By Samantha Perado
During the last seven months of lockdowns I’ve been separated from my previous boyfriend, which led to us not communicating very often. Many people say that ‘absents make the heart grow fonder’, but that wasn’t the case with us – we grew apart.
We weren’t ‘together’ for very long, so it was really no big deal. But what with not being able to go out and socialize, how could I find another boyfriend?
My best friend said some our local group were using dating apps, and they are very happy with them. As children of technology, we frequently use apps, so using dating apps to meet nice people (and a few frogs and monsters, too) wasn’t such a big leap for me...
A CNN Philippines article said online dating in the Philippines is the cultural norm. A survey indicated that 71% of Filipinos know of at least one couple who met online.
Margarita Buenaventura, in a Philippine STAR article wrote (paraphrased), “Filipinos, have always been among the first to jump on the new tech bandwagon, especially dating apps. Even before many of these dating apps officially arrive on our shores, thousands of Filipinos will have already populated these virtual dating pools.”
Online dating apps are more convenient, but risks include emotional strain, discontent, fleeting connections, and risks to safety. Still, online dating is a given of this generation, and the best we can do is make sure they know how to be safe while online dating.
Choose the Right App
Aside from Tinder and Bumble, many other dating apps are available online with specific niches and filters. Check out how the app helps to filter out scams and violent people, and how they help to ensure your safety.
The Filipino Vlog Rec-Create interviewed four male Filipinos and two Filipinas about online dating. All agreed that online dating isn’t a sign of desperation. Rather, it’s a convenient way to meet new people. One of the respondents said that the only people who are judgmental about online dating are old people, because they didn’t have the internet in their time.
A young woman said sometimes people just want to explore something new, while another respondent said since their generation always uses apps, it would naturally follow that they’d also use dating apps. Five of the six respondents said they would date someone whom they met online. One respondent found his girlfriend online. Another mentioned personal friends who met online and are now married.
In the Philippines, women like Bumble’s feminist platform, which only allows women to initiate a conversation once a match is made. Bumble Boost allows extended conversations, and reconnections with expired matches. You can also see who right-swiped you.
BumbleBFF lets you meet new friends, and BumbleBizz is a networking tool for searching mentors, contacts, or clients. Bumble facilitates mixers, socials, workout sessions, and other opportunities to bring its members together.
Some online dating tips
Choose the right app. Different apps serve different purposes. Find the right one for you.
Even if the app says it filters out dangerous men, do your own investigation by checking the guy’s Facebook and other social media. Make sure that he doesn’t have a police record. If you know friends who go to his college or work at his office, ask them to check him out.
Write a profile that will attract high-quality men.
Have a creative username.
Post decent pictures. David di Muzio, in his vlog, says if your photos are too revealing, men will assume that’s the best part of you. They may contact you without even bothering to look at your face.
Photoshop if you must. But just do enough so that your photoshopped photo still closely resembles you.
Write good emails. Chase Amante, of the blog girlschase.com has the following outline for men to write good emails: (1) Ask short, simple questions (2) Share simple stories that help her think, and (3) Walk a mile in her shoes when making a call to action.
For women and men, take time getting to know each other online before agreeing to meet up. Have face time and long conversations. Take note of when someone is lying, and keep track of red flags.
Make the first meetup at daytime. DiMuzio suggests breakfast, brunch, or lunch.
Men want speed, women want comfort. The man should make a venn diagram of his desire for speed and her need for comfort. A good compromise should come in the middle.
Spend time on emails and phone calls. Men should say clever things, and spend more time talking on the phone. When Katz did this (paraphrased), “I got to pick people up at their house, [and] drive them home, all because I put more time upfront.”
Don’t get trapped in texting. A five minute phone call will be more revealing than one week of texting, which lacks the nuance of conversation.
Schedule a phone call. Set a specific date and time for your first phone call.
Online dating has parallels to traditional dating. In traditional dates you meet a woman at a party, talk to her for 30 minutes, and if you feel a connection, ask her to wait for you in the balcony while you get drinks. In the online version things are reversed. The connection has already been made, but the balcony is email. When you move off the app and are talking through email, you have gone one positive step further.
What makes a good conversation? Ask questions that show you’re listening. Be thoughtful and interesting. Express your observations and your opinions.
A good call may be rewarded with a meetup. By this time, the woman has screened your emails, screened out bad conversationalists, and believes you are trustworthy.
If she still thinks she needs more time, it’s okay to slow down. Remember your venn diagram, the middle road between a man’s desire for speed and a woman’s desire for comfort.
If over time you have evolved to a night date, women should drive themselves to the meeting place. This allows them to leave whenever they want to. Driving oneself also reminds one to drink lightly.
For the men, you may not get the woman of your dreams with the first date, but you will have a lot less bad dates if you are willing to slow down and go from the app, to email, to the phone call, to facetime before the meetup.