From knowing how to flirt online to actually getting to the point where you meet in real life, online dating is hard. When you've never tried dating apps or sites, you imagine it's part amazing window shopping for people and you have witty banterathons. But it's exhausting, and a lot of times, it's more frustrating than fun. But when used correctly and with a bit of luck, it's also great way to meet a whole range of people and actually get dates. So how can you use it effectively?
I spoke to Laurie Davis Edwards, founder of eFlirt, and author of Love @ First Click, to get the best piece of online flirting advice out there. She said it all boils down to one thing: You need to create consistency.
"It's so easy to download an app or join a site and think: 'I'm putting myself out there!'" she tells Bustle. "But if you're not actively using the tool you opted-in to, you're not much closer to meeting someone. I talk to my clients often about how meeting someone takes momentum. And the way to create momentum is consistent action. When you log in daily, search or swipe through matches, and send messages, you'll create consistency not only in your online dating life, but in your offline dates too!" That's right, the momentum and back and forth you create online can translate to real life.
So How Do You Do It?
As anyone who's done online dating knows, it's easier said than done. And it means taking the initiative rather than sitting around waiting for things to happen. She explains: "Creating consistency means being proactive versus reactive. When you react only to those who message you or are interested in you, the quality of who you end up connecting with isn't always spot on. But when you're proactive and find the people you're interested in connecting with, the experience is often more meaningful. That consistency can continue in your budding relationships when you log in to the site or app you're on daily. Then, things are truly moving forward."
But being consistent isn't always easy — so how do you do it? "We live in a culture of busyness, where we all have a thousand things on our to-do lists," she says. "Our clients all struggled with consistency before working with — because sometimes the busyness takes over. They find it helpful to outsource some of the digital details to us so they can focus their energy on date nights and budding relationships rather than searching and messaging. Whether the consistency comes from you or us doesn't matter, it's all about moving you one message closer to your right click."
That back and forth that comes from regular messaging has its own flirtation — you're establishing communication and closeness. But you have to log on.
So from first swipe your first date, it's important to put some effort if you want better results. Make sure you initiate the conversation or reply quickly, create momentum, and keep that chatting up. That makes flirtation so much easier than if you dip in and out every week. Yes, we're all really busy and I don't think dating should take up your entire life — it never did for me. But let's be real, sending a message takes five minutes. Take the time on your commute or when you're at home relaxing, read their last message, and then just send a reply in a timely and thoughtful way. Put in some time, then the flirting will happen naturally.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (2)