A lot of people have said 2016 wasn’t the best year the world has seen. From political polarisation to terrorist attacks and the loss of greats like David Bowie and Carrie Fisher, the past 12 months have had some rough moments, to say the least.
But it’s a new year, and that means a fresh start for everyone, especially online daters who didn’t have much luck in the love department. Here are six online dating mistakes singles made in 2016 that they should probably leave behind.
- Discussing Politics Too Much
With Brexit and the U.S. presidential election, politics was on everyone’s minds in 2016. People were posting their opinions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, online dating profiles, and anywhere else they could make their voices heard and let others know where they stand. And, as you can imagine, things got heated and many families, friends, couples, and total strangers were at odds with each other.
While politics is an important part of society and who we are, this year, try not to make your dating profile and entire persona about it. Strive to have balance and, if you come across someone with different views, have a respectful, informational, and fun conversation. This doesn’t mean you can’t discuss your beliefs and fight for what you believe in, but let’s all work to have 2017 be a year of understanding and acceptance — in every aspect of life.
- Sticking With Your Type
More than likely, in dating, we’re all guilty of sticking with what we know and like. It’s comforting, and when people are going through a bad time, they tend to turn to what comforts them. In 2017, challenge yourself to step out of that safe dating zone. When you’re browsing a dating site, give that blond guy a chance even if you’re usually more attracted to brunettes, or take a leap with a businesswoman even if you’re more often into artists.
- Being Afraid to Take Chances
We saw some pretty sad things happen in 2016, and it seems like this made people fearful of taking chances. In terms of online dating, this could come in the form of being too scared to send the first message, get that new, bold haircut for your profile picture, or ask for the first date instead of waiting to be asked. Or maybe you’ve been too afraid to even join an online dating site in the first place. After this past year, we’ve learned that we really have nothing to lose, and there’s no point in letting anything hold us back. So, if you’ve never been the first one to send a message to a match, or whatever the case may be, take a deep breath and just do it.
- Focusing on the Outcome, Not the Journey
In this fast-paced world (that’s only getting faster) we live in, it’s common for people to rush a lot of things in their lives such as getting through the next episode of the latest hit TV show or flying through a project just to check off another item on the list. In regards to online dating, this could be skimming through online dating messages and writing someone off for one small con — or racing through date after date in the hopes of finding “The One” even sooner. Sometimes we concentrate so hard on the end result that we forget to be in the moment and simply enjoy it. It’s good to have a goal, but remember that dating is supposed to be fun, not a race.
- Making Harambe Jokes or Posting Other Overused Memes
Look, we all love memes, but if we want a clean slate for 2017, we have to say goodbye to the overused memes. I’m looking at you Harambe and Mr. Krabs Blur. It’s great to show off your sense of humor on your dating profile and in your messages to matches. However, I’d suggest removing any mention of 2016 memes and find some new ones, or be a trendsetter and make some of your own. Plus, since you’re updating your profile, you’re more likely to show up higher on the dating site’s search results.
- Not Living Life to the Fullest
We lost a lot of great people in 2016. Besides David Bowie and Carrie Fisher, others include Alan Rickman, George Michael, and Debbie Reynolds, Fisher’s mother. These losses show us that we never know how long we have, or how long someone we care about has, on this earth. Making the most of life is important now more than ever. This mindset will help take your online dating to the next level.
These are just a few lessons from 2016 that can apply to online dating, and if we learn from them and strive to improve ourselves and the world, we can make 2017 so much better. Or maybe it can even be the best year ever!
Hayley Matthews is editor-in-chief at DatingAdvice.com, a popular site featuring advice from more than 250 dating coaches, matchmakers, and other relationship experts. In addition to expert tips and guides, the site also publishes reviews of the most popular online dating sites, where Hayley and her team rate Match.com as the #1 online dating website. When Hayley isn’t writing about dating and relationships, she’s listening to The Beatles or watching Harry Potter.