This post is custom content created in partnership with Visible.
Dating is many wonderful things, but it’s not always simple and efficient. If you’re using a dating app, you probably want to find the right photos and build out your profile before you begin to Like, match, and chat. And that’s before you even schedule and go on the actual date. It can be a lot, but it doesn’t have to be.
“I’m all about encouraging my clients to simplify their dating lives so we can more effortlessly integrate dating into our overly busy, often chaotic lives,” says dating coach Evin Rose. “But simplifying your dating life is not about approaching it from a robotic, purely strategic place. We need to be careful that we don’t go so far into simplicity that dating becomes mundane, routine, or dehumanized. After all, dating should be fun.”
One of the best ways to increase your chances of a fun date is to create the right conditions for it. In partnership with the new streamlined phone service Visible — it offers unlimited data at speeds up to 5 Mbps, no annual contracts, and no hidden fees for just $40 a month all-in — we’ve got six date-simplifying tips designed to do just that.
1. Whittle down your dating apps.
More dating apps means more time spent on dating apps — often with less-than-needed attention to each one. Instead, pick your favorite, make your profile the best it can be, and use it regularly. “Having too many apps going at once can cause you to forget conversations and potential connections,” says sex and relationship writer Mackenzie Riel. “Besides, one is plenty to keep track of.” Hear, hear!
2. Have a go-to outfit.
Oh, the stress of picking out a first-date outfit. It’s been known to send people on last-minute shopping sprees, which are neither good for your stress level nor your checking account.
Adina Mahalli, MSW, a mental health and relationship expert who writes for Maple Holistics, suggests having a few standby outfits you feel good in before a date is even set. “It should take you from day to night or fancy to casual. While you’re at it, pick out a second- and third-date outfit,” she says. It will not only save you time but, more importantly, mental energy.
3. Schedule mini FaceTime “dates” before agreeing to meet.
Dating is one of the few things we still need to do IRL, but that doesn’t mean we can’t weed out some bad first dates with a little screener. “If you’re on the fence about someone or you have a particularly busy week (or month, or life), ask if they’d be up for a quick FaceTime chat,” says Rose. “That way you can feel out if there’s a vibe before reserving a whole evening for them.” Dedicate part of an evening to a few of these instead of reserving one night for each date.
4. Double up on dates.
Once you have your first-date outfit on and your screenings done, you might want to get the most out of things by scheduling more than one first date per night, provided you’re comfortable with doing that “How about meeting date No. 1 for a casual happy-hour drink and then ducking out for ice cream and a stroll with date No. 2? Or a Sunday late-morning coffee date with your first suitor and then brunch with your second?” asks Rose. “The key here is to plan your time wisely. Let date one know ahead of time that you need to wrap up by X time.”
5. Make a list of what you want.
You’ll be able to vet potential dates better and faster if you know what you’re looking for. “A list will help you stay on a path to finding someone who is truly worthy of your time,” says Riel. “This can be [of] physical traits, but it can also [include] personality traits, values, and morals.” A person doesn’t necessarily need to check all the boxes — unless you want them to — but this is a good way to zoom in on what you want.
6. Have a prewritten “thanks, but no thanks” text.
If you no longer want to see someone after a date or two, the easiest thing to do is ghost them. It is not, however, the nicest. Instead, rely on a prepared breakup message to save you time and stress. “When you leave things without the closure of a simple ‘thanks, but no thanks’ text, it’s a drain on your energy (not to mention unkind to the other person who’s hoping you might get back to them any day now),” says Rose. “Have a straightforward, kind, and copy-pastable response saved in your phone, so that you don’t need to overthink, overstress, or otherwise make dramatic what should be a very simple conclusion.” Easy, right?