8 tips to get the most out of your dating apps

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It’s no secret that Vancouverites find dating tough. Studies have shown that as a community, we’re becoming increasingly disconnected. Both men and women consistently complain that Vancouver lacks a dating culture: Women have a hard time dating in Vancouver, and men find it difficult to meet women here as well.

The fact that Vancouverites are often inhibited and passive is one of the reasons why dating apps are popular among here. Dating apps make the first move for us and allow us to become uninhibited as we connect with new and interesting people.

Many of us use more than one dating app – which is smart. You might come across a few of the same people, but it’s a generally a good idea to use more than one dating app if you’re single and looking because each of the different dating apps on the market has something unique to offer its users.

For example, SuperDate offers its users unique and creative date ideas, Tinder is great for those looking to date casually and eHarmony gives users a chance to meet very specific, select people they were purposefully matched up with through a lengthy questionnaire.

Getting the most out of each dating app can be easily achieved if you follow these 8 tips:

1. Choose your profile photos wisely

The photos you choose can make or break your chances of receiving a response on a dating app. Someone who has eight photos, all of which are selfies, comes across boring and self-absorbed. It doesn’t matter how good looking you are, without a little variety in your photos, you don’t come across very appealing. You need a healthy mix of the following photos:

  • An outdoorsy / active photo
  • With family
  • With friends
  • At work or doing something you love
  • Showing one of your hobbies
  • A photo that clearly shows your face and especially your smile

Avoid photos that show you flexing at the gym, shirtless, or posing provocatively. Photos that show you drinking or out clubbing are also best left off your dating profile.

2. Ask a few key questions before setting up a first date

Before saying yes to a first date, feel them out for a day or two and chat with them to ensure they’re genuinely what you’re looking for. One of the best ways to make sure the first date will be worth your time is to talk on the phone before setting up a date. A phone call can really help you get a feel for that person. One of the most important questions to ask before setting up a first date is intent. If you’re looking for a relationship, please do yourself a favour and check the intent of your match before you go on a date only to realize they’re simply looking for a hookup.

3. Set up the first date within two weeks

Have you ever noticed how often you’re matched with people, and it leads nowhere? A first date needs to be set up within two weeks. Give yourself a time limit of two weeks, because without a time limit, you’ll simply procrastinate and allow the match to go nowhere. Don’t play games or have too much pride by waiting for him or her to ask you out, simply take the lead and set up that first date. You won’t regret that you took that initiative if the first date goes well.

4. Get familiar with how to use your apps

Get familiar with how to use each app, so that you’re getting the most out of each of them. For example, Happn requires that you’ve got the app open so that your location can be used – otherwise you won’t be shown who you’ve crossed paths with. Bumble requires that the woman contacts the man within 24 hours, otherwise the match will disappear.

5. Don’t leave your profile blank

Most dating apps allow you to fill in an “about me” section and I highly recommend that you don’t leave this blank. It’s important to tell people who you are and it’s a great way of testing to see who’s reading your profile and who’s just looking at your photos.

6. Read people’s profiles before you message them

Don’t be shallow – it’s important to read people’s profiles before you message them. That way, you’re not only showing them that you care more about just what they look like, but you also have a conversation starter. There’s nothing worse than being asked “so what do you do?” when your profession is clearly stated in your profile.

7. Un-match people who seem like duds

If a conversation isn’t going well, someone offends you, or you simply realize that you’re not a match – un-match these people! It’s important that your dating apps aren’t filled up with people you don’t want to talk to. Too many matches overwhelms a user, and can lead to you not talking to any of them if you feel like it’s just too much. You’d be surprised how much it will help to go through and un-match a bunch of people. Having fewer options is better when it comes to online dating, because it allows you to focus on the people you want to talk to.

8. Don’t message back and forth too much

You will have a much more interesting and fun first date if you save most of what you want to say for the in-person conversation. Don’t message back and forth too much before the first date. One reason for this is that a lot of messaging likely can’t be maintained throughout the course of a relationship, which means that if you start dating you might become resentful that you’re not chatting as much as you did in the beginning. Another reason to avoid messaging too much is that you can end up oversharing or overwhelming your match. Less is more when it comes to messages.

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Erica Gordon Erica Gordon Majored in Psychology at UBC and has a passion for writing and journalism. She works in the glorious dating industry and moonlights as a freelance writer. You can read more of her articles and get an inside scoop into the minds of both sexes on her awesome advice column TheBabeReport.com or follow her on Instagram @ericaleighgordon.

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