Having trouble losing that extra 10 lbs. of online dating frustration? Here's a suggestion:
Go on a digital dating diet.
It's not a breakup, and it's not forever, it's just a way to add balance and quality back into your dating menu before you totally burn out and dump online dating altogether.
Dating sites and apps are a lot of work. All that searching, swiping, typing, texting, winking, liking, browsing and chatting is practically a full-time job. Add in the frustrating lack of follow up and follow through from potential dates, and no wonder you want to say to hell with it.
Online dating is also a giant time suck. A recent survey from online magazine The Week found that online daters spend an average of two hours a day on their mobile dating apps. That's two hours of having your head down in your phone every day. My neck is killing me just thinking about it.
And then there's the issue of "ghosting," that online dating practice used by cowards who disappear into thin air after making contact. I don't care if you're online and nameless, never leave someone hanging.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-technology; in fact, I think technology is the greatest thing to ever happen to dating. So many apps, so many options! Swipe right or right click and you can find lasting love, or a quick hookup if you're bored and horny.
Just in case you haven't been introduced, there's Tinder, a location-based dating app that matches up strangers; Hinge, a mobile app that accesses friends of friends on Facebook; Bumble, the app where chicks are in control; and The League, a dating app for elitists. And let's not forget old standbys Match, JDate, PlentyofFish, OurTime, and OkCupid, which also have apps.
There's a lot to love about digital dating: it can build your confidence, boost your ego, keep you busy, and get you back in the game if you're newly single. I went back online after every breakup and I found it good therapy.
In fact, I met my husband on Facebook, so thanks technology!
But digital dating isn't everything. When you rely too heavily on your phone to play matchmaker or when your computer becomes your sole source of social contact, you've got problems.
Your dating life shouldn't exist on a screen.
Diets are horrible and I hate them, but this diet is different. It will free you. You'll feel lighter, less stressed, more liberated, and your neck will thank you. Here's how to get started:
PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN, PICK YOUR HEAD UP, AND LOOK AROUND!
I guarantee you will see just as many dating options in front of your face as you do online, except these options are real walking, talking people instead of profile pictures and usernames. You can see for yourself if they're really that old, that out of shape, or that good looking!
The League dating app says it aims to "make offline cool again." Excuse me, but when was being offline ever uncool? The last time I checked, meeting people the old-fashioned way, FACE-TO-FACE was preferred, not passé.
Going offline isn't a lost art, although it does take practice especially if you've been digitally dependent for a while. Just in case you're a little rusty, here's a few ideas:
A local coffee house
The grocery store
The putting green at a public golf course
A yoga studio
Hobbies and classes
A dog park
One of the best places to meet people is through volunteering. You can hook up while you change the world!
Remember, you don't need a screen to meet someone. You don't need to boot up, log on, or check in. All you have to do is make eye contact and smile.
It's like swiping in real life.
If you can think of dating apps and sites as a supplement, not as your entire subsistence, you might actually free yourself up to make a real connection -- that is, if you can look up from your phone long enough.
So good luck with your digital diet, and don't worry: if you get bored and horny, relief is only a swipe away.