Best Ways to Make a Tinder Date Less Awkward
So you’ve done it. After swiping through what may have seemed like a never ending stream of guys posing next to exotic animals and/or girls sipping rosé on rooftops, you’ve finally landed on a few good matches. Even better, if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve actually gotten some pretty good responses from some of those said matches. Now comes the fun part — putting down the dating app and finally meeting IRL. But, if you’re anything like me, that alleged fun part can be super nerve-wracking and totally anxiety inducing. And for good reason.
First dates made on dating apps are notorious for being a little awkward and at least a tad bit uncomfortable. For whatever reason, there’s a weird sort of stigma surrounding matches made on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and other online sites. It’s as if not having the traditional “meet-cute” creates a strange self-consciousness when dating. But, there’s no reason that should stop you from missing out on great dates with the amazing people you can meet at the swipe of a finger!
Here are some tips and tricks to make that first date A LOT less awkward.
If you have a few days to kill before meeting up for the first time, texting your match before the date is a great way to build a rapport and learn a little bit about each other before sitting down face to face. A little bit of banter back and forth before actually meeting in person can absolutely make the first encounter a lot less awkward and give you a lot more fodder for things to talk about when you’re with each other in person. If you’re not a huge texter, no worries. A simple short and sweet convo asking about their day shows interest upfront and does go a long way. Just try and think of it as a super simple warm up to the real thing.
2Use your date’s profile as a prompt
Does he have a photo with a bunch of friends from what appears to be his college soccer team? Does she have a photo in front of the Louvre from a possible semester of studying abroad in Europe? You could be totally wrong, but it doesn’t hurt to inquire about the photos people include in their profile! Profile pictures on dating apps aren’t just eye-candy, they are also often a pretty good indication of a person’s personality, their hobbies, interests, and style. This is especially true if they are looking to actually enjoy themselves on dates and get to know other people – which is a plus for you, of course. Every single photo is a potential talking point and conversation starter that they’re probably comfortable talking about — given that they broadcast it on the app. There’s a good chance you’ll strike a chord and break the ice early on in the date. Buuuut on that note….
3Don’t stalk your date too hard
We’re all guilty of doing a bit of extra online sleuthing when it comes to the social media profiles of crushes and potential dates. Even though a oneover or two of their Facebook or Insta — if it’s linked to the app — isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s super easy to go overboard with google deep dives. There’s absolutely nothing more awkward than accidentally asking a date about something that you probably wouldn’t have known without a scroll down their LinkedIn or a skim through their tagged photos. In most cases, there’s a lot more fun in keeping a bit of mystery and having to learn about the person across from you than there is in finding out about someone in the depths of Google! That being said, if someone’s online presence is giving you bad vibes or the sense that they’re a total creep, it’s probably best to cancel. Sorry, not sorry.
This should almost go without saying, but there is nothing worse than a one-sided conversation on a first date. If your date asks you a question, reciprocate. It may feel a bit forced initially to add “and what about you?” to the end of every response, but it shows interest and allows you to get to know the other person more. Plus, pay attention to body language.
5Ditch your phone (sort of)
Unless you want to seem super disinterested, keep your phone out of sight. Not only does texting distract you from conversation, it’s also pretty rude. Why go on a date at all if you’re going to spend it talking to people that aren’t there? To each their own, but if you’re still actively using other dating apps, you may want to turn off any notifications from them. Yes, there are always so many fish in the sea, but making it known how wide you’re casting your net in may not be the best idea until you’ve communicated more openly about what you’re looking for out of the relationship or online dating in general.
That being said, don’t get rid of your phone altogether. If you hold onto it, a quick dash to the bathroom may allow to ask your bestie for some quick advice, or get a boost of confidence when you brag to all of your friends about how well it’s going.
6Choose your location wisely
Try to find a place that is appropriate for a first date, period. If you’re getting drinks or dinner, try to choose a location that’s nice, but with a manageable price range. A romantic, fine dining establishment definitely doesn’t have to be in the card for a first date, but you also don’t want to go somewhere gross and grimy. There’s no point in going out at to get to know one another better at a loud, overcrowded bar if you can’t hear anything the other person is saying. You know that fake laugh you do when you pretend to hear something someone said, even though you have absolutely no idea what they were talking about? That’ll be your entire date if you end up meeting at an obnoxiously noisy venue.
Convenience is also key when picking a place to meet up. When in doubt, check out Yelp for great first date suggestions in your area.
7Make sure you’re comfortable
I mean, who doesn’t want to look their best and slay in the perfect first date ensemble?? No one. But there’s also something to be said for comfort. Don’t torture yourself in the name of “looking good” with shoes that scrape the back of your heels, or with a skirt you have to keep pulling down while sitting on a bar stool – unless of course that is what you’re comfortable in. Yes, worrying about what to wear is a huge part of a first date, but you should spend JUST as much time thinking about what makes you feel good and what makes you feel comfortable as you spend trying to figure out what your date will think. Regardless, you’ll obviously look amazing.
8Take a chill pill
Relax. Take a deep breath. There’s no way you’ll be able to enjoy yourself if you’re worrying about
When it comes to dating apps, this can be especially tricky. For most people, of course their profile pictures are the absolute best, coolest versions of themselves. If you’re given five photos or less to showcase yourself, that’s to be expected! There’s nothing wrong with this of course (unless you’re a Catfish), but remember, you ultimately want the person you’re dating to like you regardless of what you look like, what you’re wearing, good day, bad day, makeup, no makeup – the list goes on and on. Even if you’re just looking for some casual fun, you should only settle for someone that is 100% cool with the real you, all the time. Plus, the more authentic you are and the less pressure you put on yourself to make a “perfect” first impression, the more fun you and you your date will both have.
10How to end
Unless the first date it totally mis and your match was the absolute worst, always end on a positive note. Even if you never intend of going on another date with this human being ever again, be polite! A “It was so nice to meet you” never hurts. If it was a complete success, don’t be afraid to say so! A second date is a totally different ball game though…
Happy swiping, and cheers to a great first date!