So you managed to get a match on a dating app, congrats! So what now? Many people focus on their profile, photos and bio but fail when it comes to communication. As difficult as it is to get a match with someone you are particularly interested in, it is that much harder to convert matches to dates. In my previous post, I cover intro messages to help start conversations. After you manage to beat the buzzer and beat that shot clock before matches expire, you now have to figure out how to keep the conversation going to secure a date.
There is a fine line between too chatty (more like a pen pal) and too distant, anti-social. The key to balance is to be interesting and enthusiastic but while being succinct in your communications. Too many side conversations, split communications across multiple platforms and slow response times can kill momentum. Back and forth conversations that take forever are one of the most widely cited reasons clients have become flustered with messaging. Being piece-fed questions, details, answers etc. is inefficient.
Rather than ask vague questions, be specific. Are you available these dates/times? Interested in meeting here or there. If the other person is unavailable, they should provide alternatives. If they are indecisive or unenthusiastic, it might be a red flag to move on with your matches. Many folks fail to notice red flags in conversation because they are just happy to have matched at all. Don’t ignore red flags but don’t always assume the worst either. If you can can’t make a date, don’t accept the invite. If something comes up, give as much notice and provide an alternative day/time. If you break the plans it’s up to you to re-initiate. Don’t make excuses for others and don’t be the one always taking the initiative. Dating requires both people to be present, engaged.
Once a date is secured, many people become unsure how often or when to message a date before the date occurs. This is a tough spot to be in as you want to be enthusiastic yet don’t want to run out of things to say. It’s hard to have good conversation with someone you hardly know. Some people try to act too chummy or inquisitive i.e. how is your day? what are your career ambitions? do you want kids? These questions are too private and involved and demand an in person conversation before being asked and answered. Many people try a bit too hard to filter matches asap and that it difficult to do. Keep it casual and light-hearted before you meet for the first time.
As the date approaches, I recommend confirming dates 24-48 hours in advance. A simple looking forward to meeting you or looking forward to those negronis with you at XYZ is suffice. Check to make sure there are no early closures nor private events. Come up with back up plan in case you need to change venues because it is too packed, loud. Plan you day in case you are meeting the person after work. Give yourself time to arrive comfortably vs being stuck in traffic or running across town to make it in time.
Most conversation should revolve around bios, photos, answers as well as the first date. Anything more than that can be a bit too forward or presumptive. The rule of thumb is to manage conversation like you would with someone you met at a bar. Conversations can be light-hearted, superficial, candid, random but never too personal. Don’t follow someone on Instagram or ask for their IG before you meet them.
As for exchanging numbers, I think it is completely unnecessary to exchange numbers before a first date unless you don’t have access to the app or you may not have good reception. Most people these days have a cell phone, wifi. Similarly, if a man is putting too much pressure on your to give him your number, you might need to acknowledge this as a potential red flag. Numbers should be exchanged after a first date or when you feel comfortable doing so.