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What Is the Deal With Online Dating These Days?!

What Is the Deal With Online Dating These Days?!

Recently a single friend expressed angst about how much difficulty she is having using the dating apps, and I wanted to share with my readers the advice I offered her.

It’s not about you.  

At least, it’s probably not about you.  If you’ve had any amount of success in relationship in the past, there’s a good chance the cause of your dating app woes has to do with other factors.

If you’ve never had a successful relationship in your life, well then I’ll direct you to a post about attachment issues and healing, here.  It could be that doing a bit of self-work could get you to a better place from which to try to date.

But – assuming it’s not about you…

What IS it then?!

The answer to this is complex, so there will be multiple posts in this series.  

But first off, recognize that many people who had largely trauma-free, healthy childhoods will have secure attachment styles and will end up partnering with someone in their 20’s that they spend their life with.  So past a certain age (maybe late-20’s), the apps will host a higher-than-normal percentage of people with insecure attachment styles.  

Mind you:  there’s not anything wrong with having an insecure attachment style.  (It’s not your fault!)  

But having an insecure attachment style will make it significantly harder to have successful relationships.  Hence, a lot of the folks who are on dating apps have been on those dating apps on and off for over a decade now.  

Let’s say you’re not one of those people.  Or – let’s say you were one of those people, but you’ve since done the healing work to get to a more securely attached space.  

Then what?

Well, unfortunately, most of the people you encounter on the apps will be avoidant or an anxious-attacher, or some mix of the two.  

An avoidant is likely to ghost you or push you away if you start to show much interest in them. 

An anxiously attached person is likely to want to text you all day (and maybe night) and propose moving in in the first month or two.  

Pro-tip:  Neither of these are ideal!  Try to extract yourself from either of these situations as soon as possible.

So what can you do to try to meet people who have a secure attachment style?

Stay off the apps.

Try to meet people who share your interests.  Join a group on meetup.com, and get together with people in person.  Even if you don’t meet your person, you’ll still get to enjoy doing the things you do, which is far better than wasting hours swiping.

If you’re a person who likes touch and intimacy, consider joining a group that hosts in-person events focused on touch and cuddling.  You can find these via sites like meet.com.  If you live in the Asheville area, I recommend the Asheville Cuddle Collective.  At these events, you’ll meet like-minded, touch-loving people, and you’ll get a chance to see what they’re like in person, without wasting a bunch of time.  (And if you don’t like it, you can always leave!)

“But Xanet, I need the apps!”

If you feel you must use the apps, then I recommend using a strategy like the one I wrote about earlier called Burned Haystack Dating method.  This can help you minimize the amount of time you spend on the apps, and maximize your chances of success.

One thing I’ve loved seeing about the Burned Haystack Dating method is the improvement in mental health of the people who use the method.  The method requires you to exercise strict boundaries and set clear expectations.  Anyone who doesn’t meet them gets blocked, so they don’t show up in your feed again.  And, in many people’s experience, this forces the apps to show different and better matches, rather than recycling the ones you just swiped left on.

Using the method, you might “burn” through your stack of potential matches quickly, and then only see new people as they sign up on the app.  It means, for many people, that they only have a small handful of choices, but that’s actually far better than letting dozens of poor matches eat up all your time and attention.  

But I’ll say it again, because I really mean it:  If you want to have better luck in dating…

Stay Off The Apps!

Take a class.

Go to a dance.

Be vulnerable and tell your family and friends you’re single and looking to meet someone. 

But most importantly:  Live your best life!  

I know it sounds hokey.  But the more you embrace your solo life, the more you just start living for you, rather than waiting around for a partner to join you, the higher the odds are that your person is going to see you living your fabulous life and want to join you.

So there you have it:  

Get off the apps!  

And if you stay, Block to Burn, Baby!  

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