For some, dating can be a scary experience, but with the advent of new dating app technology, it's getting progressively easier to find your perfect match. So why not make dating a priority in 2018? With help from Gayquation matchmaker Nick Papadopoulos and dating app Chappy, we're hoping finding "the one" is a resolution you're sure to keep.
Welcome to an app world. With so many options for singles than ever before, marketing yourself effectively has become very important in order to separate yourself from the pack. Think of yourself like a product on a shelf in a supermarket—your photo is your logo, your headline is your slogan, and your description are the advertising buzzwords. In 2018, less is more—to no fault of our own. But say as much as you can with the limited shelf space that dating apps give you. The more eyes, the more possibilities.
Unfortunately in 2018, there is no such thing as a first date, but rather a “meetup”—essentially an exploratory meeting over coffee to see if there’s a jumping off point. The second encounter has now become the official first date. This is not a bad thing especially with those you meet online. I always recommend afternoon coffee or tea at your local Starbucks—a comfortable, neutral environment that provide tempered expectations. In terms of a relationship, I would say slow down and do not move into one quickly—considering the high percentage of flighty and flaky gay men and non-LTR seekers.
It is imperative that both parties make sure that each of their needs are being fulfilled and, with an age of menu-like apps, their interest in you and a long-term relationship are validated. As we all know, many gay men have a knack of looking behind their shoulders for the next best thing—especially in a city like Miami where casual dating is norm. You will only know this over time, especially when the euphoria of the first weeks of dating has subsided and now your lives must not only intersect but run parallel to each other.
When looking for “the one”, it’s important to be reflective and figure out what made past relationships or encounters work or not work. What was missing? What traits do you want to carry over? An analysis, if you will, to determine “needs” versus “wants”. Wants are negotiable traits, bonuses if you will, i.e. “I prefer blond men, but not a requirement” or “I prefer someone who earns more than 75k per year but not a need, as long he is responsible”. Needs are non-negotiable, i.e. “He must want to start a family”—meaning even if 9 out of 10 of your needs are met you should still not proceed. The problem with most failed short-term relationships (less than six months), if we played Monday morning quarterback, we would find that a need was not met and either that person was blinded because that person met so much of what he was looking for or negotiated that “need” as a “want."
More often than not it is that very need (or needs) that was at the crux of it not working out. Be true to your needs—regardless if it’s a physical, personal or lifestyle trait—and irrespective of how much the potential market may shrink because of it. You will save yourself a lot of time, energy and perhaps heart ache down the line. Lastly, be aware of how your criteria compares to others. I would never use the word “picky” because people owe it to themselves to find as much of what is important to them. However, many singles don’t realize where they fit in within the general dating population. Ask your friends what they look for or peruse through online profiles. Gather a sample size to determine if you look for more or less than the average person. If it’s more, don’t change or change what you’re looking for—rather be more proactive in your search. The rule is if you are looking for twice as much than the average person then you need to be putting in twice as much as work. Be aware of your demographics, location and/or criteria in customizing your approach—something we do as matchmakers. Don’t settle for less, but be aware if you need to do more.
When Dating Take no breaks from dating. Everyone is guilty of this and you inevitably jump right back into the dating pool months later. If you are going to return, why leave in the first place? You may miss out on a great opportunity. Embrace the loneliness you may feel on a Saturday night and use that as fuel to wake up on Sunday morning and optimize your half of the equation—take new photos, try a new app, attend a meetup group or local speed dating event. If you control every variable you can on your end you will undoubtedly increase your chances of finding "the one." As a matchmaker, I typically find holes in people’s personal life and it frustrates me when someone fusses about their love life but spend seven hours watching a Netflix marathon, rather than spending a portion of that time working on, for example, marketing themselves. Where to Find Your Match in Miami Meetup groups are the fastest growing alternative in finding quality, LTR-seeking men. You are in a social environment, ideally partaking in an activity you enjoy, interacting with people face to face, rather than behind a smart phone. It’s a win-win situation because even if you do not meet the love of your life, you will make new friends that may widen your social circle and put you in front of that elusive guy—think the degrees of separation rule. People spend much time networking professionally but its beyond me why they don’t do so in their personal life. Singles must note that approximately 40 percent of the single population are not proactive with online dating—increase your chances by tapping into that potential offline market too. Meetup groups, specifically gay male groups, are a great place to start. And perhaps as a bonus you will get into a new activity and make new friends along the way. It is important to choose activities that you either enjoy or are curious about. It will lessen expectations and when you’re having fun, which breeds confidence, people will take notice and gravitate to you.
The secret is there is no secret. Realize that you are both auditioning each other for the movie role of your life—as the leading man in a grand love story. Be yourself, be confident, be true to who you are and what you want in life and in a partner. If you do that, perhaps you will star in an instant classic. And you won’t have to watch it on AMC, you’ll be living it.
To find your perfect match in 2018, download Chappy, a gay-dating app that can help you start your search for Mr. Right.
Photography via Facebook.com/chappyapp