If you’re on a dating app, chances are you’ve been asked this question at least once: “How do I ask someone out?”
The truth is that there isn’t one right way to approach someone and ask them out. If you want the best chance of success, though, here are eight tips for improving your dating app etiquette.
1. Make a good first impression with a thoughtful message
You don’t need to send an email or text message after meeting someone in person to let them know you liked their profile. You can make a great first impression by starting a conversation in the app before even asking if they’d like to meet up.
This will help you learn more about each other, and it also gives you time to decide whether you want to go ahead with setting up your first date.
It’s always nice to have a little bit of advance notice, so don’t be surprised if your potential date has a few questions about what you’ll be doing on that night.
2. Be clear about what you want
When you start chatting and flirting with someone on Tinder, Bumble, or any other app for that matter, be mindful of how you present yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but you should try to stay focused on what you want from this initial connection.
There are plenty of people who use these apps without ever actually meeting anyone in real life, so be careful not to come across as desperate. Instead, show that you’re interested in getting to know someone better by being upfront about why you’re using the app in the first place.
3. Ask if they’re looking for a serious relationship
Most dating sites and apps will let you see which users have indicated that they’re looking for a long-term commitment. This lets you know if you’re talking to someone who might be looking for something different than casual fun dates.
If you’re feeling unsure about where things are going, it may be a good idea to keep your expectations low until you both agree to move into a deeper level of communication. When you’re ready, you can then bring up the topic of exclusivity.
4. Give yourself some breathing room
Don’t expect to hear back from someone immediately after you ask them out. This is especially true when it comes to online dating apps—you won’t receive responses quite as quickly as you would through a traditional form of communication (like texting).
Give yourself some time to let things simmer, and if you haven’t heard anything within a week, it may be time to give up on that particular match. Don’t forget that sometimes, you may just be a few days away from receiving an answer!
5. Follow up with a thank you note
Once you’ve sent your potential date a message, it’s important that you follow up with a thank you note to show that you’re still active on the app. It’s polite to acknowledge that you received their message and let them know that you appreciate them taking the time to chat with you.
6. Stay positive
This is particularly important if you’re nervous about having your first date with someone you met online. While you probably shouldn’t lie to your potential date about having a bad day, you can tell them that you had some difficulty getting motivated to reach out. That will ensure that you leave no doubt that you’re open to meeting again sometime.
7. Set a time limit
If you’re both happy to continue communicating, set a specific date and time for your next meeting. It’ll give you both some structure and motivation to make sure that you stick to whatever plans you made.
8. Know your boundaries
Before agreeing to meet someone face to face, it’s crucial to understand your own boundaries. This includes knowing how much alcohol you can drink, how late you can stay out, and whether you’re comfortable with certain sexual activities (if you’re open to them).
If you want to take things slowly, you might find yourself spending more time getting to know each other before deciding to move forward with a date.
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