Cleaning Up Your Dating Life

Dating can be, and I can’t stress this enough, the worst thing ever. Swiping through your various apps, small-talking your way through to dates, sitting there awkwardly for hours on end—it can all be terrible, and there is no shortage of laments towards the act (I’ve even written quite a few).

Unfortunately, dating is a part of life. Unless you get blessed with a high school sweetheart you’ve already married, you’re going to have to go on some dates. But with spring upon us, and “spring cleaning” frenzies everywhere, I’m here to offer some tips to resetting your dating habits—starting anew, like a mid-season New Years Eve.

  1. If you’re in a relationship, think about why you clicked on this article. Evaluate the relationship you’re in and decide if it’s something you want to remain a partner in. The first step to cleaning up your dating life is making sure you have a clean slate to begin with, if you want one.

  2. Then start with your dating apps. Go through all your matches (and I do mean all of them). Unmatch with anyone you don’t want to immediately message. The point of dating should be having fun with people you’re attracted to, so you should delete all those people you matched with because they were the most attractive in that burst of swiping (but not necessarily the most attractive). You’re allowed to choose the people you’re attracted to, and you shouldn’t be made to feel vain or unworthy for it.

  3. Actually set up dates with whoever is left. You left them because they were the ones that interested you the most, so actually set up a time to see if it’s a match. I just interviewed Faye Brennan, the Sex and Relationships Director of Cosmopolitan Magazine, and her biggest tip to get out of that dating funk is to take initiative and message first (a whole article on her is coming soon, but I coulnd’t not give you a tip from her ahead of time). Gone are the days of wating for a guy to take control, we’re allowed to be assertive, ladies.

  4. Push yourself to date outside of apps. Go to bars and restaurants, clubs and concerts, sporting events and museums, wherever you want to meet people like you. Strike up a conversation with the people working them, or with that cutie in line next to you. The best thing to clean up your dating habits is to start new ones that are actually fun.

  5. Don’t allow yourself to hermit. I know the point of this article is to get you to have fun dating again, but really, there’s nothing wrong with being single because you want to be. The issue arises when you’re only single because you’re avoiding making true connections—which can sometimes be the case in the era of dating apps. Prior to this season, I hadn’t been on dates in years because I was afraid I’d find someone I really liked, and would then have to leave and get hurt. I’ve said it in this article already, but dating should be fun. Human connection is a good thing, and is what makes our lives flourish. Resetting your dating life is sometimes necessary, but you shouldn’t get so down on dating that you separate yourself completely.