*DISCLAIMER: This blog article mentions topics about online dating that might be inappropriate for those 18 and below. If you are a minor, please tolong turn back. You have been warned 🙌
I’ve been a regular user of online dating apps since late 2019. It started out as a way to kill time when I was in Jakarta, but has since transformed to become a way of expanding my social circle now that I live in Singapore. It has been an amusing journey so far and I think I’m pretty good at it! Of all dates I’ve gone on (more than 10), I've only had ONE bad date and haven’t been ghosted so far 😉
While online dating isn't rocket science, you're gonna need a strategy nonetheless. It's not even as complicated as chess and is more like a game of minesweeper. I’ll show you why by doing some quick math 🧮
Imagine you're a straight female on the most popular dating app, Tinder:
There are an estimated 200,000 active Tinder users in Singapore, which 75.9% of them are male. Assuming that 88% of male are straight - she has over 133,584 available options. With such a big universe of choices, how many dates should you go through until you get the ‘right one’ (your soulmate, Mr Right, or whatever else that means to you)
Flip that data around and you can see why it's a challenge for guys trying to score a date. They're also working in a limited pool and frankly, they’re one in a hundred thousand. This forces guys to step up their game or step out of the online dating scene.
Just like minesweeper, you need to approach online dating with some kind of strategy. Instead of shooting in the dark, devise a playbook of what to do so you can save some effort in the long run and get more #quality dates. Here's 4 simple actionable steps you can do to build your new game plan based on my personal experience:
Step 1: Build your profile according to your objective
Some people are on dating apps just for the hookups and that’s totally okay (and very common). So it’s very apparent what you should portray in your bio: hot selfie, party pictures with friends, a bit of bikini for female & topless for male. Perhaps give a couple of click-baity statements like “too hot to handle” (bad example but a fairly good show on Netflix).
But if you’re on dating apps to search for a possible long term partner, or simply just wanna connect with likeminded human beings (like me) - you NEED to position yourself differently. This ensures that your profile itself helps you to filter out those that don't serve your purpose.
Put in pictures of you doing your hobbies, list down good icebreaker material, or mention an interesting reference from your favorite books (my personal preference is not to be cliche by putting quotes tho). Be as genuine as possible and don’t try too hard to portray someone that you’re not.
One important note: DON’T EVER SKIP YOUR BIO. Give them info that showcases your personality or work as conversation starters. Having more pictures also will increase your chance to get more matches!
Step 2: Put more thought into your first message
I am a huge believer in equality - which means I don’t mind being the one who texts first. Moreover, I prefer to be the one to shoot an opener. It gives you that power to control the narrative of the conversation - having more options to make it more interesting. The big question then is: How do I find the perfect opener?
Well, there isn't a one-fits-all first chat. Relying on ‘hey’ or ‘hi’ bears you a big risk of a conversation dropping off. First few chats are really crucial in driving the quality of the entire relationship. Thus, it is something that requires crucial needs research. There was this one time where I matched with a guy and his profile read, “Bonus points if you can guess where my 4th picture was taken”. It was his picture of him posing in front of a blue lake. Call me nerd - but I’ve spent up to 15 minutes on Google Image trying to find out the name of the lake, just to shoot him an opener of “I didn’t know Band-e Amir is open for tourists?”. Fast forward 3 months later and he ended up being my so-called boyfriend for a time.
Step 3: Do a little snooping
In this step, take whatever ammo you have in your knowledge. The most important point to note here is that to let them know that you’re interested to know more about them. I personally take this opportunity to psychoanalyse my matches with all sorts of nerd things - Myers-Briggs’ personality test, Sun & Moon zodiac review, etc.
It’s also really important in this step to dig dive further into their social channels. Basically justifying that they are legit human beings with a consistent persona across all channels. Feel free to make these harsh judgements before you move to the next big step: meeting them.
Step 4: Wait for a perfect moment - but do act fast
Important: don’t ever go this far if you don’t feel a sort of connection beforehand. The 3 steps above are there to optimize a pre-built chemistry before you meet them IRL. Take your time not only to impress them - but also judge them thoroughly enough and ask yourself, do you like them? Once you’re ready, play to your rhythm. Don’t rush, but don’t take too long. Don’t be too eager, but keep showing them a healthy amount of interest. You may consider asking them out to a generic G&T bar, or even personalize dates according to a mutual hobby.
At the end of the day, I hope this guide helps you to be strategic and smart on your effort when it comes to online dating. This doesn’t 100% save you from bad dates, but it does increase your chance to get good ones. Don’t forget to always listen to your guts & play to whatever feels right. Good luck ;)
This article was contributed by Meta, a Circles.Life user who was sitting on her couch, back from her first date after CB when she decided to write this article out of passion.
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