Home » News » The World of Dating Apps: Modern Etiquette
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In the ever-evolving realm of dating apps, chaos seems to be the only constant, according to Damona Hoffman, a seasoned dating coach. The post-pandemic era has seen a surge in ghosting, where connections abruptly end without explanation. This phenomenon, Hoffman notes, stems from the overwhelming influx of digital communications mixed with an air of uncertainty. Her upcoming book, “F the Fairy Tale: Rewrite the Dating Myths and Live Your Own Love Story,” delves deeper into this new landscape.

Interestingly, despite the chaos, dating apps are still a hotspot for romance. Hoffman reminds us that kindness is key — because you never know, the next person you swipe right on might just end up being your forever partner.

Crafting an Engaging Dating Profile

Creating a captivating dating app profile is more about subtlety and wit than oversharing. Erika Ettin, a fellow dating coach, emphasizes the importance of keeping your profile upbeat and engaging. Forget about listing dealbreakers or sounding off about the woes of modern dating.

Instead, make your profile a teaser, an invitation for curiosity. Use prompts to give a peek into what makes you unique. Love bourbon and tacos? Great, but maybe share a quirky personal anecdote or a special quest that defines your taste.

With apps rolling out more and more features, like Bumble’s profile “badges,” it’s easy to get carried away. Ettin advises to use these features judiciously. Sharing too much, too soon, might just see your earnest voice note become TikTok fodder.

The Art of Messaging

When it comes to sending messages on dating apps, it’s time to ditch the bland “sup” and step up your game. Erika Ettin, a dating coach, emphasizes the power of curiosity in your messages. Instead of resorting to cliché small talk, dive into their profile and ask something specific that shows you’re genuinely interested. Remember, a message that feels like a copy-paste job won’t make anyone feel special.

Avoid the Pitfalls of Digital Communication

Ettin also warns against starting conversations with sexual comments or getting lost in philosophical essays in your messages. You’re aiming for a balanced conversation, not a monologue. Keep in mind that everyone’s comfort level with certain topics varies, especially in the initial stages of chatting.

Building Momentum Beyond the Screen

Ettin’s key advice for moving past the digital chatroom? Propose a real date. A simple line like, “I’d love to continue this conversation over dinner,” can shift your interaction from casual chatting to a potential real-life connection.

And if you’re enjoying the conversation, why not nudge it along? A message like, “I’m really enjoying talking to you; what should our next step be?” can signal your interest in taking things further.

Honesty & Communication Preferences

Michelle Parsons, from Lex, advises being upfront about your intentions, especially if you’re not looking for anything serious. Clarity and honesty can prevent misunderstandings and respect the time and emotions of others. Remember, being straightforward is more valued than leaving someone guessing.

Modern Communication Etiquette

Gone are the days of rigid rules like responding within an hour or waiting days to follow up. Justine Ang Fonte, a health educator, suggests being clear about your communication style. If you’re a meme enthusiast or someone who checks messages sporadically, just say so. Effective communication is about managing expectations, not following outdated dating scripts.

And if you’re unsure about where you stand or what your match thinks, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. Ettin recommends using phrases like, “I can’t tell if you’d like to meet up this weekend,” to open up a dialogue and clear any potential misunderstandings.

Ghosting Is a No-No

Clear message: Ghosting is out. Treating people like disposable digital entities makes finding real connections tougher. Remember, if someone’s behavior makes you feel unsafe, it’s okay to cut ties. For less severe situations, health educator Justine Ang Fonte recommends using “boundary scripts” for polite goodbyes. These scripts are about honest communication without the stress of crafting the perfect breakup text.

Keep Therapy Talks Off The Apps

While Gen Z and millennials might be well-versed in therapy-speak, Hoffman advises against playing therapist on dating apps. Diagnosing your date with a personality disorder or delving deep into their psyche isn’t your role. And when it comes to your own issues, like attachment styles or past traumas, it’s better to avoid deep dives into these topics early on. Focus on the present and how you both act in your dating life, not your therapy history.

Think Twice Before You Post

In the age of viral content, it’s tempting to turn your dating app exchanges into social media gold. However, remember that your matches didn’t sign up to be Instagram fodder. While exposing genuinely harmful behavior can be beneficial, don’t cross the line into shaming someone for simple awkwardness or minor missteps. Anything you share could end up anywhere online, including places like TikTok, so pause and consider the implications before hitting ‘share.’

Happy dating, and remember: respect, honesty, and a bit of caution go a long way in the world of online dating!

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Last updated March, 2024

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