Dating websites and apps, particularly with swiping technology, have changed the way people date online. It’s easier than ever to sort through hundreds of profiles to find compatible people. However, this selection method, which is based primarily on a member’s appearance, age, and location, has become somewhat addictive, and makes online dating more game-like.
Moving from online to offline can be difficult because while you’re coming into contact with more singles, the likelihood of those contacts turning into a date often goes down. Read on for five tips that will help you actually get a real-life date from a dating app instead of being caught in the endless swiping and messaging trap.
1. Define Your Goals
Whether you want a hookup, date, or relationship, you should say so in your bio so there’s no confusion on anyone’s part. You also want to identify your absolute dealbreakers. For example, hair color isn’t a real dealbreaker, but religion usually is, especially if you want to have children and raise them to have the same beliefs. If you’re looking at a profile of someone who’s atheist, but you’re Christian and aren’t willing to budge on that, you shouldn’t match with or message them just to see where things might go. It’ll just waste time for both of you.
Plus, the top dating apps won’t show its members who passed on them, so they’ll never know you’re not interested and their feelings won’t get hurt.
2. Initiate Instead of Waiting
You have control over your dating life, so instead of hoping a match will message you or ask you out, do the initiating yourself. You’re more likely to get a date for the weekend if you do so — not to mention it can feel really empowering.
Asking someone out doesn’t have to be intimidating or awkward. Just tell them you’ve enjoyed your conversations with them or feel like you have a lot in common based on their profile, and ask if they’d like to go for coffee so you two can get to know each other better.
3. Move From Messaging to Texting As Soon As You Can
If you genuinely like this person and get a good vibe from them, and they feel the same way, transition your conversations from messaging to texting. You could offer up your number, or you could ask for theirs and tell them you’d like to take the communication off the platform for a little while.
Texting is more intimate, and it’ll bring you one step closer to an actual date. Too many times matches get stuck messaging back and forth all day, every day but never get anywhere. If they aren’t willing to move things along online, then they won’t be offline either.
4. Set Up A Date Within One Week
Once you’ve matched with someone and start messaging, start discussing date ideas as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get them into the real world. I suggest setting up a date within one week of meeting each other online. This will help you determine if the person wants to spend face-to-face time with you or if they just want an online play thing. If they can’t do that, and they have a good reason, try for the next week. But if they keep doing this to you, they probably have no intention of meeting up with you.
The date doesn’t have to be super serious or long — even going for drinks or a walk in the park will show you if it’s a good match or not
5. If They’re Putting the Date Off, Move On and Tell Them Why
The best way to react to someone if they’re being flaky, disappear for days at a time or longer, or keep giving you excuses for why you haven’t gone on a date yet is to simply tell them your end goal (remember tip number one). You’re not being mean — you’re being honest. You’re not looking for a pen pal, and you deserve to have the life you want. There are millions of people looking for love, so you won’t have any trouble finding someone new.
Dating apps are extremely convenient, but they can also put your love life on pause if you don’t use them as they were meant to be used. They’re a means of connecting with people, but it’s up to you to get into the real world. As Uncle Ben from Spider-Man always said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” If you make a concerted effort to avoid getting into a swiping cycle, you’ll see progress in no time!
Hayley Matthews is editor-in-chief at DatingAdvice.com, a popular site featuring advice from more than 250 dating coaches, matchmakers, and other relationship experts. In addition to expert tips and guides, the site also publishes reviews of the best online dating apps, where Hayley and her team rank Match.com as #1. When Hayley isn’t writing about dating and relationships, she’s listening to The Beatles or watching Harry Potter movies.