Dating has always been complicated. It's only gotten more complicated since the invention of dating apps. Meredith Golden makes her living by serving as a guide through the overwhelming world of online courtship.
She offers her tried-and-true tips for finding the perfect match in the digital wilderness.
Don't Try to Be On Every App
There are literally thousands of dating apps out there. There's no way anyone can be present on all of them. Even trying to be active on a handful of the most popular apps can be too much to handle.
"Start with one. Go Slow," Golden said. "Don't get overwhelmed. People think more is better. It's actually not. Less is more...What ends up happening is people put themselves on four to five apps. You don't have two hours of your day to swipe and message."
Make Using the Apps Part of Your Schedule
Most people casually flip through dating apps throughout the day. Treating the hunt for a partner like an important item on your to-do list can make a world of difference.
"Do one app and you can be consistent with that app Monday through Thursday, 30 minutes a day, split into two sessions. You do one little sweep on Friday and then you're off for the weekend," Golden said.
Image Is Everything
It doesn't matter how smart, funny or charming you are, you'll never get the chance to impress your potential beau without a profile photo that draws their interest.
"The picture is incredibly important," Golden said. "If you don't have that first great picture you're not going to get swiped right. If you don't get swiped right, the process ends."
Make Forward Progress
It's easy for digital dalliances to get stuck at a certain stage and never move forward, Golden said. You have to keep taking the necessary steps toward a real-life relationship, otherwise things may fizzle before you ever actually meet.
"You need to advance," she said "You need to match and then you need to have a conversation and that needs to convert to 'Hey do you want to meet?' and then you have to meet."