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How to Get Started With Dating Apps: 7 Beginner-Friendly Tips

The world of dating is daunting enough before you bring the thought of finding love through a mobile phone application into the mix.

Whether you’ve struggled to use dating apps in the past, or you’re new to the concept of looking for a new partner online, we’ve got you covered. These tips cover the main things you need to know about dating apps, and how to navigate the modern dating scene without tearing your hair out.

Find the right app for you

The first obstacle is just how many different dating apps are out there. From services that require a subscription fee, to free alternatives that anyone can use, from apps that target a specific demographic, to platforms with no specific restrictions, it’s easy to get confused.

As a starting point, it makes sense to sign up to dating apps that are free and safe to use. That way you won’t be putting any money on the line as you test the waters and see if online dating gels with your sensibilities, and you’ll also be avoiding potentially dodgy services that aren’t made with user safety or privacy in mind.

Be transparent about what you’re looking for

Unless you are upfront and honest about how you’re using the app, it can lead to a lot of wasted time and emotional conflict.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a life partner or you just want a casual hook-up; unless you are clear about what you want to get out of the experience, then misunderstandings will arise.

Provide as much detail as possible

The first stage of setting yourself up on an online dating app is entering your personal info into a profile that will be used to help match you with the right people.

While you might not need to fill in every part of your profile, it’s much better to give detailed answers. That way, your matches will be stronger, and again you won’t waste time talking to people who simply aren’t a good fit for your personality and long term goals.

Consider video calling before an in-person meet-up

Sure, you can go from chatting via instant message in a dating app straight to meeting your match in the flesh, but this can lead to all sorts of awkwardness that’s easily avoided with a preliminary video call.

Video calling is of course no match for an in-person date, but it does mean that you can see and speak to the person who has caught your eye in a format that lets you establish your compatibility to a greater degree than messaging can achieve.

Choose a date location carefully

Obviously going on a date has always been as much about picking a great spot to visit as anything else, but when you’re using an app to find prospective partners in the first place, there’s a new layer to consider.

Basically, you don’t want to be concerned about your own safety when meeting what is essentially a stranger for the first time. Selecting a location that you know well, and is a busy public place, is sensible for this reason.

Likewise having an escape plan in place for if you realize you need to abort the date before it’s reached its natural conclusion is also worthwhile. Ask a friend to call you at a predetermined time, and use this as an opportunity to claim that an emergency has come up that means you have to leave early. If things are going great, let your friend know and stick with it.

Don’t get addicted to dating apps

For some people, using dating apps is appealing to the point of addiction, because some are designed in a way that gets you hooked on the process of making matches and choosing between other users.

It’s good to have boundaries in place for this reason, and to actively choose to use the apps you sign up to for a short amount of time each day, rather than opening them up every five minutes to check on your messages and matches.

Get used to rejection

The other side of the dating app craze is that it means you’ll certainly experience a good amount of rejection, or at least what feels like rejection.

The reality is that not matching with other people doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you as a person. The same applies to getting a match, only to find out that the other person isn’t as interested in you as you’d hoped.

There are all sorts of dilemmas like this to get used to when you commit to app-based dating. But the upside is that millions of people have entered into strong, long-lasting and happy relationships because of it, so any downsides can be justified.

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