Adding my two cents, as someone whose 2018 was thoroughly shaped by exploring the world of dating which led to my current happy and fulfilling relationship.
1. There’s a Dutch saying: every pot has a lid that fits - there’s someone out there for you that fits, no matter how weird or undesirable you think you are. The things you are insecure about, can be just those things they find cute. You’re not “too ___ to find someone”.
2. The one exception to the rule is when you’re too reserved to open yourself up to someone. Dating is about being vulnerable. The other person deserves a true you. That doesn’t mean you should throw your tragic past on the table right after the starters, but they deserve a look into who you really are now. Tear down that wall.
3. Never forget that other people are just as complex, multi-faceted and full of experiences as you are. I don’t know about others, but my date (app) conversations were often about the same superficial stuff - school, family, work, pets, hobbies, that kinda stuff. Always keep in mind that that’s just the tip of an iceberg of unknown size and shape. Dive down into the cold water and ask some goddamn questions. Be interested in what made them who they are.
4. They’re just as insecure as you are. It won’t show, because that’s precisely what we’re all trying to hide from each other under the guise of confidence. But everyone’s unsure about what to say, what to wear to a date and what to do.
5. Trust your gut. It’s a better gauge than you think.
6. Communicate. Let me say that again: com - mu - ni - cate. Be open about how you feel, never hesitate to tell them where your boundaries are. No relationship was ever forged in silence.
7. Never draw your confidence from numbers. Don’t think you’re doing great / terrible because you got X amount of responses or swipes or dates. There is too much randomness and luck for that to make any sense, even though every app will make you feel otherwise.
8. And last but not least: have some goddamn fun. Enjoy the good times, don’t fret. Life’s a party but you gotta bake the cake yourself.