It took dating coach Evan Marc Katz, 300 dates over the span of 10 years to find the woman he eventually ended up marrying. His experience definitely highlighted the struggle and push-and-pull that comes with online dating. Messaging “your hot” to every attractive face in the hopes of getting a response from one of them, ends up turning into a game of roulette and creeping out a lot of people involved.

Related reading: 3 Things You Should Know Before Online Dating

Evan Marc Katz
Evan Marc Katz

In online dating, before any of us can even get to a first date we cringe at the messages we receive. It can feel like the entire generation is hopeless when it comes to meaningful relationships. Men and women have become more and more available to casually ‘hook up’ with people and disposing them as they please. And since almost no one has to work hard to get to a ‘hook up’ anymore, the whole process lends itself to a lot of confusion and heartache. The challenge most of us face is actually securing an authentic connection with someone and developing a relationship that you feel is worth investing time in.

“Complaining that online dating sucks, is kind of like complaining that the gym is not helping you lose weight,” says Katz. “Ultimately it’s up to you.” He goes on to say that our continuous failed first dates are because “we’re an instant gratification society.” So we are rushing into dates before we can even figure out if we like the person instead of giving ourselves a moment to decide if we even want to go on that first date. Essentially we are going on first dates with complete strangers that end up trying to figure out an excuse to get out of the date they really didn’t want to go on.

Before this was the norm, we spent time with a person at least once before giving them the chance to go on a date. You may have started with, “connection followed by a date, right now we’ve got it reversed,” Katz explains. “We want the date then we want the connection.”

In response to this, Katz introduced the 2/2/2/ rule.

(2) Emails on the dating site or app

(2) Emails off the dating site

(2) Phone calls

= First Date

According to Katz, this weeds out the creeps and people you are not compatible with and saves time from a never-ending cycle of bad first dates.

Related reading: Online Dating: The Pros and Cons of the 9 Biggest Dating Apps

You don’t have to stick to actually 2 for each but stick to communicating before the date and a phone call to see if you enjoy the other person’s company. You will appreciate taking the time to  talk to this person when it comes time for the actual date. “You don’t want to go on blind dates with strangers,” Katz states “I talk to you for 20 minutes on the phone and if I want to put a bullet in my head because I’m so bored, guess what… we don’t go on the date!” Texting makes it hard for people to connect genuinely so if you find yourself only talking to the person one or two times via texting you’ll find yourself more likely trying to get your friend to fake an emergency to get you out of your date from hell.

Reinventing your dating routine with these tips will hopefully save you time and won’t have you thinking that new age dating is doomed.