'The dating formula that helped me ditch the apps for good.'

Are you single and stuck in a dating rut? 

If so, this is how you’re going to date in 2024 to find the love of your life. Ambitious, I know — but as someone who spent a lot of time being single before meeting my partner, I have tried plenty of different strategies for making dating easier. 

However, there's one method that has by far been the most effective, and it's the reason my friends call me their 'dating oracle'. So, if you're struggling to navigate the modern dating scene, here's the strategy I used to ditch dating apps for good.

It's no secret that I love a Notes app dating strategy, and this one does not disappoint. It's called 'The Charts,' and it can help you reclaim your power in your dating life, especially if you have an anxious attachment style. Think of it as a combination of Tinx's Crush List and the Billboard Hot 100, but for dating.

To begin, open your notes app and create a new note titled "The Charts".

This is what your charts is going to look like: 

The Charts. Image: Supplied.


Disclaimer: I've supplied this chart for educational purposes only. However, I have used real men from my previous charts and also from my friends' charts.

The Charts.

At the top of the note, there is a list of names that reads 'The Charts'. 

This list is meant to include the names of people you are interested in dating. When I say dating, I don't necessarily mean that you are actually going on dates with everyone on this list. 

Similar to the viral Tinx Crush List, the people on the list don't have to be people you are seeing or have even talked to. They just have to be people you are interested in. This could include your local barista, someone you recently started talking to on dating apps, or even someone you have noticed at the gym. 

I suggest creating a list of five people, but you can have more or less depending on what works for you. This list will be really helpful when you are feeling disheartened or stuck in the dating scene.

Once you’ve created the list, you are going to sit back and watch how the people on your charts treat you. It's not just about who you're attracted to or have a crush on, but also about how they make you feel.


Trust me, this is going to change your whole perspective on dating. 

Let me give you an example using the educational example of the charts above. 

Let's say you went on a date with Gym & Gin three weeks ago and you're also talking to Southern Cross Tattoo on the apps. Tote Boy is a hot guy at the gym and Booty Shorts is someone you've been chatting to on the apps, and he's just asked you out on a date. You also just went on your third date with Spin Lad last night.

Things with Gym & Gin were going great and you thought it was heading in the right direction, but he's starting to give you mixed messages. It's giving treating you like an option.

So, you've demoted him to the bottom of the charts. You've also been chatting to Southern Cross Tattoo on the apps for a few days and while the conversation is good, he hasn't asked you out yet — and you're not looking for a pen pal — so he's been moved to the second-last spot on the charts.

Tote Boy and you haven't actually spoken yet, but he's cute and you have a little bit of a crush on him, so he's now number three on the charts. 

You might be wondering how he can be number three if you haven’t had any interactions yet. This is because you haven't noticed any bad behaviour from him yet. And sure, it's easy for him to hide bad behaviour when you haven't actually spoken to him. But how does it feel to promote your hot gym crush over Gym & Gin and Southern Cross Tattoo? Pretty damn good.


The charts are all about making dating more enjoyable and empowering.

Watch: Mamamia Out Loud talks about dating apps. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia

Let's keep going. You and Booty Shorts have been talking for a while now and the chat has been really great. He's asked you out and you’re excited about it, so he's been moved up to spot number two. 

Spin Lad is spot number one... for now. He has been proactively planning dates, the communication has been great, and he makes you feel really good when you're around him. However, things can change in the charts very quickly, so he could be demoted at any moment.

These scenarios are obviously fake, but they're an example of how the charts can put things in perspective and make you feel more in control.

Do you ever feel anxious when you're dating someone and waiting for them to text you? Or when the communication between you two has changed and you don't know what's going on? It's normal to have those feelings, but it's not a good idea to act on them by calling or texting them excessively. Instead, try to focus on other things in your life, like rearranging your charts accordingly, and carry on.


This system is designed to give you a sense of control while dating. It simplifies the entire process by helping you focus on what truly matters, which is how the person you are dating treats you and makes you feel. The charts encourage you to invest your energy in people who deserve your attention. Additionally, this system promotes self-preservation, allowing you to maintain your dignity while dating.

Rather than texting Gym & Gin or getting upset with him when he lets you down, you're just going to demote him. Demote him down the charts and focus on Spin Lad, Booty Shorts, or even Tote Boy.

The Bin.

Alright, let's get to my favourite section of the charts: The Bin

The bin is basically a f**k boy (or girl) graveyard. If someone on your list continues to disappoint you week after week, it might be time to put them in the bin. Moving someone to the bin is the ultimate self-empowerment move. Just imagine knowing you were on someone's phone under a list titled "The Bin".

If someone you're dating keeps repeating bad behaviour like flaking on you, sending mixed messages, or making you feel uneasy around them, move them to the bin. This allows you to free up space in the charts for someone who deserves to be there. Reward the people who treat you well and move the Lockys, the Northern Beaches Time Wasters, and the Garden Gnomes to the rubbish where they belong.

The funny thing is, when you take this approach, the person you were dating suddenly doesn't know where they stand with you, which makes them feel uneasy. More often than not, they eventually come back to you when you begin to focus on others in your life. The best part is that by that point, you'll likely have moved on.


And finally, we have: The Pending Section.

The pending section is actually where you're going to experience the most growth on your dating journey. Let's say you've been on a few dates with someone and you really like them but things aren't progressing. You've caught the feels and it's really stressing you out (don't worry, we've all been there). But they've been circling The Bin for a few weeks now and even though you know that they belong there, you're not ready to throw them in. 

This is where the pending section comes into play. 

Move them into the pending section so that they're closer to the bin, but they're still up there near the charts. By doing this, you will create an open spot on the charts, allowing you to replace them with someone else, such as the cute guy you see on the train every morning.

This will provide you with a sense of control in a situation where you might otherwise feel powerless. It also allows you to focus on the individuals on your charts who are treating you well. Once they're in pending, they will either circle closer to the bin (as you start to lose interest in them) or they will sense a change in behaviour from you, pick up their game and start to reclaim their position in the charts.

Sophie Howe is a journalist, beauty expert and brand consultant. For more from Sophie, follow her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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