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Heart-to-Heart: Volume VIII

The Life Section’s Love Columnists answer burning relationship questions submitted by the University’s student body

<p>Ask all of your burning (love) questions with our Love Connection writers</p>

Ask all of your burning (love) questions with our Love Connection writers

  1. What should I put in my Tinder bio? How do I make myself sound interesting? 

Online dating can feel like a minefield of do’s and don’ts with so much pressure to put your best foot forward. When men spend an average of 58 seconds viewing a user’s profile, with women at a higher 84 seconds, you have only in the ballpark of a minute to catch a user’s attention before they’re on to swiping for bigger and better. How do you capitalize on this? 

For starters — be honest. There’s nothing worse than lying on your profile only to catch the attention of a potential match with a falsehood you’ll inevitably be caught in over dinner or coffee. Yes, even exaggeration counts here. Any match that requires inflating what you have to offer is not a sustainable grounds for a fulfilling romantic escapade anyways. Highlight your best qualities, and maybe minimize the not-so-attractive — i.e., keep your messy room or unmade bed out of photos. 

Secondly, keep it short and sweet. A Tinder bio is the hook to a novel, not a SparkNotes summary. It should be enough to get the reader interested, but not too much that they aren’t enticed to find out more. That is to say, don’t spoil the ending by using the maximum word count as a target rather than a restriction. Pick one or two points to highlight that leave room for funny conversation prompts or potential first dates and let potential matches’ imaginations do the rest of the work until you meet in person. 

My last piece of advice is to crowdsource. It can be hard to self reflect, so rather than attempting to internalize your best qualities, you may choose to ask around instead. By asking family or friends what it is they enjoy about your company, you may find yourself surprised at what qualities of yours attract other people. It would be a shame to miss an opportunity to brag about your sense of humor just because you never found yourself especially funny, for example. The people we care about tend to love what we ourselves overlook — so let them help you out by showing off their favorite things about you!

My parting words of wisdom are to be both candid and concise. Trust that the truth will intrigue any potential matches that are right for you, and know that any attempts at insincerity are misguided. 

  1. My partner and I are past our honeymoon phase, but now I can’t tell if our relationship feels comfortable or boring. Things are still good, but I miss the excitement of our relationship’s early stages. 

It can feel strange going from life as a single person, hopping from first date to first date and casually sampling the pool of potential partners, to settling into a routine of an exclusive relationship. At the beginning, there is still a newness that carries excitement and suspense, but as you have so eloquently put it, that honeymoon phase is not permanent. 

But don’t fret — I am here to tell you that that is perfectly okay. The honeymoon phase is driven mostly by an increased release of neurotransmitters in our brain when we begin dating a new partner. That is, it’s biologically temporary, so what you’re feeling is inherently natural. You raise an important issue, however, about what comes after the honeymoon phase. 

A comfortable relationship and a boring one may, at first glance, appear to bear an uncanny resemblance. I assure you, though, that digging deeper can be quite illuminating. I urge you to pay attention to how you are feeling around your partner. Is there a lack of butterflies because you’re no longer nervous to see them, or because you’re not excited to? Do you feel safe with your partner, or uninspired? Does thinking about a future with this partner seem promising, or does it make you uneasy? It is important to feel like you can be yourself around your partner — you should be comfortable and trusting, but you should not be bored. 

So maybe after some introspection you’ve decided that it isn’t quite boredom you’re feeling, but a more passive passion than in the beginning. Lucky for you, there are ways of returning to the feelings of a freshly founded relationship. But first, I encourage you to acknowledge the deeper intimacy and emotional connection offered by a post-honeymoon phase relationship, as couples in this phase commonly find more understanding and support in these stages. That being said, it isn’t wrong to want to reignite the fire of desire. 

There are a couple tried and true methods for doing this. First, you may want to prioritize physical touch when spending time with your partner. This can increase the release of oxytocin — otherwise known as the “love hormone” — firing those same synapses activated in the early weeks. Alternatively, making a greater effort at setting aside time for deeper conversations and truly paying attention to your partner can help explore the newfound trust and affection of a comfortable relationship. Lastly, at this stage you have likely come to better understand how your partner prefers to be prioritized. Understanding things like your partner’s love language — like whether they prefer gift giving or acts of service to truly feel appreciated — can help you find ways to spark your buried feelings.  

Heart to Heart is a regular column written by Life columnists Katherine Schwartz and Jenna Onetto. To submit a question, fill out this form and our columnists will do their best to address it in an upcoming issue.


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