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New dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel make us log in with Facebook, and they display the mutual friends we share with users on the app, which generates feelings of credibility and trust.
The worlds of dating and social networking are on a path toward convergence, and friendship is the driving force.
As an online dating consultant and matchmaker, I’m a strong believer in the power of these referral networks.
After going on over 150 dates, trying out over 100 dating websites, and advising hundreds of individuals at all levels of dating experience, one thing consistently stands out to me: .
Sex and romance can definitely still happen in the context of friendship-first dating, but they are never assumed or expected, and the top priority is always to understand and validate someone’s existing preferences and goals rather than imposing your own goals and expectations upon them.
The concept of being “friendzoned” on an implicit expectation of sex, because it posits friendship as a suboptimal outcome instead of being a worthy end in and of itself.
Genuine friendships drive human happiness, and when we want the best for the people we meet and strive to help them excel in the things they value, we are deepening our capacity for quality friendships.
The most influential line I ever read about cultivating friendships & relationships actually came from a nondescript Geocities page that I stumbled across in 2003.
Meeting someone to participate in an activity you mutually enjoy sets you up for a successful friendship, which can either convert into a relationship later, or lead to that person referring you to one of their friends to date.
We kept things friendly and fun rather than expecting things to turn romantic or physical right away.
By not overtly expecting sex, commitment, or even compatibility upfront, and instead focusing on just creating a series of fun, memorable experiences, we had implicitly set the precedent for a approach to dating.
Consequently, that one person who previously would’ve been a single “yes/no” one-off date with no followup instead becomes not just a friend, but a fantastic advocate in our quest to build future friendships and relationships.
The most effective strategy for finding a good relationship is thus to optimize dating sites for finding Friends understand our needs, become invested in our story, and enthusiastically introduce us to more of their friends.
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Consider when a friend invites you to a trivia night and you meet one of their other friends there and hit it off, or when you go to a friend’s birthday party and bump into someone new.