By Katy Garay (J-101 Staff Writer)
It’s cuffing season
The urban dictionary describes cuffing season as “cuffed” or “tied down.” It’s the feeling single people get after a long summer of being promiscuous. Winter kicks in and all of a sudden single people feel lonely and need someone to cuddle with. Let’s keep it real– or in the words of most rappers, Keep it 100– most of us want love either now or in the future. Humans are designed to be “cuffed” by a special person. Dating can be rough and as technology becomes more and more a part of our world, we become less interactive with one another. This is not always a good thing. For the ones that are still seeking love but are too shy to actually get out there in person, I suggest online dating.
Yes, I know you hear a lot of scary stories on the news and on the MTV show Catfish. So I’m here to tell you the good side of online dating and things you can do to prevent running into creeps. I found out that my close friend was secretly online dating. She was too ashamed to tell me because she thought online dating would be for someone that’s desperate, which is absolutely not true. I caught her lying to me when I asked how she met the person she was dating. She would respond and say “at the grocery store.” Yea right, who meets people at the grocery store these days? She admitted that she had been dating online and that’s when I decided to give it a try. In 2015, Tinder was the popular dating siteI tried it for a month and went out on one date, but before that, I would get random messages from guys that just wanted a quick hook up. Usually those messages started with “what are you doing,” “what are you wearing, “are you down to meet up right now,” “how wild are you, 1-10?” These are the messages to ignore. The messages you can reply to are usually really simple, a hello followed by a question like “how was your day?” “Finding any luck on here?” “Have you traveled lately?” Questions that don’t lead to anything serious right away or even something humorous.
After you’ve talked to the person through several messages, make sure you give me them a call before the date. I suggest a couple of old school phone conversations. You want to get to know the person a little bit more before you commit to an actual date. You want to be able to know what their voice sounds like, and if it’s the voice of the true gender you’re talking to. Tell a friend about your date, give them the name and number of the person. I took extra measures and texted my sister the license plate of their car and shared my location with her so she can know where I was. Being safe usually applies more to a female than male, but that doesn’t mean that men are completely safe either. On a first date I always meet at a public place. If you’re still not landing any dates, take a look at your online dating profile. Are you contradicting yourself in your bio? I suggest keeping it simple. Sometimes writing a whole essay can sound boring and it adds no mystery to you. Let the person get to know you. Include pictures of yourself with a few friends, no more than two selfies and one picture doing your favorite thing, running, hiking, cycling, painting, etc. These are all the things I did while online dating. I tried a couple of apps like Tinder and POF.
I wasn’t sure if I would meet someone special but I at least wanted to take a chance at it. I met my husband on a dating app called POF. I did all of the things to be safe and was open, direct and honest with him. I knew I really liked him so before I met him, I told him that I was looking for something serious and if that wasn’t what he was looking for then why waste each other’s time? My connection with him was instant and I was ecstatic. Fast forward to one year after I met him, he was on his knee asking me to marry him. When I talk about how fast our relationship moved, I forgot to talk about how much time and effort we both put into getting to know each other on a deeper level.
I think online dating can be fun and exciting if you know exactly what you want. In traditional dating, there’s a lot of uncertainty. It’s difficult to know what people’s intentions are when they may be a friend of a friend or someone you met at a bar. With online dating, you can see their intentions on their profile. Either they want a quick hook up and state it, or they want to date a while in hopes of something serious. They can lie and try to weasel their way into meeting you in person to get that hook up, but as I said earlier, be safe and pay attention to the hints of sleazy behavior. For me, this was easy to spot and choose who I wanted to talk to. Though meeting the traditional way can also be meaningful and exciting, there’s always so many questions that you can’t ask right away. I say give it a chance and try a nontraditional way to seek love. Be safe, smart and wise.