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Looking at what my friends got up to last night

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Quarantine is taking its toll on most of us — in-person socializing has pretty much been banned for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all starved for affection, and dating looks a lot different than it used to.

Unless you’re quarantined with bae (which is an entirely different conversation), it’s likely that most of your romantic interactions are taking place by way of FaceTime, Instagram, or even Zoom. If you’re single and holed up at home by yourself during these uncertain times, social media is KING. So, fellas, you’d better know how to make a great impression with just a direct message at your disposal, if you plan on scooping the girl of your dreams.

Not your forte? You’re in luck. I’ve got some tips you should consider before pressing “send.”

1. It’s great to tell her she’s beautiful, but know that only focusing on her looks can be — well — a bad look.

Every woman wants her guy to think she’s beautiful, but that’s not all women want. Chances are your love interest would appreciate you noticing her quirks, her likes and dislikes, her hobbies, or even what she does for a living. Take interest in her as a full human being — not just as the object of your desire.

2. Don’t reply to every IG Story with an emoji.

When replying to a Story, emojis are at your disposal — but what does “crying laughing face” say about who you are as man? Not enough. Tell her what was funny or breathtaking about her Story, or what it reminded you of. Emojis are cool, but everyone’s using them, so they won’t help you stand out and nine times out of ten, they won’t help you spark a conversation, which is the real goal.

3. Wit and humor are far more appreciated than any sexual innuendo.

This is 2020, so I won’t speak for every woman under the sun — but lots of women find it offensive and crass when men get too comfortable too quickly. Until that kind of communication is blatantly welcomed, you should always be a gentleman. Besides, showcasing your ability to discuss topics outside of sex, as well as your ability to make her laugh, is attractive and tells her you’re intelligent and evolved beyond your eggplant (hehe).

4. Don’t act entitled to a reply or to her time.

You would think I wouldn’t have to note this, but man you’d be surprised how many people get super intense when they don’t get a response. Remember: whether a person does or does not choose you is their prerogative. Go with the flow and keep it light — and maybe one day she’ll see you for the great guy you are. But, reality is, she doesn’t owe you anything… not a response, not romantic interest even if she does respond, and not a moment of her time.