Love, Self

Phone Down, Tinderella: 5 Ways To Step Up Your Flirting Game IRL


Maybe swiping right isn't so beneficial to your dating life after all. Or is it?

Recently, The Daily Mail published an article about 'Tinderella syndrome.' The article's headline is lucid in its description of the term: "Women are so dependent upon dating websites they're unable to approach men in real life."

Emma Kenny talked to Look magazine and described the dating app ailment that's negatively affecting so many. "The problem is, online dating breeds impatience and insecurity," she said. "You're suddenly inundated with so many potential love interests that you stop investing the same amount of effort into meeting actual people offline."

Hmm, good point. On the other hand, Match's relationship expert Kate Taylor makes another point that makes just as much sense.

"Mobile dating apps are actually helping people flirt and chat with each other — they make people feel more confident when they end up talking face-to-face," she said. "You already know so much about each other — from favorite foods, to films, job and hobbies — that conversation in person is much easier and less stilted. You're not starting from scratch."

So what's the scoop? Is online dating a good or bad thing? We talked to YourTango dating coach Dina Colada, and she sees both sides of it.

"Tinderella syndrome is real," she said. "But hiding behind a smartphone screen gives people a sense of bravery and allows the people who are shy a chance of starting a conversation with a potential love interest."

All you introverted darlings out there — we're talking to you! Striking up a convo with a cutie is much easier in this century, no? Not to mention, sending a brazen winky-face text about the sexy dress you'll be dolled up in is a hell of a lot easier than actually wearing it. No shame there, girl.

"Online dating is great because before you meet, you know if there is an interest, so there is less emotional risk," Colada adds. "But an enormous amount of people are looking at their phones instead of connecting with the people around them in the real world. An emoticon smiley face only goes so far when it comes to attracting love at the corner market."

Basically, online dating can work to your advantage while also working against you. Because what if you do happen upon a Chris Pratt look-alike in Kroger? Colada has all the tips for real-life, old-fashioned flirting.

1. Put Away Your Phone.
Self-explanatory. Actually look up at the world — it's kind of pretty sometimes.

"Put away the tablet, phone or computer once in a while. The man in the coffee shop might feel like he doesn't stand a chance of tearing you away from that glowing screen."

2. Connect With People.
Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation — in person.

"Brave up and be aware of people around you instead of your Tinder app. Online dating apps are a fun way to make connections when you're not out in public. At least check your messages when you’re in the ladies' room, instead of being engrossed with it while you're waiting in line for coffee."

3. Smile.
Your face is a lot prettier when it's got a smile on it. Trust us.

"A real-life smile, not a colon and a parentheses, will go a long way in keeping your outlook positive, and it can have the ripple effect on the people around you. Single happy people want to connect with other single happy people. Just because you smiled at someone who happens to have a girlfriend, doesn’t mean your smile was wasted. You just made someone's day."

4. Soul Gaze.
Give him a few glances (and bat your eyelashes!).

"I love looking into people's eyes, but you don't want to stare—that can make people uncomfortable or give a false sense of intimacy. Trust me, I've done it and plenty of people have asked me, 'Why are you looking at me like that?' I have mastered the art of the glance. Three times is a charm if you want to let someone know you are interested."

5. Practice Makes Perfect.
Be your confident, sexy, smiley self around everyone.

"I promote smiling and connecting with everyone. It will make it easier if you have gotten out of your comfort zone with the people you are not interested in romantically when you meet someone you really want to flirt with."

Colada gifts us with one last piece of advice: 
"Do the things you need to do feel good, and pass along the good vibes to as many people as you can. The people around you will appreciate you for it. Except the ones who are too busy looking at their phone."