Whether dating apps are causing a “dating apocalypse” or are merely the easiest way to get a date, there’s no denying these tools have been total gamechangers in the dating scene within the last few years. And even though dating apps are most popular among millennials, according to a recent Bustle survey with dating app Happn of over 1,000 dating app users, 78 percent of women and 85 percent of men still want to meet people IRL. That’s why for the second year in a row, Bustle is deeming April, “App-less April” and encouraging our staff and readers to delete their dating apps for 30 days and meet people the old-fashioned way: offline. With participants tracking their progress and tricks and tips from dating experts, we’ll be helping you feel empowered to meet people IRL all month long. Today’s topic: Raeeka Yaghmai, certified dating coach and relationship expert, gives tips on dating without dating apps.
A big part of dating in the 21st century is online dating, especially among Millennials, and that can take a lot of energy. And because online dating brings so much information to us in such a short amount of time, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. Taking a break from dating apps can help you approach dating and from a fresh perspective. This means that while you’re on a break, you can still be intentional about giving yourself the opportunity to grow and creating your love life in other ways. During Bustle’s App-Less April, a challenge to delete your dating apps for a month, you can make changes in your dating life by:
1) Taking the time to work on self-growth and self-empowerment while taking a break from dating. At Dating with Confidence™, I call this a “Dating Detox” — a time to step away from dating so you can regroup and focus on yourself to ensure you’re coming from a place of confidence and authenticity when you come back to dating.
2) Taking the time to work on self-growth and self-empowerment while continuing to date by getting better at your in-person skills. I call this a “Digital Dating Detox.”
Regardless of which you choose, here are six actionable tips to empower your dating approach and support you in creating your desired love life:
Connecting digitally gives us the illusion that we’re in contact with a lot of people, but the human connection gets lost through email and social media. It’s so important to interact with people around you in real life, so make an effort to hang out with your friends and family. This will help build your sense of community and support while dating, and it also helps you to ground yourself and to approach dating from a more secure mindset. (Note: Just make sure those you connect with are supportive and positive about your dating — avoid people who support any limiting beliefs around dating, love, and relationships.)
Most people in or looking for successful careers spend 16-20 years educating themselves to qualify for that career. But there are no courses in our educational curriculum teaching us how to date effectively. Choosing a quality partner is one of the most important decisions we will make: we are literally inviting someone else into our lives, trusting, sharing, and being vulnerable with them. Having effective tools to date successfully is one of the major keys to creating love life success! There are many dating and love coaches like myself — do your research, and pick one who resonates with you and learn from them.
While on the journey to find love with a quality partner, every experience is an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and our needs in a relationship. Write down what you’ve learned, what you want to change and create, and most of all, who you need to be to create your love life’s vision. Avoid outlining how tall or good looking they should be, or how much money you want your partner to make — focus on what you want to feel and experience.
Lean more into who you are by connecting to your heart and to what positive values are must haves in your life. Then, take this month to model those values. For example, if love is an important value, how will you demonstrate and exude love in your daily life? And if you’ve been hurt in the past and don’t want to repeat the same situation, stay away from fear-based values like overprotecting or not making mistakes. Instead, focus on trusting yourself and listening to your intuition. The more you anchor to who you are, the easier it is to attract your right match.
Head to a coffee shop and open up a conversation with a person you find attractive. Don’t worry about pushing to make a relationship happen, just practice flirting by being nice, smiling, giving a compliment, or asking a question. If nothing else, your kindness and smile just made someone else’s day brighter.
Locations with happy hours near corporate workplaces, empowerment retreats, language classes, hiking groups, sporting events, networking events…if you want to meet a great person, go to places where you might find a person with similar interests as you. If you’re interested in the same activity, you already have something in common to talk about.
When you come back to online dating after App-less April or however long you decide to take a break for, you’ll be more confident in who you are and how you want to show up, as well as more accustomed to the feeling of there being a person behind that profile picture and text. To your dating success!