A newbie's guide to using a dating app

7 things you should know to navigate and survive photo-based online dating apps


"What’s wrong with me? Am I that unattractive? Will I die alone and childless? Who will I leave my hard earned assets to? Will I never share my bed again?"  Millions would trade their lot in to find someone special.

The difficulty? People we bump into daily don't usually end up being permanent bedfellows or life partners. Perhaps it simply isn't that easy to start the "I'm interested in you" conversation when having a biscuit break, in between meetings or after spotting someone whose smell you fancy in the office lift ride up. Perhaps that's what motivates many to try their luck with matchmaking firms and online dating, hoping for a fail-proof way to find love, grand or otherwise.  

Which dating platform works?

Matchmaking firms profile to determine if a fit between two persons is worth a meeting. In comparison, online dating is a cheaper and easier way to meet folks, with almost no profiling required. But it’s your job to figure out that tricky balance between cleverly advertising yourself (without lying too much) and putting the right photo-edited "goods" out there. Few situations in life hide exactly who you are yet completely expose you to the scrutiny you've been trying to avoid as you age. Online dating is one of them. How do you keep sane?   

1. Be patient and hopeful but be prepared for nothing to happen

If you're 30 and below, congrats, you're using the right app. If your real age sits to the right of 35, ask yourself if you're open to the average age (18 to 30) profile on these dating apps. If your mind is made up and you're itching to test it out, swipe to "like" a photo profile or send "charms" (for a fee) to prove you've put money where your crush is. With any luck, they'll "swipe like" you back and you can both start in-app chats that hopefully lead to a meet up.

But even if you've tastefully snapshotted and cropped a cleavage, twisted yourself into poses that slim your face and give you a waist, and successfully reproduced the come-get-me look you were once famous for, there's no guarantee that anyone will swipe right.

2. Girls must be open to making the first move

Some dating app surveys say men swipe “like” a woman’s profile 46 percent of the time whereas women only swipe “like” 14 percent of the time. Yes, many women still play the waiting game of "Boy, please chase Girl." It may be 2017 but not all girls are comfortable with making the first move to signal an interest. If you're on these apps and you'll only respond if a swipe "like" is offered first, you could be waiting for a long time.

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