Being apart from your sweetheart can be lonely and frustrating. Whether it's for a few days, a week, a month, or a long distance relationship - any time is too long! I know how it feels to be separated from your spouse and I want to help all of our long distance couples stay strong, happy, and healthy. If you’re considering entering a long distance relationship, or find yourself in one, here are 5 tips for getting through the first year.Read More
January is usually known for a hug surge in two places: the gym and online dating. But why? During this time most people write out plans for the year that normally include creating a regimen to reach a specific fitness goal. Also, during this time you're usually guaranteed a discounted price, the sign-up fee waived, or a few free gym accessories as a sign-on perk. According to Match.com, online dating sites are at their busiest between Dec. 26 and Feb. 14. Match reports 50 million messages sent and 1 million dates occurring during this time, which is referred to as peak dating season. It’s probably because the weather makes us crave a cuddle buddy, but there’s nothing like the holidays to make us feel lonely. So what do we do? The millennial approach to dating is definitely online dating; bars are intimidating and no one has time to wait three days to two weeks for processing time to get a call/text back.
It seems like every day we’re hearing about a new dating app. From Bumble to Coffee Meets Bagel and from Hinge to Happn, there are a lot of options out there and it can be a little overwhelming! Don’t worry, as an online dating veteran, I’ve got some expert tips for you so can avoid making some of the same mistakes I did and meet your forever person!
Choose the right app
Once you know exactly what you want, you have to choose the right dating platform. There are 10 major sites and apps to choose from, so let’s quickly break them down. Tinder might be the best known of all the dating apps out there, but just remember it does have a reputation for being a hookup site, so if you’re looking for a serious connection, this may not be it. I’ve never heard of Hinge before but it’s an interesting concept: Hinge uses mutual Facebook friends to curate matches. The app also uses a scrolling feature, which allows you to interact with multiple parts of a profile, rather than swiping left and right, so no more missed connections! The League is super exclusive and ever I couldn’t get in. After you submit your LinkedIn profile, the apps takes about a week to approve you as a new member, giving you access to 1-6 carefully curated and verified matches a day (height included!) Be careful though, if you aren’t active, the app will kick you out.
Raya bills itself as an app for creative types, from DJs to restaurateurs to NBA players. To apply, be ready to show a large Instagram following—the rest is up to a “secret committee.” For those looking for a more specific type of connection, JSwipe offers a range of options, from “orthodox” to “just Jewish.” Bumble asks women to send the first text. Don’t worry if you accidentally swipe past your soul mate—the app offers three free “backtracks” every three hours. I tried coffee meets bagel and I honestly uninstalled it the same day so trust me, skip this one. you to match with people you’ve passed in real life. If they have an account, you can send a like…which they’ll only see if they like you back! Foolproof and a little stalkerish…
Then there’s my personal favourite: OkCupid. I met my ex on it, and since then I’ve had A LOT of interesting conversations. Some I’ve written off the person immediately because there’s no way they could’ve thought we were compatible. Like match.com, after answering a TON of question (and I do mean a TON - but seriously don’t skip them they’re important) you’ll know just how compatible you and a potential match would be based on the percentage of personality traits you share. The app just released an update that shows which specific interests you overlap on, so if certain qualities are more important to you than others, you’ll be able to sort through matches much more easily. OkCupid’s software is literally a free version of Match.com. Sure there are some limits that you’ll have to pay to unlock, but there’s still a lot you can do with it.
2. Perfect Your Profile
Trust me, people actually read your profile! This is where you tell someone why they should get to know you; why they should swipe right. You want to make sure that you get across what’s important to you, and show some personality, too. Include a joke or a cheeky pun, if that’s up your alley. I struck up a conversation with a guy who said he wants a girl who can cook him grits and that was one of the best things I could’ve done! (We still talk)! You also want to give the viewer something to start a conversation about, so make sure that your profile says something that they can engage with. The most important thing is to make it personal, so whatever you feel good about is the right way to go.
As important as what you write is the profile picture. When you pick a profile picture, PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE OTHER PEOPLE! I have looked at pictures and wondered which one is the guy, and the worst ones are them with other girls. Is it your sister? Best friend? Ex-girlfriend? Current girlfriend? Either way it tells me that you’re unavailable so I swipe left quickly.
3. Be Patient & Open Minded
It’s hard to really tell what someone is like based on a few photos. Get to know people, chat it up, and be open-minded. If you’re only into tall, dark and handsome but you end up having great conversation with a blondie who’s on the shorter side, give it a chance. Also, age is just a number (to an extent). We’re not telling you to run out and date someone 30 years older than you, but remember that older usually means wiser (and more dating and life experience), so don’t be afraid to date outside of your own age range.
Also you may be on a site or app for weeks or months without making a genuine connection. Don’t quit! OkCupid found new guys for me every day! A lot of them never messaged me back, but that could be for a number of reasons. Remember, some people may no longer use the site because they lost interest or met someone and just didn’t deactivate their account. So don’t take it personal if the responses are a little slow.
Above all else, remember to always be yourself. Don’t be someone you think will attract the “perfect person” and you can’t maintain the facade. Don’t be afraid to set your standards and don’t settle. Whether you’re looking to casually date or find your lifelong partner, remember to put your best foot forward.
What are your favourite dating apps? Do you have any online dating tips that you didn’t see on this list?
Share your recommendations in the comments!
Working at a Bath and Body store six years ago, Janae never thought that’s how she would meet her future husband. After four years of an unsuspecting friendship, and a failed relationship with a mutual friend, EJ finally made his move. She loved his sense of humour and he could always make even a bad situation good. Little did Janae know, from that moment, he had planned to make her the one, and wasn’t taking no for an answer. EJ saw a passionate, down-to-earth and selfless woman who went above and beyond to make others happy.
EJ said that peaches remind him of Janae, and I can’t blame him. She has very peachy cheeks, and always has as long as I’ve known her.
Janae recounted feeling secure, loved and special when she’s with him, which definitely showed in the photos. She was comfortable around him, whereas her beauty and smile left him speechless while shooting. She was caring and considerate, always making sure he looked his best in between shooting; even coaching him behind the scenes, which of course made him blush. Their matching outfits were absolutely adorable! Can you believe that Janae's mother made the dress specifically for the shoot in like two days?
When they think about all that they’ve been through, the one thing they can laugh about now, is how despite everything, their engagement was almost called off over a Jet Ski incident! EJ laughed, but Janae didn’t find it so funny when she found herself thrown off of a Jet Ski after recently getting her hair done. She admits it was silly now, but I can just imagine her yelling at him for messing up her hair in the middle of the ocean.
On February 13, 2015 EJ took the next step in their relationship by proposing over dinner in a restaurant. They are both looking forward to new experiences and Janae is especially looking forward to being a wife and a mother.
“He’s not a perfect person, I’m not a perfect person, but I think that we’re perfect for each other. I honestly think that God sent him in my direction.” - Janae
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. And if you want to capture that day with your special someone this is the contest for you! Simply submit a photo of you and your sweetie, on my Facebook Page or Twitter, with your brief love story and you're entered to win! Get your friends and family to like your picture and the page, and the couple with the most likes will get a free Valentine's Day Photo shoot valued at $200! Enter TODAY!
Rules and Information:
- You must both live in The Bahamas (if on a Family Island, travel expenses must be covered).
- You must be in a relationship for at least one year.
- Deadline for submissions is February 22, 2016
- Photo session will take place February 6, 2016. Date is negotiable, but must be completed before Valentine's Day.
- Free photo session includes two people only. No one else will be allowed on set unless the couple has children together.
- Photo session location can be chosen by winning couple.
- Make-up will be provided by renowned Makeup Artist William Moultrie
- Couples will get bonus points for sharing a uniquely creative and touching story.
When mommy met daddy:
Natasha and William first met almost nine years ago at her best friend's birthday party. He asked for an introduction and after two years of being friends, they started dating. They got married two years later and have now been married for four years.
Thoughts from the mom-to-be:
When we first found out about baby number 2, we didn't take the news too well - in fact I cried and moped about for a few days because I was and still am in school full time, work full time and barely have enough time for my three year old. This is not the best time to have her in either of our minds, but we have faith that God knows best!
I'm happy it's a girl but wasn't planning on another child for 2-4 years. She's a surprise to say the least. But the fact that it's a girl lessened the blow for me as I've wanted a girl for a while because growing up with six sisters and numerous nieces and goddaughters, I'm kind of a pro at dealing with girls. Boys not so much- in fact I'm learning daily how to be a great mom for my son.
My hopes for my kids are that they will be strong, healthy, confident, well adjusted productive citizens. I want them to find their passion and work earnestly at it. I plan on raising them to be Christians who can stand up for their faith, be independent, and I want them to have and experience the best life has to offer. I want them to seek new truths daily live Christ filled lives. If I can accomplish this as a parent, I will feel like I did okay.
Natasha is a Christian, Patient Care Assistant by professions and college student studying to be a nurse. She loves reading, writing, taking pictures, cooking, walking and exercising and spending time with family and friends. She is a wife and mother to three year old Liam.
Thoughts from the photographer:
Natasha has been my best friend since 2009 when we met in a writer's workshop. It has been an honour to be with her every step of the way with her first child, Liam and to be able to do the same her new baby, which I am super excited is a girl! So I really wanted to show how wonderful a pregnant woman could be through this photo session with Natasha. The physical and inner beauty of a mother-to-be are just so precious. Every scar and blemish is perfect because of its story and I'm so glad I got to tell it!
Lighting provided by: D'Angelo Reid of Michaelangelo Photography
Find the Photographer: