In the matchmaking world, dating apps are definitely vilified. I get it. Dating apps can be dangerous. And they can be a massive waste of time. Plus, some people are just too sensitive to deal with the exposure and rejections. So, yeah, there are a lot of downsides to dating apps. But the truth is, most singles are using them. And I know from my own personal experience, as well as the experience of my clients that it is still possible to meet someone on apps. I’ve spent literally thousands of hours on apps recruiting potential matches for clients, so at this point, I basically have a PhD in dating apps. But why do some people seem to rock dating apps and always find a relationship, while others are just wasting their time? If you’re interested in learning how to find a relationship on dating apps, read on because I’ve broken it down for you in 6 simple steps.
1) Know What Your Dealbreakers Are
To get what you want, you first have to KNOW what you want. It’s amazing to me how many singles I talk to who literally have no idea what they are looking for in a partner. I call this the spaghetti method. They throw a bunch of spaghetti (or swipes) at the wall and just go with whoever sticks around.
This is not an effective strategy for finding a long term partner and it’s the number one reason you and all of your friends are burned out from dating apps.
To actually be successful online dating you need to be laser focused on what you are looking for. I know a lot of people haven’t really thought about dating this way and are probably scratching their heads. If you have no idea what you’re really looking for, the easiest thing to do is to start with what you don’t want.
Let’s start backwards. Think back on your last relationships. Why did they end? What didn’t work? What are the aspects of those relationships you are absolutely not under any circumstances bringing into your next relationship? These are your dealbreakers, Know them. Own them. Do NOT bend on them.
Some examples of dealbreakers might be:
-Poor relationship with money
-Lack of work ethic
-No passions or dreams
Now do your list!
2) Be Honest About What Your Want
A huge trap I find women falling into is that they want a relationship but they don’t want to own that fact. When did it become uncool to be honest with people about what we want?
This is what I see happening. A woman knows she wants a relationship. She does not ever tell the guy she is dating this fact, assuming that he knows what she wants and that he feels the same way. Eventually, she stops seeing other people. Friends ask her if they have had the talk about exclusivity. She says, “No, but I know we are serious and he isn’t seeing other people. Why would we need to talk about it?” He is, in fact, seeing other people and has no desire for a relationship.
Broken heart ensues.
Here’s the thing, we are all adults. And dating apps are a mixed bag. If you want a relationship, you need to be honest about it. And you need to actually ask people what they want. Personally, I recommend having this discussion before you meet someone. A lot of singles tell me that is too awkward. Sometimes being an adult means pushing through awkwardness in order to be true to yourself and get what you want. If the person you are chatting with is also looking for a relationship, they will be honest and you can move forward with more comfort. If they are not, they will be honest and not go out with you.
If someone decides not to go out with you because you aren’t looking for the same things, don’t look at it as rejection. They just SAVED you time and potential heartache.
Another trap women fall into is they want to date someone but that person does not want a relationship. The woman for some reason thinks, “Oh, well if we start having sex he will eventually want a relationship with me.” No, he won’t. And you will end up heartbroken, having wasted more time & energy on a dead end.
The truth will always come out in the end, so let’s set the tone for all of our relationships and start being honest up front.
3) Don’t Try To Impress Anyone
Oh man, I was sooo guilty of this in the past. Some of us treat every date like a job interview. We are on our best and most polished behavior. Sure, we blur the lines and fudge details a bit, but who doesn’t in a job interview? We smile, nod, fake laugh, then go home hoping we get an offer.
But wait, where was our real personality? Did we take the time to figure out if we even want the job?
So many women see a relationship as the end goal and will do anything to get there. But being so focused on their goal, they forget to play the field. They forget to test the water to see if they could actually be compatible and happy with the person they are on a date with.
You aren’t trying to impress anyone here. You’re trying to see if your authentic selves can create joy and harmony in a relationship. Pretending to be someone you are not will not lead to a lasting connection. When the truth comes out, it will just leave both parties confused and disappointed.
4) Keep An Open Mind
While having no deal breakers or standards is a huge problem on dating apps, the opposite can be just as much of an issue. I have worked with a lot of clients who had obsessively specific requirements and absurdly high standards.
“Must be 5’2 or below, brown hair, brown eyes, dark skin tone, Jewish, good sense of humor, works in medical field, size 2 or below, great in bed.”
“6 foot or above, makes more than 300k a year, lives in the city, but prefers country living, eats all organic, prefers to eat at home, but also appreciates fine dining, likes to cook, but lets the woman do most of the cooking, must have a spiritual practice, but not a religious background, only flies first class, works remotely, philanthropist, aware of current events, does not hunt or own guns, no strong political leanings, but still follows politics.”
There is more wrong with both of these list than the fact that they are obsessively specific. The main issue is that these attributes have nothing to do with whether this person with make a good partner. Both of these lists are so specific and focused on the superficial they will inevitably rule out great matches who are partner material.
Both of these people will be disappointed by anyone they meet and are likely using their absurd requirements to cover up an avoidant attachment style and pain from previous relationships. I mean really, how many people can actually meet these standards.
One of the dangers of dating apps is that it’s easy to rule people out based on the superficial. But those aspects do not tell you whether or not this person will be a good long term partner for you. Focus your energy on getting to know people and what they bring to the table as a life partner. Sure, maybe he is 5’8, but he also invests his money wisely, has a great sense of humor, works on himself, and will make a devoted father. What is more important to you?
For more on putting together an authentic, soul based list, check out my article here.
5) Be Willing to Walk Away
So you’ve invested a few dates, or even a few months in someone, only to realize they aren’t really what you are looking for and violate one of your deal breakers. What do you do? Without hesitation you walk away. Saying no to what you do not want is a huge step towards manifesting what you do want.
So why do singles struggle with this step so much?
For one they are already emotionally involved. Attachment happens just through spending time with someone, but if you’ve already had sex your bonding hormones have kicked into overdrive and are telling you to stay put. It’s one of the major reasons I tell my clients to wait to have sex until they have established exclusivity. The reality is, it’s harder to walk away once you have had sex. But if you are serious about finding a long term relationship, you have to walk away from anything that does not serve you.
6) Set Boundaries
Yes, of course with the people you are dating. But I also mean with yourself. If you are on dating apps for hours every day and responding to messages whenever they pop up, you are going to get burned out. Plus answering messages after 10 pm starts to send the wrong message to potential suitors.
One tool I recommend in my free ebook, Mindful Dating in the Digital World (download here to learn more on how to find a relationship on dating apps) is to set office hours for when you are available on dating apps. Limit yourself to one hour of swiping a day. And while you are using the apps, actually give them your full attention. There’s nothing worse than watching a movie or grabbing a coffee with a friend only for them to spend the whole time swiping and responding to messages. That’s just shortchanging your friends and the guys you are messaging.
Set aside limited time to swipe and respond to messages. Trust me, this will help keep you focused on the task at hand, i.e. finding a partner, rather than using dating apps as a way to fill your time when you’re bored or make you feel good about yourself when you’re feeling down. Both of those things are tempting distractions that will get in the way of finding a relationship.
How to Find a Relationship on Dating Apps: Making it Work for You
It might seem like I’m laying out a bunch of rules here. And trust me, I know there’s already hundreds of books and articles filled with rules for dating. But the main point I’m trying to make here (and in all my work) is self worth. All of these rules are about putting yourself, your needs, and your heart first. When dating, it’s easy to put your desire for a relationship before everything, but that will never work when it comes to manifesting in a high quality, serious relationship on dating apps. That’s how you end up losing yourself in a relationship.
Put your needs first, set clear boundaries and communicate them, take the time to learn about yourself and figure out your needs in a relationship. Be a person who values themselves. Be honest. Be authentic. That’s all you really need, despite the hundreds of books out there.
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