Dating has gone digital in recent years, with apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge revolutionizing how new relationships are kindled.
In the two decades-plus since the launch of online dating sites, these services have evolved into a multibillion-dollar industry serving customers around the world.
Pew Research Center data published in 2020 suggests almost half of all U.S. 18-29 year olds have used a dating site or app, while the share is 38 percent among those aged 30 to 49.
And while the prospect of trawling through countless profiles and chatting with strangers may still fill some people with dread, the process can be made much easier with a few simple tips.
LalalaLetMeExplain, author of new online dating bible Block Delete Move On, who provides anonymous sex and dating advice via Instagram, believes there is in reality little real difference between the most popular dating sites.
She told Newsweek: “In my experience, and that of many of my female followers, yes. Tinder tends to be perceived as more of a hookup site.
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“I have heard this from a lot of men-Tinder is where you go for casual sex. Though many people do establish relationships on there, but it seems to be the one that is seen to be more geared towards sex and approaches from men are often reflective of that.
“But all three apps [Tinder, Bumble and Hinge] are much of a muchness and interaction is similar on them all.”
First Impressions are Important
First impressions are considered critical, particularly when there is a potential relationship at stake, as psychology suggests the smallest bits of information can have a disproportionate impact.
“In psychology, it’s called the ‘primacy effect’, we remember the first thing that happened far better than we remember things that happen after.”
Clinical psychologist Dr. Marianne Trent agrees, adding: “Because of the way our brains process and store novel information first impressions really do matter because they’re likely to be remembered.”
Start Chatting With Your Match ASAP
Once you match with someone on a dating app, the common consensus is being proactive and sending a message as soon as possible will be rewarded with results.
She told Newsweek: “Bumble already allows women to send the first message but when chatting to a match, women should also feel confident in taking the plunge and asking their potential partner out on a date first.
“If it is a ‘yes’, you have saved some time and if it’s a no, you won’t waste any time talking to someone who doesn’t want to meet up.
Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury, suggests being inquisitive can help you learn more about your match “beyond their profile.”
He told Newsweek: “Hinge makes it easier to start a conversation by featuring Prompts, which are short questions that allow users to showcase who they are and give a peek into their personality.
“Great connections start with great conversations. The best way to establish a powerful connection early on is to ask questions to show you’re interested.
“Asking someone thoughtful questions lets them know you’re serious about getting to know them and allows you to find common interests between you both.”
He adds by advising: “If they ask you a question, answer it, and then pose the question back to them.”
Ury said: “Perhaps your date is a pro conversationalist and spends the night asking you a series of thoughtful questions. Great! Now ask them the same ones back.
“Do not, I repeat, do not, assume that if they keep asking you questions, they must be so absorbed with your answers that they would rather listen than talk.”
James Thomas, relationship expert at , believes establishing an upbeat tone can be helpful when having a conversation via a dating app.
He told Newsweek: “Staying as positive as possible will attract others to you. Try to avoid using the words ‘dislike’ or ‘don’t’ as this throws in negative vibes.
“Instead, lead with things you enjoy doing and look for in a partner. Further down the line, you can expand on your dislikes, either via text or during a date.
“No one likes to have a conversation with a person who shares a negative mindset, so be open-minded when you first start talking. Also, don’t be obnoxious!
“The last thing you want is to someone to be put off straight away. There is a fine line between being confident and obnoxious, so ensure you know the difference.
Get to the Point
Whether you are using a dating app for a fling or a long-term relationship, it pays to be perfectly honest early on when talking to that certain someone you wish to meet IRL.
UberKinky’s sex and relationships expert Ruby Payne told Newsweek: “‘Hey, I’m free on Friday at 8pm. Drinks?’ This one may sound forward, but try just setting your first date in stone so you can get to know each other face-to-face.
“I’ll admit, this line is a bit of a gamble, but if it works, you’ve hit two birds with one stone.”
Always remember that dating is supposed to be fun, so it is okay to call the shots if it is not, believes LalalaLetMeExplain
She said: “The main issue on the apps for women are men who are vulgar and attempt to initiate sexual chat prematurely.
“For men, a big thing I hear is about women height shaming. Making nasty remarks or disappearing if he’s under 6ft. It’s hurtful.