If you’re thinking of having fun and meeting new like-minded people on a dating app before the cuffing season rolls around again, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts of behavior on a dating app.
If you’re someone that prefers to avoid confrontation, drama, or awkward situations, this article is for you. Read on as we delve into the top ten most potentially uncomfortable situations that can occur while using dating apps. We’ll discuss how to avoid them or how to handle them if they’ve already happened.
Always video chat with a match before meeting in person
Undoubtedly, one of the most awkward scenarios with online dating is agreeing to meet in person and the match in question looks nothing like their profile picture. The photos may be of a totally different person, or they may have been taken when your match was ten years younger, or they might have been creative when editing their image. The best thing to do to avoid a shock like this is to insist on a video chat with your potential date before meeting in person. Tinder has recently launched its own Face to Face function, allowing matches that both opt-in to launch a private video call.
State in your profile if you’re happy to meet in person
Throughout the pandemic, there have been multiple occasions where users of dating apps have complained or reported other members for attempting to convince them to break the Covid-19 restrictions. As the world eventually reopens in the “new normal”, everyone will have their own boundaries as to what they feel is safe and responsible. Avoid any grey areas by stating in your profile if you are prepared to meet in person or prefer virtual dates in the current climate.
Avoid the pre-written conversation starters at all costs
If you are new to online dating apps, you’ll likely receive a string of pre-written conversation starters that newbies can use to reach out to potential matches. Although it might be a way to ease yourself into the online dating scene, many potential matches are too long in the tooth for premeditated conversation starters. The chances are they will have considered sending the same message themselves in the past. To avoid the awkwardness of being blanked after sending an emotionless pre-written message, make sure you take the time to consider what to say.
Use the Block Contacts feature to screen any matches you don’t want to see anymore
If you’ve decided to cool things with a Tinder match and you don’t want to see their profile anymore, you can now use Tinder’s handy Block Contacts feature. This not only filters out their profile in your searches, but it filters your profile out from theirs too. 40% of Tinder members have also come across ex-partners on the platform and 24% have spotted a family member or work colleague too. This makes the Block Contacts functionality even more worthwhile, giving you greater control over your online dating experience.
Upload at least three profile pics to ensure you appear less (cat)fishy
Some members of online dating sites are guilty of not doing enough with their profiles. Uploading only one or two photos makes it difficult for potential matches to make a proper decision about what you look like. Uploading such a meager number of photos also makes you look lazy and disinterested in making a good impression. Three photos should be the bare minimum, but the more the merrier. Avoid uploading just group photos too – this can make it difficult for potential matches to understand who exactly they’re talking to. If you eventually meet in person, this helps to avoid a nasty surprise!
Be transparent about your age
The age issue appears to be particularly rife among male members of online dating apps. The last thing a girl (or guy) wants is to head out on a first date with someone they believed to be their age, only to find out they are significantly older in person. This is not cool. Here’s a word of advice – openness and honesty about your age will go much further than hiding your true self. There is no need to lie either. There are quite literally tens of thousands of members that will put your age within their preferred age range filter. Being truthful won’t mean you miss out on all the fun!
Be specific with your preferences on physical appearance
Speaking about dating app filters, when you’re looking for your perfect match, you too shouldn’t be afraid about being specific about your preferences. This includes physical appearances too. It’s not a case of being shallow, it’s just a matter of personal taste. Physical features like weight and height can be sore subjects for some people, so by filtering your physical preferences you can avoid the awkward rejection of potential matches based on their looks.
Know when to deactivate your online dating profile
So, you’ve had a few dates with a match on your online dating app and everything seems to be going in the right direction. Suddenly, they go cold on you. Why? The chances are, they fear you’re not into them as much as they’re into you. If you haven’t deactivated your online dating profile by the time things are reaching the “exclusive” level, the chances are your potential beau could fear they’re being played. If you don’t take your profile down, be prepared to answer some serious questions from your date. Alternatively, if you know they could be “the one”, show how serious you are by deactivating it without being prompted!
Own the situation if you ruined the first date
There comes a time when you’ll mess up the first date. We’ve all been there. You really like the person and want to make a good impression and in trying too hard you overstep the mark and mess things up. Instead of wallowing in your self-pity, why not be upfront with them about it afterward? Load up your dating app, send a message apologizing, and take responsibility for the bad date, while reinforcing your wish to make things right on a second date. Sure, they might never respond or, worse still, they may reply and say they aren’t interested. But that’s the worst that can happen–and you’ll never know if you don’t ask.
Don’t message matches you’ve never spoken to but seen in real life – it’s creepy
Last but by no means least, think about how you’re approaching potential matches in your dating app. It’s not a good look to say “hey, I’ve seen you in my local bar before and wondered if you fancied a chat?” That comes across as stalker material in the eyes of other members. Even if you have seen a potential match in the flesh before, there’s no need to say so. It doesn’t need to be your conversation starter. In fact, it’s a sure-fire way of being blocked. Just be yourself. There’s no need to go into too much detail at such an early stage of socializing.
If after all this, you think you’ve nailed the etiquette of online dating apps and can socialize without fear of awkwardness, it’s high time to find the right dating app for you. We recently compared the top 10 online dating sites. Ready to delve into the dating scene? Check out our guide to see if any fit your criteria.