With everyone spending more time at home, it would be easy to assume that dating has taken something of a back seat lately.
But with new research from Bumble revealing a 35% increase in messages sent on the app*, it seems we’re still hoping to make romantic connections – virtually.
If conversation with your future Mr, Ms or Mx Right is in danger of drying up, we’re here to help. From sending a strong opener to perfecting your pace, here’s how to up your dating app chat, with advice from the experts. Who says you can’t find love in lockdown?
1. Ditch the cliché openers
You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so a cracking opening line is key. The great thing about Bumble is that women get to make the first move. On the flip side, that means you need to nail your approach.
“With traditional hook-up culture temporarily removed, matches are likely to be more open to talking about the things in their lives they’re taking stock of, like their values and passions,” says international matchmaker and dating expert Sarah Louise Ryan.
For your opening line, pay attention to the little details on their profile, like education or recent travel. Ultimately, this will lead to a deeper, more meaningful chat from the get-go (or at the very least reveal if you’re totally incompatible up front).
2. Slow down the pace
Traditionally, apps have simply been a precursor to the IRL stuff. But with that option off the table for now, you’ll be spending much more time messaging prospective baes virtually. Although it might seem counterintuitive, it’s important to be economical with your chat.
“While it’s tempting to message like the clappers in the early days, avoid dating fatigue by being aware of the way you’re communicating with one another,” says mind coach and TV presenter Anna Williamson. “Leaving a couple of days in between your conversations will help ramp up the anticipation and excitement.”
Sarah agrees: “Focus more on depth of conversation rather than rate. If you message constantly, both parties are at risk of letting the conversation grow mundane.”
3. Get physical (well, almost)
Feel a spark turning into a flame? Go face-to-face with Bumble’s video call feature. Ushering in the new age of dating, video chat lets you replicate the intimacy of physical dates, helping to solidify new-found connections.
Sarah recommends keeping things easy breezy to begin with, so avoid leaping straight in with your life story.
“Initially, keep it light and fun while you secure that connection with one another,” she advises. “Hold out until the second or third video chat to dive into deeper topics, like family or ambitions for the future.”
For Anna, honesty is always the best policy. “If you’re feeling nervous, it’s perfectly okay to say so. In fact, it will probably break the ice,” she says. “At the end of the date, thank them for their time and effort, and if you’re feeling it, suggest another. If not, be respectful and honest; don’t waste their time promising another date if you’re not interested.”
If you like the sound of enjoying a virtual coffee or a glass of vino with your date, you can add the ‘Virtual Dating’ badge to your Bumble profile to show you’re up for a video date or two. Other users can do the same, so you’ll know you’re on the same page.
4. Go all MTV Cribs
Lockdown has demanded we get creative in all aspects of our lives, switching Friday nights at the pub for virtual quizzes, and lunchtime spin classes for at-home exercise videos.
Inject that same sense of inventiveness into your video dates – it’s a surefire way to keep app dating exciting and prevent falling into a routine that could grow dull. It’s also a great way to get to know your match on a deeper level.
“Regular video calls with creative date nights allow for authentic romantic connections to form over time,” says Sarah.
Try cocktail making (be sure to file away their go-to drink order for future reference), listening to your favourite albums or even giving them a tour of your house, Cribs style, to really learn more about them.
So, are you ready for love? Put these tips to the test and start swiping.
There’s no better time to find love online. Download Bumble now to start virtual dating
*Data from peak UK impact
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