Flirting is a complicated game. As a result, 52% of British people are happy that dating apps exist to make it a bit easier for them, according to a survey conducted by YouGov for the dating app Happn in 2018. However, while it is easier to feel protected behind your phone, it is not always easy to seduce at a distance. Serials swipers or former Tinder fans told us how it's done.
A dose of humour is always appreciated
Tinder now has an estimated 50 million users worldwide, according to the Business of Apps site, so you have to stand out from the huge mass of profiles on offer. According to the YouGov survey, 37% of respondents said they prefer to be flirted with by people who make them laugh. And to do this, everyone has their own technique.
'I have on my profile a picture of myself with a luminous headband. It's a bit like lighthouses seen from the sea: it attracts boats,' joked Jérôme, 26, interviewed by Gentside. Elise, 24 years old, also confirmed that she appreciates a sense of humour: 'Anyone who has a lot of humour in their bio makes you want to swipe right more than someone who tells their life story, saying things like 'I like Japanese food and cats...'
Being natural, a sure thing
Self-mockery, however, is not a given for everyone. Marie, 23, did try to add a little bit of humour to her description. 'But it's not my forte,' she said. 'So let's just say I'm as natural as I can be.' Naomi, 23, has also built a realistic profile:
'I like to put some 'ugly' or slightly funny selfies, which don't necessarily make me look good or how I usually present myself. It's to take the pressure off, so that people don't take me for a 'princess' or sexualise me. I hate it,' she told Gentside.
A technique that seems to be bearing fruit, since 45% of YouGov respondents believe that being natural and relaxed is the key to success when it comes to seduction. Paul, 23, shares this view: 'The goal is to be yourself. If the image I put forward doesn't fit, there's not much point in swiping.'
'Tying your Instagram account to your Tinder account is pretty cool,' suggested Elise. 'You really get to know the person in their daily life, not just in three photos. I prefer profiles like that, so I did that too.'
Moreover, among all these users contacted by Gentside, all agree that an ideal bio is one where not everything is revealed, but where interesting information is disseminated to allow the other person to bounce back and make the first move.
'Hey, what's up?,' the common sentence that doesn't usually work
Because after you've given a like on or swiped to the right to indicate your interest, it's now a match. He or she is also interested in your profile. Then comes the fateful question: 'Do I make the first move?' For some, the question does not arise. They just go for it, using gifs, funny phrases or reactions based on the profile of their 'crush.' But for others, shyness takes over:
'I always search for hours for the perfect line, but I never come up with anything original. On some applications, I even use the suggested responses. It's true that I tend to hope that the other person will make the first move. That way, there's no need to try to figure out what to say,' Marie explained to Gentside.
Especially since the most instinctive answer is often the traditional 'Hi, how are you?'... considered by the majority of those solicited by Gentside as impersonal, boring, even prohibitive. Naomi is more forgiving of this polite phrase:
'What comes after "hi, how are you?" should really be interesting... I don't judge. Sometimes it's hard to come up with a funny, original catchphrase. I'm already applauding the audacity of taking the step,' she said.
On the contrary, nothing prevents you from approaching your potential conquest with crazy schemes. 'Coming back from a night out, I only send punctuation marks. I met an ex-girlfriend like that. There's never a bad technique,' said Jérôme. Others prefer to focus on being different, like Axelle, 24: 'Depending on the case, I'll act differently. When I really have a crush on a person, I take the first step.'
At worst, if you don't get a message, you can always take inspiration from Arthur's attempt, 26, in a conversation that's been totally blank since the two people matched: 'Well, Chloe, it's been a year since we matched and you still haven't said hello? It's not very polite...'
Understanding the person...
Once the discussion has started, the hard part is over. However, the conversation still needs to be kept going. This is where clumsiness can slip in, real mood killers for those affected by it: 'too much romance from the first day,' 'the use of nicknames, like honey or beauty,' 'spelling mistakes,' 'the XD,' 'do you fuck?,' 'do you mind if I have two children?'...
Each person has a phrase that will instantly turn them off. Regarding Marie, for example, it's the people who are too intrusive. On the contrary, 'people who say: "can you stop asking questions? It sounds like you're interrogating me" ... And who then don't make any effort at all,' annoy Matthew, 23, asked by Gentside. So it's up to you to try to understand the person in front of you as well as possible.
...to better take the plunge
Once we're on the same wavelength, it's time to meet this person. 'Apps can be a great way to find someone. But you shouldn't hide behind your screen,' insisted Axelle. This can lead to jokes and meaningless conversations, which then make the use of dating apps monotonous. And which also might make you miss your chance:
'You have to go all the way. For me, it's important to have first dates quickly. If you wait a little too long, two weeks later she has a husband, three kids, a house and a dog,' said Jérôme.