15 Practical Dating Tips for the Swipe-Left Generation

The rise in dating apps has completely changed the landscape of dating and modern day relationships. Dating apps make meeting new people super convenient and easy, especially if you are new to a city or have limited free time to meet new people. Even if you have all the time in the world, dating apps are great because they show you interested people in your area, saving you the embarrassment of approaching a cute someone at a coffee shop who turns out to be in a relationship… (admit it, it’s happened to all of us).

While there are a lot of upsides to online dating, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people are overwhelmed by the seemingly unlimited options on dating apps, others feel like the process is more superficial than they would like, and others just prefer meeting people the old fashioned way. While all these criticisms are relevant, the fact of the matter is that you will likely end up on a dating app whether you like it or not - that’s just how dating goes these days. Here are 15 tips you can follow to help you navigate the modern dating scene.

Curate your profile with intention

If you are serious about trying to find a partner on a dating app, then you should be sure to curate your profile in a way that communicates your intentions. Take time filling out the questions honestly and choose photos that reflect your personality, so that you are presenting an authentic glimpse of who you are.

Reach out first

For whatever reason there is a lot of anxiety surrounding who reaches out first. Some dating apps like Bumble, solve this problem for you (if you are looking for a heterosexual relationship), only letting women send the first message. But on other apps, it’s totally open season, which can stress people out and cause anxiety about messaging. If you are genuinely interested in getting to know the person, you should not feel weird about reaching out first. Reaching out first indicated interest, and if you are interested in someone, it shouldn’t bother you to show them interest from the beginning.

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Focus on your first message

Okay so once you have it in your head that you will be the first to reach out, it’s important to put some consideration into what you are going to say. It’s pretty safe to say that you should avoid cheesy pick-up-lines (for the record, ALL pick-up-lines are cheesy) if you are interested in more than just a hookup. Instead, try and personalize your first message so that the person feels seen and individual. Look through their profile and ask them a question about one of their pictures or responses. It’s always great to ask about pets, so if you see them with a cute pup ask about the dog’s name. People are more likely to respond to a custom message, and more likely to take interest in you if you take the time to write something unique.

Find the right dating app platform

From Tinder, to Hinge, to Bumble to other apps like the League or Raya, there are tons of different dating apps out there that appeal to different niches. Ask friends about their experiences on different apps so that you can be sure to choose the right platform for your dating career.

Don’t exhaust all the small talk

A common mistake that people make when online dating is the trap of talking too much on the dating platform. After you match with someone, it’s important to chat a bit to make sure that you have things in common, but it’s crucial that you don’t cover all the small talk before you actually meet in person. If you talk about all the easy stuff through messages, what are you going to say when you actually meet up for a first date?

Make sure your core values are similar

In addition to ideal qualities, you should also consider core values that you are not willing to compromise on. When you are looking for a serious partner, it’s important that your core values are relatively similar. Figuring out what these values are, and learning about your date’s stances early on can help you weed out people that aren’t good long term matches.

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Forget about your ‘type’

A lot of people believe that they have a ‘type’, whether it’s a certain look, or style or whatever it may be. When you are online dating, you should let go of all the preconceived notions you have about who your future boo will be and instead look at all of your options with an open mind.

Make a list of qualities you are looking for

Dating apps can be hugely overwhelming. The sheer amount of people and options can cause you to feel lost or unsure of how to narrow down the field. Before creating an account, it can be helpful to make a list of qualities you are looking for in a partner, then try and keep these qualities in mind when you are swiping.

Make sure you and your date are on the same page

Dating apps are often used for more casual relationships and even hookups. When you are on a dating app, looking for a serious relationship, you should make sure that the people you match with are on the same page. Some apps like Hinge allow you to specify the type of relationship you are looking for, this is an easy way to make sure that you and your matches are on the same page. If not, asking about what they are looking for at the get-go can clear things up so that you don’t waste time with someone who wants something different.

Don't feel pressured to follow up or go on a second date

Trust your gut! If you match with someone and end up going on a first date that’s so-so, don’t feel like you have to go on a second date! You don’t owe this person anything, especially not your time, and you will be saving them both time and heartbreak in the future if you cut things off as soon as you know it’s not working for you.

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Limit your time on dating apps

Just like any other social media app, and let’s be honest here, dating apps are social media apps, it can be easy to get totally obsessed with swiping, which can result in spending far too much time on the app. If you notice yourself spending a ton of time swiping, take some time away from the app and focus instead on yourself and your friendships.

Don’t lose motivation

Don’t forget the saying “you kiss a lot of frogs before meeting your prince” or princess. Don’t get discouraged just because you match with a few duds or go on a few bad dates. Stay positive that you can find your person!

Splurge for a paid dating service

If you aren’t having much luck on the more casual, unpaid dating apps, it might be time to invest in a paid service like Match.com, Eharmony, or countless other platforms that are more dedicated to people looking for serious relationships.

Compare with your friends

In this day and age, most people are on dating apps! Ask your friends about their experiences and whether or not they have any special tips. You will likely learn something from them, or at least hear a funny story!

Take a break

Like we said before, dating apps can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially if you are constantly running into people that want a different kind of relationship than what you are looking for. If you feel yourself getting discouraged, just remember that you don’t HAVE to be on a dating app. Delete your account, take some time away and come back to it when you are ready! Or not!


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