We are inundated with dating apps, and ‘sliding into DMs’ on Instagram, but it didn’t come with a book of rules, so bestselling author and modern day Cupid, ANDI LEW, wrote one! In it, you’ll learn being on #teamsingle ain’t so bad and hear about her four years of going under cover to research this timely tome. In this edited extract, she reveals what women, finding love on social media, really want…
So, what do you get out of chatting to loads of people and flirting away? You’ve got lots of interest and you’re having fun. You may even be starting to feel more confident. The main thing to remember is that at some point, you will actually start to tire of the flirting or dating merry-go-round. You may want to STOP and actually take the time to invest emotionally in one person. Dating is a numbers game and on social media, it really does have the best odds. The more people you meet and ‘get through’, the more you are going to learn about life, relating to others and understanding more about yourself until you finally meet a date worth keeping or are at a time in your life where you would like to try and give something a real go. This is eventually and inevitably going to happen. Let’s look at the reasons why…
* You are investing too much time into flirt-chatting and you want to put your time and energy into something else. Perhaps you have a new job or want to study. You may have a hobby or sport you want to take up and you decided the hours used flirt-chatting could now be better spent elsewhere for a while.
* You may decide you’re not connecting with anyone online and want to try and meet people face-to-face because you know you can get better rapport with someone in the flesh. At this point you will either make plans to meet with someone you have been chatting to or just wait for fate to happen with in the outside world! Just remember to look up and around and not down at your device!
* At this point you may start to invest in one person. Some can play for months or years, but when you decide to invest in one person and create something more real than a chat from a distance, you will get off the social media carousel for a while.
All the while you’ve been flirt-chatting though, you have used social media as a great place to practice getting to know other people and learn a bit about yourself. This is only going to enhance any relationship you finally decide to start. It means you are now clearer with what you want and certainly know what you don’t want.
When people sign up to Tinder, they’re using it as a platform to have some fun initially and rarely feel it’ll lead to love, but isn’t that just the way and exactly when love falls in your lap? So many friends I know met on Tinder and are still together years later. Solid huh? I love these stories, and you’ll read about them soon. It seems nobody wants to admit they want a relationship and would rather it happen by chance. With so much choice and temptation on the World Wide Web and social media, people are taking their time to shop around and not settle for anything less than they hoped for. Do that. Beware of the arrow that may be fired straight through your heart though. It’s always when you’re not looking.
‘Looking for my Tinderella’ was a popular tagline underneath many men’s profiles on the Tinder app. How each man interprets this was entirely different. It was largely based on what each man wanted from the app. Just because he writes this does not mean he wants a fairy-tale ending like the stories where they live happily ever after. It could be just a fun way of getting you to chat to him. How cute and clever is that though? Taglines like that show humor, and humour is closely linked to intelligence, so it’s a huge turn-on for a person. There are other ways of getting you to add them, friend them, follow or match with them. It’s not always because of wit.
Some would write huge paragraphs underneath their profile about wanting something of substance and ‘no flings’. They would continue to say in the fifth or sixth sentence, “And if you’re still reading this, you must be very interested, so swipe right [match me] because we should probably get married!” Once again, humour was always a good one. However, this is coupled with depth. Make sure if you choose humour that you can continue to deliver. It needs to match with your personality. It’s better to just be yourself. I believe everyone loves to laugh, so these profiles may inspire you to remember where your funny bone is and have some fun with it all, too!
Other profiles can be blatantly upfront though, and use no humour, wit, tact or timing. I’ve seen really assertive and direct profiles saying they’re only wanting some fun and ‘nothing serious’. “Let’s have some fun!” they’d say! So ‘Tinderella’ for these people was not going to be always like a fairy-tale girl finding her glass slipper, and those who wrote the latter don’t want to be your Prince Charming. These people have usually just come out of a serious relationship and do not want another one. It’s not your fault. They just have some soul searching to do, or some alone time to be had. There are also some people that really just do not believe in monogamy. They’re a minority, but they do exist. These ‘not ready’ or non-committal types are bound to be called one of two things, depending on the season:
- WINTER WARMER
This is someone you can snuggle up to at night. We like to fall asleep with a ‘cuddle buddy’ and gravitate naturally towards wanting a relationship in colder months, or at least a ‘Winter Warmer’. But what does one do for the rest of the time? Well, usually couples can start to break up in warmer weather if their relationships aren’t solid. It’s a natural instinct that if you live in a place where seasons change, that when layers of clothing start to peel off, eyes will wander and excitement levels pique. It’s during this time that if you don’t want to be in a proper or exclusive relationship, you may choose to have what’s called a ‘Summer Side Salad’.
- SUMMER SIDE SALAD
This is a relationship or arrangement that is ‘on the side’. You have your ‘main meal’, which might be referring to your work goals. It may also be that your main meal or priorities are that you are still grieving a past break up from a serious relationship, but you decided you don’t want to be alone all summer and wouldn’t mind having someone to have some fun with! You want someone to lie on a beach with, so you arrange a ‘Summer Side Salad’, who plays with you over many sunsets in a very relaxed manner during the warmer months. The balmy nights are conducive for this type of activity. These may turn into something more serious in the winter months but look out for the following seasons again if you feel you entered as only a ‘side dish’ to begin with!
WHAT WOMEN WANT
Women, as we now understand, are completely the opposite to men. It’s a wonder we ever get along, isn’t it? Haha! Women will love nothing more than to sit around for hours, have cake and coffee and tell you all about their day! That’s why when you see women get together to socialise, they will often go to a place to eat where they can sit quietly to chat, or go with a friend for a walk so they can chat! Wherever women go, they love a chat! When their counterpart socializes with his mates, he will most likely choose a sport or activity where the male DNA bonds without chatting.
Here’s the good news. Women don’t necessarily want you to talk with them! They just want you to listen! They’ll happily chat away while you zone in and out and think about your work or football game, and then come back in, remarking now and then. They will be happy you’ve just heard them out. And women, you will be able to tell your man, not your girlfriend, all your secrets because chances are they won’t be listening anyway! Haha! No, seriously men, if you don’t feel like talking, just open your ears and hand her the invisible mic.
You need to expect that a woman will most likely text you a novel. You will most likely skim over it and sometimes you may take the time to read and respond. If the texts are becoming really long, you may see this as a sign that a woman wants to catch up and have an actual date, so she can chat and you can, yes, you guessed it – listen! Haha!
The other major need of a woman is respect. Show a woman through your actions that you respect her opinions, career, interests, friends, body and mind. You don’t have to agree with all that we say or do, but try to honour a woman’s opinions as valuable contributions. This is a great way to a woman’s heart.
Women also want your time. Ugh! I know, you don’t have much, so try to be thoughtful when you are messaging her so she understands you’ve had a busy day, but you took the time to write to her. If you really want to nab someone you’re very interested in, showing her that she’s the last thing you think about before you go to sleep, or the first thing you think about when you wake up with a message of “Good morning!” or “Good night!” can be really attractive. For it’s the things we think about before we go to sleep that matter to us the most. You can be sure that if somebody is thinking about you before bed or first thing in the morning, they like you a lot! Get back to her within days.
Guys, do not let a reply (like the example above) go for more than two days! You will want to get back to her that night or even the next day and let her know how it went. If the woman didn’t respond after you wrote “thank you”, it doesn’t mean she isn’t into you. It means she respects that you have a life and she has one too! If you leave your reply too long, she will most likely start to look elsewhere. Being active on social media is great, but not if you’re ignoring actual people and conversations. Don’t like someone’s photo on Instagram or Facebook if you haven’t returned their text message!
Ultimately, though, what all parties want from social media dating is speed and ease. The fact you are not in a bar and are not standing right next to the person asking them out or hitting on them doesn’t mean you do not have to reply. The bonus of asking someone out via social media is that if you do not find them interesting or attractive, you can move on without too many explanations. There are going to be a whole lot more people to contact than your average bar, which means there may also be a whole heap more rejections. Do not fear! It’s just a numbers game, remember? Next! Remember? But the beauty of having the balls to flirt with someone means you get to be upfront and honest right away.
When someone new approaches you, and the person messaging you is not your cup of tea and you know this right away, then do not make eye contact; in other words, do not feel the need to message back and reply. Just hit ‘delete’, ‘block’ or do whatever the heck you want! You are not obliged to have to thank them for approaching you or have to explain why you are not interested. And those feeling rejected now: do not read into this. Next! Remember? The person you just hit on may have a partner already or just not like blondes, so don’t take it personally. Move on quickly!
I got into way too many pickles trying to explain to men why I wasn’t interested in them! Haha! Poor us. It became a back and forth of them selling themselves and me explaining why I wasn’t into that either. Deeper holes being dug, and more mess being made. Get out quick! You don’t need to explain yourself, ever. Of course, going up to someone you like face-to-face would be a totally different story. You have eye contact and sincere ‘thanks, but no thanks’ manners to display to the person who had the courage to ask you out. But hey, this isn’t that. This is social media and different rules apply. There’s no courage needed from behind a computer or tablet screen, is there?
Overall, what social media daters want from flirting are these little nutshells:
* Be authentic and genuine. Be true to yourself and make sure your posts match who you really are as a person.
* Keep it general. Don’t get into heavy debates about things you feel passionately about, like politics or human rights movements. Stay neutral.
* Be consistent with your activity. This relates to your style of posts. Try not to be one part of your personality one day, and then the exact opposite the next. It can confuse someone who may be observing you and make them feel like they don’t really know you. This type of feeling can lead to trust issues, which may turn them off before you even begin.
* Find common interests. This could be as simple as mutual friends. Also, areas you live, work or hang out are good ones, but never reveal an address. A suburb may be fine.
* Be light and fun. We are in it for a good time. Make sure you’re having fun. If you’re not, change it or move on. You just don’t get each other’s humour and that’s okay!
* Don’t over-investigate. Once you have decided you do like someone and are flirt-chatting away, do not settle down into your comfy track pants with an alcoholic beverage and go on a full blown investigative spree where you are checking out way too many Facebook photos that go way too far back. We all have pasts and we need to judge people for where they are now, and not who they may have been. It also stops you from getting to know your new potential love interest. Instead of genuinely chatting away, you’re too busy acting suspicious and paranoid about what you just saw! Investigate enough to know you’re not with a bipolar mass murderer. Then, let it go and let it all flow.
Bestselling author Andi Lew launches her seventh book #instalovers after appearing on several TV shows both in Australia, and recently the US, as a Wellness Expert. You may recognise Andi from when she played Cupid on Australia’s popular dating show Shopping For Love and she was also the original Ultra Tune girl. As a certified wellness and lifestyle coach, she married her obsession with helping you have more love and connectedness in your life – and partners it with a healthy dose of flirt! Stay connected with Andi via Instagram @andi.lew
#INSTALOVERS – DIGITAL DATING, DM DISASTERS AND LOVE STORIES by Andi Lew is out now, rrp$27.99, available at www.andilew.com and book stores across Australia
BY ANDI LEW
For the full article grab the February 2019 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.