The state of dating in 2017, according to my readers

The year is wrapping up and, for the blog and for me personally, it’s been a very good year. I’ll spare you the boring details but, more views, more clicks, more features, new relationship, new day job. But enough about me, let’s talk about you, my reader.

Based on what you’ve read on the blog, nd what lead you to the blog, I think we can learn a lot about the state of dating in 2017. What people worry about, and fret over, and invest time to consume tells you a lot about what matters to them, and how they view dating and relationships. I thought exploring this would be a great exercise. (also, I have writers block)

First, let’s start with the top searches that brought you to the blog, and end with the top posts. Since this will be my 780th post, I’ll give you 7 of the top search themes, and my top 8 viewed posts for the year. 0 will be the amount of effort I put into this post (Kidding, kidding).

Top searches in 2017

Rather than include the spelling and grammar mistakes, instead I’ll focus on themes. Also, I’ll exclude search terms that, by a fluke, always seem to be at the top of the list but have zero to do with sex, dating, or relationships (Seriously y’all, I don’t know why so many of you find the blog by searching “Kanye Shrug”, but I hope you enjoy my work while you’re here.). I’ve left in the language of the search terms, because while I prefer to write in a gender neutral way, I think that there are some conclusions to be made based on the gender included in search terms. Anyway, here are the top 7 or so searches that brought readers to the blog:

  1. How do you respond to a rejection?
  2. What should I do when his ex wants him back?
  3. How do I walk away from her and mean it?
  4. He invited me to his house, should I go?
  5. Why do I suck at dating?
  6. How to respond to a message on Bumble?
  7. She likes my pictures on Facebook but doesn’t text me

What does it all mean?

I think that what’s a gendered question, and what isn’t, says a lot. People of all stripes get rejected and think they suck at dating. Folks who date men are dealing with anxieties around ex’s popping back up, whether they should go to a guy’s place for a date. Folks who date women seem to have a hard time leaving for good (I can relate), responding to mediocre messages on Bumble (I feel you), and interpreting the implications of social media activity.

I think that what we all have in common says a lot. I think that dealing with rejection, and responding to rejections with tact is a learned skill. If you’re bad at it today, just know that you can get better at it. And you should get better at dealing with rejection. Life is full of them, so get used to them. I’ve written a few pieces on dealing with rejection, way too many to list out. If you’re looking for advice on how to respond to a rejection, recognize one, or anything else, do a quick search in the search bar above. If I didn’t cover your exact situation, shoot me an email or a DM and I’ll get back to you anonymously.

As for the other things, look. I can (and have) answered these questions before. If an ex wants to get back with someone you’re dating, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is what your partner wants to do. If you want to walk away from someone and mean it, it has to be a decision you make every single day to not go back. It’s not just a one and done decision. You should do house date if you want to, it doesn’t mean you have to sleep with someone. They might think that’s what it means, but you can do whatever you want with your body. I wouldn’t recommend a house date as a first date for safety reasons.

Respond to a first message on Bumble, or any dating site, in a way that invites dialogue. Back and forth conversation. Do not just answer their questions, add some of your own. Repeat until you’ve met in person, or decided you’ve never want to see them again.

Social media use can be an indicator of someone’s interest, or not. Best to just be direct and ask. Don’t care if it’s them liking all your posts, viewing all your short videos, or commenting on everything you do. The case could be made it’s flirty, and the opposite is also true. Just ask.

Oh and, you probably don’t suck at dating. If you think you do, and really believe it in your heart, get to the root of the problem and think of some solutions. Always pick the wrong person? Change what you’re looking for. Just don’t expect to get better at dating if you keep doing the same things over and over.

Top Posts in 2017

Without further ado, here are the most popular posts in 2017

  1. If she is always the first to view my Snapchat story. Is she interested?
  2. She ignored my text, but is liking my pictures. Do I have a shot?
  3. He wants to be exclusive but not formally committed. What is this guy trying to do?!
  4. How do I respond to this Bumble opener?
  5. How should you respond to a rejection text?
  6. How often should you see someone you’re just starting to date?
  7. How do I tell her I’ve met someone else?
  8. How often should you talk to your Sex-Friend?

What does it all mean?

What I notice immediately is the overlap in top posts, and the top search terms. Especially when it comes to gender.

Besides the overlap, what I find really interesting is that not all of these posts were published in 2017. Four of these posts are from 2015, two posts are from 2017, and two posts are from 2016. What I said over the last 3 years still resonates, and that make me pretty happy. Enough pats on the back though, let’s dive a little deeper.

What worries me though is that people seem to be making the same mistakes, or at the very least seem to have the same concerns. While it’s awesome to have work that so far, has resonated over several years, dating as a whole would be a lot better if there was a little less ambiguity. Year after year, we struggle with handling rejection whether we give or receive it. Daters struggling with being open, and honest in a way that wont deliberately hurt someone else.

My advice remains the same in almost all these instances. Be open, be honest, try to do as little harm as possible, and most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all experience uncertainty and ambiguity in our dating lives. We all have doubts, and concerns, and have to deal with rejection. Dating can be hard, frustrating, and soul-crushing. Sometimes though, you find someone who makes it all worth it. There’s no guarantee of when that will be, so date the way you want to date in the meantime. Take breaks, and only date when you want to.

Good Luck Out There.

Also published on Medium.

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