Before Using A Dating App For The First Time, Make Sure You Know These 7 Things
Dating is hard. People send confusing signals sometimes, and it’s difficult to find someone who’s on the same page as you are — someone who wants the same things you want. You say these things and more when your parents ask you why you’re “still” single, but they don’t seem to understand. And honestly? Neither do you! You’re great and you know it! But if you haven’t had much luck in the dating game for whatever reason, and you want to meet someone, consider hopping into the dating app game. If it’s your first time using dating apps, don’t freak out! It’s totally normal to be a little bit nervous. But there’s a first time for everything, and once you get over the initial jump in, it’s smooth sailing (or swiping) from there.
Here are a few things I wish I knew before I started swiping on dating apps (a long, long time ago.) I was a little skeptical at first. It took a lot of convincing from my friends in college to actually get me to download them, but I’ve learned so much. It’s a process, but it’s a fun way to get to know people, and you might very well find “the one” along the way. Keep these things in mind before you hit “Download,” and happy matching!
1. It Can Be A Huge Ego Boost At First
Your profile is being distributed among thousands and thousands of users. A lot of people are looking at your pictures and bio, so you’re most likely bound to get several matches if you’re constantly swiping. The amount will probably decrease as you yourself start swiping less too, but still. Hundreds of people think you’re a cutie, and they want to talk to you! It’s OK to feel good about it. It might even feel a little addicting at first! But no matter how great you feel about your matches, it’s important to remember that your “attractiveness” isn’t just superficial, and it’s definitely not tied to the amount of matches you get. People don’t get the entire picture of who you are just by looking at your dating app profile, so don’t let your amount of matches get to your head (or get you down)!
2. You Won’t Match With Everyone You Like
Unfortunately, not everyone we like likes us back. That’s just life, man. There’s a 99 percent chance you won’t even remember who didn’t “like” you back because you’re seeing so many people on the app anyway, so don’t fret. If you don’t match with one hottie, you will probably match with the next one.
You won’t like everyone you see, either. Dating apps aren’t a mystical paradise abundant with models. There are real people looking for real relationships (or situationships). Take the time to read people’s bios, their information, and learn a little bit about them before deciding which way to swipe. What you read might impact you even more than what you see.
3. Not Everyone Is Going To Want What You Want
Not everyone on dating apps wants a full-blown, exclusive relationship. I once dated a guy for months before he told me he didn't want anything "too serious," which I thought we basically were already doing! I would've liked for him to have told me how he was feeling from the very start of our situationship. When someone is open and honest with you from the beginning, believe them! Don't think that they'll suddenly change their mind, because even though that's always a possibility, it's never a guarantee. Take what they say at face value, whether it's right in their bio, or within the first few minutes of your chat.
4. You Will Most Likely Get Strange Comments And Pick-Up Lines
Some people are more suave than others, so do not be surprised if one match sweeps you off your feet, and the next one seriously underwhelms you with their pick-up line. Dating apps are an unpredictable way of dating. You never know whom you’re going to find and what their style is going to be.
5. You Will Probably Run Into People You Know IRL.
Swiping in your hometown? There’s a very good chance you will run into people you went to high school with on dating apps. Even at huge colleges, you could easily match with someone in your class. It doesn’t have to be awkward if you don’t make it awkward! Act natural and ignore it. The person on the other side is probably equally mortified, and if they call you out on it IRL, laugh it off! They’re using apps just as much as you are, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Another unfortunate situation? Running into your friends’ partners or exes on the apps. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, use your best judgement. If the person you see on an app is seriously dating someone you’re close to, it may be best to gently break it to your friend. If you run into someone who’s technically dating someone you don’t really know that well, you might just want to move on and stay out of it. Follow your gut, and you’ll know what feels right. This is never a fun decision, but only you know what’s best in these situations, depending on your relationships with everyone involved.
6. It's Not "Mean" To Block Someone
If someone is a jerk on a dating app, block them! It’s not “mean” or “rude.” It’s you doing what you have to do to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience on a dating app. Plain and simple! Many apps have strict no-tolerance policies about harassment and unsolicited photos. So strict, in fact, that you can even flag them or report them. If it feels like the right thing to do, do it! You might be helping the next person in their path to avoid same yucky situation.
7. You Should Use Your Discretion When Deciding Who To Meet Up With IRL
I’ve been on several first dates with guys from dating apps, and I can say I’ve never really had a bad experience. Most (if not all) of the people I’ve met are respectful, nice, and considerate. I gauge their online personalities very thoroughly before meeting up with them IRL. I look them up on social media, see if we have any mutual friends, and ask said mutual friends how they know the person and what they’re really like. If someone asks me out on a date, and I don’t feel comfortable just yet, I have no qualms about saying, “Not just yet, thank you!” or “I’m actually super busy this weekend,” and taking the next week to keep the conversation going and learning more about them.
As the wise queen Beyoncé once said in 2006’s "Irreplaceable," “I can have another you in a minute.” This is particularly true of dating apps.
Do whatever makes you comfortable, swipe for as long as you want, and if one match doesn’t work out, that’s OK. Don’t you ever, for a second, get to thinking they’re irreplaceable.
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