Say what you want about internet dating, but in 2020, it’s pretty much all we’ve got left. In the last six months, the rate of adoption through sites like Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid has been astronomical, thanks to government-imposed restrictions essentially putting an end to face-to-face dating. The circumstances have taken us places we never thought we’d virtually go, leaving us all wondering how to slide into the DMs, or if it’s even possible. But the simple fact is, you have to be in it to win it.
Internet Dating in 2020
Where once you would be ashamed to admit you and your partner met online, nowadays, it’s become the norm, thanks to the seemingly endless assortment ‘hot singles’ in your area. But not every interaction leads to romance. In fact, in more recent times we’ve seen people swiping just for the hell of it. If you really want to find love, or anything else online in 2020, you might have to throw out the traditional rulebook.
“Same and tradition are two words that don’t really apply in 2020, so it’s no surprise they aren’t applicable when it comes to dating. There is less opportunity to meet someone in person, less opportunity to physically interact and stakes are much higher if you do,” bestselling author and sexologist Shan Boodram tells Man of Many. “There is less choice, but while that sounds like a harrowing depiction of the dating scene, there are two sides to it.”
It’s something the author and relationships expert has delved into deeply in her daily Quibi series, Sexology with Shan Boodram. With so many people turning to alternative methods to get into the dating scene, the waters are getting choppy, but it’s not all bad news. “The reality of dating in 2020 is that this new form of intimacy will suit some people,” Boodram says. “If you were a fan of the easy-access culture, where you are constantly swiping, maybe in 2020 you aren’t having such a great time. When you take that fast-paced aspect out of dating, you have more investment, more conversation. If you are willing to invest your time and body into someone, this might actually be a turning point.”
How to Successfully Slide in the DMs
With that in mind, the stakes are higher than ever and your chances of striking out on Tinder are as well. The key to this is getting your banter up to scratch. Here, the best-selling author and Sexology with Shan host shares her top tips for successfully sliding in the DMs without looking like a creep.
Escalate Intimate Conversations
With so much noise in the space right now, it does feel crowded, but Boodram believes there is room for success. “You absolutely can make real connections in that format. The key is escalating intimate conversation in those bonds,” she says. “When you are forced to talk to someone, you screen each other, but most importantly, it allows you to be vulnerable in front of them and that fosters stronger bonds.”
According to the relationships expert, the lack of human interaction can make you far more cut-throat when it comes to vetting potential partners. It’s a mentality you should drop if you want to be successful. “With these no-physical formats, you don’t have the ‘disposability ‘of the person like you do in person. Say, if we were to talk three times and then meet up for tacos, my investment in you is pretty minimal, it’s not the same as if were to meet through friends, where there is a level of accountability. If my investment level is pretty low, and you didn’t please and wow me immediately, I’d be quick to dispose of you. When you give somebody your time, it’s harder to give them away.”
“I slid into my husband’s DMs and it worked pretty well for me. The biggest thing to remember is that nobody wants a copy and pasted introduction,” Shan says. “When you do message someone, look it over and think to yourself, could this have been sent to five other people? If it does, maybe drop it.”
It sounds obvious in practice, but the idea of tailoring introductions is far more critical than you’d think. “Even if you want to send something that you think is specific to them, like ‘hey, your ass looks great’, or something like ‘Cute pic, I love being by the water too’, you might think that’s personal, but it’s still a copy and paste and that is going to diminish my perception of you,” Shan says.
Take Advantage of Information
Like most things, dating in 2020 has the advantage of information. Now, more than ever before, we can peer into someone’s life and find out everything we want to know about them, long before we’ve ever had a conversation. It might seem strange, but in 2020, it’s worth putting your recon to good use.
“Take advantage of the fact that you have access to somebody’s life,” Boodram says. “Take three minutes to go through their profile and figure out what it is that they like and or are into and try to apply the principles you would utilise in real life. You wouldn’t walk up to somebody at a bar and say ‘Hey’. You would make up an interesting question, something that was observational that shows you are paying attention and are interesting.”
Create Stronger Bonds
Following on from her last point, Boodram says the next step is creating stronger bonds. “There’s a great study into the 36 questions we use to fall in love that shows that slow escalating intimacy through conversation creates stronger bonds. Talk about the trips you went on or the restaurant you’re in, then you can escalate the conversation into their family, friends and outside life,” she says.
“I always find that the most meaningful conversations that those that are either weird or sexy, like a conversation that you would only have with a close friend. Make the conversation worthwhile.”
Do Your Research
“You got to research, you are not out here alone,” Boodram says. “Read 36 Questions How to Fall in Love, pick five of those that are easy to remember and come up with great questions and stories. For those that are still in that ‘easier said than done’ mentality, research can help.”
Once you’ve done your research, you’re better suited to approach the situation. If you know what you want and know what your prospective partner wants, the process gets a lot easier. It’s something the sexologist refers to as ‘Intention’.
“I’ve definitely made a massive move towards intention,” she says. “It’s amazing how much of a non-seducer I was before and how hard it was to order a sandwich at Subway or talk to a man or go on a date. Once you learn how to create relationships, you start building bonds.”
Dating With Dominance
The final step in successfully sliding in the DMs is one Boodram advocates in all circumstances, a theory known as ‘Dating with Dominance’. “Dating with dominance essentially means keeping yourself at the forefront,” she says. “The goal of dating is not to find someone you think is amazing or to meet someone that makes you think ’Wow, they’re so incredible’. It’s about finding someone that makes you feel that way about yourself.”
“How can I make sure I am dating to enjoy my sex-life now? Once you start thinking like that, there is a lot less desperation and it’s a little bit more fun. At the same time, we exist in the environments we feel comfortable and confident in, so a bit of curiosity doesn’t hurt.”
Tips For Dating in a Post-COVID World
As expected though, if you want to take your Tinder game to the next level, there’s more to the process. Once things start opening up and face-to-face interaction takes off, you need to be prepared. Boodram suggests getting your ducks in a row now.
“Even if the media and the meeting place is different, the priorities that people view as important to intimacy will remain consistent. It shows how important close intimacy is, not just sharing your body but also your fears. The world in 2020 has shown us that the things we thought mattered, maybe didn’t matter so much anymore.”
“What we’ve seen is some many people come through the process and chose to be intentional. In the past, you only did that if you were troubleshooting a problem. You wouldn’t pick up a sex book, or go to a relationship therapist until shit was about to hit the fan. Now, people are doing this before they have a specific problem, saying ‘I want to have the best sex of my life, I want the best relationship’. I really hope that energy continues.”
You can check out Shan’s new daily show Sexology with Shan Boodram exclusively through Quibi.
How can I successfully slide in the DMs?
According to best-selling author and host of Sexology with Shan, shan Boodram, the key to slide in the DMs successfully is research. Be willing to invest some time in this person, look at the information you have on hand and tailor personal and thoughtful responses.
What are the best internet dating sites in Australia?
There are many great internet dating sites and apps in Australia. The top-used dating sites and apps in Australian are Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish and Hinge.
How do I get better at flirting online?
There's no magic trick to getting good at flirting. Sexologist Shan Boodram suggests working on fostering stronger bonds as a means of creating meaningful connections. Don't be afraid to get a little out of the box, either. Memorable conversations are always a way to stand out.