Love. Image: Lisa Frost/iStock via Getty Before you get involved with someone, you want to make sure that person is going to bring value to your life and not just what you can get out of them. By this we mean that any relationship with someone should help you develop, grow, and improve as a person and as a human being. Do this and you’ll make sure you have a good partner. Making Someone a Priority Image: Jaap/iStock via Getty Making someone a priority is something you have to bring up with your potential date. Ideally, you want to have done this beforehand, because if you haven’t had a good conversation with the person yet, you’ll need to be quick to answer. If this is your first or first-time date with someone, it’s important to act how you would with a friend or partner instead of how you would with a hookup. The last thing you want to do is fake an attraction to someone just to get laid. How to Ask How important they are to you Image: Ben Brooks/iStock via Getty Before you do anything else, ask the person how important they are to you. If they’re «not important,» explain why and take it from there. Also, don’t ask the question in a way that makes you seem desperate, and make sure they know that you want to make them a priority too. When someone is important to you, try not to single them out too much—you could be putting them in a false light if they are the only thing you talk about. It’s okay to let people know when they’re important to you, but that doesn’t mean you have to do this constantly. Growth and Development Image: johanterlinde/iStock via Getty If you have a specific interest in another person’s life, like acting, ballet dancing, or being the next Harvard president, don’t talk about that over dinner—doing so is fake and disingenuous. Instead, ask the person a question about their personal growth or development or something they’re proud of. That’s not to say you can’t talk about topics you’re both passionate about. If you both share the same interests or experiences, it can help you bond and it shows your confidence. Still, you shouldn’t make your date feel like they have to change who they are or what they’re passionate about just because you’re interested
But don’t let the thought of getting romantic blind you from the benefits of meeting someone. I’m going to run you through the categories of dating sites out there, who’s what they’re for, and who you should avoid. You can also email me and ask for tips in a private chat. Quick Questions Do you already have a relationship you want to maintain? (I don’t recommend a primarily friend-to-friend site unless you have absolutely no time for dating. The «friend zone» will be waiting for you.) If you do have a relationship, do you want to keep it? (If you want to keep dating, and you have a relationship, then maybe it’s worth it to get a dating site with a match-making algorithm?) Are you looking for anything in particular? If not, you might want to make a site that caters to your search terms. OkCupid What it’s for: High quality sites like OkCupid will require you to put your best foot forward, and what you write on your profile can make or break you. There are two main points to OkCupid: 1) The site has a matching algorithm, so you can find compatible people. (more on this later) 2) It focuses a lot on questions, and you can ask almost anything, as long as it doesn’t violate the site’s guidelines. Who should use it: People who want to get to know someone (maybe it’s just a hookup). What you should avoid: An exclusive relationship or lack of attention to detail. Pros: Comfortable site if you don’t want to hear what they have to say; not judgmental. Easy to use Easy to «like» other members. People can answer hundreds of questions, and you can browse hundreds of profiles. Serves the purpose of finding compatible people. Cons: Lots of, um, «interesting questions» Even if you’re comfortable, you might end up feeling pressured to answer question after question. The site has a lot of cookie cutter questions, which many people might find insulting or offensive. It’s up to you. J-Date What it’s for: J-Date is for Jewish singles. It’s popular in America, but is a little dated. Who should use it: People who are looking for a serious