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Dating apps are super common nowadays. They can be a great way to meet new people, be it friends or romantic partners.
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your dating apps, take a minute to get clued up on dating app etiquette here:
If a match happens, then reach out. Far too often matches occur but then no one actually initiates conversation. Don‘t rely on other people to always make the first move, and don’t let outdated gender stereotypes (e.g. the guy has to make the first move) influence your behaviour.
Asking questions encourages the other person to share information about themselves and it shows that you’re interested in finding out more about who they are. Maybe there’s something in their bio that you could ask more about? You can ask simple questions about their interests or favourite things, or deeper questions relating to their dreams and ambitions, for example.
Nothing is more important than being honest and upfront about who you are and what you want. You don’t have to share everything at once, but instead of lying about something just say “I’m not ready to share that yet”. Also, young people use dating apps for many reasons (to meet new people, make new friends, find a relationship, casual dating and hookups) so it’s important to be upfront and clear about what you want to avoid any misunderstandings or awkward situations.
Not everyone deserves to know intimate and personal details about you straight away. Allow yourself time to get to know the other person, and for them to get to know you.
Be respectful and polite with your words and behaviour. It’s super important that you don’t sext or send nudes either without consent.
Did you know that conversations that include emojis and gifs last longer than convos that don’t? Some researchers in the U.S. found this out, and it’s because emojis and gifs allow people to add personality to their conversations and be a lot more expressive! This being said, it’s still important to be yourself, so only use emojis and gifs when it feels natural to do so. Sometimes communication styles just don’t match up and that’s okay. It’s best to find this out early on anyway.
If you are both keen to meet in person, then set a date to make this happen. While dating apps can help us connect with people, there’s only so much that we can say and do with messages and calls. If you choose to meet in person, do make sure you are taking your own safety into account. On the other hand, if you’re not keen to meet the person you’re chatting with, then be honest about that. It’s best not to have them believing that one day you will meet up.
Remember! You can stop communicating with someone online at any time. While some people may call this ‘ghosting’, you’re actually not obligated to carry on conversations if you don’t feel comfortable to, or just don’t want to anymore. It can help to politely let the other person know that it just wasn’t the connection you were looking for.
If you have had a negative experience and don’t wish to say anything more to the other person, that’s totally okay. If you feel you need help or support, Youthline and Netsafe are there to lend a hand.