Whoever said dating was fun was either seriously disturbed or already in a relationship. Because honestly, it’s rough out there. Dating in today’s world is like trying to carry a balloon through a cactus field — impossible, because it’s filled with pricks. I’ve done the DM date (spoiler, it didn’t work out). I’ve swiped more than a windshield wiper (hello, hand cramps). I’ve even gone to a singles party, and well, it was an experience, to say the least. No matter the avenue, the common takeaway is that dating is a total drag, and not in a fun, bottomless brunch type of way. And yet, we all keep trying, because there has to be hope somewhere, right?
This one goes out to all the cynical daters; you know who you are. The ones who are out there in the trenches, braving the arduous journey of dating through apps, DMs, and yes, even singles parties, all in the pursuit of not dying alone — or at least not going to the movies alone. Consider this your guide to surviving dating when you despise dating.
Ditch The DMs
You know how the saying goes: float like a butterfly, sting like an unanswered DM. A lot can go down in the DMs, but dating isn’t one of them. While celebs like Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas may have started their romance in the depths of Instagram, let’s remember, they are the exception and not the rule. I think we can all admit by now that sliding into DMs is overdone. Anyone going into the DMs for a date is most likely looking for a hot hookup that validates their vanity rather than a relationship. Plus, any prospective suitor who asks for your Instagram handle in lieu of your phone number is probably a fuckboy disguised as an eligible bachelor.
DM might as well stand for Don’t Mate, because it’s almost always a mistake. I hate to break it to you, but nobody who is randomly sending a fire emoji on your story is in it for a rom-com worthy romance. Accept the flattery and ego boost and move on. Prince Charming didn’t send out a mass memo looking for the hot chick with the chic glass shoes — he put in actual effort. If Cinderella can get a royal search party, you can get an actual phone call and a dinner reservation.
Tap That App
Meet cutes seem to be a thing of the past. Your odds of reaching for a cappuccino with extra foam at the same time as someone with unbelievably good looks, a solid job, and the perfect opening line is sadly unrealistic *sigh*. Dating has gone digital. If you haven’t downloaded or interacted on a dating app, you’re lying. There’s no shame in the swiping game, but it can be hit or miss to get a match that makes you want to send a flirty message, let alone awkwardly meet in real life. Dating through the apps is basically a casting call where you’ve already landed the lead role, so swipe with the same confidence as a 5’10’’ guy who says he’s 6’0’’ and find someone that’s fit for your supporting role.
So, what’s the secret to landing a successful match on the apps? Just keep swiping. It may be bleak, and at times comical, but odds are if you keep swiping you may just land on someone who doesn’t make you physically ill. Go have the coffee, the cocktail, or the cringey hiking date — the worst that can happen is you have a story to tell on the next one — or in my case, write an article on it.
Party In Person
I was looking for love in a hopeless place (aka LA), which led me to a spot where I never thought I would be: at a singles party. To be clear, at a Chaotic Singles Party thrown by influencer Cassidy Davis. The concept here being that everyone is single and ready to not be single anymore. It’s like going to a bar on a typical night, except everyone there has the same goal, and you can’t use the excuse “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” when you’re not interested.
I entered the evening with no expectations. This could be the night where I potentially meet my future ex… or pull an Ariana and say “thank you, next” to all who passed by. Well? I made small talk with the best of them, but that was where it began and ended. While I may not have found someone to accept my rose at the end of the night, I did leave with a few fresh thoughts. 1) Singles parties are a great idea and chaos makes them even better. 2) There should be a free drink ticket provided at entry to make “buying” someone a drink an easier and more cost-effective opener. 3) If you don’t find anyone to date, you can still find other single people to be friends with and party together in the future.
So yes, dating is a drag. But inflation is too high and married people get tax breaks, so it’s time to get out there and lock it down. Choose your poison. Get down and digital, or pick an in-person party and go for it. And most importantly, if you cross paths with any 6’1’’ Australian male models, send them my way!