For many people in the 21st century, it seems like dating is harder than it’s ever been. But one truth about dating is that it’s always been harder than it’s ever been. Nobody’s ever really prepared for dating, no matter the century. If you think it was ever easy, read a few Shakespearean rom-coms and you’ll see it’s never really been easy.
But another truth about dating is that some things never go out of style, like a beautiful smile. And looking at the modern dating story of “Aaron” featured in the Toronto Star, you’ll see what we mean.
Modern Romance with a Classic Twist
In a lot of ways, Aaron fits the classic profile for a problematic Millennial trying to sort out his complicated love life. He’s a 33-year-old IT consultant. He says his style is “as casual as possible.” He hates socks so much that he wears flip-flops as much as possible. And like many Millennials, one of his key criteria for a woman is that she has to be able to hang with his “very eclectic group of friends.” Many of his generation literally learned all they know about “adulting” from Friends, so they have a sense that romance is second to friendships.
After the collapse of his first adult relationship, Aaron turned to online dating apps to find someone. And, in typically complicated contemporary plotting, it was while he was dating someone he liked that Aaron received a classic pick-up line from a potential date: “Hey, nice teeth!” That’s what we mean when we say that smiling opens doors.
That was all it took for Aaron to look up this woman. He was concerned about some kind of scam, but quickly decided that he wanted to meet her, so he postponed the next date with his current girl.
A Relationship Built on Smiles
And it wasn’t just that first pickup line that shows the importance of smiles to Aaron’s dating story. Most of his description of the first meeting with hi date focuses on the fact that “She had a great smile,” and how he wanted to make jokes “so [he] could watch her laugh.” It reminds us that a smile is the best thing you can wear for a date.
Then, for the second date he talks about how he loved seeing the “huge grin on her face.”
And there are subtle moments that could have been derailed by unattractive teeth, too. He talked about them joking over the meal without any consciousness of how much eating puts his teeth on display, something he couldn’t do if he weren’t fully confident in the appearance of his smile.
The Way to Her (or His) Heart
Aaron’s story is in no way atypical. Recent surveys have shown that a good smile is the single characteristic men and women are most commonly looking for in a date. Nothing makes a better first impression than a beautiful smile–whether that smile is in person or in a profile pic. And it’s important to understand that the profile pic will influence your first meeting.
Many aspects of dating are different than they used to be. The sheer number and variety of online dating apps is dizzying. People are dating older. They’re more likely to sacrifice love for their friends.
But one thing that hasn’t changed: your smile is still crucial to finding love. Whether you’re a Millennial still looking for that perfect someone or a Baby Boomer learning to navigate the new world of dating, your smile will help. It’s even more important as you get older because smiling helps you look younger and thinner.