Mastering the Art of Presenting Yourself in Front of your matches, both online and offline

Gemini Generated Image of Abstract
Gemini Generated Image of Abstract

You have already learned about setting up a great profile picture that tells a story and gets people’s attention.

You have also learned about how to craft an impressive bio and also the ‘about’ section.

You must have learned about the do’s and don’ts of chatting on dating apps.

That’s great and should be sufficient if you have had exposure to an intimate relationship in the past.

This one is for people who are either new to online dating or have never experienced an intimate relationship before.

Now, if you fall into either of the two buckets, no shame here. We all start somewhere.

During my first relationship, I would ask random women on yahoo messenger what really impressed them about another guy when they did not know what the looked like.

And when we actually got to set a real-life meetup, I would ask my sister to help decide what clothes or perfume to wear.

The point of the matter is we all start somewhere.

I hope this post acts as a comprehensive guide in understanding how you can better present yourself on dating apps, and then when you meet them offline.


Presenting yourself in front of a match is effectively navigating conversation from the online medium into the offline world. Cultivate kindness by being approachable and staying confident without seeming arrogant. Dress appropriately and use gentle teasing and humor to flirt. Address any discomfort you sense in your match. Use play to diffuse the tension and break the ice. Learn to shut up and listen, and leave them wanting more until the next time.

AI generated image with prompt In a cozy, dimly-lit restaurant setting, a man in his late 20s is seated across from his partner, deeply engaged in conversation.

1. How to Be humble yet Confident Without Appearing Arrogant

For me, personally, humility is being open to things you do not know and confidence is having conviction in the things you do. At the same time, kindness is about understanding that people do only what they know best.

For what it’s worth, the contradiction of genuine kindness along with self-assuring confidence together makes you seem more attractive and charismatic to potential matches.

Some traits set a stage for other traits to shine.

For example, your approachability is a hint of your inherent kindness.

You don’t want to come across as arrogant, but you will if you seem closed up to the point of being unapproachable.

You might want to find common ground and share personal experiences that highlight your nature, and your values while also showing interest in your match’s perspectives and experiences.

I do understand that some of you may not have to talk with confidence as their strong communication strategy, for them it’s important to remember that confidence is attractive, but kindness just feels great. And people always remember how you made them feel over anything else.

2. What about Video calling?

Allow me to have a controversial opinion on the matter. Video calling is riskier than meeting them in person.

Video calls have become increasingly common in the online dating scene, but I am still not sure video calls ease the shift into real-life meetups.

I have a theory to back that suspicion.

Video calls are a league unto itself. Once people see you through the filtered screen glass, something irreversible happens.

Your first impression gets tainted.

You must ask yourself if you find video calling comfortable enough to break the ice.

Video calls do lift the veil of mystery and make one seem less intriguing to the other, but they can also give you immediate insights into their personality.

While there are multiple success stories, I don’t know of many couples that first met on a video call (unless they had no other choice).

That being said, video calls are probably the most efficient way to experience intimacy.

At the risk of repeating myself, try to meet them first, and choose a video call only if it seems the best option in the short run. But your choice is not all that matters here.

At the risk of sounding obvious, do not call without notice!

Ask for their permission and if you’re fortunate enough to have your match’s consent (extremely important) and if you feel confident enough, you may video call them.

If you’ve already met them at least once before in life, well, then you have nothing to worry about.

It’s true that video calls can provide valuable insights into your match's personality and compatibility – So if you’re left without much choice, try to use that limited time to see if they’re a good fit for your values.

A few minutes may not be sufficient yet try to assess whether there's potential for a deeper connection.

Also, try to be alone and in a quiet setting. I personally would not appreciate it if my match called me while they were in a noisy area, or surrounded by their loud friends.

Maintain eye contact and a relaxed posture. Try to be still, not stiff. Try to listen actively and pull a few jokes just to gauge their sense of humor.

Try nodding(not shaking) and responding promptly to show interest.

You can use Dahlia's chat and call features to express yourself authentically and reveal your personality.

3. Online Etiquette and Communication Skills

Effective communication is key to successful online interactions on dating apps.

Practice good online etiquette by responding promptly, being respectful, and avoiding offensive language or behavior.

Engage in meaningful conversations by asking open-ended questions and actively listening to your match's responses.

Use Dahlia's icebreaker games to make meaningful conversations and keep the conversation flowing through ideas that matter to you both.

Talk about the things you like or the things you are passionate about.

Share your hobbies, and your personality flaws openly but see that you don't TMI (slang for Too Much Information).

4. How to ask them out?

As the great scientist and astrophysicist Stephen Mulberry once said, “Someone’s gotta ask the other one out!”

See what I did there? If you think that was a joke, well, not shit Sherlock! But you get the point.

Plans are not made by themselves, someone’s gotta take the initiative.

More often than not, especially in India, it’s the man who’s supposed to ask the woman out. And even though you could do it a hundred different ways, there’s one approach that can increase your chances of going on a date: taking the lead.

You want to be seen as a person who is rather happy deciding instead of putting pressure on someone else to decide.

So next time you ask her out, instead of asking “What do you feel like doing?” try to say “I have a plan. Let’s do ABC first. And let’s go to XYZ place. Would that be fine?”

If you take this approach you’ll not only seem more attractive and decisive, it will only increase the chances of her pitching her intentions for the meet.

So go ahead and plan the evening. Set a date, time, and location, and make sure she is in on YOUR plan.

5. When meeting your match in real life:

Meeting your date in person for the first time can be nerve-wracking.

First things first, even before you meet them, choose a place that reflects your personality and allows for a comfortable conversation.

At the risk of overdoing or overthinking meetup planning, try to just do a little more than you would (if you were by yourself).

Pick the place that accommodates their interests but does so while still being decisive and casual.

Present yourself authentically by being true to your personality and values.

Through Dahlia's Meetup feature, you can meet your matches reliably over a coffee date through the platform’s tied-up cafes or restaurants.

Be attentive and engaged during the date, showing genuine interest in your match's experiences and perspectives.

Your attire plays a significant role in shaping the impression you make on your date.

Dress in a way that reflects your personal style while also considering the venue and occasion. Choose outfits that make you feel comfortable above all, and reflect who you really are.

Do not worry about experimenting a little with your wardrobe if that’s what you desire but don’t risk wearing something you have never worn before.

Pay attention to grooming and hygiene to present yourself in the best light possible. Not that you necessarily need much schooling, allow me to even remind you to take a bath, cut your nails, and brush your teeth. And, carry a handkerchief, just in case.

6. How to flirt

If you want to learn how to flirt (successfully) you have to learn how to engage her appropriately.

While I’m going to offer a male perspective, I’m sure the same methods could be applied when dealing with males.

The first thing you have to do in order to flirt is to learn how to tease appropriately. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Initiate a challenge: You want to playfully challenge her without putting her on the spot. For example, “First one to look at their phone buys the next round of drinks.”

  • Suggest she is flirting with you: You want to do so without actually meaning it, kind of jokingly. For example, if she pays a compliment on your attire., you can say something like “Are YOU flirting with me?”

  • Joke that she is NOT the right one for you. Yes, this works. For example, if she tells you she doesn’t drink coffee, you might want to jokingly say “I’m not sure this is going to work out.”

The above will open the conversation and set the stage for a less daunting “first” date.

The main idea behind the above methods is not taking oneself too seriously and adding an element of play to your conversation starters.

These methods take the performance pressure off and help the other person reveal themselves without feeling vulnerable.

Remember, your body language and verbal cues will also define your ease of communication and attraction.

Try not to hunch too much or be rod-erect. Sit straight, make eye contact, and use your hands and head freely to show involvement and interest in your partner.

Pay attention to the verbal cues they give you and see if you sense any anxiousness or discomfort.

If you sense that she’s feeling off, you may address it without being judgmental of their behavior.

Now let’s assume you’re not the one to do any teasing, jokes, or flirting. Well, then the next section should help you greatly.

In fact, I cannot emphasize how greatly this one skill can help any person no matter how experienced or confident they are.

No matter who you are, if you do this one thing right, you don’t need to have great looks, or charisma to leave them wanting more.

That one thing, my friends, is the ability to listen.

7. Shut up and Listen

In addition to kindness, confidence, and effective communication, some soft skills can enhance your dating experience like no other.

The one at the top of all those soft skills is the ability to listen.

And I don’t mean listen to have a response, but really listen.

There are reasons as to why it works every single time (I’m not joking, every single time)

There are four reasons why listening is the ultimate superpower.

  1. People will like you more. Everyone craves to be heard and understood. Simple. People know their lives best and they can’t wait to share that with other people. Yes, you might have to nudge them with a question or two, but as a default, just don’t open your mouth unless you have to or have been asked to.

  2. You’ll learn more. Because everyone knows something that you don’t. So the more you learn, the more intrigue there is. And when you get intrigued, you ask more questions, you just take a genuine interest and people love other people interested in their lives. All you need to do is give them that space to tell you something you do not know.

  3. The more you talk, the more you reveal your lack of confidence. (Yes, deep down we are all underconfident people pretending to be solid) The more you find your confidence shaking, the more you are bound to blabber. And the more you blabber, the more the risk of your insecurities showing.

  4. It leaves them wanting more. I mean honestly, which of the two would you prefer: People being sick of listening to you, or people missing more of what you might have said?

Develop a listener’s mindset and you’ll be surprised how many people reach out to you after the date.

Listening more will substantially increase your chances of a second date. So, unless you don’t care about meeting them again, why not be the person who listens?

8. When and how should one Ask for the Date's Phone Number?

Let’s say you have started talking and have broken the ice. You’re interested in taking the conversation outside of the dating app. You realize you don’t have her number. What do you do then?

Well, if you’re naive like I used to be, then you’d ask for their number the first moment you think you deserve it. But it might not work.

It’s because you need to have a reason to ask for their number. If you’re a man, you may be very open to sharing your number.

But the same may not be true for women. You want to ask for their number when you have a reason to.

And that’s probably the best before you actually meet them.

But let’s say you ignore my advice and still just ask for her number.

You’re going to get a single-word response you won’t know how to get out of. “Why?” Game over. Go home.

That’s why you should have a solid reason to have their number.

Try to ask them out, and then when the meetup is scheduled, you might want to ask for it.

To ask them out (if you haven’t already) say this “Hey, it was great talking to you, but I have to go. Let’s grab a drink sometime?” And if and when they say yes, you can try saying something like “Hey, looking forward to our date. Would love to coordinate when we are there. May I ask for your number?” And there you have it.

9. How to Act Confident and Not Come Across as a Creep while asking for her number?

When it comes to charming or impressing your match, it’s easy to cross the line of confidence into the overconfidence territory.

You don’t want to seem overbearing or intimidating.

But the problem is we don’t know we’re being overbearing unless pointed out.

So allow me to point out that the moment you try to manipulate, convince, or assert your ideas onto your date (especially you boys out there), you’d come across as a creep.

Or if you try to objectify them, or take them for granted, you will again creep them out.

You have to learn to do both: be confident in your own skin, but also learn to respect others’ boundaries.

So, say you’re texting with them on a dating app. And you text them saying, “Hey, can I get your Snapchat or Insta?”

Well, be prepared to be ghosted.

Not because she’s some arrogant lady. But probably because you just come across as a nobody trying to slide into her DMs.

You need to project confidence and maturity, not desperation.

Say this instead, “I would love to take you out on a date. Let’s exchange numbers.” Try this and let us know if that works.

10. When Meeting IRL Might Not Be the Best Idea?

Now meeting your match over a date would be great in almost any situation but there are instances where it might not be the best idea.

Meeting a stranger whom you don’t fully trust is not always easy.

Try to be perceptive and trust your gut feelings if something doesn't feel right.

If you have concerns about safety, compatibility, or readiness, it's okay to postpone the meeting. Or something else may happen.

You may find that your match seems uncomfortable meeting you in real life for whatever reason.

If you sense unwillingness or discomfort, you may go ahead and ask them if they’d prefer you meet another time.

What you don’t want to do is insist them to come in spite of their unwillingness. As long as you trust that if this is meant to work out, you shall meet them sooner or later.

11. What to Do After Your IRL Date?

You just finished a date. No matter how it went, show the basic human courtesy of following up to express gratitude.

Appreciate them for the time they gave you, or for showing you a good time.

You could also express your interest in continuing to meet them. Just be authentic and don’t be vague.

If you said something that you wish you hadn’t, you might want to casually address or apologize in case you said something inappropriate.

Share the anecdote of theirs you remembered from the meet or a part of the evening you specifically relished.

If you don’t know what exactly to say, then just say this. “hey, I had great fun tonight. Thanks for being there. Let me know you reached home safely.”

This text will get you extra attraction points for not just showing appreciation for her presence but also seemingly protective and thoughtful of your partner’s safety.

In case you happen to call her, try not to do so without announcing. You may call them later if you both happen to notice a spark flying from a wonderful first date.

Parting Words

Presenting yourself effectively on dating apps in India requires a combination of authenticity, confidence, and communication skills.

By following these tips and utilizing Dahlia's features and insights, you can navigate the complexities of online dating with confidence and grace.

Remember to prioritize genuine connections, mutual respect, and personal growth in your dating journey, and trust that the right match is out there waiting for you. Happy dating!

Recommended Read: 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 Headshot

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati Headshot

Anurag Gulati

Anurag Gulati Headshot
Anurag Gulati Headshot

Anurag Gulati

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