Honest(ly) Advice with Katie is Gotham Magazine’s new limited-time advice series with Katie Sands, founder of @honestlykate and On-Air Style Host.
Frequently sought after for her expert tips, including outfit inspiration while on a budget, must-have product recommendations, daily routines for overall well-being, and advice for personal success, Katie will be answering your burning questions here weekly, throughout the month of January.
In the spirit of cuffing season, today’s column explores the in’s and out’s of millennial dating.
May the odds be ever in your favor!
I’m trying to stray away from using dating apps. What are good ways to meet people organically?
I think this is the wrong attitude. You have to manifest to the world that you are ready and open for someone fabulous. Closing yourself off to dating apps is really shooting yourself in the foot. If it weren't for seeing that B (my fiancé) was on Hinge, I would have never had called my friend Lizzy to set us up, because I wouldn’t have even known about him. Finding your person is all about whether you’re ready or not to do so, it shouldn’t matter how.
How do I present the best version of myself on a dating app, while also staying authentic to who I am?
Be authentically you. Be weird, be nerdy, be sarcastic. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. That is called a catfish for a reason. There is someone out there perfect for you who will love all the weirdness that you come with. I love that Dr. Seuss quote, “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
It feels like everybody around me has a significant other. How do I cope with my loneliness while still being happy and supportive of my friends?
Remember that you shouldn’t settle for anyone. It’s better to be a little lonely than with Mr. Wrong. But also remember to continue to put yourself out there and focus on becoming your best self. I think that when we focus on ourselves, and build love and respect for our inner being, finding the right person will come more naturally because we’ll be in a better mindset. And being alone won’t be so burdensome.
I can’t help but feel jealous of my friends who are in relationships. How do I combat this feeling?
I suggest channeling that energy into writing down a list of what you want in life from a relationship or partner. What do you like that you see from your friend’s relationship and what don’t you like? This will help you recognize who you want as a partner, so you can focus on manifesting someone that will make you happy. Remember, every relationship is different, and no relationship is perfect.
With the rise in Covid cases, it can be difficult to go out on in-person dates. How do I put myself out there while still being cautious?
Get boosted, get tested often, and meet people in person at a restaurant (there are so many outside options now too!). You don’t have to go to a big event, or a club or a concert, but I still think you can be cautious and comfortable with in-person dating. If you are immunocompromised, I think facetime dates are also amazing. Pour yourself a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail, get a good ring light, and have fun from afar. Once you’re comfortable or find someone you trust after a few facetimes, you can feel more safe seeing them for a walk outside or for coffee.
I’m meeting my significant other’s parents for the first time. How do I make a good impression?
If you’re going to their house I definitely suggest bringing a gift – a candle, a coffee table book of a hobby or destination they love, something small but meaningful. Always offer to help out around the house and be polite. If you made a good impression on your significant other, you will very likely make a good impression with their parents too. Don’t psyche yourself out too much! Just be you.
I’ve always held myself to a timeline when it comes to dating and I’m not where I thought I would be at this point. How do I prevent settling down for the sake of having somebody?
Never settle. Wait for the person who makes you want to cancel your plans with your best friend because you are so excited to hang out with them. The person who gives you butterflies. The one who makes you a better person and will support your growth, not hinder it. It’s all a learning experience.
Remember not everyone you go out with is going to be Mr. Right. They will all be Mr. Wrong until you meet the one. Just because you’re a certain age or you feel you should be in a certain phase of your life, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Everyone has their own timelines. I should also note that I don’t believe in soulmates. You can make anyone your soulmate if you try hard enough. Instead, look for that person that you are willing to compromise for, and visa versa.
I’ve been going on so many dates and not feeling a connection. How do I stay hopeful that I’m going to find the one?
Remember not everyone you go out with is going to be the one for you. It may take some time, and that’s okay! You just have to keep putting yourself out there and keep going. I went out on SO many dates before I met B. Know that you are just getting through the wrongs so that you are closer to meeting your person. I know it can seem cheesy, but when you know you just know. It’s easy.
When you’re dating somebody new, what are signs that this could be the one?
1. You are not questioning if they are into you or not. You just know regardless of how many calls or texts you receive.
2. You are excited to introduce them to your friends.
3. Your values align.
4. You are not screenshotting their texts to your friends. Anytime someone does this they are just shopping for opinions.
5. You feel confident in the connection.
How do you decipher a red flag from a dealbreaker?
Photography by: Margaret Sullivan