Q: Do you have a favorite dating app? My parents are horrified that I’m looking to date online. I’ve explained people meet people that develop into marriages online, but in their defense, there are people who just want to hook up. How do I avoid the people who just want to hook up?
A: Online dating is a tricky business! Though I understand the concerns of your parents, I’m not sure they understand how dating works in 2018. It borders on impossible to meet people and date without doing it via an online dating site. Too many people live lifestyles prohibiting them from meeting their future mate the good old-fashioned way! I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, it just seems to be much less likely in our society today than in that of our parents. There are a number of on- line dating sites and apps people frequent. I don’t know that I have heard about one of them being the best, although some are definitely known more for their hook-up potential more than oth- ers. However, there are people on every site looking for just a hook up, as well as people looking for long-term relationships and marriage.
Avoiding people who just want to hook up is going to require extreme levels of patience from you. People just wanting to hook up aren’t going to spend a significant amount of time getting to know you. If you require more conversation and more interaction before seeing them, they prob- ably won’t stick around, if they are just interested in a hook up. Be aware of people who go MIA for days at a time. There is a good chance they are entertaining their other options while not talking to you. If you schedule a date to meet and they suddenly have to cancel or they “ghost“ you, giving them another opportunity without a doctors excuse or something stating they were incapacitated for the day might not be in your best interest! Be honest on your profile! Let people know what you are looking for and the type of person you are interested in. If you are specific and honest with your own profile, you are going to be much less likely to attract those people not interested in really getting to know you.
Just as you don’t want to feel duped when meeting in person with someone you met online, neither do they. Honest answers, honest thoughts, and honest and updated pictures are a must!
My most common recommendation to individuals interested in online dating is to be prepared for rejection. Dating is about getting to know one another. Online dating allows you to do this in a much more efficient manner for those with time constraints or those who just do not get out much. There are going to be plenty of individuals who do not respond to your approach or aren’t interested after chatting or meeting. Remember...this does not mean there is something wrong with you or you are not good enough! It just means you haven’t met “the one” just yet!
Q: I’m sick of going to holiday parties and things like that being single. I’ve even started to avoid parties by making up an excuse. But I can’t get out of all of them. I always feel like the odd-woman out for not being part of a ‘couple’. How can I get over my insecurities and learn to enjoy myself, and not be miserable the whole time?
A: It seems you might ask yourself what it is you enjoy about holiday parties. If you don’t enjoy them or a specific party, don’t go! If you enjoy attending for the social interaction or meeting up with family members or acquaintances you don’t see regularly, it seems a bit sad to avoid them because you are not part of a “couple.“ Try remembering the contributions you bring to the party by being the single woman. Just because other people are married doesn’t mean you can’t make contributions to conversation or the dinner menu.
You are single! There is nothing wrong with that “status.” Chances are, you won’t be single forever! Embrace the positive aspects of single life while you still can. Embrace the confidence and beauty you exude when you walk into a room with your head held high and carry on without skipping a beat. Ask questions that get people talking. Go into those parties having something in your “hip pocket“ to discuss that will keep the crowd entertained. Also, most parties that include couples have a tendency to experience a natural segregation between the men and the women. Most of the time people wouldn’t know who was married and who wasn’t. Go into the party with an attitude of excitement instead of an attitude of anxiety or nervousness. You get to control your self talk and your internal dialogue! Just choose to make it positive!
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Writer, Speaker, Radio & Television Contributor, Dr. Misty Smith is the Founder and Managing Director of the Birmingham, Alabama based Mind, Body & Heart Wellness Clinic. She is an ASSECT Nationally recognized Certified Sex Therapist (CST), as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) of more than 15 years, who focuses on assisting individuals and couples to achieve their optimal emotional, relational, and sexual health through a results-oriented counseling process tailored to the needs of the individual or couple. In addition to being ASSECT Certified, Dr. Misty has a PhD in Counselor Education from Mississippi State University and her EdS in Counseling from the University of Alabama. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mbhwellnessclinic.com.