12 Dating Tips From People Who Met Their Significant Other On An App

We can all agree that modern love is not what it used to be. Gone are the days when everyone married their high school or college sweethearts, someone from work, or a family friend. Over the last decade, the internet has changed the way we search for and find love. In fact, according to a survey from Pew Research Centre, 15 percent of American adults have used online dating sites or apps. Online dating websites and apps have increased our potential partner options so much so that the dating game has, let’s face it, become more difficult. (Ugh!) To help you navigate the insanity of the online dating world, we spoke to real people with successful digital love stories. Here, their best tips on how to tackle the dating scene’s new norm.

Have No Expectations

“Let go of expectations. I used to think I had an idea of who I wanted to fall in love with, how I wanted to fall in love, and when I wanted to fall in love. I was wrong. The guy I fell in love with was totally unexpected. He was unlike any guy I had ever met or envisioned before. But he was totally perfect. I never thought I’d actually meet my boyfriend on Tinder. I was so close to bailing on our first date because I thought he wasn’t my ‘type.’ I’m so glad I decided to go. Turns out, he is totally my type. He’s goofy, charming, driven, and has a big heart. I swiped right for him two years ago, and have been incredibly happy ever since.” —Carlie

Try A Different Approach

“A lot of people are not looking for relationships on these platforms. If you’re looking for a date, a real interaction, I think removing alcohol from the situation is huge. Because you get to know someone and who they really are. If they aren’t able to talk to you without alcohol, then how is that a sustainable relationship? If you want to get to know somebody, grab a cup of coffee, and before that make a phone call. People can fake it. When on a dating app, you have time to respond to messages. But if you’re actually talking to somebody and they’re not coming up with good responses, or they’re not being honest, you’ll be able to tell very quickly through a conversation versus text.” —Frank

Open The Search Criteria

“My advice would be to date—and date often. The success to online/app dating is really a numbers game, similar to searching for a job. How many resumes do you send out and interviews are lined up before you find the right fit? Don’t get discouraged, the next match may be the one! Open up your search criteria, sometimes you need to think outside the box. I lived in the Bronx and thought dating someone from Queens would mean spending hours on the train. Also, my (now) husband was previously married. I don’t think I would have looked at the profile of someone who was divorced or even someone who had kids. Because I thought that those people had life experiences that I couldn’t relate to. But I’m so glad I reached out to him anyway.” —Rashidah

Take A Good Look

“Quality over quantity. All the apps and websites today are about giving you so many options, almost *too* many options. It’s swipe right, swipe left, but you’re not truly evaluating if that person is right for you. So instead of swiping 20 guys or girls, swipe 10 in one night, but really focus on what story their profile pics and what they write in their profile are trying to say. If you look hard enough, you can always start to get a sense of that person. I always tried to make my profile represent who I was…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think when you create a dating profile, you should show all sides of yourself. If the person on the other end responds, then there’s a better chance they’re going to really be a potential match.” —Dan

Give Second Chances

“Give every first date a second chance. My first date with Bill was awkward and I didn’t think we had any chemistry, but that was probably because we didn’t have a genuine opportunity to spark each other’s interest. When people meet at work, through mutual friends, or even in a bar, there’s an opportunity for a spark to develop before they agree to go on a date. Meeting after only speaking for a few minutes on an app is most likely going to feel strange. I gave Bill a second chance because he was handsome, accomplished, and genuinely seemed like a nice guy. I figured it couldn’t hurt. We’re getting married next week, so I’m very thankful that I did. We really couldn’t be a better match.” —Bronte

Be Honest

“The biggest advice I have is that dating apps or online sites are only designed to get you to the first meeting. The rest is on you. Misleading pictures and a fake job might get you to the first date, but the truth will be realized quickly and you’ll be swiping again for a chance with someone new.” —Todd

Take Your Time

“I tend to be a bit more impulsive than I was with the whole process leading up to our first date. I’m not even sure I can pinpoint why. About three days had passed since we matched on Tinder and not a single message had been exchanged. Thanks to a little liquid courage and friend’s nudging, I made the first move, but even after that, we really took our time establishing that at the very least, we’d be great friends before meeting in person. We knew after that month that we were made to be in each other’s lives, we just weren’t sure to what extent. So, my tip? A slow burn can be way more rewarding.” —Melanie

Skip The Small Talk

“About eight months in, I matched with Kendra. A sultry looking lady. Red lipstick, very chic. In one of her photos it looked like she was shopping in Paris. She messaged me first because, Bumble, and I remember our conversation being very short before I decided we needed to meet. I don’t remember her opening line but after a rapid fire of witty banter, maybe three lines, I said something forgettable and likely unfunny, and she said, “I hate that about us.” I was taken a little aback. It was cute and punchy and she was so willing to strip away the boundary of small talk and complimentary pre-date bullshit to be simple and more importantly, funny.” —Michael

Put Yourself Out There

“Timing is everything, so if you’re not out there trying, you’ll never know when timing will strike and be THE time for you. I never thought in a million years I’d meet my husband on a dating app or that he’d be my first and only date on Tinder (yes, ladies I got lucky!). I knew when I met Paul he was the one and I am thankful every day that I downloaded a casual dating app and swiped right to find him!” —Callie

Don’t Force A Connection

“The best part about meeting online is that you get to take your time and get to know their personality before having your first face-to-face encounter. Hopefully you will click and talking will come naturally. Don’t be afraid to ask serious questions, and make sure that this person is someone you want to give your time to. Also, if you’re not feeling it, don’t feel bad and never try to force a connection. If you’ve been talking and are still nervous about meeting them in person, Skype or FaceTime, and if they say they can’t…RUN! Because they are probably a catfish!” —Rayne

Take The First Date Lightly

“I work in staffing and recruiting and I have been interviewing people since I was about 21…so I would always think of the dates as an interview and vet it out that way. I actually didn’t do that with Rob. It was just too natural, even though I was very nervous at the beginning. I would advise both men and women to take the first date lightly. Ask questions! Pay attention to the other person’s body language. If they’re not making you laugh, there’s no way it’s going to go well.” —Sazeen

Recruit Your Friends

“Don’t overthink the entrance. If you’re mutually attracted to each other, then it’s just a matter of seeing if you have common interests and can find a cool place to interact. My girlfriend and I met for the first time at a bar. We were both with our friend groups and this took a lot of pressure off, because it wasn’t like a “date.” I’d had many a sit-down dinner the first time meeting someone, and it was almost always uncomfortable to begin with. There’s too much to think about (am I eating like a caveman? did I just spit food on her? is the conversation exciting enough? etc).” —Harley

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US

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