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You're not a fish and other cardinal truths of online dating

Assume that the world is very much like Jon Snow—they know nothing about you. A checklist to help you ace the online dating game in 2021

Shed the apprehensions and myths swirling in your mind about finding love online. (Cottonbro/Pexels)

When it comes to finding the one that fits your definition of ‘love’, the checklist can be quite long while the suitors are quite few. More often than not, when we exasperatedly tell our friends that oh, there’s no one for me, the standard response we get is—Don't worry, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. Now while that may be quite true, you are most definitely not a fish. To add to that, a global pandemic isn't exactly the most romantic setting to go out searching for love either, is it?

Through the pandemic people have become less interested in futile conversations and more interested in forming meaningful, deep connections. To add to that, there are 4x more people on dating platforms now than there were a year and a half ago. So, if you were looking for the stars to align and the universe to give you a sign, this is it. Follow down this path (rather, this article) to find everything you will need to catapult your love life forward in 2021.

Also Read | Women’s equality emerges as a deciding factor on dating apps

First things first

The first thing you have to do is make your profile. Sure, there are sayings like “love is just around the corner” or “love comes when you aren't looking”, but they only worked in the ancient times when pigeons carried messages for us. In today’s technology-run world, one must actually put themselves out there. Much like actual relationships—the search is a two-way street, too. Get out of your comfort zone without getting out of your home, and shed the apprehensions and myths swirling in your mind about finding love online.

Assume everyone is Jon Snow

While pictures may speak a thousand words, they won't be able to communicate your likes, dislikes, quirks and beliefs. Assume that the world is very much like Jon Snow—they know nothing about you! Fill your bio with details such as what your favourite leisurely activities are, what you feel most passionate about, and even what you hate. In fact, use the Profile Badges that dating apps provide to wear your heart—on your sleeve and out there for everyone to see. Feed the app’s algorithm the information it needs to find you your kind of love. Did you know that women are 2.5x more likely to get a reply than men when they send the first text? Keep it short and sweet like a tweet—140 characters and no more. In case you're thinking of starting with ‘hey’, let me stop you right there. ‘Hey’ is almost as good as saying nothing at all, so maybe start with something witty or funny that would pique someone’s interest.

The grass is greener where you water it

We hear from thousands of people—“Oh, it’s so hard, I never find anyone!” And then when asked how much time and effort they put into their profiles, it's 5 minutes a week! To these people we say—the grass is not greener on the other side, but where you water it. Dating is FUN! But don’t forget you get out of it what you put into it, so put some love into finding love. Many apps make your profile dormant if you don’t go on for more than two weeks, meaning they stop showing you people. The more time you spend looking for people, the higher the chances of actually finding someone that fits your definition of love. In fact, you can even increase your likes by up to 3x when you log in everyday!

Go with the flow

When you do come across someone who suits your fancy, there are many things you can do to spend time together within the safety of your homes. You can always opt for playing some virtual games online. It can be quite adorable teaching someone to play a new game and watching them learn—helps in finding out who’s the sore loser, too. And if after all this you would still miss the good ol’ fashioned dinner dates, go on a Dinner Date 2.0: the Lockdown version—dress up, decide something to cook together (in your respective kitchens, of course), set up a shared playlist, and create the romantic ambience of a restaurant dinner date! It’ll be lighter on your pocket and heavier on the love, guaranteed.

That’s about it! Your foolproof checklist of things you can do to give your love life a kickstart for the rest of 2021. After all this effort, you will certainly find your moment of serendipity, all it shall require is a little patience, and faith in the universe (and technology too). If you haven’t found your Lockdown Love yet, don’t lose hope. Keep up your search for your kind of love and make no compromises on it—I assure you, the digital Cupid’s arrow shall strike you soon enough.

Sitara Menon is senior marketing manager, OkCupid India.

Also Read | Millennials prefer to date someone who loves their pets too

    01.09.2021 | 10:00 AM IST

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