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I’m known for being the single friend in my friend group. I go on dates, use dating apps religiously and have a radio show on Coog Radio. It’s dedicated to talking about dating, sex and what it’s like being single when everyone around you is in a relationship or is talking to someone.

It can be lonely, but I think it’s a great opportunity to get to know people and gather funny stories to tell at hangouts. With that in mind, here are my dating app dos and don’ts.

Don’ts

  1. Do not download Bumble if you’re not comfortable making the first move

Personally, I have had some really good experiences off of Bumble, but none of those dates would have happened if I hadn’t messaged them first. It can be really nerve-wracking messaging guys first, but most people on Bumble are used to the awkwardness and can easily overcome it.

  1. Do not talk about your ex on the first date

Honestly, it’s really scary putting yourself out there after a relationship, especially if the relationship was long-term. But, it’s important to recognize that the other person is in the same boat. I have gone on dates where guys will talk about their exes the entire time, and it was awkward and uncomfortable for me.

Do not worry if they don’t respond. Sometimes, people can be bad texters. But sometimes, the other person just doesn’t care.

Dating apps are a casual way of meeting people. Just stay in the present and remember dates are supposed to be fun, so keep this in mind before you begin to overthink it. I know I have had experiences where I was sitting by my phone waiting for someone to understand. It’s just best to understand it’s not that serious and to value yourself.

  1. Do not worry if the date doesn’t go well

I have been on many bad dates throughout being single. If anything, I think it’s just a funny story to tell my friends. Don’t overthink it! You’ll probably never see this person again.

Dos

  1. Make sure you know what you’re actually looking for

It’s really important to set your expectations clearly. You never want to accidentally lead someone on, or find yourself in something you know you’re not ready for.

Whenever someone asks, “What are you on (insert dating app) for?” Make sure you answer honestly. There is no shame in just looking for something casual or something long-term.

  1. Have your first date in a public area

Keep in mind the person you are seeing is a stranger. Always be vigilant before you go on a date.

  1. Do value yourself and your time

If you feel like something isn’t going to work out, make sure you communicate it and set your boundaries. I see being single as an opportunity to really focus on yourself. Remember to always put yourself first.

When I was first broken up with, I found myself canceling dates because I felt like I wasn’t ready. Sure it might not have felt the best, but I didn’t force myself to do something I wasn’t ready for.

  1. Be brave

A lot of my best dating app experiences have come from me being balls-y and just straight-up asking for what I want without playing any games. I sent a message asking someone if they wanted to make out, and it turned out to be an amazing experience and I got to become really good friends with a new person. Don’t worry, no one is judging you.

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