Dating came a long way in the 2010s. From the rise of dating apps to the emergence of concepts like “cuffing season,” “shipping,” and “fuckboys” to sliding into DMs, it’s a whole new ballgame — or so I’m told given I wasn’t exactly actively dating in high school. But I digress. The point is, with all of the good that came in the last decade, we also got a lot of bad (overthinking Instagram likes, accidentally finding yourself with a fuckboy during cuffing season, etc.).

But we can leave all those undesirables in the past! It’s 2020, and to borrow a term that rose to prominence in the latter portion of the last decade, certain dating practices need to be canceled. So as we barrel into the ’20s, these are the only dating trends we’re greenlighting. 

Dating beyond your astrological compatibility

Before you unfriend me on CoStar, hear me out: Astrology is just one facet of someone’s personality. It’s important to consider what choices they have made and experiences they have had that do not directly correlate to the fact that they were born in Poughkeepsie, New York at 12:27 p.m. on March 15, 1995. Think of it as nature vs. nurture. So before your write someone off, consider getting to know them and please, I beg you, give Pisces a chance. 

Clearly ending relationships, even if you haven’t DTR-ed

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been on two dates or 20. Do not ghost, do not breadcrumb, and certainly do not haunt. If you don’t want to see someone anymore, let them know. They won’t have to spend six hours anxiously fretting about why you haven’t texted them back, and you won’t have to sacrifice six hours of your day stressed out and fumbling for yet another excuse about why you need to “raincheck, sorry!”

Expanding your radius

Do you feel like you see the same faces over and over and over again until you inevitably receive the “you have run out of people” message? Consider extending your distance settings to show you people who are farther than, say, a mile from your current location. Believe it or not, there are cool, interesting, dateable people everywhere. I know Ubers can get really expensive if you dare date someone who lives 5+ miles away, but maybe 2020 is the year that you become particularly savvy with your city’s public transit system. Broadening your horizons while living a more eco-friendly life is the 2020 we should all be living in. 

Being honest, TBH

This goes for both yourself and the people you date. Did you agree to go on an axe throwing date despite suffering from Paul Bunyon-related nightmares since childhood? Tell your date and suggest something more your speed (is fro-yo still a thing?). Are you looking for something serious but you have a hunch the person you’re dating isn’t? Bring it up to them, and then stop seeing them if you aren’t on the same page. Have you never seen a Marvel movie? Then don’t pretend that you have just because you are on a date with someone who firmly believes that “Infinity War” was the greatest film of the decade (which is false, BTW, we all know it was “Cats”). Save yourself the anxiety of pretending things are OK when they aren’t or acting as if you like things that you actually hate. Be honest, be yourself, but if it comes down to it, please be careful with that axe. 

Saying goodbye to your “type

For a long time, I only dated tortured, emotionally unavailable, aloof artists. Can you guess why this never worked out for me? If you haven’t been successful while dating the same type of people, consider that this pattern could be the root cause of your relationships gone awry. Also, keep in mind that a “type” is often only skin-deep. You see, people are like ogres, and ogres are like onions, and onions have layers. So if you are only giving D&D Dungeon Masters a chance, you are not only unfairly reducing them to a single defining trait, but you are also missing out on a lot of great people who have much to offer beyond completing a particularly successful Forgotten Realms campaign.

Texting back in a timely manner

It’s 2020, we’re only about 30 years out from the world’s temperature rising to the point of human extinction, and we do not 👏 have  👏 time 👏 to wait five hours to text people back. I understand that you strive to maintain a slightly-interested-but-still-very-busy demeanor. I understand that you don’t want to seem desperate. But I do not understand how promptly answering a simple question is so often perceived poorly.

If you were having a face-to-face conversation, would you just sit there, slack-jawed, staring blankly at your date for hours before finally telling them how your trip to Bali was? I don’t think you would! Just text them back the first time you get the chance. They will likely follow suit and drop the waiting game, too so y’all can get this show on the road before 2050.