Dating as a couple during a pandemic is hard enough, but finding love as a single and ready to mingle bachelorette is arguably more challenging. Classic meet-cute scenarios are off the table right now. How could you accidentally bump into some cutie when you’re socially distancing? And while places like resto-bars and cafes are still open, a part of us would still be hesitant to approach a stranger, no matter how attractive they are, in fear that they might have asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. But take heart because there’s still hope for the hopeless romantics: online dating.
Once considered an embarrassment, being part of the online dating scene is now as normal as owning more than three Monstera plants. Unfortunately, online dating’s transition from taboo to typical is still new and that means some of us just don’t have enough time to refine our online flirting skills. It’s a bummer because the inability to do so is probably the reason why someone would be involuntarily single, according to a recent study. The good news is that flirting is a skill that you can hone. Here are some tips on how to flirt effectively online — respectfully.
Strive to recreate physical cues
There’s a lot of room for misinterpretation when it comes to online dating. The lack of non-verbal cues is really one of the biggest barriers to effective online flirting and it’s made extra complicated by people today’s aversion to taking calls. The way to counteract this is by constantly making an effort to recreate these physical cues as much you can.
Thankfully, we now have a plethora of modern messaging technology that allows us to express ourselves. Using emojis and memojis (a digital cartoon recreation of your image) to convey batting of eyelashes or flirty glances is especially effective. You can also try sending voice messages after you’ve been messaging for some time and a dating relationship has been established. Flirting online with just plain text would likely come across as cold and can be interpreted as a sign of disinterest which may put off potential partners.
Establish a genuine connection
Flirting can sometimes feel like it’s all fun and games, but it shouldn’t always be surface level. You should also look to establish a genuine connection whether or not all this flirting will lead up to anything. One way to do this is to read their bio carefully and strike a conversation about a particular topic of their interest.
Even a generic dating profile bio would give you some topics to talk about. If they say they love “to cuddle up and watch Netflix”, you can ask them for recommendations. Or if they say they “love to travel and get lost”, you can ask about their most favourite trip. Picking a topic that’s based on their interests will likely keep the conversation going and you’ll also get to know each other better than if you ask questions that can be answered by a mere yes or no.
Recognise when someone is flirting with you
Another reason why someone would be involuntarily single is the inability to recognise when someone is interested in you, according to this study. Even in real life, it could be easy to dismiss attempted flirting with just being nice. We’re not telling you to assume that everyone who’s nice to you is trying to romance you but you also shouldn’t ignore when someone is clearly taking a chance and putting themselves out there.
In the world of online dating, aside from wanting to get to know you, subtle signs that someone is interested in you include messaging you frequently, responding quickly to messages, and even sharing funny memes and posts.
However, there is one surefire way to know if someone is interested: just ask. Remember to be direct with what you want and see if you are on the same page. This way, there can be no misinterpretation. This means you’ve also recognised their flirting efforts and hopefully, you can take your dating relationship to the next level.
Supplement with offline effort
Lack of flirting effort is also found to be another potential cause of singlehood among people who wish to find a mate. Forget about the popular advice to play it cool, putting in the effort is what actually may make your online dating successful. Apart from striving to be consistent with recreating physical cues, supplementing it with offline efforts would also go a long way. If you’ve been talking for quite some time and have migrated from messaging each other on a dating app to a more personal medium like WhatsApp or Zoom, then it’s time to ask if they’d be comfortable with you sending a simple meal delivery from their favourite resto or receiving some homemade biscuits. It doesn’t have to be grand but it has to be thoughtful!
(Cover photo from: Alexander Sinn via Unsplash)
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