Happy third week of January! Now that we’ve gotten over the shellshock of a new year and removed the pressure of keeping our new year’s resolutions, those of us that are are still committed to making a fresh start in 2016 are still keeping open minds and hearts for what the future may bring. Let’s focus on the heart part for a moment. A new year is a great time to change up your perspective on romance, especially if you’re single. Since I’m woefully underqualified to give anyone advice when it comes to love, I thought I’d bring in an expert to help get you on the right foot going into the dating world this new year!
Meet my dear friend and dating guru Jen Kirsch. With a column in Toronto’s 24 Hours, pieces published in Flare and many other publications and multiple television and radio appearances, I thought that Jen would be the best person to give us all some great advice on dating in a brave new world. Take a read below and get some of Jen’s sweet romance tips for 2016.
It’s been said that the first week of January is a very active time for online/app dating. Can you elaborate on that, and tell us why?
The busiest day of the year for online dating is January 4th. By busiest, I’m referring to the fact that this is the most popular date for people to sign up for a dating site and to upload a profile. Why? It’s simple. Many people have big ideas and ideals of what the new year will bring, how to to fulfill their life in a way that improves it in the new year. This is the similar to people who want to get back on the fitness and health train. We seem many people getting back to the gym the first month – and especially first week – of Jan. The problem with this, is they might think they’re committed to finding someone new, but often times people sign up then don’t do the work to meet their match.
What are your tips for creating the perfect online dating profile?
The more pictures you have, the more likely someone will be interested in contacting you. If the dating app or site of your choice allows you to upload 5 pictures, then upload five pictures. There’s someone for everyone and all people have different types. This is a way to showcase what you look like, what your style is, and your personality. But do yourself (and everyone) a favor and don’t post old pics, or images where you look your absolute best. The whole point of dating apps and sites is to find a mate, so be straight up and show them who you are. If they aren’t into it at first glance, they’re not for you anyways. Also, if you have a specific type, feel free to mention it in a one-liner on your profile. That way, people who match that type will have the go-ahead and assurance to reach out for you and you’ll be more likely to find what you’re looking for.
For those of us who don’t like dating online or through our phones, what recommendations do you have for finding love, or at least a first date, in 2016?
Be open and available. No prince charming is not going to walk into your den and profess his love to you while you’re sitting in a onesie binge-watching Netflix. Get out there. Go to bars, or a yoga studio, or cafes and be open to making conversation. See someone you like? Do your research, see if they’re single, and track ’em down via Facebook and request them as a friend. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t ask for things. Take initiative and go after what you want. You may think it sounds stalkeresque, but we live in a social media world, and the object of your desire will likely be impressed by your confidence.
For someone who’s been unlucky in love in the past, what advice would you give to help that person find love in the new year?
Just because things didn’t work out for you romantically in the past, doesn’t mean all is lost. Get over it and move forward. Stop worrying about getting rejected or dumped or hurt. We spend so much time telling ourselves stories in our head, that aren’t even true. If you want something, go for it and deal with the consequences (if there are any) as they come. People are attracted to those who are playful, easy-going and confident. Letting your past get the best of you won’t put you in a place to be open to find something worth while. Let go and move on!
If you could give one final piece of advice to everyone looking for dates/love/whatever in 2016, what would it be?
Download all the apps you’ve avoiding downloading for fear someone will see you on it. You’d be surprised how many people you see on the same apps. Seriously, some of the most notable and recognizable faces in Toronto are on the same apps you deem come off as desperate. The fact is, dating apps have become the norm for meeting someone. We’re all busy as fuck and are all caught up in our jobs, our squads, our hobbies and our life. Apps are a way to meet someone you’re physically attracted to who you may not have had the chance to meet or know existed without meeting them this way. My favorite dating apps are Tinder and happn. They’re easy to use. They’re free. And they allow you to put up multiple images and see others multiple images. Just don’t go on these apps and then put them down. Be active. Send messages. Meet people asap if the banter is good; it’s key to take a relationship offline as soon as possible to ensure there’s a connection. Yes, you’ll get some duds and brutal dates, but you also might find someone who will change your life around. What do you have to lose?