If you’re just dipping your toes in the world of online dating, you’re probably wondering what this crazy universe of swiping, texting, and split-second romantic decisions is all about. There are definitely some myths surrounding dating apps, but they do play a role in creating some solid relationships. Learning how to navigate all the dating apps available to get what you want out of the experience might feel daunting, but Tawkify matchmakers Sophy Singer and Tania Abramova have some advice to help you get started.

A woman wearing headphones blows a kiss at her phone

1. Don’t take anything personally. “People will flake, people will lie, people will say offensive things,” Abramova admits. “This is the reality of online dating. You have to muck through the garbage to find the good stuff.” Bottom line: Don’t get too emotionally invested in someone unless they give you good reason to be. 

2. Analyze nothing. Since you can calculate your next move while using dating apps, it’s tempting to overanalyze each and every word you say. While you might want to fall into this habit, Abramova says it’s best to go with the flow and stay true to yourself. Rather than reading too much into potential partners’ communication, use your energy toward putting your authentic best foot forward.

3. This isn’t Stratego. Another risk of online dating is the games you might find yourself playing. “With a screen shielding us, it’s easy to forget that you’re talking to a real, live person with feelings,” reminds Abramova. “Online dating is fraught with rules and mind games. Don’t feed into this.” This means, among other things, responding when and how you want to respond to messages — chances are, your potential partner will appreciate the authenticity.

4. You need more than one basket for those eggs. While online dating is a great way to get exposed to new people, it’s certainly not the only way to go about finding a partner. Abramova recommends using it as a tool to get a feel for who’s out there and understand yourself better — but don’t restrict yourself to it.

5. Set limits and find success. Singer advises setting time limits for yourself while using dating apps. It might be tempting to check your matches during breaks at work, but by limiting your exposure to the app, you’ll give yourself time to breathe between interactions. Additionally, you will give yourself something to look forward to while managing your time. “Schedule short windows of time each day to check messages, reply to messages, and do some swiping,” Singer suggests. “For example, take 15-30 minutes on a break from work during the first half of the day, and then maybe an hour later in the evening during after-work downtime.”

What advice do you have for people new to dating apps? Let us know @BritandCo!

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