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14 Pieces Of Insightful Advice People Have About Dating On Apps

Because we could all use a little help.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to lend us some of their tried-and-true dating advice, so here are some tips to consider whether you're on apps or IRL.

Petrborn / Getty Images

1. No one-word "hi" messages. Don't get stuck in the small-talk stage and start off with something ~meatier,~ basically anything that requires a response.

Paramount Pictures

"Don’t just send a message that says, 'Hi.' There’s nothing to say except 'hi' back, and you’re immediately caught in a small-talk loop. Say something about my profile: about what caught your eye, or what we have in common. It doesn’t have to be super clever, but little effort gives off a good impression AND gives me something I can actually reply to and get the ball rolling with." —Melissa O.

2. If you don't know where to start the conversation, go off of their interests. And even if you know nothing about their interests, it'll be a fun date and you'll try something new.

Hot 97

"Read their profile, especially if they mention their interests. You can lead with questions regarding those. But don't lie if you have no idea what their interests are. I asked out some guys and tried so many new things, and they were all really fun first dates." —chortlingchode

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3. Propose questions in your profile about topics that really matter to you, and whoever actually addresses them might be ~the one~ for you, or at the very least, show they care about getting to know you, and vice versa.

Nickelodeon Animation Studios

"I got sick and tired of dumb pick-up lines, so I just wrote my top five needs as questions that I proposed those swiping either answer themselves or ask of me. Things about family, what they do when they are mad, how often they like to have sex, and their ideal vacation. It steered conversations towards the important stuff more quickly. My now-husband of two years was the first (and only) guy to start by answering a question, before asking me in return. Not only did we know a lot about each other before our first face-to-face meeting, I knew he cared just as much about me knowing and caring about him as 'getting with' me." —carsonrietveld

4. While profiles are important and should reflect a bit of effort on the person's behalf, take some with a grain of salt. Not everyone knows how to snap flattering photos or write charming bios. TL;DR: Be open.

20th Century Fox

"Remember that some people just have zero game when it comes to social media. The coolest person might have an underwhelming profile, and the least appealing person might spend a lot of time making their profile look awesome. Keep an open mind! Had I met my husband on Tinder instead of IRL at a party, I would have swiped left. His profile was boring and all his pics were bad. So take it from me, profiles are *sometimes* incredibly inaccurate!" —A.

5. While it's great to meet ~totally new~ people and expand your circles, don't write someone off simply because you've crossed paths with them before.

Broadway Video Universal Television

"Don’t be opposed to matching with someone you already know. My friends and I had the rule of 'Already met? Swipe left.' However, sometimes the right people are already in your life, but it just wasn’t the right time. I matched with the love of my life on Tinder (my first Tinder date ever, btw), but I’ve actually known him since high school." —businessbae

6. Know what you want, and don't settle or compromise.

Virgin Records

"I was looking for something serious and was using OKCupid, though there were plenty of creeps on there (any online dating app has them). If the guy didn’t use proper grammar, I immediately stopped communicating. I wasn’t expecting perfection, but I wanted to be with someone intelligent, and that gave me a first impression of his intelligence and confidence.

I also took a lot of time developing my profile. If the guy asked questions about things I had featured prominently or highlighted in my profile, I typically walked away. In my opinion, it signaled that he had most likely looked at some pictures and maybe briefly scanned through my profile, but he did not take enough time to *actually* look through it. He probably wasn’t looking for the same thing I was.

I know some people thought my methods were extreme or too judgmental, but I knew the kind of guy I was looking for. I was not interested in settling, and before long, I found my husband without becoming discouraged and without ever feeling unsafe. We have been married for nearly five years now, and he is my person. :-)" —dacpac

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7. Queer friends, if the mainstream apps aren't working out for you, try other platforms!

Instagram: @_personals_

"Queer women should follow @_personals_ on Instagram! They're coming out with an app, but for now it's just people submitting ads about themselves. I met my GF on there, after months of trying (and failing, obvs) on dating apps." —aobaromper

8. While this is not 100% the case, you might have a better chance at finding someone looking for a serious relationship on a paid app.

The Curiosity Company / 20th Century Fox

"The platform you choose to use will most likely dictate what kind of relationship others are looking for. Be realistic with your expectations and know you *might* have better luck finding serious 'suitors' using a paid dating app, such as Match.com, OKCupid, etc. I have met some fantastic people on Tinder and Bumble, but I think paying shows initiative." —Hannah H.

9. As fun (or not) as it is to talk via witty texts, GIFs, and strings of emojis, meet up in person early on. The IRL vibe can be very different.

Giphy

"Try to make plans within a week of first matching with someone. It’s easier for people to hide themselves when the only contact you have with them is on a screen. By meeting in person, it’s much easier to gauge whether or not they are someone you want to put the time and energy into getting to know." —Samantha E.

Editor's note: Certain apps like Coffee Meets Bagel have chat expiration dates, so you have to meet up or move to a different messaging platform/exchange contact information, or just let the connection run its time and disappear.

10. Cast a wide net; people can surprise you. But, always trust your gut!

Disney

"I met my boyfriend on Tinder, and my advice is to cast a wide net! I know a lot of people who will list out everything they want in their partner right in the bio. My friend legit had 'no facial hair' on hers. I honestly think it's better to be open to all options because people can surprise you! I was totally not feeling this guy on Tinder and was about to cancel our date, but decided to stick it out. I'm so glad I did, because now we've been dating for over two years and I couldn't be happier. :) (That said, trust your gut and don't agree to meet someone IRL if they give you bad vibes. Stay safe!!!)" —Rebecca O'Connell

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Eduardrobert / Getty Images

11. First, take time to get to know yourself before dating anyone else.

Republic Records

"I came out from a long-term relationship at 22 and realized I never spent time really getting to know myself, since I had invested all my energy on my ex. When we broke up, I made myself a deal to focus on learning to love myself for a year before dating again. During that year I lost 25 pounds, nurtured my friendships, got promoted, and moved into a fabulous loft on my own.

A year to the day, I downloaded OKCupid on my phone. I jumped straight into the dating world and began to go on four to five first dates a week. I was unabashedly confident and knew exactly what kind of partner I was seeking based on all that I learned about myself the year prior. After six months of dating nonstop, I downloaded Tinder. My husband was my second Tinder date ever. If I had not taken the time to really get to know/love myself, I would not have attracted nor met my amazing partner. My advice to everyone is to really dig deep and know yourself and your wants/needs before bringing someone else to share your life with. :)" —Lucia L.

(We can't post professional photos, but if you want to see the gorgeous wedding photo Lucia submitted, check out the original callout post!)

12. Stay true to yourself and show off your quirks — you'll never know who you'll attract and who will be curious about them.

Berlanti Productions / The CW

"Make sure to be confident and be yourself — your quirks are what make you, you. I am a big nerd who loves Star Trek and can even speak a little Klingon; every time I told someone, they found it very humanizing and relatable, and in return, they usually had something kooky or weird to share about themselves." —Ian D.

13. Be responsible for your own transportation so you're free to leave when you want, if you want.

Jax Media

"A friend of mine moved to Arizona for law school, where she didn't really know anyone. So one day she texted me that this pro golfer messaged her on Instagram and asked her out. She figured out it wasn't a catfish, so she agreed to brunch. About an hour into the brunch, I got a text from her saying that brunch was going terrible and she wanted to leave. Unfortunately, he drove. I had no idea how to help her because, like everyone she knew, I live in Texas. She called later to tell me about the date, but to keep it simple, the date was horrible and when he dropped her off, he reached up her skirt and she had to slap him.

So I'd say for a first date, drive yourself. Make sure there is a good escape plan, in case the date is bad. Keep it simple, so you're not trapped for hours at brunch. And when in doubt, call an Uber. Also, call the police if you are assaulted. She was too embarrassed to do so, but no one should be too embarrassed to do so."

TJ

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14. When in doubt, opt for a coffee date — somewhere casual and familiar. Plus, your date can't make you fall asleep from boredom if you have a steady flow of caffeine! 😆

Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures / Fox

"If you are nervous about meeting the other person face-to-face for the first time or worried about having a bad date, suggest meeting for coffee! If the date is going badly or they're just weird, chug your drink and you have an easy way out, instead of being stuck through a whole dinner." —evoreh

Good luck swiping, liking, texting, and going on dates! Here's to hoping you learn a lot about yourself, have fun adventures, and maybe even find ~your person~.

Darren Star Productions

The submissions used in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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