If you’re looking for meaningful connections on dating apps, you’ve got your work cut out for you. We know that there are many types of people on dating apps, and a lot of them are not looking for anything meaningful or long-term.
But it can be possible to find a genuine connection. You just need to be intentional so you can do the opposite of what the apps want you to do — swipe and stay on the app for a long time, unsatisfied so you’ll buy their premium features.
For those of you who are interested in finding a meaningful match, read on.
1. Don’t overmatch
Swiping has become a game, and it can be such a time drain. If you’re looking to waste time and have fun, great; but if you’re looking for a meaningful connection, it’s time to stop mindlessly swiping!
Limit how many people you swipe and therefore match with. It’s simply the paradox of choice. If you have endless choices, you’ll feel dissatisfied and overwhelmed, and it’s actually harder to find the right thing if you have more choices.
Have you ever heard of the jam study? Basically, researchers set up a table with 24 varieties of jam versus six varieties of jam for shoppers to try. And it turns out that people more likely to buy jam if there were only six varieties present. Too many choices give you “choice paralysis” where even when you choose, your satisfaction is reduced.
So with dating apps when the possibilities are endless, don’t overwhelm yourself. Set a swipe or match limit and stop when you reach it. This is why some apps like Coffee Meets Bagel will only give you a limited amount of people per day to look at.
2. Move off the app asap
Alright, so you’ve swiped, matched, and now you’re starting to chat with a few people. If they’re interesting and you’d want to get to know them better, get off the app asap!
Ask them for their number or find another platform and toodaloo off the app to an easier way to communicate.
If they fail to text you (assuming you provided the number), then don’t go chasing. You want someone who’s going to put in the effort and meet you halfway. If they text you on the app after you gave them your number, don’t engage; you were clear that you wanted to take the next step (getting off the app) and if they’re not ready, then they’re not ready. Let them go.
3. Plan the date in advance
There are going to be those people who are spontaneous and want to meet you the day of and will text you randomly on a Friday evening and ask what you’re up to. Do not cave in to these spontaneous requests to meet up even if you are free.
When you plan something out in advance, you are letting them know that you are intentional about your time. This way, you are also protecting both your time and their time.
By setting a time to meet in advance, you are also communicating how you want to be treated — you don’t want to be someone they come to because they’re bored or they don’t have plans on a Friday night. You want commitment and intentionality from them. So, protect your time, set boundaries, and teach them how you want to be treated.
4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
There is a sense of unease when going to meet someone for a date — there’s this pressure to dress up, look nice, and you feel you have to show your best self. Some people also get nervous and don’t know what to say and choke up.
But just think of it as you’re meeting a new friend that you’re getting to know. There’s less pressure when you’re meeting a new friend, such as if you’re meeting a friend of a friend’s and taking them around for a tour of the city. It’s easy and there’s no pressure to be anything other than yourself.
So take that pressure off yourself and do what comes naturally. And if your date doesn’t vibe with that, it’s good to know right off the bat so you’re not wasting your time.
Personally, I also think the stakes for first dates aren’t that high — you’re essentially just deciding if you’d like to see them again for a second date or not.
5. Trust your instincts
Lastly, at any point during the process — chatting on the app, off the app, during the date, etc. — don’t ignore your gut feeling or instincts. Sometimes we can get blinded by many factors that our brains override our hearts. But our hearts know best.
Maybe they check all our boxes, so even though there’s something “off” about them, you still keep going. Or maybe they’re super good-looking, so you ignore that red-flag text you got. Whatever it is, listen to what your inner-self is telling you and trust that your gut is just trying to protect you.
We’re all so busy already, and if you’re really looking for a meaningful connection, the last thing you need is someone who’s not on the same page and who’s out there to waste your time. With these tips, hopefully, you can get closer to finding someone on the same wavelength.
Have any more tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments!