Dating and social media: 9 tips from the cast of Bachelor in Paradise

Navigating the constructs of modern dating has never been more difficult. Aside from the countless platforms where we can interact with prospective love interests, there are also unspoken codes you need to be in on. (Cue every “Netflix and chill” meme. Now there’s even an app that sets you up with someone based on their Netflix viewing preferences—presumably so you can actually watch Netflix and, well, chill.)

When it comes to dating in pop culture, nothing better illustrates these kinds of contemporary foibles than the Bachelor franchise. I mean, it’s pretty much dating hopped up on steroids. The excursions are spectacular, the meltdowns are epic, and the makeouts are…usually cringe-worthy.

If you were completely captivated by Bachelor in Paradise this summer (like I was), then you’re already well versed in its charms. For those of you who weren’t totally glued to your TVs every Sunday and Monday night, here’s a quick run-down: cast members from previous seasons are put together in a palatial Mexican villa, aka “paradise” (even though there seemed to be an unnatural surplus of stray crabs), with the hopes of finding another shot at love. And while the majority of them still ended up leaving solo despite being put through what were essentially the dating Olympics, the one thing they did leave with was a huge increase in Twitter followers.

So when some of the cast members were in town last week for Eligible Magazine’s annual TIFF party, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to sit down with them to talk about the role of social media in dating. Read on to learn their 9 tips for dating and social media.

1. Not being on social media can make you seem mysterious—or like a potential psychopath.

Tenley Molzahn: I probably would be attracted to someone who uses it as much as I do. I want them to understand that it is a big part of my life, as long as it’s not their whole life.

2. Allow yourself to get to know your date IRL

Chris Bukowski: Once I search someone on Instagram, I’m going deep—I can learn her parents’ names and it kind of takes away from getting to know the person.

3. But, if you must stalk (duh), do NOT let it slip

Michael Stagliano: You can’t be like, “How was your time in Europe last year?” or “I saw you went to the Dodgers game 67 weeks ago; tell me about that.”

4. A “tasteful” amount of selfies is okay

Chris: It shows confidence.

5. Your Insta grid is basically a window into your soul and should therefore include pictures of:

Mikey Tenerelli: Babies. Or dogs.

Jared Haibon: Funny posts—something that makes me laugh.

Michael: Lots of pictures with friends.

6. Creeping a date’s ex can actually be an ego boost

Mikey: I look to see if I’m better looking than them, and then I have that as ammo.

Michael: Or, if the ex is really good looking, it’s obvious that they like attractive people, and now you’re dating them so…A+B = C.”

7. When (uh, if) you break up, it’s okay to delete pics 

Michael: Unfollowing and unfriending is pretty immature, but I think after a certain amount of time, it’s reasonable to take down pictures.

8. Who they’re following is the ultimate background check

Tenley: If I look at who a guy’s following and it’s a whole bunch of naked women and bikini models, then I’m probably not the kind of girl he’s looking for, or he’s not in a relationship [head]space.

9. On the other hand…

Chris: I actually follow a lot of dog profiles, like @goldendoodlesofinstagram.

Michael: Which totally works in your favour!

Chris: I just don’t want girls to be freaked out when they see that I’m following 710 profiles of dogs, you know?

Michael: Oh. Well…that’s way too many.