A couple of years ago, online dating was considered somewhat of a funny game. Yes, we’d right swipe and left swipe with our friends, laughing over familiar faces and odd profile picture choices. It just wasn’t really something people considered we’d hold on to for very long — just another fad from the tech world. Fast forward, and now it’s become the standard.
According to Pew, online dating has lost a lot of its stigma, as 59 percent people now believe it’s a good way to meet someone. Additionally, there’s a widespread belief by younger generations that serious commitment with someone else is on the backburner to have a better focus on career. Plus, online dating allows us to maximize our choices, allowing us to be more cautious about who we pick and choose.
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However, with so many choices and potential partners available at our fingertips, how do we maximize our efforts so A: We don’t get burnt, B: We don’t waste time, and C: We meet someone we genuinely care about?
Set your standards high.
There are thousands of people out there, but maybe only 5 to 10 percent are a good match. An excellent example of this is Sam Kamkar’s experiment with Tim Ferriss. Sam is best known for creating the largest computer virus to date via MySpace and applied his algorithmic formula to dating profiles.
It essentially worked like this: Sam aggregated all of the dating profiles around Los Angeles and had them sorted through with categories such as reading/writing level, which was then broken down again into finding the commonality of discarded profiles to be further efficient.
While most people probably don’t have the time or the skillset to take this approach, the overarching idea is simple: set a standard for yourself and stick with it.
I know some people are always quick to give the “just swipe right on every profile” advice, but that’s also the equivalent of saying “just click ‘yes’ every time someone asks you to subscribe to their mailing list.”
Bare in mind, we’re trying to be efficient here, so digging through and deleting matches that you had no intention of ever contacting in the first place is going to waste a lot of energy. It also can hurt your chances in the long run too (after all, these people have friends who you’re most likely right swiping too, right?)
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Instead, curate your profile to receive the best possible matches. Take some time selecting a good photo, jot down your true interests and come up with talking points you genuinely want to engage in.
In reality, this is a lot like setting up a coffee date with someone in your field. It’s curated based on your interests and requires a little risk.
Figure out how to let others do the work for you.
This is always a golden rule to growth hacking, but also one of the most sound pieces of advice available. A significant phenomenon that’s been growing lately is the use of group dating apps. Now, while we may laugh at this like we did when Tinder first came into our lives, it’s quickly becoming a popular trend. Why? Because going on double dates or having a friend set them up increases your chances.
Believe it or not, people who meet a potential partner through a friend end up in more successful relationships. This is due to an added level of trust and understanding that they have common philosophies and beliefs. Additionally, they usually run in similar circles, which means they have familiar interests.
There are a few ways on how you can maximize your efforts in this arena. First, advertise (privately and casually, of course) that you’re looking to go out with someone. Second, utilize your social networks and find introductions (let’s be real, everyone has someone they’ve Facebook stalked). And finally, try to maximize your friend’s dates for yourself too. While this last one may sound silly, there’s a level of ease when someone suggests a double-date for the first time meeting someone, especially online.
Related: 18 Things to Know Before You Date an Entrepreneur
Keep it simple.
With all the trouble we go through trying to curate our profiles and maximize the efforts we put out, we tend to lose sight of a sage piece of advice: just be yourself. Sometimes I consider this the worst counsel you could give as it makes the person at hand question who they are. But still, this isn’t just a numbers game, it’s a game of people … people just like you. Take an approach that you would feel comfortable being confronted by, and you’ll find the right match in no time.