Hook up success is a tough nut to crack. But with the right mindset, your mattress springs could be blown in no time. The problem? Few of us have a phone full of attractive dates.
Whether you spurned your youth on a high school sweetheart or are simply too shy to put yourself out there, if you haven’t spent much time dating; it’s unlikely you’ll be much good at it.
The stereotypes fogging up your social media feed (and more than one Hollywood blockbuster) only compound this problem, leading many of us to assume the only way to find a serious monogamous relationship is to be a serious monogamous individual.
However, there’s a new dating trend on the market: houseplanting. And — unlike paperclipping or ghosting — houseplanting could actually help you find a serious relationship (even if it is quite rude).
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Coined in the comments of New York social illustrator Violet Clair’s above Instagram post, housplanting sparked debate among her 128k followers about what it’s like to date in a world of “fuck bois” and omnipresent dating apps.
While some maintained that houseplanting is a violent enough infraction against politeness to earn the houseplanter a “boi bye” from the houseplantee (as seen by the various comments in which these kind of men are referred to as “limp noodles”), evidence from Reddit’s r/dating advice forum suggests there are more benefits to houseplanting (otherwise known as playing it cool) than meets the eye.
Posted in response to the oft-repeated injunction that, “if you’re seeing multiple people at the same time, do not be an asshole and then justify your behaviour as, ‘But I’m single'”, one savvy commenter shed some much-needed light on the matter.
“Okay so my two cents…when I started dating on Tinder and Bumble, etc, over a year ago, I found literally every single guy I went on dates with, even if it led to second, third and 4th dates, were still seeing other girls or actively messaging other girls on the app while I was only talking to them, giving them all of my attention, and I was constantly getting hurt over and over again.”
“So eventually I tried what they were doing,” she continued, “and I started ‘playing the field’ and I’d schedule a couple dates a week with two different people.”
“I found while I was doing this that I came off as less needy in the beginning because I had 2 guys to talk to and I wasn’t focusing all of my attention on one person. Now, I’m different in the sense where when I get to the 3rd date with someone, maybe the 4th or 5th, is kind of when I want to start being exclusive, because I find if you’re not, are you really giving them a fair chance?”
Moral of the story? If you want as many dates as possible giving you a chance, then seeing multiple people at once (which may involve a little bit of houseplanting) may help you achieve that (by not only helping you come across as less desperate, but also making you feel less desperate).
Of course, there is a grey area where you have to decide whether you are going to take one of your connections to the next level — a moment many people believe you should become exclusive, even if it hasn’t been spoken about, in order to give that potential relationship the most fertile soil possible.
If you are yet to reach this stage, however, and are simply looking to accumulate as many suitors as you can, here are five (relatively) foolproof ways to find the balance between playing it cool and being sexily communicative (i.e. not going full houseplant).
As Elite Daily suggests in a casual sex advice article: being upfront about your intentions will help both of you get into the same bed: “there are plenty of things to do on a first date to improve the chances that you’ll actually get what you want at the end of the night, and it starts with making certain that the two of you are on the same page.”
“You’re not going to hook up with someone who isn’t looking for a hookup, too.”
“Just message your match, and tell them you’re looking for a good time. Ask them if they’re up for a drink. Say you’re not looking for anything serious. Most likely, they’ll be refreshed by your honesty, and you’ll soon be getting refreshments. (And a lot more.)”
But Not Too Upfront
That said, it is also advisable to come up with a playful pretext to your bedroom antics like, “Do you want to come catch up on GOT,” or “Do you fancy a cup of tea,” rather than straight out saying, “Wanna come back to my place.”
Drop Hints You Find Them Attractive
Elite Daily also suggested you pay your date compliments throughout the night: an important yet often overlooked (or awkwardly done) aspect of social interaction.
“Compliment them on the way they look; let them know that you’re attracted to them. Be unabashed about paying attention to them, because really, what do you have to lose? The worst case scenario is you’ll never see them again.”
Talk About Sex
Do it wrong and it will be creepy. Do it right and it could take your date to the next level.
“The single best way to guarantee a hookup is to talk about sex. Talk about what you like. Share funny sex stories. Be respectful about past partners and their privacy, but don’t be shy. When you talk about sex, you and the other person are basically imagining one another having sex. If they’re as into it as you are, then that’s a great sign,” (Elite Daily).
Elite Daily — a women’s publication — suggests to its readers, “If you’re feeling a bit shy and don’t want to be vocal about sex, touch your date’s upper arm or the back of their hand to initiate contact” as a sweet, subtle way to let them know that you are interested in them.
While the same can work for men; approach with your eyes and ears open — paying close attention to your date’s response, and making sure they feel comfortable. That said, this is a great way for those that are verbally shy to start making their move.