Mastering the Art of Chatting on Dating Apps: A Guide for Indians

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pexels ingo

So I see you’ve learned about choosing a picture that impresses or at least attracts people.

I hope by now you’ve also understood how to write your ‘bio’ or ‘about’ section on dating apps.

Now, let’s say that your charm has worked. People are finding you attractive and you’re connecting with more people than you imagined.

Your bio is also hinting at your unique personality and more and more people are now intrigued by your personality and want to know more.

Picture this: As you swipe through profiles, you get a connection request. Your heart starts racing, maybe it’s one of the first times you’ve been approached by someone (truer if you’re a man).

You want to reply but maybe you never had to be so confused in deciding what to say first, how to say it, or when to start replying.

Let’s say you start talking. You say ‘Hi, nice to connect with you’ as if it’s LinkedIn or maybe you are too forward and you directly send them your contact number.

Or you’re just naive and you tell them the first thought that comes to your mind– something like, ‘You’re not as attractive but I'll still give you a chance’.

Either way, you’re probably never going to hear from them again.

If you’re decently smart, you’ll quickly learn that making a lasting impression goes beyond just a flashy bio or an attractive profile picture.

It's about how you initiate the conversation, the tone you set, the questions you ask, and most importantly, respecting boundaries.

Welcome to the world of chatting on dating apps, where every message counts, and every interaction shapes the experience of intimacy.

Pexels Ricky Esquivel

TLDR

Get crafty with personalized messages that show you are attentive and serious. Communicate with a sincere tone. Engage sensitively while being mindful of boundaries. Reveal yourself but don’t overdo it. Be open to feedback without getting offended. Be inquisitive about their life, take initiative, and ask relevant questions to break the ice successfully and master the art of chatting online.

1. Initiating The Conversation

Let's kick things off with the first step: initiating the conversation.

Much like approaching someone at a party, starting a conversation on a dating app requires finesse and authenticity. And these two interactions are not widely different from one another.

Regardless of the place or medium of interaction, we humans can largely call out inauthenticity (BS in other words) even if the reaction is subconscious, parts of us will reject a fake approach without actively trying to do so.

Instead of resorting to generic pickup lines, opt for a personalized approach.

Reference something from their profile that caught your attention—a shared interest, a unique hobby, or a mutual friend (which if it’s a dating app, try not to know who your mutual friends are at first).

This not only shows genuine interest but also sets the tone for a meaningful conversation.

Remember, a thoughtful opener can make all the difference in sparking interest and engagement.

But why? It’s obvious.

If you’re on a dating app, it means you’re seeking intimacy, and only the ones to show traits of being a caring partner can be worthy of intimacy.

And only the ones that show attention to detail or take a little extra effort than most people to dig deeper are the ones considered “good enough” to be our potential mates.

So again, take the attention and personalization up a notch and make sure you have a little extra something to offer than just a “Hi, nice to meet you” and you’ll see an increased reply rate of at least 20 percent. But there are still other factors to consider…

2. Tone And Language

Now that you've broken the ice, it's important to maintain the right tone and language throughout the conversation.

You’ve to remember to keep it light, responsible, and respectful.

Avoid using overly flirtatious or aggressive language, as it can come across as insincere or off-putting.

Instead, strive for the knowledge of the other. Every person is different and is a mix of the people they’re brought up with.

They will have their own tonality, their own sense of humor, and their own language play.

Your job is to pay attention to cues from the other person and adjust your tone accordingly.

Remember, effective communication is about finding a balance between being engaging and respectful of boundaries.

Now I must ask you to be vary of the difference between being respectful and being overly cautious that you shy away from revealing yourself.

3. Revealing Yourself And Building Trust Gradually

This is probably the most important section of this post. Tapping into that art of conversation doesn’t mean being all nice, sweet, and gentle like a doll.

The art of conversation is more about knowing what part of the personality needs to be brought out when taking cues from your partner and pushing the boundary ever so slightly that it doesn't seem overbearing.

The single most important thing when it comes to being intimate with anyone (be it your friends, family, partners, or colleagues) is the formation of trust.

The thing about trust is that it only works if someone does it first i.e. you.

Yes, you have to trust first and allow yourself to be vulnerable, and only then can the other person know it’s safe to open up to you.

In human language this means “Look, I trust you and I am not so scared of you hurting me. I’ll take the first step and I can only hope that you’ll also open up to me.”

And if you’re sincere without seeming like a blob of negativity, you’ll have them trust you back.

This is when you have the beginning of what you call an intimate bond.

Now, yes, opening up first can be the gateway to intimacy but one also needs to learn how to keep it up. A quick answer to that is to ask relevant questions.

3. Asking Relevant Questions

If you ever want to go somewhere with a person you have to be okay with being uncomfortable most of the time.

This is in contradiction to the popular opinion that being in an intimate relationship is supposed to feel effortless and all rosy. Except that it’s rarely that.

As an adult, if you’re trying to build a serious connection, you’ll have to be okay with being uncomfortable because everyone comes with their rigid selves and people can be a hard shell to break.

Now there’s one weapon (if you know how to use it) that can break any hard shell and you can always use it to your advantage – asking questions.

After kids, the second thing that’s disarming like no other is inquisitiveness.

You have to learn to be interested in someone else so much that you want to ask them questions about them.

And as the conversation progresses, you’ll have to dive deeper by asking relevant questions.

Asking questions shows genuine interest in getting to know the other person beyond surface-level interactions.

At first, you must avoid bombarding them with a barrage of personal questions or prying into sensitive topics.

Instead, focus on open-ended questions that encourage thoughtful responses and foster meaningful connections.

Whether it's discussing shared interests, hobbies, or future aspirations, asking the right questions can lead to engaging and fulfilling conversations.

Now you can ask questions but only some know when to stop. Learning to respect boundaries is to know when to stop probing.

4. Respecting Boundaries

Let’s say I’ve just met you and I know that I am supposed to be asking questions.

The first question I ask you is “Have you ever cheated on your partner?” Forget it. Bye Bye. Sayo Nara. See you never.

Asking questions is great but so is recognizing and honoring the other person's comfort level and preferences.

Avoid making assumptions or pressuring them into sharing personal information or meeting up before they're ready.

Remember, consent is key in any interaction, online or offline.

If the other person sets boundaries or expresses discomfort, respect their wishes and take a step back.

You don’t have to get anxious because they said they’re uncomfortable.

Because, the more you get anxious, the more you’re likely to over-compensate. And overcompensation will only further push them away.

Building trust and rapport takes time, so patience and understanding are key virtues in navigating online interactions.

A matchmaking app Dahlia is doing just that. You play quizzes with your partner at different levels of intimacy and that’s how you learn so much about each other without thinking about what question needs to be asked and when.

And since it’s a quiz game, people are more comfortable delving into topics that do more than just break the ice. Dahlia goes a step further.

It allows you to set up a meeting in a nearby cafe directly through the app so you can take it offline. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Recommend Read: Managing Expectations In Your Dating Journey

5. Personal Experiences And Expert Advice

Now, let's delve into some personal experiences and expert advice to build your interaction game on matchmaking apps.

As someone who has navigated through a dozen dating apps, I can say that while authenticity and sincerity are of utmost importance in building meaningful connections, there are some side principles that everyone should be aware of.

  1. Release burdens, not increase them: Every time you put pressure on someone else to initiate the conversation, they’ll automatically take the path of least convenience. When it comes to taking initiative, be the first one to do hard things. This will show them that you can take responsibility and they don’t have to stress over indulging you.

  2. Don't be afraid: You’ll have to embrace vulnerability even if it’s so scary to do that with an absolute stranger. I suggest you share stories, ideas, and passions that reflect who you are as a person. Don’t be afraid to ask things, express opinions, and contradict the other person if you have to.

  3. Be open to feedback: Even though it’s no one’s responsibility to show you the way of things, you have to learn to take feedback if and when they do. Be open to people correcting you, and teaching you to be a better version of yourself. Be open to seeing the world from their perspective and bridging gaps of disagreement with acceptance.

6. Some Examples Of How NOT To Start A Conversation

Let's take a moment to analyze some generic texts commonly seen on dating apps and understand why they may or may not be effective:

  • "Hey, what's up? How’s life treating you" Let’s be honest, every third person who doesn’t know what to say asks this generic question. This lacks personalization and is likely to be lost in the sea with other similar cliche messages.

  • "You're beautiful. Love your personality" While flattering, this may come across as superficial if not accompanied by genuine interest, personal touch, depth, or context from their profile or conversation.

  • "Wanna meet up and chill?" Quite straightforward but seems overly forward or presumptuous. Also shows desperation that can put people off.

  • “I feel like I have seen you somewhere” Everybody knows you most likely haven’t. Everyone has heard it a gazillion times.

7. Some Examples Of How You CAN Start A Conversation

I know you’ve been waiting for this, and that’s why we kept this in the end.

Clickbait, you see?

Jokes apart, let’s look at the things you can say when breaking the ice with a person on a matchmaking app.

  • “How lovely to connect with a fellow momo lover. I can suggest a place [xyz place] that you should definitely try.” Here momo is just an example. You can take anything from their profile that they like (and you can relate to), find some synergy, and do your research. This shows the effort you’re willing to put in to make a stranger happy.

  • “Hi, your dressing style is quite quirky but you know how to carry it well. Just thought someone should tell you that. “ This is a compliment while acknowledging a quirk that they may be very particular about. You recognize that shows attention to detail and also acceptance of their quirks or flaws. The point here is to notice what gets them to stand out. It could be a personality quirk or a flaw that they might just need to be validated.

  • “Beautiful images. I am a big fan of mehendi and flowers myself.” Now mehendi (Indian henna decoration done on hands during a festive occasion) and flowers are again just examples, but try to pick something feminine and show appreciation for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman; Showing appreciation for all things feminine shows sensitivity, nurturing, and responsibility traits that are important for any intimate bond to happen.

Parting words

Mastering the art of conversation on dating apps requires a mix of authenticity, confidence, and genuine interest. From initiating the conversation to asking relevant questions and respecting boundaries, every interaction will bring you closer to an intimate experience. Now it’s time for you to apply your learnings with your next match. Happy chatting!

Recommended reading: The A-Z guide to dating on dating apps for Indians

Author's Bio

Anurag is a filmmaker turned farmer turned entrepreneur. Originally from Faridabad, Haryana, he loves to read and write on the subjects of relationships, free will, faith, and similar 'delusions' that collectively make us human.
Having written and directed several films before, and then working with farmers in revolutionizing their supply chain, Anurag has now landed on his latest venture called Dahlia, a new-age matchmaking app that uses games to foster purposeful intimacy. His deep knowledge of human relationships coupled with scientific research has helped hundreds of individuals navigate the landscape of modern romance with authenticity and confidence.

Author's Bio

Anurag is a filmmaker turned farmer turned entrepreneur. Originally from Faridabad, Haryana, he loves to read and write on the subjects of relationships, free will, faith, and similar 'delusions' that collectively make us human.
Having written and directed several films before, and then working with farmers in revolutionizing their supply chain, Anurag has now landed on his latest venture called Dahlia, a new-age matchmaking app that uses games to foster purposeful intimacy. His deep knowledge of human relationships coupled with scientific research has helped hundreds of individuals navigate the landscape of modern romance with authenticity and confidence.

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati
Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati

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