How to Find a Serious Relationship on a Dating App

It seems impossible, right? But it’s not!

With all of the “here for hook-ups” and the polyamorous/open/ethically non-monogamous and just plain married guys and gals or couples seeking their “unicorns,” how could you ever hope to find someone looking for something real just like you?

It’s not impossible. It happens for a lot of couples, including, much to my surprise, myself, on Tinder of all apps.

I filed for divorce from my husband after nine long months of chaos and attempts at reconciliation. Single for the first time in ten years, I downloaded Tinder. Dating apps had not been a thing the last time I’d last dated, so I was fascinated, but they seemed the best way for me to meet single available men, and as a Relationship Coach, I had experience in advising clients on how to do well on them.

My ex-husband and I shared a friend group. I also had two children 50% of the time, worked a full-time job, and I didn’t drink. All of those things immediately eliminated how often I could go out and where I might even go.

Was I ready to begin dating when I first downloaded Tinder?

Had I sorted out my issues with the end of my marriage and appropriately grieved the end of that relationship?

Uhhhhh definitely not.

I did, though, start a profile and go on a couple of dates with guys. I very quickly realized I wasn’t ready yet and took a break.

When I came back to the app, I had worked through some things. I still had more to work through, but I was ready to try to more actively date. And I did.

I went on dates with hot guys and intelligent guys and nerdy guys and guys who looked good probably like five years ago (and in their profile pictures), but now had badly receding hairlines and thought it was totally cool to show up to a date wearing slippers in the shape of paws (real story).

And after going through some frogs, I met Bryan, my serious honey, on Tinder.

Here’s what you can do to find your own Bryan or Bryanna (and believe me, you want your own Bryan or Bryanna):

1. Be clear about what you’re looking for in your profile.

Not here for hook-ups, looking for dates, or looking for dates that could lead to something more are clear and to the point.

All folks looking to send you on a walk of shame should swipe left (though, to be fair, they may not even read your profile anyway, but you’ve done your part).

Do NOT say you’re looking for a significant other/boyfriend or girlfriend/husband or wife. That’s bound to freak out anyone.

2. Include realistic photos.

Do yourself and your dates a favor and be honest. Include RECENT photos (taken within the last month). Even if you’ve been on the app a while, update your photos every month or so.

Don’t include photos where you use filters or are taken of you from super high angles. Include your hot face. Include your whole hot bod. Make sure your swipers know it’s YOUR profile by not including a ton of group pictures.

You are not setting yourself up for success by not representing yourself as you are. Your date should be able to legit tell it’s you when he or she meets you, and you NEVER want your date to be surprised in a BAD way.

And if you’re carrying some extra weight, who cares? I promise there’s a Bryan or Bryanna who wants that shake.

3. Be clear about what you’re looking for once you start talking to them.

The biggest surprise for me being on Tinder is how few guys would actually get to scheduling plans. This is a DATING app. ASK ME ON A DATE, I wanted to scream at some of them as we were on day five of casual chatting with NO plans in sight.

Feminism, lady! Why don’t you make the plans, lady? you might be thinking.

Everyone is different, which is why it’s important to be clear about what you are looking for. I was looking for guys to ask me out. I’d had several experiences when I first gotten on dating apps where I’d attempted to set up dates with men who inevitably weren’t all that interested, so I wanted the guy to show interest upfront.

Do also remember that that guy or gal may not have read your profile, and you may need to make sure things are crystal.

For example, when one guy wasn’t seeming to take the hint, I told him, “Hey, if you aren’t willing to wait until date four or five to have sex, then we’re not on the same page.” He quickly unmatched from me.

4. Set up a date at a place where you can get to know each other.

Go bowling. Go axe throwing. Get drinks. Have dinner. Rock climb. The important thing is go to somewhere public (safety first), AND where you can actually hear and get to know each other.

5. Don’t take it too seriously.

Yes, you are on a dating app looking for love, but hey, use it as an opportunity to meet people of the opposite sex and feel things out.

DON’T get so attached after one date that you’re heartbroken after he or she ghosts you.

DO use it as an opportunity to figure out what you’re really looking for.

6. Lastly, be aware of the energy you’re putting in and make sure it’s matched.

A good rule of thumb I used after some trials was if I texted, I’d wait until he texted me back. If I was the last one to set up a date, I’d wait for him to set up the next one.

It kept me very aware if I was being curved and made sure I wasn’t building up resentments by always being the one putting more energy in than the other person.

It’s hard out there in the dating world, but good luck! If anything, dating apps teach you that love might just be a swipe away…


Want to figure out how to make online dating work for you? Click here to order my course, “How to Find Love Online for Men,” for JUST $20!

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