When you get a tingle in your nether regions for a cutie you meet IRL, there's a hard deadline on getting each other’s contact info. You either suck it up and ask for their digits before you get to the front of the Trader Joe's line, or you kiss your potential soulmate goodbye. (And, unfortunately for both of you slow pokes, this kiss is only figurative.) When it comes to Tinder, however, there is no expiration date. You can message that match with the adorable puppy for weeks and never meet up. Or, you can send your digits to that match with the sailboat and meet up that very night. (Maybe not on their sailboat alone though, because #safety.)
This lack of urgency on dating apps means that many of us are left trying to figure out how to restart a conversation on Tinder. You might match with a zaddy on a Sunday night, message like crazy, get swamped at work that week, and never chat again. A few weeks later, when you're right-swiping through a sea of fish pics and Snapchat filter selfies, you might remember your well-dressed match from the past and think, "I want that."
But how do you save a dying Tinder conversation without seeming unchill? First of all, being chill is overrated. Reaching back out doesn’t make you desperate, it makes you powerful. When someone makes a move on you, it's almost always hot and flattering. (Catcalls excluded.) And the same goes for when you take the initiative — it's also hot and flattering.
Toronto-based dating expert Natalia Juarez echoes this sentiment. In her eyes, when it comes to reaching back out to a match, there’s no shame — and we should all extend each other a little grace for attempting to navigate these sticky social situations. “It’s just like following up [with anyone else],” Juarez says. “You never have any idea what was going on in this person’s life when they stopped responding. It is more than OK to send two messages to someone you like.”
For all those potentially perfect matches who fizzled out before the going got good, here's how to restart a Tinder conversation like a pro.
Don’t Take It Personally
If the messages stop flowing for some reason, don’t automatically assume that your banter is to blame. “Your match could have been recently out of a relationship, they could be dealing with family stress, a work project, anything,” Juarez says. “You never know what stage of life you’re catching someone in.” Be patient with them, but make your interest clear.
Don’t Overwhelm Them
A key to reinvigorating a dead Tinder convo is to keep it casual and light. “A lot of people worry too much about being too clever and then their messages can come across as awkward,” Juarez says. “Really the important thing is just to say something, anything, to leave the door open.” She also adds that sending too many messages can be a red flag. “Totally send a second message, but leave it at two,” Juarez says. If at that point they don’t respond, it’s time to pack your knives and go.
Be Shameless AF
I was recently grabbing drinks with a childhood friend of mine who I’ve known since I was five. For as long as I can remember, she’s always had approximately three men in love with her at all times, and I’m convinced that a key component to her magnetism is her total lack of shame. Take a page out of my friend’s book: When you reach out to a Tinder match after a lull in conversation, act like it ain't no thang. Literally say whatever you want, and own it.
If you are reaching back out because they seem nice and normal and you'd like to meet up in person some time, say, "You seem nice and normal and I'd like to meet up sometime." If you don't hear back? Whatever, it's an app/maybe they moved to Hong Kong.
Ask A Question About Their Opinion On Something
Everybody loves sharing their opinion. Just peep your Facebook newsfeed.
I'm not necessarily recommending you open a Tinder convo back up with "Spicer or Mooch?" but people love to answer questions about what they like and believe in.
The Real World or The Real Housewives? Pluto: planet or nah? Whiskey or tequila? "This or that" questions make for great opening lines, and they work well for a second act opening line as well. If someone asks me whether I prefer French fries or potato chips, there’s no way I’m not sharing my opinion. (Fry ‘til I die.) Your match will, too.
Shoot Them Your Number
If you learned your lesson from last time around and now you’re looking to cut to the chase, simply give your future boo your number. Maybe add a little note so it's not totally out of left field, but get to the point as soon as possible.
I know what you’re thinking, but sharing your number actually isn't weird. That’s why you both came here in the first place, right? By offering up your number, you’re just streamlining communication because it’s a known fact that everyone sucks at replying to messages on apps. It's the modern day version of putting your number on a napkin and sliding it down the bar, only this way you have more control over whether or not you actually meet this person out in the world.
The stakes are incredibly low. Send it.
If you want to re-start a conversation with a Tinder match, do it in a way that feels true to you. If being super straightforward and shameless feels weird, say something more innocuous. With enough practice, who knows? You might find that you eventually warm up to being more direct.
The bottom line: If someone is super judgmental about you reaching back out on a dating app, they're probably not worth your time anyway. Dating today is weird and complicated, but also exciting. The most important thing is to put your authentic self out there and learn not to take rejection personally.
My biggest piece of advice for restarting a conversation with a Tinder match is to take a page from Nike's book and "just do it." If you never made it out to dinner with that match with the great banter, send them a note. The worst case scenario is that you don't hear back from someone you've never even met.
Take advantage of the low-stakes situation and be bold. Making the first move is underrated.
Natalia Juarez, breakup and dating coach
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