Being on multiple dating apps does not mean that you are going on multiple dates. It does not even mean that you have gone on one Tinder date IRL.
You're not alone: Tinder just sent two users who matched three years ago, but never ended up going on a date, on a trip to Hawaii.
It's easy to swipe, it's sort of easy to message back and forth, but it's nearly impossible to make it all the way to a real life date with a cutie you match with on the apps. Tinder is pretty much Seamless for dating, so why is meeting up in real life so darn hard?
Short answer: We all lazy AF.
Longer answer: It's hard to take time out of your day to invest in a stranger whose face you've swiped on your phone.
Hot take: If you match with a nice-looking person on Tinder, it's actually very possible to move things from the digital world to the real world.
First thing's first, initiate real conversation.
It's 2017 and ladies can make the first move, so if you want things to turn into a date IRL, make sure you reach out to your matches on Tinder in a way that encourages them to engage back with you.
A "hey, how's your day" back-and-forth is easy to ignore and never check back in on.
"Generic opening lines don't work. 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," explains Dr. Jess Carbino, Tinder's in-house sociologist.
I'm really into questions like "pizza or tacos?" because they start off something of a conversation, however mundane. Facebook has taught us that everyone loves sharing their opinions, so initiate with a question to show you're actually looking to have a conversation.
Switch to text as soon as possible.
Once you start some flirtatious banter that is totally fun, but also seems to be endless, make sure you preempt the biggest trap of all in terms of never meeting up IRL: the "sorry I forget to check these apps" line.
It's not always easy to remember to check the apps, and it can be weird to have a Tinder notification pop up at work, so give your match your number as soon as possible.
If this is someone you actually feel like going on a date with, say something casual about how texting is easier and shoot them your number. You'll hear from them.
Don't be afraid to ask a match out.
Once you and your match slide into actual iMessage territory, if your match isn't suggesting an actual date, don't be afraid to say something first. I mean, he's texting you. He's interested.
A simple, "It would be great to actually meet in person" or, "Do you want to grab a drink sometime?" will do the trick. It's a Tinder match, so you don't need an elaborate plan.
This is so much easier than asking someone out IRL, so go for it. The stakes are low and that's a good thing.
Once you make plans, don't cancel last minute.
I think one of the reasons so few Tinder matches end up meeting up in real life is because, as I mentioned above, the stakes are so low.
I have been very guilty of last minute canceling a dating app date, or forgetting to put it on my calendar. It can be frustrating if you are the one who does put the date on the calendar only to have your match flake. See ya, Friday night plans.
So try to treat your rendezvous as you would any other appointment or date. Show up on time, and see how it goes.
If you're constantly finding excuses for ignoring messages on Tinder, or canceling dating app dates last minute, it could also be that you are just afraid of getting back out there. Searching for a relationship is hard and terrifying work. It's scary to be vulnerable, but it's worth it if you are looking for some good, old timey companionship.
Next time you swipe right on a cutie with a cool job at NASA and non-socio mutual friends, don't let him go. Tinder can't fly every missed connection to Hawaii, so don't wait three years to finally meet up IRL with that Jason Mantzoukas lookalike (*swoon*).