Likes vs Messages On Dating Apps. Should You Like Or Leave Comments? Should You Comment on A Photo or a Prompt? How To Get A Woman’s Attention On A Dating Site


Ask around and most people will tell you online dating is all about photos or mostly photos. While photos are by far the biggest factor in one’s success on dating apps, there are plenty of ways people self-sabotage their approach when it comes to initiating conversation.

As a dating consultant, I want to make sure that not only are my photos effective but also make sure they will be used optimally. To do that, I review client bios, app choices and introductory messages. One of the biggest mistakes men make is lazy first messages on dating apps. Women make this mistake too but it’s mostly on Bumble.

Related read: Online Dating Gender Ratios


Unofficial Rules Of Online Dating: Likes, Hearts, Right-Swipes, Comments, Favorites & Messages, Sending Likes Or Comments On Hinge, Sending Likes Or Compliments On Bumble

With so many dating apps out there, there are so many options to initiate interest or at least acknowledge the existence of someone you found online. happens to be one of the worst culprits out there with the ability to like a photo or a profile, wink at a person and favorite a profile while Hinge is a close second. All these options present a myriad of way to initiate contact, but none really are effective at being direct and efficient.

Men — picture yourself in a woman’s shoes on an online dating site. It is not uncommon for a woman to receive a dozen if not hundreds of messages, likes and matches a day. Think about that for a second. If this happened offline at a bar for example, do you think a woman is more likely to initiate conversation with someone who approaches here directly or someone who winks at her from the corner booth across the room.

Remember, messaging women is only one part of the equation. You have to have a good profile and prompts so that your messages are more effective. For tips on how to optimize your profile and prompts, read this post:

Women don’t have time to sift through these subtle indirect nudges. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Sifting through so many points of contact can be a full-time job. She does not have the time to figure out if you favoriting her is a way to bookmark her profile, nor does have the time to figure out what the difference between a wink, an emoji reaction and a like is. Being coy, ambiguous or indecisive can be seen as a red flag on dating apps.


Hinge Etiquette: Hearts vs Commenting On Profiles, Should You Comment on Hinge, Hinge Sends Likes, How To Leave A Comment On Hinge

When it comes to Hinge, once has two options for expressing interest in a person: liking a photo or answer to prompt or comment on a photo or prompt. Likes are a dime a dozen so always better to comment with something specific and add commentary, or opinion to it along with a follow-up question (in addition to a like).

It’s best to comment on something that is original, unique as women tend to hear the same lines dozens if not hundreds of times. Unless they are new to the app, chances are they have heard it before. Read why it’s better to comment on Hinge to get more replies.

To leave a comment on Hinge, you must first like something on the person’s profile (prompt, photo etc) then the option to leave a comment will appear.



Bumble: Right-Swipe vs React To Photo, Emoji Reaction Feature On Bumble

When it comes to Bumble, things are a little different. People are unable to send a comment until after they match so all you have is an emoji reaction to send on specific prompts or photos.

Like Hinge, it’s all about standing out. If you like the same photo/prompt everyone else does, it’s hard to stick out. I generally recommend just swiping right on something unique or something you identify with rather than the easiest, most obvious prompt or photo.


Bumble React To Photo, Bumble Emoji Reaction

Bumble React To Photo, Bumble Emoji Reaction


Bumble Send Likes vs Compliments

Just like with comments on Hinge, guys should send compliments on Bumble to stand out. No compliments can be viewed as lazy, low-effort action. 


How To Get A Woman’s Attention On A Dating App, How To Stand Out On Dating Sites, How To Get A Woman’s Attention On Dating Sites

In order to get a woman’s attention on a dating app, you have to be direct. Reference something in her profile that intrigues you and let her know what you have in common. Make sure there is enough photos in your profile and enough information about you written that she can also reference and comment on.

Keep it light, creative and insightful. Asking a question about a photo in her profile can show that 1) you actually skimmed her profile and 2) want to find out more about her. It’s amazing the responses one can respond by writing something beyond “hey”, “what’s up”, “where are you from”.

For additional tips on how to initiate conversations on dating apps, check out this previous piece I wrote on conversation starters.

Sites like while effective as some alternatives to other sites for specific demographics has done a great disservice to the dating population by signaling that these types of indirect nudges are acceptable and even preferred. This could not be further from the truth.

Men should not use these tools to test the water to gauge interest. These points of contact will have a hard time standing out from the other men who are messaging the exact person you are trying to get to acknowledge you. Direct messages signal more confidence, less ambiguity and stronger interest over likes alone.

Likes are quick, lazy, generic, lack sincerity and take absolutely no effort. You should not pursue this approach unless you want to be ignored or are seeking something casual. Most of my advice is geared toward relationship-focused mature adults.

Conversely, if those that receive the first contact should recognize these low effort communication signals as a red flag and focus on those that have read your profile, and address you by name.

Coffee Meets Bagel – Commenting vs Send Likes Only, Should I Send The Message, Online Dating Who Should Send The First Message

CMB Messaging

Dating Profile Critique, Review Services

App Choice, Photo Order, Photo Critique, Bios + Prompts + Photo Captions, Wardrobe Feedback, Grooming Suggestions, Clothing & Hairstyle Recommendations, Body Language, Smiles, Facial Expressions, Hobbies, Interests, Lifestyle Choices, Etiquette & More For Men & Women.

-As seen in the NYT, WSJ, AskMen, Women's Health, Bumble, SFGate, ABC7News-

Sending Comments On Hinge vs Likes Alone, Should You Comment On Hinge? Should You Leave A Comment On Hinge? Hinge Like Or Comment, Hinge Should You Comment

Hinge First Line, Opening Message

Women Will Assume You Are Being Lazy And Casting A Wide Net, Why Don’t Men Message First On Hinge?

It’s true, likes are lazy, low-effort actions. They don’t signal anything. It’s possible to send a like without looking at the profile. Messages convey more thought, effort and sincerity.

Understanding where in the dating funnel you can improve is a big part to overcoming hurdles, reducing self-sabotaging efforts, and optimizing your profile based on unbiased 3rd party sources.

For additional online dating etiquette, check out: 

Bumble and Women’s First Messages: Bad Openers On Bumble

The same logic applies to women of Bumble. It’s not enough to say hi, hey, what’s up, how’s your day on Bumble. For every low-effort, lazy intro message a more attractive, enthusiastic and engaged woman will message the guy you are interested in.

Sure, not every guy will reply, but you need to put your best foot forward or why even bother liking, matching in the first place?


How To Comment On Prompts, Photos, Captions and Answers To Prompts

Always look at the entire profile. Assume the most obvious prompt or photo will get the most comments and thus be tough to be creative, unique and separate yourself from the competition. Look at the captions for clues.

Comment on nostalgia, emotion, location, background, expressions or details in the photos. Take a gamble now and then. Playing it safe is boring and likely results in the same message everyone else has sent over already. Emoji reactions are lame on apps like Bumble – don’t use them.


Online Dating Tips For Men: Don’t Read Into Likes, Winks, Matches – Low Effort Men

Just because someone likes your profile or matches with you on a dating site, doesn’t mean they are in to you. They could be bots or spammers, could be fishing for likes and followers on Instagram, could be looking for an ego boost or pen-pal, or they could be auto-liking and copy-pasting generic messages to all matches and seeing who responds and whom they like the most.

Don’t overinvest in people that don’t match your effort, enthusiasm, etiquette and responsiveness. Be optimistic but don’t read too much into people. Don’t be the one to always start conversations or carry the conversation with additional questions.

If you can’t afford to be selective, work on your profile, photos, smiles, wardrobe, poses, bios, prompts and opening lines, so you can afford to be more picky.


Dating App Where Woman Messages First, Dating App Where Girl Messages First

The dating app where women message first is Bumble. Even then, women don’t message all matches. Some lose interest, some forget, some get bombarded with matches. If your strategy is to wait for women to message first, you are doing it all wrong. Women can message first on most apps like Tinder, Hinge etc but not likely to happen if you lack decent photos or interesting hobbies & interests.

Online Dating Coaching For Men, Women

Help w/ swiping etiquette, timing, app choice, first messages, photo order, facial expressions, filters, deal-breakers, paid features, screening profiles, reading people, ID'ing red flags/liars, date planning, cutting-off time-wasters and using dating apps more effectively & efficiently.

As seen in the NYT, Bumble & More.


Dating Apps Where Men Message First, Dating Apps Where Guy Messages First, Dating App Where Women Message First, Dating Sites Where Women Message First

Except for Bumble (where women message first), guys can message first on most dating apps. Apps like Hinge allow men to message women directly rather than wait for a match to occur.

With that said, being a passenger in your life will mean you will get more unwanted attention from those you are not interested in and those that clearly did not read your profile.


Liking A Message On Hinge, Why Do Guys Match And Not Message On Hinge, Why Don’t Guys Message Me On Dating Sites, Why Do Guys Match But Not Message On Bumble

Another low-effort action. It’s fine to do this when no reply is needed, but using it too much and avoiding conversations is lazy. Similarly, don’t make excuses for guys who don’t put in any effort. If he doesn’t message after matching with you, chances are, he is just not that into you. 

Some guys like profiles without even looking at them. Some just focus on matches they are most interested and ignore the rest. Others wait to see if a woman will message first.

Who Should Message First On Dating Apps? Who Should Message First On Hinge, Tinder, Online Dating Who Should Message First, Tinder Who Messages First

You should. Anyone who is in demand may not notice you. Make the effort, don’t be a passenger in your life. More on messaging etiquette here.


Liking Messages On Hinge, Hinge Like Message

Liking messages on Hinge is rather lazy, low-effort action. It’s fine if you want to express a like but ideally some opinion, confirmation is suggested unless you can’t comment right away in which case, use words.


Hinge Match But No Message, No One Responds On Hinge

You don’t have to wait for the other person to send a message. It’s that simple. Like Or Message, No One Responds On Match

That depends on how comfortable you are being single. Always message, don’t be lazy.


Why Do Guys Stop Putting In Effort?

Does it matter? Focus on guys that do put in effort. It’s that easy. Why do you keep making excuses for people that are not worth the time, have not shown enough interest for you? That is the more important question here.


How To Respond To A Low-Effort Guy, How To Reply To A Low Effort Woman?

You don’t respond to a low effort guy or woman. You move on. You respect yourself. Simple. Focus on those that do put in effort. If you don’t think you can afford to be picky, get off the apps, stop dating and take some time for  yourself. Learn to value yourself as people often won’t respect you more than you respect yourself.


Nobody Responds On Dating Apps, Nobody Replies On Bumble, No One Replies On Hinge, How To Get Responses On Dating Apps, Why Does No One Message Me On Dating Apps

Just because you get a match doesn’t mean someone owes you a response. Similarly, just because you sent the person a comment or message doesn’t mean they owe you a reply. People have the right to ignore you and your messages or lack there of. If you don’t agree with this outlook, you might not be ready to date. People can choose who to focus on, people have the right to do background checks.

If you want more people to message you, message them. Message them with unique messages that shows you read their profile and not messages everyone is using. Be strategic with your efforts. Avoid narcissists and time wasters. Don’t know how to ID them? Get some help with that. Send likes and comments at strategic days and times. Learn what to comment on (photos, bios or prompts).

Be realistic with your likes otherwise you may be wasting your time swiping outside your league.


Hinge Profile Tips!

Great Hinge profiles are more than just witty prompts and good photos. Learn how to make a good Hinge profile, how many prompts to use, what information to put in a profile, whether or not you should photo prompts and photo captions, and if you should link your Instagram account to your profile.

Additional Reading: Low Effort Guy, Signs Of A Low Effort Guy, Dating A Guy Who Makes No Effort, How To Get A Woman’s Attention On A Dating Site, Messaging On Dating Apps, How To Message On Dating Apps

Dating App Messaging Etiquette: 

Online Dating Red Flags:

Online Dating FAQ’s: 

Harsh Realities Of Online Dating Apps: 

Psychological Effects of Online Dating:

Online Dating Messaging Etiquette:

Biggest Mistakes Guys Make On Dating Sites: 

He’s Just Not That Into You: 

Mistakes Women Make On Dating Apps: 


About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). He has insight into algorithms as well as a keen understanding of dating cultures across locations, demographics, and orientations.

He helps with profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & where to meet singles. Whether you are a POC, short guy, introvert, engineer, or just struggling with dating, he can help you be efficient & strategic.

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