Why There Is No Such Thing As Online Dating And Why Dating Apps Are Merely Introduction Apps. Offline vs Online Dating. Online Dating Misconceptions
Online dating is a term that has been applied loosely to anything involving digital apps and websites aimed at connecting people via online profiles, photos and some sort of swiping, clicking or messaging.
Creating a profile on Tinder — is that online dating? Uploading photos to Bumble — is that online dating? Sending a message, wink or like — is that online dating? Depending on whom you ask, you might get a slew of contradicting answers.
How To Approach Dating Apps
In order to get the most out of dating apps, you need to be in a good place in your life and give it an honest effort. Dipping your toes in the water with incomplete profiles, bad photos, lack of self-awareness or no clue as to what apps are best can be a recipe for disaster on your mental health and well-being.
The first 72 hours of dating apps are extremely important in that those first impressions will dictate who sees your profile, how often it is shown and ultimately how well you will do on dating apps.
Online dating is a misnomer. You don’t online date — you meet someone via an online dating website or app. It is merely an introduction — view it as another channel to meet people in addition to your day-to-day life i.e. work, school, bar, art gallery, grocery store etc. Once you meet someone via online dating site/app you exchange a few messages and agree to meet offline.
People should ideally use apps to supplement their offline efforts to meeting people. If you are not good at meeting people organically, offline, dating apps may not be helpful. Dating app usage should be limited to 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week to start.
Once you match, it will take more time to cultivate relationships to lead to actual dates. If you are have not seen any traction in 3 months of creating a dating profile, take a break, get independent help with your dating profile: photos, bio, app choice, wardrobe, smile, prompts and first lines.
How Many Messages Are Needed To Secure A Date From A Dating App
Typically, 3–10+ messages are needed to secure a date or at least present the initial date idea (a few additional messages might be needed to confirm a date, time, location and details). This is a rough framework in which you should approach messaging a girl once you match (or vice versa if on Bumble and the woman needs to initiate conversation)
-1 message to say hi and mention something you saw on her profile and a follow-up question regarding clarification or more information re: photo, experience etc.
-1 message to introduce a date idea with specific day, time and location and nearby alternative plans i.e. walk, event or walking tour*
-1 message to confirm the date or present another option if plan A does not work for her.
If you are not quite ready to meet in person, that is ok but inevitably that should be your main goal if you are on dating apps and interested in the person you are chatting with. Video dates are a good bridge to verify identity and move beyond texting.
The Biggest Mistakes Made When Communicating After Matching On Dating Apps
The biggest problem people face when exchanging messages is spending too much time going back and forth with endless banter or flat comments. Look at other references, background info or other more interesting queues in which you can comment on from photos and profile info.
If you and/or the person you matched with does not have anything interesting on your photos or profile from which to initiate conversation, go back to the drawing board. Get better photos and rewrite your profile — help the other person out but do not go overboard and write your entire life story.
When it comes to the date idea — be unique, be creative and do some research! Grabbing coffee sounds boring but if you suggest grabbing coffee and going for an architecture tour, street art walk or floating houseboat tour, that sounds more interesting.
Researching dates, curating experiences and putting forth the effort go a long way. Do not become jaded if a woman turns you down. Move on. Similarly, if a woman seems unenthusiastic or dull, move on as well. Guys need to set the tone and put in the effort not only to get the ball rolling but to gauge interest.
Do not waste your time messaging back and forth. Be polite, enthusiastic, and direct. The more you try to play it safe or try to beat around the bush the more likely the other person will lose interest. If the woman has already matched with a guy, she has expressed interest in him, and he should respond accordingly.
If a woman flakes, do not take it personally. Move on. There are a lot of people on apps/sites who are curious or lack serious motivation to meet in person. Use good judgment and stop making excuses for the other person.
What Does Online Dating Mean? What Should It Mean?
Online dating typically refers to the act of creating a dating profile, browsing profiles, messaging and setting up dates. In theory, it should mean purely a means for introduction only i.e. met via a dating app and not used as a verb i.e. I am online dating. Use the same rules, principles and guidance you would for meeting people offline.
Don’t think online dating is different in that people are more honest about themselves. Be cautiously optimistic. Don’t waste time on those that don’t match your effort, enthusiasm and responsiveness. Ask questions, take your time to get to know someone as you don’t have those queues available when you meet offline, organically.
For dating app research papers, statistics, studies and more, read this: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-resource-guide/
Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/
Dating Profile Critique
For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.
For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice: https://eddie-hernandez.com/blog/
Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/
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