Being on dating apps does not necessarily mean that you are going on dates. It does not even mean that you have gone on one Tinder date IRL. Making a dating app profile can be kind of fun, and swiping is exciting (or at least, it is until your thumb cramps up), but actually asking someone out on Tinder and taking your virtual relationship into the real world can be intimidating.
TL;DR: If you're nervous about inviting a cutie out for coffee or suggesting a meet-up at a bar, you're not alone. Putting yourself out there can make anyone feel distinctly un-chill. So, if you’re stuck wondering how to ask a girl out on Tinder or questioning the best way to initiate an IRL meeting with your latest match, you’re definitely not alone. It can be especially tough to work up the courage to make the first move if you're out of practice or have never done it before.
The good news is that asking someone out on Tinder or any dating app is a lot lower-stakes than making that move IRL. On apps, you can shoot your shot while wearing sweatpants on your couch, you can rewrite the message as many times as it takes for it to feel right, and you can even get advice from experts if you're feeling stuck. Luckily for you, I've rounded up dating tips to make this process a cinch, starting off with some insight from Tinder itself.
Try A Creative Opener On Tinder
Once you've made a match, start off the conversation on the right foot by sending a message that encourages your match to write back. That doesn't mean you need to frantically Google clever pickup lines if that's not your style — but what that does mean is putting a little bit of thought into what you say.
"Generic opening lines don't work," explains Dr. Jess Carbino, relationship and online dating expert and Tinder's former in-house sociologist "We know that 20 percent of messages sent on Tinder begin with the word 'hey.' If you want to break out from the crowd, send something more interesting."
I'm really into asking questions like "pizza or tacos?" because they start off something of a conversation, however mundane. You might ask about a small detail from their profile that most people will miss — like asking what song they're listening to if they happen to be wearing headphones in one photo. You could even cut to the chase and ask if they're free this weekend. By taking the time (even if it’s just an extra 30 seconds) to personalize your opening line to your match’s profile, you have a much better chance of making a real connection.
And if the perfect line doesn't strike you right away, don't worry. It's better to send the best idea you've got rather than waiting. According to data from Tinder, 95% of matches are most likely to meet between two and seven days after matching. In other words, if there's someone you think you'll really like, don't wait to make your move.
Keep The Tinder Conversation Consistent
Once you’ve sent your opener and the flirtatious banter is underway, one of the most common pitfalls is the conversation fizzling out because one person forgets to respond in a timely manner. It's not always easy to remember to check the apps, so give your match your number as soon as possible, or ask for their number so you can keep the ball rolling via text. Just don’t be offended if they say they’d rather wait — some people prefer in-app conversations until meeting in person. If that’s the case, turning on your app notifications is a good alternative.
Regardless of if it happens over Tinder or text, it's important to keep the responses flowing, Meredith Golden, a dating coach and dating app expert, previously told Elite Daily. "People get busy and the conversations lose momentum," she explained. "Once it flatlines, it’s hard to resurrect [the spark]." Instead of chasing down new matches once your old flames have burnt out, it'll be easier and more efficient to give just a select few conversations your full attention.
Use These Lines To Ask Them Out
If you’ve been chatting for a while and your match hasn’t suggested an actual date yet, don't be afraid to say something first. I mean, they're messaging you. They're at least somewhat interested! If you’re still looking for some inspo, these Tinder pickup lines are gold.
Keep It Simple & Direct
- "It would be great to actually meet in person."
- "Do you want to grab a drink sometime?"
- “Let’s continue this conversation in person. Dinner this week?”
Be Playful & Flirty
- “Being pen pals is fun, but I have a feeling meeting in person would be even better.”
- “Did we plan our first date yet, or was that my imagination?”
- “Awkward, but I think you forgot to ask me out this weekend. How’s Friday?”
Suggest An Activity
- “I need to meet that dog in your second pic. How about a date at the dog park?”
- “You say you know the best [insert food] place in the city, and I need to try.”
- “Feel like playing tour guide this weekend? I still haven’t checked out [insert neighborhood].”
Asking someone out on Tinder is a skill just like any other, and the more you practice, the easier it becomes. You got this. And, remember, if they say no, your next match is just a few swipes away.
Jess Carbino, PhD, relationship and online dating expert, and Tinder's former in-house sociologist
Meredith Golden, a dating coach and dating app expert
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