s all going to come out in the wash when you meet a match IRL, so be upfront from the start. If you’re really having trouble selecting photos, you could consider linking your profile to your Instagram account.
Your bio is optional, but we highly recommended including one. You’re allowed up to 500 words to showcase your dazzling personality here, but we’d suggest you err on the side of relative brevity as online daters don’t want to read a novel while they’re swiping. Make your bio about you, and keep it short, simple and friendly — it’s a bonus if it’s funny, but you don’t want to come across as trying too hard, either.
All we know about you is that you’re picky and hard to please. Be more positive!
Funny, gently self-deprecating and informative without being too long —this is a great bio.
3. How to Use Tinder
Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend, Tinder has several useful options to maximize your chance of getting matches. The Boost function can help for accumulating matches as it pushes you to the front of the match line for people in your area for half an hour. After the Boost session is over, you will see stats on how much more exposure your profile got (4x, 8x, etc), to ensure you got your money’s worth. Of course, you have to pay for the privilege, and free users cannot dictate where in the queue their profiles appear.
One potential pitfall of Tinder is that swiping becomes so reflexive that it is easy to accidentally swipe left on someone because you’re going too fast. In those cases, Tinder’s Rewind function is invaluable — hand over a few bucks, and you can recover the person of your dreams that you accidentally swiped left on (free users will simply need to slow down and pay attention to what they’re doing).
If you’re willing to pay for Tinder’s subscription services, Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold, you can unlock the Passport function, which allows you to swipe in different cities and countries. So, for example, you could be in London but visiting New York in a week’s time, and Passport will let you start swiping on New York-based profiles from across the pond.
However, even if you’re not willing to pay to use Tinder, there are some swiping strategies that are available to you. One is to use the Super Like function, which tells a user you really like them, bringing you to the front of their queue (free users get one Super Like per day). Another is to bear in mind that those who’ve already swiped right on you are likely to show up near the beginning of your queue, so it’s worth paying careful attention to profiles that appear early in your swiping session. That being said, constantly right-swiping to game the system is a bad idea as it just means you’ll match with those you may not be interested in. Swipe right only on people you genuinely hope to match with, so that when you see that coveted, “Congratulations! It’s a match!” alert, it actually means something.
Tinder has now introduced a “Tinder Plus” option: A paid version of the app which gives you various benefits — at a cost, of course.
So, what are the advantages to Tinder Plus that make it worth all that extra money? Here are some of the touted benefits:
Match Around the World
One coveted benefit of Tinder Plus is the ability to match with users around the world, as opposed to just in your area. So, if you live in California but have an upcoming holiday in Paris, for example, you can start swiping in Paris and accumulating matches before you even arrive. Tinder is truly a global dating service.
Rewind Left Swipes
Another prized feature of Tinder Plus is the ability to rewind your last swipe. This means that if you accidentally swipe left on a user and instantly regret it (because you’re swiping too fast, perhaps), you can “rewind” the swipe, bringing that user back into view so that you can correct your mistake and swipe right instead.
Tinder Plus also allows you to send more Super Likes. Hit the blue star instead of the green check mark and you will show up near the beginning of this specific Tinder user’s queue with a notification that you used your Super Like. The Super Like helps you show a potential match that you are definitely interested, and it will guarantee that you are made visible without a guarantee that they’ll swipe right on you (sorry, but no Tinder feature can force a right swipe or guarantee a match!)
Tinder Plus users get five Super Likes per day compared to the sole daily Super Like allotted to regular users.
Tinder Plus users get one free “boost” a week, which means that Tinder will make you the top profile in your area for 30 minutes. Ordinary Tinder users can also pay for individual boosts via the app at a rate that changes depending on how many boosts you buy. This is a way to potentially get more matches by making you much more visible to other users, but again, it’s no guarantee, so spend wisely.
Turning Off Ads
Tinder Plus users won’t see ads. This is perhaps the least tempting of Tinder Plus’ range of benefits as ads are a relatively minor annoyance for regular users, but it still doesn’t hurt.
To assist users in their dating lives, Tinder has launched a lifestyle website, Swipe Life, a resource where singles can visit for advice when navigating dating in the digital space. The website offers date ideas, dating stories, the best restaurants and bars for dates in different cities and a whole bunch of fun and playful content catering to the general Tinder users.
4. Frequently Asked Tinder Questions
So is everything crystal clear? We won’t blame you if all of the above sounds pretty confusing, as Tinder is becoming ever more complicated and laden with new features. While you should be able to understand the basic mechanics of using the app now, there are still some common questions on people’s minds when it comes to using Tinder:
If You Swipe Left, Are They Gone Forever?
One question on the minds of many men is the permanence of the left swipe. If I’m not interested in someone and swipe left, does this mean I can’t change my mind at a later point?
The short answer is yes: Once you swipe left on someone, they are gone and will not return to your queue. However, there are two caveats. The first is that Tinder Plus users can rewind swipes, as mentioned above, so if you think you accidentally swiped left on your soulmate, you’re going to need to shell out some cash for the ability to rewind.
RELATED: Check Out AskMen’s Official Tinder Review
The second is that Tinder is still a bit buggy, and from time to time users have reported seeing left-swiped users popping back up into their queue. It’s also possible to delete your account and start again with a fresh account, meaning that you will have a chance of seeing someone you swiped left on once again. However, these are not rock solid options, and there’s no guaranteed way to revisit a left-swiped user — unless you have Tinder Plus, that is.
If You Swipe Left, Can They See You?
A Tinder user will not be notified or otherwise alerted if you swipe left on them, meaning that you don’t need to feel too worried about hurting someone’s feelings. Obviously, if someone swipes right on you and you aren’t a match, they’ll know that you haven’t swiped right, but this could be for a variety of reasons: Either you haven’t seen their profile yet, or you are not a frequent user of the app, or you have indeed swiped left for a variety of potential reasons.
How Do You Know If Someone Swiped Right on You?
The only way that you can tell for sure if someone has swiped right on you is to swipe right on them, too. However, we’ll let you in on a secret: People who’ve already swiped right on you are likely to show up near the beginning of your queue, so it could be worth paying careful attention to them as you are likelier to be a match.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Match?
There is no set answer for how long it takes to get matches on Tinder. In fact, there’s no rock solid guarantee you will get matches at all. However, if you have a strong profile and sound swiping strategy, you could theoretically be getting matches as soon as you start swiping, though for most people, it will take from a few hours to a few days to start seeing results.
How Long Do Matches Stay?
Tinder matches and any associated messages will remain until either you or your match deletes their Tinder account. Tinder users also have the option of “unmatching” users, which means that even if you become a match, either one of you can change your mind and unmatch the other. Otherwise, Tinder matches hang around until you decide to finally strike up a conversation, unlike other apps such as Bumble which instill a time limitation.
Why Don’t You Have Matches Yet?
If you have been using Tinder for a while and still don’t have any matches, you’ll need to reevaluate your profile. Check out the profile section above, and perhaps even consult a friend or two who could help make your profile more attractive and appealing.
Can You Find People You Know on Tinder?
It’s perfectly possible to see someone you know appearing on your queue on Tinder. If one of your friends or coworkers lives in your area and happens to be on Tinder with the same age and gender parameters as you, they may well appear in your queue, and vice versa. That’s just how social media works, folks!
Some people find the prospect of being seen on Tinder slightly embarrassing, but there’s really no reason to. It’s a hugely popular dating app and people use it for a variety of different reasons, plus your friend or coworker is also a user! If you see someone you know, you could swipe right and have a laugh about it if you match, or else just swipe left and forget about it.
Should I Swipe Right on Everyone to Get More Matches?
Constantly right-swiping to game the system is a bad idea. Swiping right indiscriminately just means you’ll match with people you may not be interested in, which is annoying for them and you, wasting their time and clogging up your messages. Swipe right only on those you genuinely hope to match with so that when you see that coveted, “Congratulations! It’s a match!” alert, it actually means something. Not only that, but new iterations of the app penalize indiscriminate swipers, so you’re better off being choosy.
5. Sending the Right First Tinder Message
Success! You’ve matched with that hottie with cute photos and a witty bio, and now you’re in the enviable position of being able to talk to them directly. Don’t rest on your laurels just because you know they’ve swiped right on you, though, as you can make or break the match depending on your approach. A lazy or creepy opener might even mean that they unmatch you, blocking you from any further contact.
RELATED: How to Talk to Girls on Tinder, Explained
Your opening line is crucial. Your matches are likely to have dozens of other potential prospects in their Tinder messages section, most of whom will be approaching with a tired, “Hey,” or, “How are you?” There’s no need to overcook it by opening the conversation with a sonnet, but it will work in your favor if you approach in a friendly, novel and interested way. Try asking an unusual question, like “If you won a million dollars today, what’s the first thing you’d do?” or compliment a particular detail in one of their photos (“That’s a really cute French bulldog! Is it yours?”)
A disappointing number of male Tinder users think it’s appropriate to start a conversation with lewd innuendo and overtly sexual “compliments” right off the bat, such as the below gentlemen:
Guys, please: Don’t start a conversation like this. Not every person is on Tinder looking for casual sex, but even those who are keen on a no-strings hookup are unlikely to be swept off their feet by a rude and juvenile approach. Make your approach flirty and friendly, and definitely avoid the negging strategy advocated by so-called pickup artists: Backhanded compliments are not going to endear you to anyone at the best of times, but they might be even worse on Tinder or other dating apps, where you can easily be unmatched with a couple of finger taps. Be positive, complimentary and charismatic instead.
If you find yourself pleading into a void, it’s time to move on.
Another thing to bear in mind when talking to your Tinder matches is that defensive, passive aggressive opening lines are fairly common, but rarely ever work: “Quite a lot of selfies you’ve got there,” for example, or “I guess I’ll get the ball rolling because women never start talking first.”
Don’t dump your frustrations onto your poor, unsuspecting Tinder match! Instead, spend a minute or two crafting something friendly and subtly flirty (or check out these Tinder conversation starters for ideas), and finish with a question to keep the banter flowing. Being kind and showing enough genuine interest to keep the conversation rolling is a winning strategy and should help to convert your matches into IRL dates.
6. How to Land a Tinder Date
Hopefully your opening line (or theirs!) has progressed into a natural, lively conversation, and you’re now both interested enough in each other to go on a first date. It can be a useful first step to exchange phone numbers so that you can text or chat over the phone, because Tinder’s messaging system can make for slow-moving and disjointed conversation. Apart from that, Tinder dates work like any other: Think of something pleasant to do, and show up on the agreed time and date, looking sharp and ready to have a great time.
When to Ask Them Out
There’s wiggle room here, and every user will have a different idea of the ideal time to progress from Tinder conversation to an IRL date. However, it’s not out-of-place to ask for a date within a day or two of chatting, or even an hour or two if things are going brilliantly. If you’re really hitting it off and you’ve had a great conversation, it’s fine to say something like, “You seem really cool! Would you like to grab a drink sometime?”
Don’t be too perturbed or offended if they say no — some are cagey about people from Tinder and may wish to wait a while before bringing it into the IRL realm, while others will relish the opportunity to meet in person. You really just have to try your luck by asking.
Where Should We Meet?
You are much more likely to convince someone to meet with you IRL if you suggest meeting at a cafe or bar rather than at your house or hotel room. Even those who are interested in using Tinder for casual sex are unlikely to want to come straight to your bedroom for a variety of reasons including their own safety. Remember, you two are essentially still strangers even if you’ve had a lively conversation on Tinder, so take things slowly and be sensible. In short, meet in public.
How Many People Actually Meet Through Tinder?
For fairly obvious reasons, it’s impossible to know with any certainty how many people are actually meeting up with their Tinder matches. But rest assured that it’s happening — ask any of your friends or coworkers who use the app and they can regale you with stories about their Tinder dates, both good and bad, and Tinder’s Twitter account even claims that the app is leading to a “sh*t ton” of marriages (although hard data is thin on the ground here).
So that’s how Tinder works: From swiping to crafting your profile all the way through to sending the perfect opener and setting up a great date, we’ve got you covered. Tinder can be as effective in finding a new relationship as more traditional dating sites like Zoosk. Stick to the advice above and you can’t go too far wrong.
It’s true that Tinder can be frustrating and that some users are time-wasters, but it can also be an incredible way to meet people who you would otherwise never have encountered. Once you have a handle on how the technology works, simple, timeworn techniques are still what it takes to make approaching dates rewarding rather than scary. Be warm, interested and gracious in the face of rejection, and it’s hard to imagine things going too badly for you. Now, get swiping!
Read the full AskMen review of Tinder here.
7. Best Alternatives to Tinder
Of course, Tinder isn’t the only option out there, and in fact the user experience can be pretty exhausting. Tinder is hugely popular and has its perks — an intuitive interface, millions of users and the fact that most features are free, for a start — but there are real downsides, too, and the fast pace, unresponsiveness, superficiality and difficulty of transitioning into IRL might start to get you wondering what else is out there in terms of dating tools.
Well, there are plenty of other options if you know where to look. If you’re willing to pay to get a better experience, check out the following alternatives:
Match.com has all of the usual features of a reliable dating site, but one advantage that stands out in particular: you get a generous six-month money back guarantee. So, you can really experiment with how things are going for you and how much luck you’re having on the site before you have to truly commit — financially, that is.
While approval on the site is not instant and the month-to-month costs are higher than average once you are approved, you’re in for a strong user experience once you’re in the ranks: a continually improved algorithm guides your matches and incorporates user feedback and behavior, and new features are being added all the time.
Click here to check out Match.com.
Zoosk was voted the #1 dating site in AskMen’s awards for a reason: it has a large member base and user-friendly mobile app, a layout that’s easy on the eye and simple to navigate, and multiple options for promoting your profile and increasing your chances of getting matches.
You are going to need to do things the old fashioned way and browse profiles one-by-one, but, hey, that might actually be a good thing after the indiscriminate swiping that goes on on Tinder. Zoosk is well worth a try.
Click here to check out Zoosk.com.
Targeting a sophisticated, slightly older market, Elite Singles is the go-to site for serious and professional singles looking for a genuine connection.
The site uses a questionnaire that analyzes 29 character traits and matches you accordingly — there’s a commendable focus on personality rather than looks alone here — and while the signup process is admittedly lengthy, you’ll be browsing comprehensive profiles of women who are serious about dating once you’re in — no time-wasters or ghosters here!
Click here to check out EliteSingles.com.
On the sexier side, AdultFriendFinder is the go-to avenue if you’re looking to explore your fetishes, or if you’d like to facilitate various sexual arrangements online. It’s a reputable site with a large, loyal, open-minded membership — we’re not talking some sleazy internet corner here — and you can express your sexual self through profiles, blogs, webcams and more.
No one’s 100% sure on the male-to-female ratio (the data isn’t publicly available), but it’s worth checking out if you’re wanting to explore your more primal side in a safe environment.
Check out AdultFriendFinder
8. More Tinder Info
Not quite satisfied? No worries! We’ve got more Tinder content for you.
Tinder’s LGBTQ Efforts
The most recent additions to Tinder are designed protect and better include the LGBTQ community (who account for an estimated 24 percent of the U.S. population) in an effort to facilitate the company’s belief that “everyone should be able to love who they want to love.”
ILGA’s executive director, André du Plessis, praised Tinder’s effort, saying, “We work hard to change practices, laws and attitudes that put LGBTQ people at risk — including the use of dating apps to target our community — but in the meantime, the safety of our communities also depends on supporting their digital safety.” The following are Tinder’s efforts to support and protect the LGBT community.
Tinder partnered with GLAAD to allow users to select and display their sexual orientation on their profiles. To make the designation, simply edit your profile, tap “Orientation” and select the identity that best suits you. By visiting your Discovery Preferences, you can view people of your same orientation first.
As an added precautionary measure, Tinder worked with ILGA World to introduce what they’ve dubbed a Traveler Alert that will appear when Tinder is opened in one of the 69 countries where same-sex relationships are illegal. (FYI: In nine countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, prosecutors can seek the death penalty against same-sex acts and relationships.) This feature protects users from unknowingly placing themselves in a potentially dangerous circumstance. With Traveler Alert, queer people will not appear on Tinder when they open the app in these areas. Once the alert is activated, users will have the choice to remain hidden or opt into making their profile public – without information indicating their sexuality – so that they can connect with new people. Users’ profiles will return back to normal once they leave a protected area.
How Tinder Works
Considering it’s an app people use in order to potentially meet the love of their life, people are very curious about how exactly Tinder works.
The app’s user interface is more complicated now than when it was first launched, but the essential principle remains the same: Swipe left on profiles you’re not interested in, right on profiles you are and you chat with your matches when both of you indicate interest.
But how, you might be wondering, does Tinder decide who to show to whom, and in what order? That’s the real question at the heart of how Tinder works.
The answer, similar to almost every app out there today, is a proprietary algorithm whose exact details are secret to the general public. However, we do know a few things about how the Tinder algorithm works.
The Old Model
A 2016 article revealed that at the time, Tinder used a ranking algorithm to assign each user a score based on how people swipe on them — the more left swipes you get, the lower your score goes; the more right swipes, the higher your score rises.
However, it wasn’t as simple as simply adding or subtracting one point every time someone swipes right or left on you. The algorithm is apparently based on the complex ELO score used to rate chess players, meaning who is swiping is also a factor.
If someone with a high score swiped right on you, you’d be likely to jump higher than if someone with a low score swiped right on you. Similarly, a high score swiping left on you would drop you further than a low score swiping left on you.
In this way, people who got a lot of right swipes — the Tinder elite, if you will — had a greater impact on people’s scores than people most people aren’t crazy about.
The New Model
However, in 2019, Tinder announced that they had moved away from the ranking model in favor of something that tracks your like patterns to get an idea of what type of person each user is interested in.
As well, Tinder keeps track of things like how much time you spend on the app, how often you return to it and what percentage of swipes are right vs. left in order to develop a profile of what type of user you are, which it uses to construct your user experience — who you see, and in what order.
In short, nothing you do when on the app seems to go unnoticed. The app knows that data analytics is key to producing a more streamlined product, and they’re not shy about using it. Next time you see someone’s profile pop up, know that they’re being put there according to a very complex set of calculations.
Whether those calculations will lead to anything more, though? That’s a whole other layer of complexity that even Tinder’s data analysts can’t accurately predict. The only way to find out is to swipe right and see if you match.
What’s Next for Tinder
Tinder’s become the go-to online dating platform for American singles for since its introduction back in 2012, but the app isn’t interested in sitting on its laurels.
2020 marks a year where Tinder is making serious strides when it comes to an often under-considered aspect of the user experience for dating apps: the user’s safety once they put their phone down and begin the actual date.
Tinder’s finally recognizing that it has a role to play in making sure a Tinder date doesn’t go south in a horrible way. Partnering with a service called Noonlight, the app is giving its users the opportunity to notify others when they’re going on a date, when and where it’s going to be and an option to quickly alert authorities if they begin to feel unsafe.
As well, Tinder is unveiling a system where users can verify their profiles by taking a real-time photo. Tinder’s internal software will attempt to match it to your existing, uploaded profile pictures, and if the pictures you uploaded and the new, candid picture you took are judged to be of the same person, you’ll get a little checkmark icon next to your name in the app.
It’s a little detail that can help ensure that you don’t end up getting catfished by someone who looks nothing like their picture. However, this functionality won’t be necessary for all users, so people without check marks might be fakers (or they might just be lazy).
Tinder is introducing another feature aimed at improving the general tone of discourse in chats between matches.
While it takes two right swipes to create a conversation, that’s no guarantee of conversational compatibility, sadly, and Tinder’s been dogged for years with a reputation for fostering unfriendly and sometimes downright abusive conversations. In fact, it’s an aspect of the app that’s only contributed to Bumble’s success as a Tinder-like app with a vastly different messaging set-up (men can only message a match once the women has sent an opening message).
Now, Tinder will attempt to flag unpleasant messages before they’re even sent, asking users if they want to “undo” a message it deems potentially unpleasant. As well, users have the option to report interactions that make them feel uncomfortable.
To round out the suite of safety-oriented additions and updates to the app, Tinder is also adding a “Safety Center” to the app, where you can go to discover handy additional resources on dating safety.
This might not sound like a huge deal, but easy access to crucial, potentially life-saving information and hotlines that pertain to sex and dating will now be much closer at hand, which could make a huge difference for some users who might not otherwise seek it out.
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How Many People Have You Slept With? Here’s What That Number Means
“What’s your number?” is a question that many couples dread, yet still bravely pose in hopes of gaining insight into each other’s sexual pasts.
But tread carefully — too much information could leave your partner feeling insecure or uncomfortable once they’ve heard the answer. So are we obligated to tell our partners how many people we’ve slept with if asked? If it’s not brought up, is it even a conversation worth initiating? And do we have to be truthful when it does come up?
RELATED: Best Dating Apps for Hooking Up
According to a 2018 Superdrug survey of more than 2,000 men and women, 81 percent of respondents think your number is something you should talk about within the first eight months of dating, while 30 percent think a discussion of your sexual history is necessary within the first month of the relationship.
In the 2011 comedy “What’s Your Number,” Ally (Anna Farris) is beside herself after discovering a magazine article statistic that claims the number of men she’s slept with is alarmingly high. By the film’s end, she ultimately learns to embrace her number rather than stressing about it, but it’s the plot that points to a very relevant subject in today’s dating world: Your “number” can be a source of pride, shame or a whole range of other emotions. As such, sharing that number with someone else can feel vulnerable AF.
Before you go tallying up your hookups, there are a lot of things to consider to ensure that the conversation is productive as opposed to problematic.
Here’s everything you need to know about revealing your sexual history, and what your number of partners says about you.
Should I Tell My Partner My Number?
Dr. Dawn Michael, clinical sexologist and relationship expert, notes that once you’ve decided to tackle this subject, it’s important to be open and honest to the extent of feeling safe and supported. If it’s your partner that brings it up, Michael recommends digging into why they want to know.
“There usually is a reason,” she explains. “Perhaps they want a sex history because of STDs, but it’s necessary to go into the details or offer information that the other person is not asking for. If you really feel uncomfortable, you can leave that information out or shorten your response.”
If you’re the one asking, you should be prepared to talk about your sexual history, too. Additionally, Michael says that you can’t really predict how your partner will respond to your number. If they become jealous, shut down or otherwise react negatively, you’ll need to explore those feelings with them further.
“Each person is unique and there is no right or wrong answer about sharing your past sexual experiences,” she notes. “But if both people are mature and can deal with the information, then share away.”
Could My Number of Sexual Partners Be Too High or Too Low?
According to the aforementioned survey, Americans’ average number is around 7.2 sexual partners in their lifetimes. That said, the number ranges quite dramatically from state to state — the average for Louisiana residents was 15.7 partners, while it was 2.6 for Utah residents. It’s important to note that these statistics refer to the average number over an entire lifetime, and your number will be heavily impacted by factors such as age, location and upbringing. It’s next to impossible to determine whether a number is “normal” or not, but if it falls between 7 and 16, it’s on par with the rest of the country.
What If I (or My Partner) Have No Interest in Revealing Who We’ve Slept With?
There’s always a chance that your partner won’t want to disclose how many people they’ve slept with, either because they feel embarrassed about it, they’re worried it might change your perception of them or both. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t push them for information they aren’t ready to share. Keep in mind, however, that their hesitance to reveal their number may point to some trust issues. That’s why Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of “The Kurre and Klapow Show,” advises asking why they don’t want to talk about it.
“You can and should respect their right to privacy, but at the same time they should respect your request,” he explains. “This also comes down to why are you asking and why are they not telling. What benefit are you getting from knowing, and what benefit are they getting from keeping it from you?”
How Can I Make Sure This Conversation Is Mutually Comfortable and Respectful?
If you and your partner decide to tackle this topic, there are some ways to minimize the chances of any issues arising. First, having the conversation in the comfort of your own home is key. You also may want to wait to bring it up until your partner is calm (not after a stressful day at work, or when they’re rushing around for an appointment).
Also, be sure to keep things short, simple and to the point.
“While you are discussing how many [people you’ve had sex with], the intimate details are in your past and do not need to be discussed,” says Klapow. “This is a time to neither share too much information nor clam up. Respect boundaries, but also recognize that your willingness to answer the question shows your transparency and trust in your partner.”
What Does It Say About Someone Who Overestimates Their Number? What About Underestimating?
In the Superdrug’s survey, a whopping 41.3 percent of men and 32.6 percent of women admitted to lying about their sexual history. That’s no real shock — men were more likely to increase their number, whereas women were more likely to decrease it. This likely stems back to outdated social norms that put pressure on men to have more sexual experience to appear masculine, and put pressure on women to have less experience so as not to seem promiscuous.
A 2018 study published in “The Journal of Sex Research” also found that men are more likely to estimate rather than actually count their sexual partners, which could obviously suggest that their numbers are less accurate.
Clearly, it’s pretty common to fudge your number a bit, but what does that say about you? Whether you add or subtract a few sexual partners, it all boils down to insecurity. Either you don’t feel good about your sexual history, or you fear your partner will judge you.
“If you have been with hundreds of people with highly promiscuous behavior in the past, underestimating may help protect the feelings of your partner,” suggests Klapow. Honesty is the best policy, but it’s also about being considerate. Remember that over or underestimating calls your trust into question, which is critical to your relationship.”
That said, there’s a difference between being honest and showing off.
“Bragging about your past partners shows a lack of compassion for your partner,” he adds.
Does My Number of Sexual Partners Say Anything About Me as a Person?
The only thing that your number actually says about you, according to Klapow, is how much sexual experience you have.
“The reasons for the number is where the important relationship information is,” he says. “Did you develop sexual interests later in life? Did you have less activity for religious reasons? Were there sexual traumas? Were you promiscuous because you love sex or were you promiscuous to get attention?”
Ultimately, Michael notes that the most important thing is not the number itself, but how you feel about it.
“If you are uncomfortable or comfortable about it, that’s what counts,” she explains.
Only you and your partner can determine whether this is a conversation that’s going to prove helpful or harmful. When executed with caution, it’s a discussion that can foster intimacy and build trust. As long as you feel secure in your past decisions, as well as your current relationship, you should be able to have an honest exchange sans awkwardness, anxiety and judgement.
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Want to Win Back “The One That Got Away”?
You idiot. What did you do to screw this one up? OK, calm down and take a few deep breaths. This isn’t the end of the world. Losing the one you love aka the One That Got Away™ may seem like it’s the end of the world, but I can assure you that it’s not. While the feelings circling through your stomach, heart, and brain are currently at their most uncomfortable state, there is plenty to do to win back the one you lost. All it takes is a little bit of sticktoitiveness and a slight suspension in self-respect … but just for a little bit. If Brad Pitt’s recent encounter with Jennifer Aniston at the SAG awards is any indication, that spark you two once had can potentially be reignited.
RELATED: Post-Breakup Rules
Here you’ll find everything you need to do get back the one that got away.
1. Apologize Profusely … If It’s Your Fault
What happened? Look, let’s straighten out the facts before they blow up in your face. If either one of you did something completely morally reprehensible, then you should truly consider if it’s worth getting back together. Some couples can get through something like infidelity, but some couples can’t. You two will know in your heart if there’s an issue you can get through, but if you broke up over a silly who-said-what quarrel, then apologize like your life depends on it. Make sure it’s something you actually feel sorry about, though, as this will be the basis of your new relationship.
2. Make an Effort to Change Yourself
Nobody should have the ability to make you act the opposite way you intended. If you hate oranges — and I mean truly hate them — you can’t be expected to suddenly love oranges with the coos of someone you love. That being said, there are some qualities that cannot (and should not) be changed. On the other hand, there are some qualities that absolutely can stand to be tweaked. If your untidiness and interest in hoarding old bottles drove her wild, consider changing your act. In the end, do you want to be on your deathbed with the one you love or surrounded by your hobbies and foibles for all to see? Forget the Coke bottles, damn it.
3. Be The Cusack
There are so many good movies out there in which star-crossed lovers have to defy the odds to be with one another — a lot of those movies feature John Cusack. In one of his most memorable roles in Say Anything, he plays Lloyd Dobler who holds a goddamn boom box over his head (blasting Peter Gabriel of all people) to get the love of his life back. Guess what: it eventually works. While not everyone likes Peter Gabriel and even fewer people have access to a boom box, doing that one huge romantic gesture is something she won’t be used to. Maybe it’s surprising her with a dozen roses, or chocolate, or a new puppy covered in roses, showing you’ll go the distance for her will almost definitely help break through that icy layer of anger. BE THE CUSACK.
4. Use Your Words
Don’t message her on Facebook, don’t favorite her tweet, don’t show your affection via a stray like on Instagram — hell, don’t even try to get back together on the phone. Put down your phone if you can stand it and have a face-to-face conversation like adults. You’d be incredibly surprised to know how much emotion and meaning gets lost in translation when communicated through a text message. An innocent “It’s OK” can be turned into a cold and scathing version of itself when the other party is upset enough to interpret it as such. So, just grab coffee together and work out your differences with your mouth holes.
5. Offer a Solution
OK, so maybe it wasn’t an argument that drove you two apart, maybe it was a natural disaster like moving across the country. If you gave or were given the whole “the universe will bring us back together” speech and know that the universe doesn’t particularly give a shit about two young adults in love, offer a solution. If she’s in New York and you’re in Ohio, make a schedule. You’re going to visit each other every month and talk on the phone every night. If that doesn’t work, find a compromise that does. One of the biggest mistakes a couple can make is giving up and leaving their fate in the hands of this foggy unknown force that is the universe. It sounds romantic to say that you’ll eventually end up back together, but have you seen how many attractive people are in New York? She’s gonna find a new boyfriend faster than you can say “universe.”
6. Change The Relationship
If you broke up over the state of your relationship, whether it was too stale or rocky, simply change it. If it takes some particularly un-sexy planning in which you sit down together and figure out what you’re going to do and when, just do it. It may not sound fun to put “sexy time” in your iPhone calendar, but when that notification pops up and you follow through with your plans, you’ve already progressed in changing your habits. Let’s say you’ve ended things because you couldn’t find time alone with her and your roommates were constantly getting in the way of your relationship, consider moving in together. It’s not that hard.
7. End Your Fling
Being single, no matter how long, is a perfect time to test your bachelorhood and date a bunch of different people to make sure you’re fine with your choice. Once you’ve gone through and had sex with the entire Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and are sure the one that got away is the one for you, then end your fling. Just end it. If she’s gone through the same process, assume she’s learned the same vital information about herself that you have. No matter how you cut it, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
8. Don’t End The Conversation
There’s a reason you keep coming back together. If you truly didn’t want to be together, you wouldn’t be. Keep the dialogue open and relish the time you have with one another. There’s never going to be a relationship as seamless and easy as you imagine and that’s totally fine. Nobody’s perfect and two not-perfect people together are bound to make for a not-perfect relationship, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. If you’re worried that things are going downhill, ask her if everything is alright. Sometimes your insecurities will take hold and send the relationship into a bad spot when everything was going better than you thought in the first place. Keep talking, keep planning, and never stop being romantic.
Need specific help on how to get your ex back? Head to guyQ to ask our community of experts.
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How to Get Out There and Find the One for You in the New Year
There’s this common belief that falling in love is something that just happens to us. Despite all our efforts, there’s nothing we can truly do except hope that the next person we meet is “the one.”
RELATED: Best Dating Apps for Relationships
Sure, it might just be a type of right place, right time situation when it comes to meeting the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stack the deck in your favor. There are plenty of ways to cast yourself in the best light, increasing your chances for meeting the person who completes you.
If your 2020 resolution is to finally find the right person, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 20 expert tips for finding love this year.
20 Different Ways to Successfully Find Love in 2020
1. Put Yourself Out There
This might be the most common advice people doled out when it comes to finding love. In fact, you may be reading this thinking, “How much more could I possibly be out there?” Well, putting yourself out there goes beyond just simple things like visibility on dating apps or frequenting your corner bar.
“Create more opportunities for you to meet other people, learn new things, and generally improve and expand your life,” says relationship expert Amy Hartle. “These should be things you actually WANT to do; activities you actually have an interest in. When you focus on doing the things you love, the right person will come into your life – not only because you’re putting yourself out there and taking chances, but because when you’re focused on the things you love, you become the best version of yourself. A potential partner gets to see you in your element.”
2. Take a Class
“Education improves who you are and exposes you to not only potential partners who may be in the class, but many others who are around the educational facility,” says relationship therapist Andrew Aaron. “Those who value education also share many other good values and thereby increasing the chance to meet someone special of high quality.”
3. Perform Volunteer Work
What’s a cause you truly care about? Volunteering helps to improve your overall mood and self-esteem, and connects you with others who share the same values.
“Unlike on a dating website or Tinder where deception and distortion are easy, participating in a group effort actually takes a commitment – something that separates those who are low in motivation from those who are vital, ambitious and determined,” says Aaron.
4. Be Open to Finding Love in All Different Places
Opportunity waits for no man, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a potential match at the grocery store, on an airplane or anywhere you meet someone who catches your eye.
“Being open can mean something as simple as making eye contact with others,” says therapist Lauren Cook. “As you enter 2020, commit to actually ‘seeing’ other people in the new year by looking at those around you.”
5. Network With Dates Who Didn’t Work Out
This may seem like strange advice, but according to marriage and family therapist Dana McNeil, the more you expand your social circle, the more likely it is you’ll meet someone.
“If you and a date don’t work out having a love match, but you really like the person and their character, there is no reason you can’t help each other to network your perspective groups of friends or family members,” she says. “If you are both able to be mature and acknowledge that a love connection isn’t happening for the two of you, why not put your collective network to good use and consider if there is someone that either of you knows who might be a good match?”
6. Ask People in Your Life to Set You Up
“It is very likely the people you admire and genuinely care for in your world hang out with and have a close relationship with other admirable and quality people who may also be looking for a new love,” says McNeil. “Letting your network (co-workers, neighbors, colleagues, etc.) know you are open to and interested in meeting some new people this year is just reinforcing your efforts with help from a community who probably has your back, and wants to help you find the best match.”
7. Leave Selfies and Filters in 2019
Speaking of online dating profiles, start putting your true self out there in 2020.
“Dating profiles that are filled with selfies make that person look like they have no social life, or like they love themselves more than anyone else ever could,” says dating profile writer Eric Resnick. “You don’t need a ton of group shots in your profile, but have your friend’s take some pics for you. You are going to have a much more natural smile when you are relaxing with your friends than when you are trying to look at the screen with one eye and at the lens with the other.”
8. Don’t Just “Spray and Pray” Online Dating Messages
Sending out the same message to hundreds of potential matches online may make your inbox more full, but if you’re serious about finding love this year, Resnick says to go for quality over quantity.
“Don’t message a woman unless there’s some evidence in her profile that she’s looking for someone like you,” he says.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Off the Wheel
Dating apps can be great tools to help you find love, but they can also burn you out. If it’s too much to handle, it’s alright if you want to take a breather.
“Online dating should not be a part-time job,” says Resnick. “If you’re spending more than 20 minutes of your day on it in 2019, it’s time to limit yourself in 2020. FOMO isn’t real here, but burnout is. The people you don’t see today will still be there tomorrow, but your will to find them might not be.”
10. Know What You Value
What actually matters to you in a relationship? Getting clear on what you value most in a potential partner will help make it clear when you’ve found the right one for you.
“When you are unsure what matters to you in a relationship, it can be easy to be swayed purely by chemistry rather than an actual character traits connection,” says Cook. “Does your ideal life include adventure, safety, achievement, connection, creativity? From this, you can begin identifying what matters most to you.”
11. Be Vulnerable Where It Matters
“Many of us either operate in a space where we are totally closed off or share too much,” says Cook. “Find a happy medium where you are willing to connect in a safe and open way that allows you to get to know someone. You can still protect your heart without appearing guarded and defensive. If you notice that your partner has a wall up as well, carefully consider if they are at a place in their lives where they are willing to be thoughtfully vulnerable as well. In other words: Don’t date someone who is not open to love at this time.”
12. Own Who You Are and What You Want in a Relationship
If you really want to be in a serious relationship, why pretend you don’t to appease someone else? It’s okay to make that known.
“Pretending to be interested in only casually dating or portraying yourself as someone who is willing to hook up without a commitment when that isn’t who you are is not going to serve you in relationships,” says McNeil. “You send mixed messages to both the new partner and yourself by accepting less than you want. The right person for you will find it refreshing and attractive that you are willing to own who you are, and state your expectations about what you are looking for regardless of whether or not the other person agrees or validates you.”
13. Stop Being So Rigid in Your Expectations
You may have a prepared plan as to what you want out of the person you date, but make sure you’re focused on the right things.
“So many of my clients shoot people down before they ever have a chance to meet because of their ‘requirements’ for a new partner,” says McNeil. “Not every woman has to be a perfect size two in order to be a fit.” Instead, make a list of must-haves based on what a potential new person values – “their character, their ability to take personal responsibility for their behaviors, and sense of genuine concern for their needs,” continues McNeil. “Then you are more likely to find someone who is actually a good long-term fit.”
14. Consider Therapy to Learn How to Set Healthy Boundaries
“The common denominator in all your relationships is you,” says McNeil. “If you feel you give more than you receive in relationships and they often leave you feeling disappointed, frustrated, victimized or resentful, you may have difficulties setting healthy boundaries in relationships.”
If you find yourself feeling that no matter how hard you try, nothing you ever do is good enough, or you catch yourself walking on eggshells out of fear about how your partner will respond to you, it’s time to do some work on yourself.
15. Evaluate Your Beliefs About Dating
Your beliefs about the dating landscape you’re in can impact whether or not you’ll be successful. Meaning, if your internal monologue consists of feeling like women never notice you, that you have to be a bodybuilder in order to get any attention or that all the good ones are taken, it’s time to challenge that thought process.
“Our beliefs create our reality, so really examine what thoughts you think on a regular basis about dating,” says relationship expert Kat Trimarco. “What if these beliefs weren’t true? As you choose different thoughts that are more in alignment with what you want to experience, these new thoughts over time become your beliefs and shape the new experiences you’ll have. Your willingness to see things differently will open up doors to meeting new people.”
16. Have a First Date Plan
When you’re going on a first date with someone you barely know, it can be tempting to leave the date up to chance. As Aaron explains, taking initiative to thoughtfully plan out a first date can really work to your advantage.
“Having planned for the date shows forethought; it signals to your date that she or he is important and worthy of your time,” he says. “Pre-planning also shows leadership, a fine strength to demonstrate. Share the plan as a way of keeping your date informed of what will happen, but also to get agreement that the plan will be pleasing to them.”
17. Incorporate an Activity Into Your Next Date
If firing questions back and forth at a bar on first dates isn’t getting you anywhere, Aaron suggests planning a date that focuses on an activity both of you enjoy.
“A date that incorporates a physical element adds a source of conversation,” says Aaron. “Taking a walk, riding bikes, going bowling, exploring a location, dancing, and climbing stairs to see a beautiful view are all examples.”
18. Listen More Than Talk on Your First Few Dates
“I often tell my clients that the people you date will generally tell you who they are within the first few dates,” says McNeil. “Allow yourself to have potentially uncomfortable silences without rushing to fill the void. Let the other person share the responsibility of creating a space that feels mutually acceptable, and see if the other person is aware of your needs during conversations.”
19. Believe There Will Be a Second Date
The goal of any first date is to get to date number two, but going into a first date with that pressure hanging over your head can actually work against you.
“The best way to get a second date after a first date? Decide that there’s going to be a second date before that first date even starts,” says relationship expert Jenny Block. “Instead, enjoy the date. Look for the positive. Remember that love at first sight is mostly in the movies, and love that grows is the kind of love that lasts. You just might be surprised by what you discover about a person when you’re looking for their best instead of their worst.”
20. Go On a Second Date Even If the First One Wasn’t “Perfect”
“Many of my clients tell me they give someone just one date to get it right, and if they don’t feel a spark, then they move on,” says McNeil. “Have you ever considered that maybe you should give someone a few dates to get comfortable, and allow some of the nerves to die down so they can show you who they really are? Give this person a few dates to get comfortable with you and you with them. There is no rush to get to the finish line, and sometimes a person grows on you once you get to see them in a relaxed space.”
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13 Science-Backed Ways for Guys to Get More Right Swipes
A smooth opening line, your air of confidence or some gallant gestures are all things capable of grabbing a woman’s attention — in real life, that is. In the digital dating world, it’s all about your profile. Every single word and photo you use counts when it comes to making a good impression, and various studies have shown that certain profile strategies may inspire more right swipes.
RELATED: What a Genuinely Good Tinder Profile Looks Like
You want to present yourself in the best light possible, all while being your most authentic self. Exaggerating about your job or using a photo from years ago will get you … well, just about nowhere when your match eventually sees the real you.
Need some guidance? Fortunately, there’s a wealth of research on which dating app strategies are most effective. Consider these 13 science-backed tips while perfecting your profile, and watch as the matches come rolling in.
13 Foolproof Ways to Get More Right Swipes on Dating Apps
1. Include a Full-Length Photo
To no surprise, app users want to be able to scope out their potential dates from head to toe.
A 2019 survey conducted by Carphone Warehouse and dating expert James Preece asked 1,000 Brits about their biggest dating app turn-ons. The results? 86 percent of both men and women would like to see a full-length photo.That means even if the rest of your photos are zoomed in from the waist up, make it a point to include just one picture that shows your full physique.
Speaking of photos, make sure you have at least one. A whopping 93 percent of survey respondents said they would straight up ignore someone on an app if their profile was lacking images (for obvious reasons).
2. Skip the Emojis
You may want to think twice about using those emojis, too. Results from that previously mentioned survey had a whopping 80 percent saying they’d consider ‘em to be a turnoff. Wouldn’t you rather use that valuable space to write something that’s actually informative or insightful anyway? Save the emojis for after you’ve landed a match.
3. Flaunt Your Furry Friend
Unsurprisingly, pets can make your profile more that much more attractive. That doesn’t mean you should snap a picture with any random dog just to bait the ladies into swiping right, but if there’s a furry animal out there that has a special place in your heart, feature them on your profile.
According to the Carphone Warehouse survey, 77 percent of people think photos with pets make someone more attractive. Who knew things whiskers could be such phenomenal wingmen?
4. Add a Group Photo (But Not Too Many)
Capture a cool shot with your buddies on a fishing boat or hanging at a summer BBQ? Show it.
Hinge’s 2017 Profile Picture Report found that pictures of dating app users having fun with friends were 74 percent more likely to get a like. That said, going overboard with the group shots will only leave swipers questioning who you really are.
If they’re unclear of who you are amongst the group, that extra effort may leave them swiping to the left instead of giving you a shot.
5. Show Your Active Side
Part of a hockey league? Or maybe you just participated in a Spartan Race? Be sure to include a photo that demonstrates your active lifestyle. Data from Hinge’s 2017 Profile Picture Report showed that photos of users playing a sport or doing something athletic performed 75 percent better than the average, non-athletic photo. How’s that for some fitness inspiration?
Some extra incentive comes from a 2014 WIRED analysis of data from OkCupid and Match.com — surfing, yoga, skiing, hiking, and tennis were among the words and phrases most associated with popular profiles for men.
6. Pose With Your Mama
Next time you’re home for a holiday or some other occasion, you may want to snap a few photos with dear ‘ol mom. According to a 2018 study by The League, dating app users who have at least one photo with their mother experienced a 7 percent higher match rate than those who didn’t have one.
While some may take it as a sign of a momma’s boy, this kind of photo shows that family is important to you. After all, there’s nothing wrong with showing some appreciation for the lady who gave you life.
7. Ditch the Shades
Just as you shouldn’t wear sunglasses indoors, when choosing the best photos for your profile, skip the ones in which you’re wearing glasses. A 2016 study from Tinder revealed that users wearing glasses in a profile picture (both prescription and sunglasses) were 15 percent less likely to get a right swipe.
Shades and spectacles make it more difficult to see someone’s face, and isn’t that what you’re supposed to be showing it off on your profile?
8. Be Forthcoming About Kids
Having children may not be something you want plastered all over your dating profile. But if you’re worried they may scare off some prospective dates, consider this: One in three women who participated in Carphone Warehouse’s survey said they liked to see photos of matches with their children.
Besides, it’s always best to be honest about your situation from the get-go. If someone doesn’t like your kids, there’s no point in wasting your time or effort in getting to know them.
9. Get Candid
An easy way to stand out on a dating app is by having at least one or two candid photos in your profile. Hinge’s 2017 Profile Picture Report found that a whopping 80 percent of users’ profile pictures were posed, but get this: Candid photos were 15 percent more likely to get a like from other users. There’s something about a candid shot that’s inexplicably attractive because it looks more natural, and thus, shows off your true, filterless self.
10. Implement the 70-30 Rule
It’s easy to ramble on and on about yourself in your dating app profile. You’re trying to give potential matches as much information as possible before they make a decision which way to swipe, right? Well, according to Statistic Brain, the most popular online daters used about 70 percent of their profiles to talk about themselves, with the other 30 percent describing what they’re looking for in a prospective partner.
Consider following that formula in your own profile, and always look for opportunities to shed light on your dating intentions and priorities.
11. Don’t Be Afraid of That Four-Letter Word
If you’re looking to lock down something serious, then you might want to sneak “love” into your profile somewhere. Surprisingly, wearing your heart on your sleeve can be to your advantage.
After examining 1.2 million profiles, PlentyofFish discovered that people who used this word in their bios were the most successful at engaging in committed relationships. Men also appeared to benefit from words like “romantic” and “relationship,” too.
12. Highlight Your Travels
Whether from a bachelor weekend in Boston or backpacking around Switzerland, make sure to use a photo from that trip in your profile. A
2017 Hinge study found that travel photos receive 30 percent more likes than the average photo, and research from Match Group found that 74 percent of women want a partner who shares their travel interests. It makes sense, too, given that jet-setting can make a person appear worldly and adventurous.
Fun fact: According to Hinge’s data, for men, a photo in Munich garnered a whopping 210 percent more likes than the average photo, while a photo in Portland, Oregon, racked up 56 percent more likes.
13. Mind Your Grammar
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a casual hookup or a serious relationship, you may want to proofread your dating app bio.
A 2019 study published in the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships” found that spelling and grammar errors such as writing ‘teh’ instead of ‘the,’ and using upper case letters in the wrong places, could be detrimental to your odds of getting more matches. Researchers believe this may be because such errors suggest laziness and lack of attention to detail.
It doesn’t take long to run your bio through spell check. Considering it could seriously boost your odds, it seems to be well worth the effort.
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The Best Way to Handle Staying the Night for the First Time
For one reason or another, dates tend to happen at night.
While some people might try to have a daytime first date over coffee or a walk in the park, the dominant cultural script we have for dates (dinner, movie, bar) is one that begins some time after 5 p.m. and winds its way through the course of the evening.
Meaning, if you’re having sex with your date, it’s probably late at night. And there’s a good chance that may lead to one person sleeping over after the hookup.
Now, in some cases your date will be sleeping over at your place, but especially for men dating women, they’re often invited over to their date’s place rather than vice-versa.
Why? Well, many women will feel more comfortable in their own home. Being alone with a man they don’t know very well yet can be a bit scary, and having the interaction play out on their turf is more likely to set them at ease. (Also, let’s be real, most single guys don’t have very appealing living situations.)
Regardless, that first sleepover — whether it’s happening the night of the first date, the first hookup, or later on — can make or break a fledgling romance.
Out on the town and dressed nicely, people might be able to put up a bit of a façade, but in a more domestic setting, fresh from having sex, it’s easy to let your guard down and show the real you — and if that’s not someone your date is into, things could be over in a hurry.
In order to help you pull off a relatively mistake-free first sleepover, here are some dos, don’ts and expert tips from a selection of dating coaches and psychologists.
1. What to Do When Sleeping Over for the First Time
The most important thing to keep in mind when sleeping over with a date is that their experience matters, too — and how they feel about things could impact whether you ever see each other again or not.
“It’s not just about you and what you’re hoping for,” says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of “Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today.” “Your date will also have expectations, and they may not be compatible with yours. If you’re hoping for a relationship, what you do tonight (and after) can make or break the deal.”
To that end, Tessina suggests being generally kind and courteous.
“Be amiable, but not overeager,” she says. If you’re dating a woman, you have to consider that she might not be used to having a man in her space. “Women are often feeling fragile on this first sleepover, so take it easy. Mind your manners.”
She also adds that if you’re invited over directly, rather than after going out together — such as being hosted for a romantic dinner, perhaps as a second or third date — that bringing flowers isn’t a bad idea. However, whether that’s the case will depend on your age — younger generations might be weirded out by such an overt display of traditional courtship.
Meanwhile, Connell Barrett, the founder of Dating Transformation and a dating coach with The League, says you should try to take the sleepover seriously — even if the relationship isn’t yet.
“The morning after, you want to make your date feel great about the decision they made — to take you into their bed, to be intimate,” he says. “While you’re not in a relationship yet, treat them like your partner, not a hook-up. Whisper sweet nothings, spoon, talk, tell them how great last night was.”
However, the best way to get an idea of how to be the perfect houseguest? According to Jor-El Caraballo, a relationship therapist and co-creator of Viva Wellness, it’s not to make too many assumptions.
“Ask, ask, ask,” Caraballo says. “Every person desires different things, so there is no one ‘right’ way to show someone that you’re a gentleman.”
“As a general rule, it’s nice to be polite and treat people with courtesy, but if it’s not genuine and coming from your heart, chances are your date can feel that,” he says. “Either they’ll dislike that and let you know or won’t consider your gentlemanly efforts important and just move on. The golden rule — ‘treat someone how you want to be treated’ — is a good place to start, and with periodically checking in for affirmative cues you can be sure that you’re on the path toward making a good impression.”
2. What Not to Do When Sleeping Over for the First Time
When it comes to things to avoid, there are also a handful of those to consider. For starters, it’s important not to treat the experience with a ‘been there, done that’ mentality, says Barrett.
“A big mistake is treating it in a casual, transactional manner,” he notes. “Don’t bounce at the crack of down with no more than a curt ‘bye.’ That makes the other person feel used and means you likely won’t be spending a second night at their place.”
As for concrete specifics to consider, Tessina notes that creating a mess and having poor bathroom hygiene are big don’ts, particularly for a female date.
“Be tidy in her place. Don’t leave your stuff all over,” she says. “If you use the bathroom or shower, make sure you leave it neat.”
Caraballo agrees that a guy’s use of a woman’s washroom can be a tricky hurdle to clear.
“Don’t leave the toilet seat up,” he advises.
As well, if your date has roommates or lives with family, it’s important to be conscious of that.
“Ask how you should behave in accordance with their house rules (maybe don’t walk around to the bathroom in the middle of the night, etc.),” Caraballo suggests.
Another good tip is to not be too demanding or over-assertive. You might be used to sleeping in a certain way, but in a new space, it’s a good idea to let your date set the tone in terms of how things function.
Of course, you can make requests — think something like “Is it cool if we leave the fan on? I get overheated easily at night” — but being insistent or simply doing what you want may leave your host feeling uncomfortable or annoyed.
As before, the guiding principle here is courtesy. Regardless of whether it’s a cramped apartment or a sprawling multi-story house, their home is their space and inviting you there is a bit of a gamble — so treat it (and them) with respect.
3. Coming on Too Strong vs. Seeming Too Distant
One potential conundrum of sleeping over for the first time is that it can be a very intimate moment.
Sleeping in the same bed with someone implies a certain amount of trust, and it’s something that we traditionally associate with married or long-term couples. However, if you’re just starting to date, you likely don’t know each other very well — and that can make for an awkward mismatch.
If you lean into being romantic and affectionate, it might send the other person a signal that you’re very serious about them, even if you aren’t; alternately, if you intentionally put the brakes on things like post-coital cuddling and pillow talk, they might think you’re rude, distant or uninterested.
The best way to deal with that uncertainty, according to Caraballo, is to be communicative, rather than overconfident about what your date is looking for.
“I think the biggest mistakes guys (and really anyone) can make is making assumptions about what’s supposed to happen or not happen next,” he says. “While I know many people frown at the idea of being explicit in communication, it’s always helpful to check in with your partner to make sure that they’re feeling comfortable and that you know what their expectations are and if you can meet them.”
Barrett agrees that being open to communication is important — and notes that you should focus on ensuring your host doesn’t feel like you’re just using them for sex.
“Be present to how your date’s feeling and don’t overdo this, but let them know that even though this is casual, it’s about more than sex. They want to know you like them for who they are.”
4. How to Handle Leaving in the Morning
One of the most important aspects of a post-hookup sleepover is how it ends.
Why? Well, that’s the last time you’ll see each other for a little while — it could be just a few hours or it could be weeks. Or, if things go badly, it could be for good.
If your time together has been going well but you botch the ending, that could leave an unpleasant aftertaste in your host’s mouth, as it were, and change their perspective on how they feel things really went. But by the same token, if the hookup was only so-so, you can still potentially turn things around by nailing your departure.
Tessina suggests planning for the morning after the night before — that way you have some kind of plan — rather than just deciding what to do when you wake up.
“If you have to leave at a certain time, let your date know the night before,” she says. “Don’t just rush out.”
Barrett agrees that discussing the morning strategy before you fall asleep is a good move.
“If you’re not sure you’ll want to lounge away the morning with your date, the night before, say that you’re meeting a friend in the morning,” he advises. “This way, if you both want to have a long, lazy sleep-in and spend more time together, you can always say you moved the appointment. And if you’d rather get going sooner, you can bounce without any bad feelings.”
That being said, if things are going well, Tessina suggests sticking around for anything your host offers, like coffee or breakfast, and potentially re-initiating some of last night’s physical affection, like kissing or hugging, and telling them you had a great time the night before — unless you didn’t.
“If it wasn’t wonderful for either of you, then say something like ‘I guess that didn’t go so well,’” she advises.
Caraballo suggests taking what, if anything, you know about your date’s personality into consideration when you wake up the next morning and are wondering how to proceed.
“This is highly subjective, and obviously pretty tricky territory,” he says. “If you haven’t talked about the morning plans before the sun rises, I think the best bet is to be honest in your exit.”
What does that imply, exactly?
“Do what feels right for you, and consider what feels like a reasonable and ethically compassionate exit, given the interaction,” Caraballo explains. “Does your date seem like someone who you appreciate a simple note left? What about a wake-up kiss? It all depends on the mood, but take the circumstances into consideration.”
One thing Barrett cautions against in particular is staying too long — a scenario which can make people too shy to ask you to leave or feel trapped in their own home, especially if they weren’t expecting you to be there initially.
“Don’t overstay your welcome,” he advises. “Your date might have things to do. Ask them first thing in the morning, ‘What’s your day looking like?’ They may have somewhere to be. If they don’t and you want to enjoy more time with them, suggest taking them out for brunch, coffee or doughnuts.”
Even if you don’t go out somewhere together, ending on a high note is a good idea, Barrett adds.
“Leave your date feeling great,” he says. “If you want to see them again, tell them.”
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Here’s How Ugly Guys, Average Guys and Handsome Guys Can Find Love
From birth, women are told they need to be beautiful. They’re confronted by the message everywhere they look — fashion billboards, magazine covers, movies and music videos.
The idea even worms its way into decidedly non-visual media, taking the form in books that describe female protagonists’ beauty, love songs that go on about how beautiful the singer’s lover is and the compliments people pay little girls.
RELATED: This Subtle Sexist Double-Standard Might Be Ruining Your Dating Chances
But even though that shallow view of women is undoubtedly not equally placed on young boys growing up, that doesn’t mean that men aren’t conscious of their looks at all. While it might be easier for a guy to dress sloppily or groom himself little if at all, many men internalize messages of how to look growing up, and come out of it feeling ugly.
That feeling of inferiority, whether it’s about your looks or about anything else, can really hamper your ability to find romantic success. Not because of how you actually look, however, but because if you’re expecting other people to treat you badly, you’ll be starting every date and flirtatious conversation off on the wrong foot.
But no matter what you look like, it’s possible to have dating success. The most charming average-looking guy will have way more success on the dating scene than a devastatingly handsome guy with a deeply unpleasant personality, and a so-called ugly guy who makes the people he’s with feel great will be much more attractive to lots of people than a decent-looking guy who treats everyone he dates like garbage.
Don’t believe me? To prove it, we spoke to a dating coach and two psychologists about the relative unimportance of looks when it comes to dating success.
It’s Time to Stop Overestimating the Importance of Looks
“Men put way too much importance on their looks, especially straight guys,” says Connell Barrett, a dating coach with The League and the founder of DatingTransformation.com. “We project our world view onto women. Men prioritize visual beauty, so we assume women do the same. But women are more attracted to behavior, confidence and intelligence. Good looks are a nice bonus to women, but a guy can [be ugly or handsome], as long as he makes his date feel good vibes. For most women, physical attractiveness doesn’t crack top 10.”
This focus on looks is rarely a case of men patting themselves on the back for being handsome. In fact, many men who could be considered traditionally handsome still view their looks as underwhelming or disappointing.
“It’s not just average-looking men [worrying about their looks],” notes Barrett. “Many objectively handsome guys fight this fear because they don’t have six-pack abs or runway-model looks.”
All that anxiety doesn’t add up to much, according to Jor-El Caraballo, a relationship therapist and co-creator of Viva Wellness.
“I generally think that (straight) men overestimate the importance of looks with dating,” he says. “While there is no definition of success that’s objective, I do think that men could work on being more compassionate with themselves and focus on what they do bring to the table rather than what they think they are lacking. This will help them appear more confident and self-aware, and those are very attractive qualities.”
What to Focus on Instead of Your Looks
“There’s so much media focus on looks that we all get the impression that looks are most important,” says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of “Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today.”
Instead, she suggests men consider focusing more on their grooming habits. “While styles change, being clean and tidy is always attractive. There’s a grunge look being advertised now, but don’t be too gritty. Clean up your act, wear some acceptable clothing, and look your best.”
If you’re already well-groomed but you still feel like your looks put you at a disadvantage, there are tons of other things people look for in a male partner, regardless of their gender.
“A man can do many things to become more attractive,” states Barrett. “He can develop his sense of humor because everyone loves to laugh. He can become a better, more present listener because everyone loves to be heard. He can communicate in a more expressive, less filtered way because a man who ‘tells it like it is’ is magnetic.”
Even outside of self-improvement, a simple mental switch can help you feel more confident. According to Barrett, a guy who’s struggling to feel handsome should “focus on and feature the traits that make him a great catch — the fact that he, say, speaks three languages or has a cool job or makes amazing guacamole.”
How to Have Dating Success No Matter What You Look Like
How to Have Dating Success If You’re Insecure About Your Looks
Step one to overcoming a feeling of ugliness in the dating game? Working on your confidence.
“Insecurity about looks is kryptonite for a guy’s dating success,” says Barrett. “If you’re out on a date and burdened by thoughts of ‘I’m not good looking,’ then you’re toast.”
How much fun would you have if you could tell your date was super insecure about their looks? Probably not much. Instead, try to re-frame what the focus is, highlighting what makes you attractive rather than what you feel makes you unattractive.
“Play to your strengths,” he adds. “Tell great stories. Crack jokes. Be vulnerable. Find commonalities. Learn to flirt. Become a better man and showcase your real, vulnerable, always-improving self.”
Tessina argues that connection is the real place that attraction manifests itself, and connection can develop with no real regard to looks.
“You’re at your most attractive when you’re a good listener, who clearly cares about what your date is saying,” she says. “Show interest. Don’t let nerves cause you to talk non-stop. Give them a lot of chances to tell you who they are and what they like.”
And even if you’re insecure about some aspect of your body you definitely can’t change, whether you’re too short or too tall, too heavy or too slight, you can put a new spin on how you come across with the right style and grooming choices.
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“In dating, your looks don’t matter, but your look matters,” says Barrett. “You can’t change your face without a surgeon’s knife, but you can upgrade your style today. Buy shirts and pants that look fitter for your body, wear quality shoes, get a great haircut. Dressing sharp makes you feel more confident, and when you’re more confident, you’re more attractive.”
If you’re not sure where to start, consider asking for help from someone whose fashion sense you respect, or by asking salespeople in clothing stores what they’d recommend.
Regardless, if you’re willing to put in a little effort in that department, it can totally revolutionize your look (and your confidence) without much time or even money.
How to Have Dating Success If You Feel Like You Look Average
Feeling like you’re average-looking can feel like a death sentence for your dating chances.
But even if you don’t feel like your looks are holding you back, feeling stuck in the middle can sap you of your confidence in a heartbeat — particularly in a modern dating culture that can feel completely looks-obsessed at times.
However, according to some anecdotal data, what really resonates in dating app photos isn’t your looks so much as how happy you look.
“With Tinder and the apps, the attractiveness of your photos largely corresponds to the emotions you convey in the shots,” notes Barrett. “I’ve run countless tests on Photofeeler, and pictures that show a man smiling or laughing rate twice or even three times as attractive as the shots where the guys do a smoldering, [runway model]-type pose. To be more attractive on Tinder and get more matches, dress great, look into the lens and smile.”
Tessina, for her part, notes that average-looking guys can take their attractiveness up a notch by being strong conversationalists.
“Don’t sound average,” she advises. “Have some conversational topics that will interest a woman. Make sure she knows you care about who she is, not just how she looks.”
How to Have Dating Success If You’re Confident in Your Looks
Compared to all the less visually fortunate men out there, handsome guys might think they’ve got it made on the dating scene, but as noted above, looks aren’t the be-all and end-all of attraction.
Barrett, for one, cautions handsome guys not to get so cocky about their looks alone to get them dates.
“Think of it like this,” he says. “Jerry Seinfeld said that famous comedians get a ‘grace period’ at the start of a performance, but after a few minutes the audience says, ‘OK, time for you to deliver.’ In the same way, great-looking guys can’t rest on the laurels of their looks. They still have to connect, to flirt, to be interested, to be authentic, and be the best men they can be.”
Good looks might cause people to seek you out in greater numbers, particularly on looks-focused apps like Tinder, but love (and even good dates) is more than just a numbers game.
If you’re handsome as hell but feel lonely all the time or struggle to get matches or good conversations on online dating sites and apps, trying to unhook your expectations and approach from your looks and focusing on what you can bring in terms of your personality and developing true connections will do you a world of good when it comes to your love life — just as it will for guys who feel like they’re ugly.
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