dating

'I met my now-husband on Tinder. These are the 6 rules I followed.'

With all the “here for hook-ups” and the polyamorous/open/ethically non-monogamous and just plain married guys and gals or couples seeking their “unicorns,” how could you ever hope to find someone looking for something real just like you?

It’s not impossible. It happens for a lot of couples, including, much to my surprise, myself.

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I filed for divorce from my husband after nine long months of chaos and attempts at reconciliation. Single for the first time in ten years, I downloaded Tinder. 

Dating apps had not been a thing the last time I’d last dated, so I was fascinated, but they seemed the best way for me to meet single available men.

My ex-husband and I shared a friend group. I also had two children 50 per cent of the time, worked a full-time job, and I didn’t drink. All of those things immediately eliminated how often I could go out and where I might even go.

Was I ready to begin dating when I first downloaded Tinder?

Had I sorted out my issues with the end of my marriage and appropriately grieved the end of that relationship?

Uhhhhh definitely not.

I did, however, start a profile and go on a couple of dates with guys. I very quickly realised I wasn’t ready yet and took a break.

When I came back to the app, I had worked through some things. I still had more to work through, but I was ready to try to more actively date. And I did.

I went on dates with hot guys and intelligent guys and nerdy guys and guys who looked good probably like five years ago (and in their profile pictures), but now had badly receding hairlines and thought it was totally cool to show up to a date wearing slippers in the shape of paws (real story).

But after going through some frogs, I met Bryan, my now husband, on Tinder.

Here’s what you can do to find your own Bryan or Bryanna (and believe me, you want your own Bryan or Bryanna):

1. Be clear about what you’re looking for in your profile.

'Not here for hook-ups', 'looking for dates', or 'looking for dates that could lead to something more' are clear indicators of intent and are to the point. All folks looking to send you on a walk of shame should then swipe left (though, to be fair, they may not even read your profile anyway, but you’ve done your part).

Do NOT say you’re looking for a significant other/boyfriend or girlfriend/husband or wife. That’s bound to freak out anyone.

2. Include realistic photos.

Do yourself and your dates a favour and be honest. Include recent photos (taken within the last month). Even if you’ve been on the app a while, update your photos every month or so.

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Don’t include photos where you use filters or are taken of you from super high angles.

Include your hot face. Include your whole hot bod. Make sure your swipers know it’s your profile by not including a tonne of group pictures.

You are not setting yourself up for success by not representing yourself as you are. Your date should be able to legit tell it’s you when he or she meets you. You never want your date to be surprised in a bad way.

And if you’re carrying some extra weight, who cares? I promise there’s a Bryan or Bryanna who wants you exactly as you are right now.

3. Be clear about what you’re looking for once you start talking to them.

The biggest surprise for me being on Tinder is how few guys would actually get to scheduling plans. 

This is a DATING app. ASK ME ON A DATE, I wanted to scream at some of them as we were on day five of casual chatting with no plans in sight.

Feminism, lady! Why don’t you make the plans, lady? You might be thinking.

Everyone is different, which is why it’s important to be clear about what you are looking for. I was looking for guys to ask me out. 

I’d had several experiences when I first gotten on dating apps where I’d attempted to set up dates with men who inevitably weren’t all that interested, so I wanted the guy to show interest upfront.

Do also remember that the guy or gal may not have read your profile, and you may need to make sure things are crystal clear.

For example, when one guy wasn’t seeming to take the hint, I told him, “Hey, if you aren’t willing to wait until date four or five to have sex, then we’re not on the same page.” He quickly unmatched from me.

We know we're giving you dating advice right now, but listen to this episode to find out why you probably shouldn't be dating during December... Post continues after podcast.


4. Set up a date at a place where you can get to know each other.

Go bowling. Go axe throwing. Get drinks. Have dinner. Rock climb. 

The important thing is go to somewhere public (safety first), AND where you can actually hear and get to know each other.

5. Don’t take it too seriously.

Yes, you are on a dating app looking for love, but hey, use it as an opportunity to meet people of the opposite sex and feel things out.

Don't get so attached after one date that you’re heartbroken after he or she ghosts you. Do use it as an opportunity to figure out what you’re really looking for.

6. Lastly, be aware of the energy you’re putting in and make sure it’s matched.

A good rule of thumb - if I texted, I’d wait until he texted me back. If I was the last one to set up a date, I’d wait for him to set up the next one.

It kept me very aware if I was being curved and made sure I wasn’t building up resentments by always being the one putting more energy in than the other person.

It’s hard out there in the dating world, but good luck! If anything, dating apps teach you that love might just be a swipe away…

Tara Blair Ball is a Relationship Coach and Writer. Check out her other work at tarablairball.com, and sign up to get her FREE "Be a Match for Your Dream Relationship" worksheet here.

Feature Image: Getty.