A Guide to Modern Dating, According to the Experts

Dating life feel like it’s stuck in an endless loop of ‘it’s complicated’, on-again off-again situationships? If you’re looking for a guide on navigating love in the time of COVID, we've pulled insights from experts on how to find love.

by Uptime Staff / 2021-08-27

Whether you use Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, POM, or none of the above, dating today can feel messy and overwhelming. How long should you wait until you text back? Did you use one too many emojis in that reply to their Instagram story? When’s the right time to start bringing over your own toothbrush?

All these questions and overthinking have made the prospect of dating today feel daunting. As these love gurus and dating experts explain for us here, modern dating can be - and should be - fun. Use these insights to find out how.

Just Send The Text - Candice Jalili

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We live in a time of false conclusions: if our crushes haven’t viewed - and reacted to - our Instagram story, then they definitely must not be into us. We painstakingly pick out the perfect emojis and spend endless time trying to craft the ‘perfect’ text. 

Elite Daily’s Candice Jalili thinks we’ve fallen into a collective habit of massively overthinking how we communicate to potential love interests online; half the battle is actually in our heads. Jalili uses this book to share practical steps on how to ease the stress and anxiety that risks taking the fun out of online dating.

Stop overthinking the ‘next step’, and start playing by your own rules. There’s no set time you should wait before you text back - at the end of the day, Jalili is a big believer in doing what feels right for you and your person. After all, you know best.

Jalili encourages us to be accountable for our dating dilemmas, changing our perspective about love and rejections along the way, while always encouraging us to be our true authentic selves. Remember: if the person is right, you’ll work it out.

The Pragmatist’s Guide to Relationships - Malcolm Collins, Simone Collins

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Did you know there are six effective ‘relationship lures’ you can use to find a partner? Malcolm and Simone Collins unpack all six of them in this handy course, as well as dealing one important, necessary truth: there’s no such thing as a ‘happy ever after’. Forget fairytale happy endings - long-term, healthy relationships take work, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

quotation marksIt would sound truly bizarre for someone to expect a successful career to 'just happen naturally'. Yet it is entirely normalized to expect that good relationships will.

The Pragmatist’s Guide to Relationships teaches us how to find the ‘right’ one for us, as well as going over the basic building blocks for healthy relationships: good communication, and a policy of honesty and transparency. 

The best lesson here? The fact that our best partners are the ones who help and encourage us to live up to our full potential.

Love Rules - Joanna Coles

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No one really likes rules. Particularly in dating. But former Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles believes that, if used correctly, rules can be useful for navigating unknown waters and avoiding unnecessary pitfalls. 

To help us adapt a few “rules” into our online dating experience. She draws parallels between dieting and dating, alluding that what works for trying to lose weight can work for dating too.

quotation marksThis is a diet book for love.

Confused? Coles explains: just like we sometimes have to wade through countless grocery store aisles to find the ingredients we're looking for, we equally have to sort through different types of relationship options on our way to finding ‘true love’. For example, there’ll always be the ‘Junk Love’ (just like junk food) we have to resist. 

Coles encourages us to reassess the way we think about relationships, trimming down on the stuff that’s no good for us in order to forge genuine, long-term connections. And, like with any good diet, when we know our habits and patterns, we’re better able to set personal rules and reach our goals. 

Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Got Married - Gary Chapman

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Marriage counsellor Gary Chapman - perhaps most famous for his other work, The Five Love Languages - unpacks some of his most important lessons from over 40 years of working with (struggling) married couples. 

Even if you’re at a point where you’re still enjoying being single, and only dating for fun, there are some interesting pointers to consider about who you should dedicate your time with. Most importantly, Chapman warns of the dangers of the ‘honeymoon phase’ - that initial feeling when you first fall in love with someone, so caught up in a smitten daze that you decide to overlook the red flags glaring underneath. 

Besides physical attraction, there are a few key areas you can look at to determine your compatibility with your special someone, like emotional control, social interests, and common values. Have a look at our summary on Uptime to find out more.

The key takeaway here is that, when it comes to dating today, we can set rules that work for us - whatever that might look like. The most important thing is to embrace who you are and what you want, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, enjoy dating apps or can’t stand them, still enjoy being single or ready for something more serious. There’s no ‘right’ way to go about dating - you just have to keep being honest with yourself (and with anyone you might start seeing) about your needs, wants, and boundaries.

And of course, in the wise words of Ru Paul - “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

For more lessons on navigating the world of modern dating - from getting over a break-up to how to have better sex in a long-term relationship - explore our range of love, sex, and relationship Knowledge Hacks on Uptime.

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