Dating in 2021
To be single in 2021 would be pretty difficult. There’s no bars, less public places where people are congregating, and I don’t even know the status of university and college campuses.
Online is a much larger pool of candidates, which is a good and a bad thing. There’s more to distract, but also higher potential to meet someone that is into the things that you are, and someone that ticks the boxes.
As with all things, building a connection is the difficult part because of the distance. And, you may run into people that aren’t into meeting up anytime soon. That’s a challenge, but I think it can be overcome.
“But Josh! You met your girlfriend in 2019, how can you give me advice for 2021?”
Because the rules still apply.
I’ve also been online dating since before it went mainstream and it was something you wouldn't admit to your friends that you were doing (I know many people would say it is today, too) back in 2011. I was an early adopter to most of these platforms.
I know the ropes. I’ve been around the block. The game hasn’t changed, the pools just gone from the size of a hot tub to an ocean.
My feelings about online apps are mixed. On one hand, I met my girlfriend on one. On the other, I know that the fear of rejection has created people that don’t even try in the real world to meet someone - they can’t approach due to overwhelming fear and social anxiety.
When the world is back to normal, I highly recommend you use online means as a supplement rather than a panacea. You still have to meet these people in real life if things are to at all progress, and the social skills you learn from real life interaction are priceless.
So, with all that out of the way, how do you do it?
1. Use the app(s) that match the level of intent
Tinder is for hookups, stroking of egos, and padding social media followings.
Bumble is built on a gender dynamic that doesn’t work.
Hinge actually has quite large potential.
And before you call me “sexist” or “mysoginistic” (I don’t even know how to spell that word) about Bumble, realise that women like men that open conversations, and will likely have disdain for a man they meet on there because they had to do the opening. I don’t write the rules, I just know how the world works. It also says a lot about the man if he doesn’t make the first move. Be bold, gentlemen.
Tinder in it’s early days had quite potential, but in 2019 (when I last used it) I noticed there was an obvious “pay-to-play” aspect to it. Men had to purchase gold in order to really even be seen, and it’s a low commitment app - you don’t have to read anything or go into any profile, you just swipe. I’ve met many a woman who also says they use it just to feel hot and have no intention of ever meeting up with a guy on there. Pick your poison.
Hinge, on the other hand, has a much more significant buy-in from the beginning: you have to read the person’s profile and can even make a move before you’ve even matched. You have more opportunity to show your true self, make people laugh or comment on something you have written, and it’s more geared toward people that have longer term intentions. That’s massive. I met my girlfriend on there.
2. Instagram and Social Presence
“But you said you’re taking 2 months off social media!”
Yeah, I also don’t have to worry about meeting women. If I were in the game in 2021, my social presence would be pretty broad and I would curate my content (more than I already do). That’s not to be fake or show people that you drive a lambo and live in a mansion if you really don’t, it is to show the best aspect of you and your personality.
Instagram is untapped as a dating app, and there’s a massive user base. I’m taking time off of it because it’s a distraction unto itself with the options (that I don’t need).
How do you use it?
Simply search your geolocation.
Go to most recent posts with your city tagged.
Scroll through the photos to people that you find attractive.
Like the photo.
Go to their profile and like one a little further back.
Sit and wait.
If they like a photo of yours back, you might be in luck.
Follow them. If they follow back, you are now given a green light.
Wait a couple days.
See how active they are on their stories. Comment on one.
You are now in their DMs.
If your profile is good, and you’re attractive, you may even have people add you and try to “shoot their shot” as all the girls are calling it these days. It’s happened to me a few times. I politely say “you’re awesome for taking the leap, but no thanks”. Everyone’s day is made better.
I don’t know how this applies to Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter. I would assume it’s fairly similar, but your mileage may vary. Instagram just has the largest number of young people and provides a massive net.
I know the youngings like to “text” on snapchat, so you’re probably going to want that app. If you’re a weirdo like me that moves all his friends to Signal or Telegram, you might face some resistance. Hey, if they already use those apps though, they’re either a drug dealer or they value their privacy. Win-win (I’m just kidding, mom.)
3. For the Love of God, Stop answering these prompts directly
The #1 Complaint you will hear from people on dating apps is that people take themselves too seriously. They answer questions directly, they say “no fat chicks” or “guys over 6ft only”.
You should be enjoying yourself. That means you should answer these questions with as little investment as possible. Or, do a ratio of 2 to 1 not serious to serious.
Let me reiterate - you should answer two questions with no investment whatsoever, and one you can answer with a little more depth.
I had a profile I could sell on Hinge, I always got compliments on my responses. This is not me stroking my ego, I’m serious.
Go watch this podcast in where I talk about it:
I am also doing dating profile audits, send me inquirys to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Do not post mirror selfies
If you are an attractive woman, you can disregard this.
Actually, if you are an attractive woman, you can pretty much disregard this entire post.
Men, I’m talking directly to you. You need to do better on this. If you have a friend with a camera, go get some photos taken and do a shoot with him/her. Yes, it’s pretty gay. Do you care? You shouldn't.
You are trying to put your best foot forward. You are not going to be doing so through the 2 megapixel camera on your Motorola Razr, you goofball.
Also, while we’re at it - Post fairly recent photos of yourself, or at least of this decade. It is pretty depressing walking up to a date and seeing the person 20 pounds heavier than their profile pics. I’m not shallow, I’m just honest. You’re starting the relationship with a lie, and you think it’s going to get any better from there??
5. Meet in person as soon as possible
Your goal is to move the online interaction to in person as quickly as humanly possible.
These days, it’s a little more difficult, but do your best.
I can give you dozens of first hand accounts in which I have “met” someone online, only to never really meet them in real life. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.
Move the interaction off the app asap, then move that interaction to in-person. You’re not here to make ’texting buddies’.
Act like it.
6. Be yourself.
Ah, the timeless advice.
You can only hold up an act for so long. If you’re a different person in real life than online, people figure that out pretty darn easily. I always got compliments on my authenticity. My response has always been “people act different from their online personas????”
Your job is not to make someone like you. Your job is to put out into the world who you really are. You will attract what and who you are.
I will say that again: You are not here to make people like you. You are here to put your real self out into the world, and to see if you match with someone that values and respects that.
People get it twisted. They think that if only they can say the right thing, then that guy or girl will love them.
Here’s what happens when you aim to always say the right thing: you inevitably will one day say the wrong thing, and then glass shatters the person comes to the realisation that’s not who you really are (or were).
Save yourself the time, embarrassment, and headache. Be authentically you, and stop being someone you’re not.
There you go. How to date in 2021. If you have any further tips, post them below. I would love to hear how things have changed in the world over the last year or so for the single people.