EXCLUSIVE: Paolo Avelino on finding your match online

Published January 22, 2022, 10:25 AM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

How to take care of oneself online, make the first move, handle dates, and when it’s time to move on to being “just” friends

With the ongoing pandemic, everything had to shift—including dating and meeting new friends. How does one maneuver this “new normal” that we are in?

Online dating is nothing new to us, but, usually, you meet up right after an online chat that clicked and piqued both parties’ interest. But is it even possible now? There’s more time spent online, getting to know each other more via our mobile phones and apps such as Bumble which champions itself as an online dating platform that’s safe for all their users.


Celebrity Paolo Avelino is one of those who’ve tried Bumble, and one of his most memorable experiences with it was when he was in a foreign country. “It was more like a friendship thing. I wouldn’t say it was a date. But, yeah, she technically toured me around all the local spots where they would hang out to their friends. And it was fun,” he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. What started out as a coffee “date” evolved to a new found friend who to hang with. “She was nice enough to accompany me and show me around and I had a great time with them. It really wasn’t romantic at all, but it was fun. And I got to know the place and their culture more, including the people our age. I actually enjoyed it. Some places looked a bit sketchy but they were like really, really great holes in the walls there.”

But not all “dates” come out positive like Avelino’s, we asked him for tips on how to take care of oneself online, how to make the first move, how to handle dates, and when it’s time to move on to being “just” friends.

Take safe steps
“Take time to see if there are common interests or if you’re physically attracted to the person,” he suggests. “Use the Bumble question game. This feature allows a whole list of prompts that could help strike up a conversation.” Another tip is not to overthink things. Sometimes, all it takes is to “send a message and see where things will go.” He also appreciates that there are features such as photo verification and private detector functions that make the app safe. “It also allows us to evaluate some matches that are comfortable enough before meeting with them or taking the next steps.”

Make the move
Avelino doesn’t find anything wrong with women being assertive. “It just means they’re confident and they know what they want,” he reassures. “It’s a good thing that Bumble also provides a safe space for women and men to connect and build connections or any kind of relationship so I appreciate when women are able to communicate what they want and what they need.” Avelino believes that women should go for what they want, not only in relationships but also in any aspect of their life or career. “Don’t be afraid to make the first move because I don’t think there’s anything to lose.”

Go on a date
Recently, Avelino went on a Zoom date hosted by Bumble. It was a contest that ran from Dec. 15 to Jan. 3. A lucky girl won the chance to go on a date, which because of unfortunate circumstances, turned into an online one. Whether it’s online or physical, he shares the same sentiments and tips. “Break the ice and keep the conversation going,” he adds. “Be willing to answer the questions wholeheartedly, because it’s also a way of letting the other party know that you’re sincere.” It’s all about mutual respect.

Move on?
Some are lucky enough to meet a good match right away, while some take time. Avelino reminds everyone that it’s always good to be the better person and be upfront by saying that it wasn’t working out. If it’s the other way around, you can’t force the other person into loving you. “Charge it to experience and learn something from this,” he adds.

Avelino ends the exclusive interview by saying that online dating is the future of dating. “First of all, it’s safer. You don’t have to meet the person face-to-face if you’re not really comfortable with them. Or you could build that confidence with each other and make things happen when everything’s safer for both of you whenever—before you meet up. And yeah, at least when you get to meet up as well. You don’t have to break the ice and start all over from scratch, but, at least, you guys are more comfortable. So I think Bumble and online dating is the way to go, and it’s very convenient for this day and age.”