A helpful guide to dating in 2017

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Illustration: Madalyn Drewno

THE DATING GAME HAS CHANGED

Dating is not what it used to be. The younger generations are ditching antiquated ways of courting their potential partner through the use of sending notes and landline phone calls. They are seeking love in untraditional ways, found in the palm of their hands. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2013 only five percent of 18 to 24-year-olds used dating apps; now it’s up to 27 percent.

The complications of today’s dating world may have led many singles to resort to nonstop binge-watching TV rom coms like The Mindy Project and New Girl for dating advice, while scrolling through Huffington Post lists in desperation. For those lucky few that Tindered their way into finding a date, these are just a few pointers to keep in mind for the next big night out.

Don’t mention your political views…yet.

People have nonstop bickered and unfriended each other on Facebook this past year in what many consider to be one of the most tumultuous presidential elections to date. In an effort of actually finding love with someone who might be compatible, it’s better to steer clear of mentioning your strong dislike for someone in or outside of the White House. The mood will dampen inquickly on a night that was supposed to end in fireworks.

Don’t air your dirty laundry.

The intent of dating was once meant for a pair to share personal interests, passions, and admirations; not the full rundown of the family drama going on at home. Many may have personal situations that can be emotionally overbearing, whether it’s parents cutting funding off, or stressful roommate situations. The other person just wanted to grab drinks and get to know you—they did not agree to listen to the 10 things that make your lab partner a terrible person.

Clean Up.

People often forget the power of the nose. Shower before hand. Wear hefty deodorant. An extra swipe won’t hurt.

Salads on dates are a no-go.

Holding back on eating choices can be risky especially if a person usually eats anything that comes in front of you. A diehard half-pound burger fan should get the baby-sized burger and enjoy it in peace. Nothing is worse than ordering the salad with dressing on the side and still being hungry. Their date  doesn’t need to hear stomach gurgling, alerting everyone within a five mile radius that the salad was chosen over the large pasta.

Keep in contact.

The date didn’t turn out as expected and that’s okay. People aren’t bound to committing to marriage just because an Olive Garden meal and a hug was involved. Be straightforward and let them know if it didn’t work out. Nothing is worse than waiting on the other side of the phone anticipating a non-existent “I had a great time” message.

Be your “best self.”

Cliché, yet one of the most underrated hints. It’s easy to fall into the perspective of always needing to be at the disposal of someone else. If you don’t wear dresses: don’t do it. If you don’t like shaving your beard: don’t do it. It may be years from now, but somebody will hopefully—keyword hopefully—like you for being quirky, stubborn, or frankly allured by the sight of potted plants. Dating is weird.

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