Dating can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be exhausting and expensive. Constantly going out to places to feed yourself and another person, pampering yourself to make sure you look your best, and continuously buying gas to get to desired locations all start to add up. Is this the price we pay for true love, or has dating just become too convenient? When it comes to the world of online dating, we could all benefit from some tips and pointers.

Vis-à-vis dating apps, the online dating has almost come down to a science. In fact, dating apps give the user the power to deem who is worthy of their time before even meeting them. Time is the most valuable resource in an age where many (especially millennials) often work multiple jobs to pay their expenses, so the allure of such convenience is understandable. The ability to have access to a multitude of people in the area of your choice provides the power to see what’s out there without actually having to go out there. Some prefer sensuality over spirituality, while others crave concrete facts. The thirst for knowledge about potential mates has created both advantages and disadvantages to these digital rendezvous. Here are a few online dating tips if you’re looking to get into the dating world.

1. Understand the scene

Young Woman Smiling at her Phone

The world of online dating is dominated by dating apps, and they have fundamentally changed the way people date, especially when compared to previous generations. Research shows that first impressions take 27 seconds, but that number holds true for meeting someone in person. Dating apps further accelerate this process by immediately homing in on the aesthetics of the person of interest. People now have the ability to even put in how much they want their potential partner to make along with their hobbies. Dating apps have reimagined the game of dating, and it’s impacting broader societal norms as well as other generations. 

Weeding through any dating app can be tedious but also incredibly exhilarating. Having the power to say no without fear of consequences is a huge psychological win. Where else can you meet eligible people who fit all the markers of your ideal mate? But the real question that persists is how do you know if the person you’re meeting is the real deal? This is something that requires the rigorous application of scrutiny, patience, and common sense.

2. Portray yourself honestly but favorably

Man Smiling at his Phone

Curated profiles are in vogue right now. Each has a certain identifier that can signal to your ideal mate if they are the one for you (including if they can afford the lifestyle you together want to experience). There’s a strategy to make your profile stand out, and it all starts with an excellent and clear profile picture. Your profile picture is your first impression, and while it’s seemingly unfair to judge someone based off one picture, that’s what millennials have dictated for dating apps. 

Gone are the days of serendipitously running into someone in a New York coffee shop like in a romantic comedy. Now your digital face is the star of the show. There are even dating app coaches that scour your profile to make sure it’s optimized to get the people you want. Having a dazzling bio that would make Gatsby jealous (without any grammatical errors) is also critical to woo potential mates.

3. Finding the right connection

Couple Laughing at Coffee Shop

It’s important to not sound egotistical or condescending, but it’s important to give your potential mate a bit of an overview of who you are and what your passions are. This is the part where you really hone in on your boundaries so that you don’t succumb to an unhealthy relationship. Once you set the stage of who you are, then write about the character traits you’re looking for. You want to attract the right people, not the wrong ones in constant succession. Even if you’ve been hurt in the past or have endured a messy breakup, there are smart ways to learn from your mistakes, move on, and do better the next time.

Be honest about what you’re looking for and be authentic. Yes, maybe you want to find the Mr. Big to your Carrie, but maybe Mr. Right Now would suffice while you’re exploring what you love and just want to have fun. The most critical component for a successful dating app experience is to spend time on the app everyday while keeping your purpose in mind, since that will increase your likelihood of indulging in meaningful interactions. It’s also fair to say that these apps make for a lovely distraction. If you really want to subject yourself to a form of escapism, then try online dating. 

4. Making the right choice

Woman using Dating App

After a long hunt, you may finally decide to swipe right and start dating someone. You guys seem to be connecting, and you’re feeling like Jon Snow coming back from the dead. Well, now what? Is this true love or just infatuation? Every relationship comes to a moment of truth, where a choice needs to be made. Why? It’s simple – nobody wants to waste time; especially not millennials, who are geared towards getting the most out of their time at that moment. Remember your value, and if you feel they are wasting time, then move along. 

Understanding what’s what is critical to meeting your objectives, whatever they may be in the dating game. Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself that you don’t want the stress of making a choice, but ironically that’s still making a choice. Today’s swipe mentality means every single person on a platform probably has their next potential mate lined up. Digital users are constantly bombarded with compliments from strangers in hopes these compliments create a match. In an era of instant of gratification and access to a host of eligible people, how do you swipe to your perfect mate? Sometimes you just know, while other times it’s by trial and error. In either case, it’s imperative to use good judgment.

5. Proceeding with caution 

game of thrones meme

Many of those currently in their prime, including millennials, have different priorities than previous generations had, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for love. According to a fairly recent Harvard study, the myth of “hook up culture” is propagated by older generations, and this can actually be detrimental to younger generations. It’s important to realize that millennials have unique voices in the dating world. They are the generation that remembers VHS and Blockbuster and are also up to the speed on the digital age. They did the most amount of growth not only in culture but also relationships.

Many millennials today know exactly what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it. Confidence can be great in situations, but how does that translate in the current “swipe culture”? Dating apps have the purpose of connecting people – what you do after is your own business. While the “real world” seems to pose risks, users often forget there are many risks to using these apps. If you don’t use enough care and intellect, you may find yourself facing off with a real Night King. Generally speaking, you should exercise good judgment if there are telltale signs things are going in the wrong direction. Finally, once you’ve firmly established what you’re looking and what you’re not, it’s important to have the confidence to set boundaries and use technology to your advantage. Safety should always be a concern, as people can be anyone they want behind a screen.

Platform-specific pointers

Tinder 

Tinder App

Among the major dating apps, Tinder and Bumble broadly stand at the forefront. With that said, there are specific rules that apply to each. Tinder specifically is very open-ended for people of different genders and orientations, but an unwritten code of “Tinder etiquette” should govern communication. Among these rules, users should be frank, honest, responsive, and respectful at all times. Profanity, nudity, or other explicit content is just plain disrespectful. Perhaps most importantly, users should handle rejection with grace and self-respect; stalking and badgering are counterproductive for anyone either involved or affected.

Bumble

Moving onto Bumble, this is a platform where women always make the first move as a rule. Therefore, our suggested tips for Bumble slightly differ. For those on the receiving end, it is in their interest to put as much effort as possible into their profiles. That means describing themselves well in their bios, uploading a variety of pictures, and doing so in a consistently genuine way. Then for those on the approaching end, being both courteous and decisive is essential, as the many users on the other side are patiently waiting to see value from engaging. Also, showing genuine interest upon engaging (for example, asking good questions) can really pique the other person’s interest.

Hinge

Hinge App

Finally, Hinge is another dating app that is rising in popularity. While functionally quite similar to Tinder and Bumble, it asks specific questions about yourself so that other people can then comment on your favorites. One good example could be “what is your favorite place you’ve visited?”. That’s why this app is a huge draw for those searching for a meaningful relationship versus something more casual. Given this focus on a deeper connection, perhaps the best way to match on Hinge is to comment something interesting on what someone writes about themselves on their bio. Or maybe start the conversation with an interesting question, such as “What is your favorite thing to do for fun?”. This focus on genuine engagement is probably Hinge’s greatest strength.

Finally, while our world continues to go in the direction of apps, it’s worth mentioning that there is still a myriad of regular dating websites (most of which are not app-focused). Dating sites can have larger and more diverse audiences that include people from a variety of specific demographics, religions, and age groups. As these sites are usually more profile and information-based, they are often more geared towards in-depth information than dating apps, which are more geared towards action and response. However, a classic site-based layout can sometimes pose its own challenges in terms of user-friendliness and ability to match efficiently.

Conclusion

Overall, dating apps have really eased a lot of the anxiety in actively looking for a partner. Users can rapidly go through a plethora of profiles that belong to people in their area. Some very strategic users can even find mates in potential areas they might want to move to for their career. In fact, technology has allowed many to create ideal scenarios for themselves, ones in which they can thrive in romantic relationships on their own terms.

Often, these digital escapades can lead to new adventures and more connections outside of the dating app. Most importantly, in order for modern people to thrive in the dating world, they have to be honest with themselves about their own goals and stay open minded enough to benefit from the world of online dating apps. With that said, we sincerely hope these online dating tips can help you achieve all the positive results that your heart desires.