If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that quarantining during a pandemic can be pretty freaking lonely without a significant other. Swiping through a slew of eligible singles on dating apps is entertaining but if you’re ready to find a meaningful relationship, it gets old fast.
Finding someone who will provide you with emotional (and sometimes physical) support as you binge eat a bag of chips after a bad day is hard. But luckily, professional matchmaker Krystal Walter has an assemblage of dating tips for singles who are looking to gracefully lock down a serious relationship.
After growing tired of searching for her “perfect match” in bars, Walter met with several dating experts for some assistance. In 2012, she decided to start her very own matchmaking company. Krystal Walter Matchmaking launched in Calgary but her services are now available to singles worldwide.
These six pieces of advice from Walter will steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding your “baby cakes” or your “pudding pie”.
Pick suitors who are ready to commit
They may resemble the hottest Sway House member or Megan Fox but if they’re just looking to hookup, it likely won’t progress into anything serious. The whole “fuck boy” shtick gets repulsive once you reach your mid-20s.
“A big indicator that someone is ready to commit is if they’re inviting you to meet their friends or family members,” says Walter.
If you’ve been dating for a while and they have only met your loved ones, we suggest politely asking why you haven’t gotten to meet theirs yet.
“Another good indicator is simply the fact that they want to spend their free time with you,” says Walter. “Are they cancelling on their friends on a Friday night to hang out with you? Are they making time in the evenings to see you?”
If you’re dating someone who tends to dodge deep conversations and avoids posting about you on social media, they might not be the one. Walter also suggests that if they would rather stay in than go out, they might just be in it for the goodies. They’re fully aware that you can’t do the nasty when out at dinner or at a movie.
“Also, if they are focusing more on how you look rather than getting to know you, they probably aren’t thinking about long-term commitment,” says Walter.
Learn how to nail first dates
The saying “practise makes perfect” is definitely applicable when it comes to first dates or even dating in general. The more you go on, the better you’ll get at contributing to the conversation, asking questions, and showing signs that you’re interested.
Avoid first date anxiety by keeping expectations at bay and try to view the get-together as an opportunity to meet a new connection. If a second date doesn’t happen, at least you had an enjoyable time and perhaps learned something through the conversation.
“Once you’ve surpassed the easy small talk, I think it’s really important to ask someone about their passions,” says Walter. “Watching someone talk about something they’re super passionate about will tell you a lot about them.”
While careers, current weather, passions, and pets are approved first date subjects, there are certain topics that Walter advises her clients to avoid.
“One question that really bothers me on a first date is, ‘why are you still single?’” she says. “First off, that person may not feel comfortable getting into the details of their past relationships with you and second, there is no correct way to answer that question.”
Daters hope this question comes across as a compliment but it’s often ill-received and can lead to an unproductive conversation.
“Besides that, don’t bring up past relationships, kids, or politics on a first date,” says Walter. “And try not to bombard them with questions, let the conversation flow.”
Save the spiel about your obsession with Biden-Harris for the second or third date.
“My biggest piece of advice for anyone looking for lasting love is to be open,” says Walter.
Avoid becoming fixated on a poor outfit choice or wild hairstyle as these can be changed and don’t contribute to a relationship. You could be discounting someone that has the relationship qualities you’re looking for just because they wore cargo pants on the first date.
“The more you focus on your fantasy idea of who you’re going to end up with, the less opportunity you have to meet someone great that you would never expect to fall in love with,” she says.
Don’t place too much importance on your list of preferences. It’s very possible to feel a spark or connection with someone who strays from your usual type.
“My most successful matches and love stories always come from two people that would have never given the other a chance if they stuck to their initial preferences,” says Walter.
Know the red flags
If you’re familiar with the dating red flags and can recognize them as they happen, you’ll end up saving a lot of time and energy.
The common red flags include:
- Asking for money, especially if you have never met them in person;
- controlling behavior;
- if they’re secretive about past relationships or past career endeavours;
- and mentioning their past relationships too frequently.
“My best advice is if you’re suspicious about someone, get your closest friends or family’s opinions,” says Walter. “They have no emotional attachment to that person and sometimes you just need an outside perspective for clarification.”
Don’t play hard to get
This piece of advice may come as a shock to some since TV shows and movies portray thousands of scenarios where this works in one’s favour. In reality, it’s a risky move that rarely works.
“Playing hard to get just indicates a level of immaturity so don’t worry about waiting to hear from the other person,” says Walter. “If they’re serious about finding love and they didn’t have a connection with you, they should let you know.”
If you went on an amazing date with somebody and want to see them again, make sure they know this. But keep the message short and sweet. Going overboard and unloading all of your feelings on them after a first date is a major turn-off for many.
When you’re hoping to snag a second date, don’t exceed more than three days without communication after the first one.
Understand the difference between love and lust
All relationships are hot and heavy in the beginning so it can be easy to confuse the feelings of lust for love.
“Many of us get caught up in the honeymoon stage of love and rush into something serious like an engagement,” says Walter. “Lust can be very destructive to a new relationship.”
Before diving head first into moving in together or an engagement, it’s important to determine whether you’re in love or in lust with your partner. Walter suggests reflecting on how much quality time you’ve spent with them and if friends and family think you’re moving at a normal pace.
“Your friends know you best and if they think you’re moving too fast, you probably are,” she says. “Also, if your conversations aren’t deep and never touch on serious topics, it’s likely you’re in lust and not love.”