HYDERABAD: Online dating has become a great equaliser; you no longer have to force yourself to hang around social butterflies, everyone has the chance to make connections with others from their space of comfort. But, as much as online dating has given rise to a level playing field, people on these apps are still struggling to find matches, start conversations and sustain them. Well, worry not, dating guru Varun Mannava has got you covered.
First things first
What is the first thing you notice about another person? Good looks? “But why,” asks Varun. Turns out, our ancestors are to be blamed for this. “When we lived a life of hunter-gatherers, people preferred partners who had symmetrical faces, as that indicated how healthy they were and consequently, the chance of having a healthy offspring. All we thought of then was reproduction and furthering our kind,” he says. Now these cues have been ‘hardwired’ in our genes and that’s why we prefer good-looking or well-built individuals; we are literally programmed this way from an evolutionary perspective! Though there’s a lot of debate on this view point, we all know that good looks and youth don’t last forever. However, a person’s personality is intrinsic to them. There’s no harm in choosing good-looking individuals, but Varun advises to also pay attention to their bio and personality.
Make your bio specific
Don’t write, ‘I’m a mountain person, or beach bum.’ Get specific, says Varun. If you like trekking, talk about the places you’ve been to, because these will be great conversation starters. Vague descriptions will leave the other person with very little to talk about. “The more things you include in your bio, the more there is scope for the other person to know you. Online dating is as it is a narrow portal to get to know someone, as opposed to meeting them in person. Therefore, make use of all the characters you have in your bio space and remember, be specific,” he says. Apart from the fun stuff, also include a cause that you stand for. This will show others where your values are. Then, your bio will be well-rounded. “Please, don’t say you are here for long-term or serious relationships. It’s a dating app, not a matrimonial site!” adds Varun.
At your wit’s end
Having a sense of humour is definitely a plus when it comes to your dating game. There are multiple forums online that help you with your opening lines when you match with someone. Making the first impression definitely puts you in a great position in a conversation. “It is great to be able to be witty and tell a few jokes, or some pick-up lines. I had a client who would learn jokes off of the Internet and it worked great for him. But, how far will humour take you? It’s just one part of your personality,” says Varun, who advises that there are other parts of your personality that also need as much attention as being witty.
One of the most important tips that Varun shares is the virtue of patience. When you get a match and are speaking to someone, you have to wait it out, you need to be patient. “It’s important to listen to the other, respect their values and understand what they want from dating. You need to really listen to what they say and respect that,” says Varun. Most cis-het men, Varun says, are heavily influenced by movies that propagate the notion that ‘no’ mean ‘yes’. “You need to get away from that sort of wiring and learn that the real life is different. If someone says no, it means no. It might sound obvious, but it is a crucial part of dating,” he says.
A picture speaks a thousand words
There’s plenty of advice on what pictures to use in your dating profile — smile, wear red, show your creative side and use pictures with other people in it. While all these a pretty useful tips, one of the most important advice is on the body language in your pictures. “The way you pose says a lot about how open you are as a person,” says Varun. An open body language, with uncrossed arms or legs or even a stretched torso, might be more appealing, revealed a recent research from UC Berkeley. A study done by Tinder India showed that having a picture of a pet in your profile increases the chances of getting matches by five per cent. It also found that one in every 10 profiles has a picture of a pet. “Having a pet shows that you’re caring and can handle the needs of a living being. However, please don’t get a pet just to score dates,” says Varun.