Is it possible to find real connection on a dating app? As a dating and sex consultant, I get asked about this all the time from people tired of endless swiping and chats that go nowhere. To improve your chances of success, I’ve compiled my top tips for finding a real relationship online.
7 top tips for getting real results from your favourite dating app
1. Choose photos that actually look like you
While I’m usually one for throwing out the rule-book, there are a few recommendations that really do work when it comes to getting quality matches on dating apps:
Make sure prospective matches can see your face
Don’t use too many selfies or old photos
Include at least one full-body photo
Use sharp and clear photos
Avoid group shots
Never post photos with someone who could be mistaken for (or was!) an ex
Photos of you participating in an activity you love, like a sport or creative field, work well
Make sure it actually looks like you
2. Give your profile some personality
Ok, this may sound cliche, but when it comes to filling out your profile, be yourself.
Dating apps range in how much effort they want you to put into your profile. Hinge, for example, gives you a few prompts to answer (which really helps to inject your personality and stop the fear of the blank page!).
The famous (or should that be infamous?) Tinder just has a basic bio field that you can fill however you want. Bear this in mind: If you don’t make any effort to type a few words about yourself and what you’re looking for, it sends a signal that you’re unlikely to make much effort in a relationship either.
Give potential matches something to work with when you’re thinking about what to write. How can they respond to your profile? It’s the only thing they have to go off other than your photos, so craft a bio that’s interesting and shows what you’re really about. The more personality you can bring to it, the better. Include little details that make you unique: maybe a favourite hobby, amusing travel story, or special love of a particular food.
Finally, don’t be afraid to be clear about what you’re looking. You don’t have to go full-blown “marriage and kids” (though Hinge does include compatibility questions about whether you want kids). A good line about what kind of partnership you desire – maybe someone to share life with, be your world travel companion or someone to have it all with – will suffice. This automatically weeds out people who don’t fit, which is exactly what we want!
3. Nailing that all-important first message
Hinge CEO, Justin McLeod, says that a confident statement performs 25 percent better than a question in terms of whether a conversation eventually moves off the app. Lead in with a comment about whatever your match wrote on their profile. Definitely don’t rely on a “hey,” or “hi,” or “how was your day?” That’s lacklustre and isn’t going to facilitate an interesting conversation. You spent time thinking about what you wrote on your profile and would probably want someone to acknowledge it, so do the same for a match.
Hinge helps you make a connection by seeing mutual friends with a potential match which can be a great conversation starter. It’s also a good idea to actually read someone’s profile and come up with questions that make them feel like they’re not just a random person you swiped right on.
Hinge research also found that opening lines containing the word “sorry” are 56 percent less likely to result in a phone number exchange. Even if you’re late to responding, never apologise.
Also, complimenting your match’s name isn’t a bad idea. Hinge found that your odds of getting digits goes up 12.5 percent.
What’s most important about communication is that you are genuinely interested. Being genuine and authentic is the key to unlocking great conversation – both on and offline.
4. Be aware of red flags
You’re too busy being wonderful to waste your time with people who aren’t looking for deep connection. So keep an eye out for potential red flags.
Look at the photos of your potential matches carefully. If they’re half-naked in every one of them, maybe the person is looking for a hot hookup.
As I’m enjoying dating sober, I would steer clear of anyone who has a drink in their hand in all their shots (ask yourself, are you looking for a party-animal right now, or something more serious?).
Low-quality photos or profiles without a bio are also signs that the person isn’t putting much effort in, and probably isn’t looking for something serious.
Also, the conversation should have substance to it. If it’s just, ‘How was your weekend?’ or ‘What are you doing today?’ for days on end, they’re probably not looking to get to know you on a deeper level.
If they have a real conversation and want to get to know you as well, they’re probably interested in something more. If you’re getting one-line responses, they’re not trying to invest in someone.
5. Chat to more than one person at once
I’m a big fan of dating more than one person at once when you enter or reenter the dating world. It boosts your confidence, takes the pressure off, helps you see what you like and don’t like, and the red flags become easier to spot.
I recommend keeping around five conversations going at once on your app (or apps) of choice. This way, if a few of your matches drop off, you won’t be too disappointed and you’re likely to land that all-important first date.
On the subject of chatting online, it’s SO important to take your conversations offline as quickly as possible. Many of my friends and clients have made the mistake of thinking that chemistry online will translate to real life too and so stop messaging other people. Keep your options open until you’ve found your keeper.
6. Work the system
Dating apps are just the same as platforms like Facebook and Instagram: the more you participate, the higher your chances of success.
Many dating apps have an algorithm that impacts how often you show up to potential matches. Every action you take on an app reveals more about your preferences and allows you to receive more likely matches. When you fail to check the app regularly, it will stop sending people your way.
So keep your profile fresh and up to date if you’re serious about finding someone you really connect with.
7. Don’t just stick with Tinder
Coffee Meets Bagel has been described as “the anti-Tinder” – and with good reason too. It’s all about “authentic” matches with a radical focus on the quality it offers, rather than an endless sea of faces you find yourself vacantly swiping through elsewhere. Every day, you’re offered just one single ‘holy grail’ match based on information you’ve already inputted on your tastes, preferences and hobbies. Don’t like what you see? Wait until tomorrow.
Hopefully these tips will reinvigorate your dating game to get you the real results you’re looking for. My biggest tip when it comes to online dating though? Take it offline as soon as possible. That’s where the real connection begins, which is what dating is all about.
Want more great dating advice and opportunities to meet your perfect match? For real connection sign up to Tailor Matched, an exclusive offline dating consultancy, to activate your free membership and gain access to:
Preferential rates on our orgasmic events and meet-ups
Introductory rates to our offline introduction services
Access to exclusive offers from our partners
Access to our Set Yourself Free programme