The do’s and don’ts of dating apps

Essential tips in your quest for love (via your smartphone)

We’ve entered a new era of dating, folks. More people than ever before are turning to apps and websites to meet their significant other. The options for love have increased, but so too has the confusion and uncertainty. For every answer, there’s always another question.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Far from it, in fact. Couples the world over are finding their soulmate at the swipe of a finger, and it’s certainly never been easier to meet someone (there’s over 50 million users on Tinder alone!). To help you in your quest for love this Valentine’s Day, we’ve sourced five ‘dos’ and five ‘do nots’ when it comes to using dating apps.

Do: Have a fun bio

All of us enjoy walks along the beach, so it’s best to stay clear of tiresome clichés in your bio. Include a short and snappy introduction that is interesting, humorous (most people want someone who can make them chuckle) and, ultimately, something that could be a conversation starter.

Do: Put a friend in charge of your account

Ok, this is a little bit of risky one. But sometimes risks do pay off. Sometimes. If you’re the type of person who’s just not that great at seeing what’s right for you, then it can be easier and far less stressful to let someone you implicitly trust – perhaps a coupled-up best pal – do the groundwork. When the pressure is off, things become a little clearer.

True story: this was the only photo of people looking at a phone that we could find with no watermark

Do not: Restrict yourself too much

Online dating is genuinely fun. And if nothing transpires from the experience, it’s still a really sociable way to talk with and meet brand new people. So don’t narrow down your search criteria too much. Relax the rules a little when it comes to your desired height/age, and you might find someone that you had no idea you were looking for.

Do: Be yourself

Whether it‘s Tinder, Bumble or Happn, it can often feel like there’s pressure to curate an online image that is just not quite, well…you! Find a match that’s into you for exactly who you are, and you’ll start to feel way more comfortable about things. Honesty is the best policy after all.

Do not: Plan a complicated first date

Look: we know that you want to come across as quirky. But please stay firmly inside the creative box when it comes to planning a first date. Going too fancy at the start can send out all the wrong signals to your match, and something a bit too rogue can backfire spectacularly. Go to the pub and have a drink. You’re there to talk and get to know your date at the start. There’s plenty of time to get involved in activities where you can ignore one another further down the line.

Dating in bars is good. Dating in bars with fancy candles is even better.

Do: Dress to impress

You’ve (probably) slaved away on Tinder for weeks to find someone that’s fun and capable of forming grammatically correct sentences. You owe it to yourself to take the time to primp and pamper before you head off for a couple of gin and tonics. There’s no shame in wanting to look your best.

Do not: Use a cheesy pickup line

Funny, creative and clever is good; cheesy, corny and creepy is very much not. Superficial or overly flirty messages can often come off as quite insincere, and generally being too forward at the beginning can sometimes make your match feel a little uncomfortable. Try to convey a thoughtful tone instead.

Do not: Be afraid to ask them out!

If you do find someone your type…then ask him or her out! Stick things out for too long with small talk, and they might begin to think that you’re just not that into them. Get to know each other with a few messages back and forth, and then pop the question. No, not that question.

You probably shouldn't propose before you've even gone on a date, but we are not here to judge.

Do not: Talk about old relationships

Do not do this. No, seriously: please do not do this. Talking about your ex is one of the quickest ways to send a first date south – it gives off the wrong impression and can be considered a bit of an over-share. The further into a relationship you go, the easier and more beneficial it is to have this discussion. There’s really not much to gain from bringing it up the first time you meet someone.

Do: Check your spelling/grammar

So many people find bad spelling and poor grammar a major turn off, and yet there’s loads of it out there. Mistakes in your profile are pretty inexcusable, but it’s also a good idea to double-check messages in the early days of your dalliance, too. We all make mistakes, so be extra vigilant on this point.

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Ollie Fahey

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