At some point in their lives, most women have in mind an ideal “meet-cute” for how the guy of their dreams will sweep them off their feet. Most of these idyllic encounters are inspired by romcoms or what we read in Cosmo. But as my friends and I entered the adult dating world, we quickly realized these scenarios were unlikely at best.
Dating as an adult suddenly feels like a whole new ball game. You aren’t sharing notes with the cute guy in class or getting set up for your spring formal. You don’t live in a college bubble where everybody knows everybody and there is a common denominator with anyone you strike up a conversation with.
While dating apps used to be accompanied by hesitation from most women, these days they are a commonly used tool to kickstart your dating life.
Figure Out What You’re Looking For
Before you decide what app you’re downloading, think about what you’re really looking for. Are you looking for Romeo or just trying to get to know people in your new city? Different apps tend to be geared towards different goals. Ask around to see what people you know are using. There are also apps that function for more than just dating. Bumble has great networking and friendship-focused features on their app as well!
For you: Best Dating Apps for Women
Text the Group Chat to Hype Yourself Up!
Look we all know that dating apps can get discouraging. Realistically, for every guy you’re interested in there are ten you swipe left on. But dating apps don’t have to be a chore – especially when you get your friends in on it! Text your group chat if you’re feeling discouraged so your friends can hype you up and remind you that you’re awesome. Send a screenshot of a cute guy you come across so everyone can send heart eye emojis. And trust me when I say there is no one more excited to hear all about it than your taken friends – dating apps are entertaining no matter your relationship status.
Be Authentic with Your Profile
Your dating profile should reflect who you really are. If you’re sporty, add photos of you surfing or playing soccer. If you have a wicked sense of humor, put a joke in your bio. Are you a total book nerd? List your ideal novel for a rainy day. It can be super tempting to alter your profile to what you think guys want, but just like girls can spot a guy who’s trying too hard, so can guys. Being genuine always comes off better and will be more likely to attract someone you actually have things in common with. Don’t go on a date with someone who considers comic books literature if you’re currently working on finishing Tolstoy.
Give Them a Chance
The beauty of modern-day dating apps is the ability to filter. No more wasting your time with a guy your cousin set you up with that you knew wasn’t your type the moment you sat down. That being said, if they are meeting your basic requirements, don’t rule them out for one awkward joke that didn’t land. Dating is intimidating for everyone, no matter the platform, and sometimes your dream guy has some dating jitters.
If You’re Uncomfortable – End It Now
There is giving a guy a chance when he is nervous or a bit awkward and then there’s ignoring red flags. Those are very different things. If a guy sends you something that makes you uncomfortable or sets off warning signals in your head, don’t hesitate to end it. There is no reason you should feel obligated to give an internet stranger your time or attention if his first message is creepy or makes you cringe.
Take Risks with Your Opening Lines!
Once you’ve had a dating app for a while, opening lines like “hey – how is your day” feel a bit redundant and boring. If that’s really all you want to say – no worries! But maybe try to start the conversation with something specific to their profile or make a joke you think will get their attention. Most people will only message for a bit before deciding if it’s worth pursuing. Be sure to show off your personality from the get-go. I had a friend who sent a funny GIF related to the guys profile as an opener. You would be amazed at how well that worked!
Take Appropriate Precautions
So many people meet amazing partners on dating apps! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some weirdos out there. Always tell your roommate or a friend when and where you’re going on a date, just to be safe and text them when you’re on your way home. I also recommend having a friend who can bail you out. Maybe this sounds rude, but if you get stuck on a three-hour happy hour date with someone who isn’t taking the hint, it can be extremely helpful to have your friend call with an “emergency.”
Dating apps are simply not worth stressing over. Just relax and have fun with it. If you feel yourself staying up worrying about your matches or not hearing back from that dream guy you matched with, take a detox. Stressing or trying to force things will most likely backfire. Approach the apps with a sense of humor – some of the best stories my friends have told at happy hour are from dating apps.
The Bottom Line
When they first launched, dating apps got a very bad rap for being geared towards singles looking to hookup or as the last play for women who were fearing their prime dating years were over.
But in 2020, dating apps have evolved past their initial forms and now offer a great way for singles to connect, date and be upfront about what they’re looking for. Everyone from college students to divorcees are using them, not because there are no other options but because dating apps provide so many options! You’re no longer limited to hoping your path crosses with someone who ticks the boxes on your list, you’re able to actively participate in the process and easily rule out people who don’t have your deal breakers.
Dating apps can be a blast. Just take a light-hearted approach and see where things go. Maybe you’ll find your true love – or you’ll have some hilarious stories that have your friends in stitches. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Written By: Matthew J. Seymour, MSF
Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.