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What You Need To Know About Dating And Relationships If You Want To Fall In Love In 2019

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What Single Women And Men Need To Know About Online Dating Sites, Love, And Relationships In 2019
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Here's how to make 2019 your year for finding love.

By Lisa Holden

As 2018 wraps up and many of us resolve to improve our dating lives in the year to come, I'm here with a handful of predictions from the experts about trends to expect and pitfalls to avoid.

Want to get a jump-start on your love life and relationships in 2019? Here's what you need to know.

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The paradox of choice is out and love is in.

"Love is making a comeback in 2019," Hesam Hosseini, CEO of Match, told POPSUGAR. "Singles are growing tired of swiping culture and have become more intentional about dating, seeking meaningful, long-term connections on dating apps."

Hosseini is on to something. While hundreds of articles are out there about how the paradox of choice is preventing folks from finding happiness, I'd like to take a moment to give today's singles a bit more credit. We're not dummies. We know we can swipe for fun, but if we actually want a partner, eventually we'll have to make a choice.

For those of us who have been on the apps for more than a year, I predict we'll see less swiping and more getting creative about alternative ways to meet people.

"Should" is over — just do what's right for you. 

I sat down with Ashley Hesseltine and Rayna Greenberg, who run the wickedly funny podcast Girls Gotta Eat. They explained, "In the new year and beyond, women will stop doing stuff they don't want to do, whether it be on the apps, on dates, or in the bedroom. With our podcast, we hope we've contributed to a movement of women not going out with men out of obligation, shutting down creeps on apps, not sleeping with someone until they're fully ready, and resisting anything that makes them uncomfortable. Ladies are living their best lives (by their own rules) more than ever, and we only see it continuing."

Amen, ladies! Let's quit the obligation and go live our best lives.

IRL: so hot RN.

We're done swiping for sport. Cyber-dating expert Julie Spira says, "Dating apps have made it so easy to meet so many people in a digital split second. However, singles are overswiping and not really meeting as much as they should. I believe the biggest dating trend for 2019 will be to stop the swiping frenzy, and for dating apps to make it easier for people to go on dates. Meeting IRL will be the focus for singles, and since the goal is to find love, it's time for dating apps to help make dating less overwhelming."

The founder and CEO of Hinge, Justin McLeod, is committed to getting folks off the dating apps and into meaningful relationships in the year to come. He told us, "2019 will be the year hookup culture dies. Singles are sick of mindless connections and racking up matches. They want actual dates. Insights from our new 'We Met' feature, which asks members for first date feedback, shows that 75 percent of first dates lead to second dates. It's clear singles are starting to crave more meaningful connections that last longer than one night."

Hinge isn't the only dating app embracing IRL. Bumble recently launched BumbleSpot to encourage people to get off the app and meet each other in person.

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Thank U, Next

Ariana Grande said it herself. We can all be grateful for our exes and what they've taught us and embrace 2019 with a fresh perspective. If things didn't work out in 2018, it means we're stronger, wiser, and braver going into 2019. As pop culture lends itself to more female empowerment, I bet we'll see more instances of women taking control of their love lives and rejecting nonsense like ghosting and breadcrumbing.

Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, coauthors of The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets For Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right, want to remind women that they hold the cards, and if they want to meet in real life, they'll need to stop texting endlessly.

"Women are getting fed up because they've been nice, allowing guys to text them to chat, without making firm plans," Fein told POPSUGAR. She explains that in the years to come, that's getting less and less acceptable. If a man is texting just to ask "what's up" and not making plans to see you, it's time to "next him." Schneider adds, "The leverage women have is the pleasure of their time, and when men get it, either in the form of chatting over text or social media engagement, it removes their urgency to ask a lady out on a real date."

I like this concept; it basically says if you're giving them your attention before they've earned it, you're confusing them. In 2019, we'll stop being doormats and say "thank you, next" to those who haven't earned the pleasure of our company.

Buckle up for adventure.

Today's singles are getting tired of drinks as a first date activity. Sure, it's fine and easy to exit if the date isn't going well, but I wonder if we're all a little sick of that wine or cocktails song and dance.

There are plenty of non-drink options for dates. According to Tinder, the data behind this theory checks out and there's more of this to come in the new year.

Tinder dating and relationships trend expert Dr. Darcy Sterling told POPSUGAR, "One thing we know for sure heading into 2019 is that daters want new experiences and more excitement. Tinder's Year in Swipe data revealed that 'fun' and 'adventure' are among the top terms in bios, confirming that millennials and Gen Z-ers tend to think beyond the drink. So if you love trying new activities, 2019 is your year. Whether it's a pottery class, ice skating lesson, or going to a salsa club, date nights are getting much more interesting."

If you're not a planner, you can outsource this with organizations like Events & Adventures, through which you simply pay an annual membership fee and get access to singles events in your area.

Kindness is king.

Something I've been working on in my own dating life is human decency. I know, groundbreaking. But here's the thing: when you can't think of a nice way to say "no thank you," sometimes you end up saying nothing at all. It's not mean-spirited, but it's not nice either.

I've been working on closing out my dating relationships with compassion and communication instead of ghosting, and I'm here to tell you that's not always easy. I've failed several times this year. But in 2019, when folks are out on the dating scene, I'm not the only one resolving to give empathy a go.

The chief brand officer at Bumble, Alex Williamson, told POPSUGAR, "In 2019, I think we will see the trend of mindfulness and respect in dating. As more people are appreciating stepping away from their devices and digitally detoxing, we've created features that reflect that, including Snooze, Bumble Boost, and badges, which help people get to know each other's priorities and intentions more quickly."

As Bumble makes it easier for us to be more mindful in our dating, Williamson also reminds us to be kind to everyone involved, including you. "Our priority is kindness, both in your relationships with other people and in the relationship you have with yourself. We're excited to see a cultural trend that's paralleling that, too."

Mindfulness in relationships.

Mindful dating is important because if eHarmony is right, it's going to lead to more mindful partnerships in 2019.

Chief of advice at eHarmony Jeannie Assimos told us, "Couples will be more open to couples therapy and talking about their feelings than in years past, especially as millennials continue to date and Gen Z-ers enter the dating scene."

Why is that? Perhaps it's that they're approaching dating with more mindfulness and taking their time selecting a partner. Assimos confirms, "More people will meet their love interests online than any other way (an increasing trend year after year), and in general, couples will wait longer — some six or seven years of dating — before getting married."

So let's soldier into 2019 with our heads held high, reminding ourselves to be mindful, kind, adventurous, selective, self-aware, and most of all loving in the year to come. Until next year, good luck out there!

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Lisa Holden lives in San Francisco, California and has been on more than 100 first dates. A branding and communications professional by day, she pulls from this knowledge to help her friends and readers determine how to behave before, during and after a date.

This article was originally published at Popsugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.