Luckily, I work in an office full of 20- and 30-somethings who are serious date sites for free online experts in the field of Bumble-ology. And Applied Tinder Science. And. you get it. So I assembled a dating-coach dream team to guide me: associate beauty and fitness editor Rachel Lapidos, associate beauty and fitness editor Zoe Weiner, and assistant editor Tamim Alnuweiri.
We did a group chat to get to the bottom of the most confusing things about dating apps for a 40-something-here’s the keeping-it-oh-so-real advice my younger coworkers offered.
ERIN: Okay, so as you know, I was in a relationship for the past 15 years, and now Im single. Its hardly an original thought to say that app life is challenging, but my challenges are more in the details! Like, I dont know the social cues and whats a faux pas and whats considered normal. So, first question…
If someone asks for your WhatsApp, is that some kind of code for, “Will you sext with me?” Because I thought it was to make plans to meet up, and then…it took a turn.
TAMIM: I dont think WhatsApp itself is a red flag-sometimes it means the person is an Android user (that might be a red flag) or does a lot of international messaging. If someone asks for your Snapchat thats definitely a dick pic red flag.
RACHEL: In my experience asking for your phone number or WhatsApp is a sign they want to text. To me, its that they want to take the relationship one step further, to your actual texting rather than living on the app. So they want to start getting to know you more.
ZOE: Yeah, I think the unfortunate thing with online dating is that you’re going to get creeps trying to sext on any form of communication.
ERIN: Okay, Bumble-specific question: How bad is it if you match with someone on Bumble and then dont write to them within the 24 hours? I do that all the time because life gets busy! It seems insane to be forced to live on Bumbles schedule instead of my own.
RACHEL: Yeah, life happens-you dont have to respond in any sort of time frame. But! My concern is that Bumble might only give you 24 hours to respond to a guy before you guys unmatch. So even a “hey!” is a strategy I used to use.
ZOE: The 24-hour thing puts so much pressure on it, but it also ensures that you’re not letting matches sit forever.
I Asked My Younger Coworkers to Teach Me Their Dating App Secrets-and Stumbled Upon a Whole Lot of Genius
TAMIM: Ok, but Rachel, if a dude sent you a “hey” on a dating app, would you even respond? “Hey!” is a non-starter.
ZOE: And coming up with things to say can be so hard, especially when they give you nothing to work with in their profiles. But also now if you start a conversation with “hey” or an emoji on Bumble, the app basically tells you your pickup line sucks and makes suggestions for you. LET ME LIVE WITH MY SH*TTY PICKUP LINES, BUMBLE.
RACHEL: My best advice, though, is to be very picky in your right swipes. because thatll leave you with fewer matches, but only guys that you actually want to talk to. So then itll be easier to start the convo because you dont have to be doing it as constantly. You know?
TAMIM: I’m like ok, just swipe right because the chances of you talking to each other are so slim. So there’s so many barriers to entry that it almost doesn’t matter.