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The Basics

Want to meet people? Start by joining a dating website. While I’m not an expert on online dating, I have heard enough horror stories from friends, former colleagues, and even a few love-to-hate relationship exes that it’s easy to see why people stick to dating in “real life.” It takes too much time and effort to message people on the dating sites, and unless you are “hot,” your profile won’t be seen by anyone but strangers—and you may not receive any of their messages. Additionally, if you are looking for a long-term relationship, you’ll want to meet people organically, whether through a dating site or a blind date.

Dating sites give you a variety of ways to meet people: Browse through people’s profiles, search for potential dates based on different criteria, or add yourself to a pool for interested people to contact. If you’ve used sites like OkCupid, Match, or Plenty of Fish before, you’ll know that they have a lot of features and functions, but while you are signing up, you’ll need to get a handle on the basics. For example, you need to know how to actually talk to someone on the site and start a conversation, something you’ll do relatively often. One of the best things you can do to begin improving your dating skills is to practice with chatbots, like Aziz Ansari’s digital friend, Alix. Since you’re sitting on your couch, practicing with chatbots is much easier than trying it on a real person. Additionally, by looking at questions and answers on similar sites, you’ll learn how to keep a conversation going in any situation—whether you’re in a bar, at a party, or waiting in line for coffee.


If you’re looking for your soulmate, you should probably look for a person who is very similar to you. If that sounds limiting and shallow, remember that just because you don’t know someone, it doesn’t mean he or she is a bad person. However, it’s easy to get sucked in by the bad vibes of the few people who have taken a chance on meeting you. When going on a date, remember that your best self is actually what makes you attractive. In a 2013 survey, 27 percent of single people said that our first impression made a bigger impression on them than what we said. But you shouldn’t worry about making an impression on someone else. Instead, you should just be
Before you get started, think about why you want to date. Do you want to try something new, get a little adventure on your calendar, or just find someone to hook up with? Whatever you’re looking for, dig deep and try to figure out why your feelings are so strong that you’d be willing to brave the paces of modern dating.

Why Do I Want to Date?

If you’re looking to get a little bit of adventure on your calendar, signing up for a speed dating or blind date might be the way to go. You can find lots of singles in a day who may have the potential to become your favorite person forever. It might not even come to dating; you might want to just have some fun.

Speed dates are a great way to meet people who may become your favorite person forever, but they are super short. For $20 per person, you’ll have 20 minutes to find out if you both like each other enough to take the next step.

If you just want to meet someone who might become your best friend, then an app like Tinder can be the best tool for you. You search for people who are looking for a long-term relationship or just someone to hang with, and you may find that you have the connection you were looking for. Tinder is pretty much the modern-day equivalent of way back when college students would stand on the corners of campus and talk to boys they found “cute.”

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Of course, most of us don’t want to start an uncomfortable dating situation by walking up to a potential date and saying, “Hey, I’m looking to start a long-term relationship. Will you be my boyfriend?” But what if there was an app just for that?

Blind dates, on the other hand, are great for someone who isn’t comfortable approaching strangers and wants to try something new. For $20, you’ll be paired up with a complete stranger—so you’ll have to find something to talk about—and the old traditional rules of dating just don’t apply. You’ll be doing the chasing, so the good news is that you can be pretty laid back, and you’ll be matched with people who have similar interests.

And if it doesn’t work out, you don’t end up with a single stalker; they get matched up with someone else (they probably weren