How to successfully use dating apps for more than hookups

How to successfully use dating apps for more than hookups

I’ve been in the dating game for what feels like an eternity–almost a year (or maybe longer, I can’t remember)! Due to the convenience, I’ve mostly been using dating apps. As of late, Bumble is bae. When I say this, people look at me like I have two heads. First, because they have no clue what it is and second because people can’t believe I’m seriously using dating apps.

What exactly is Bumble?

It’s the women’s empowered version of Tinder. You swipe right when you want to match with someone. Once, you match it is up to the woman to make the first move. She has one day to do so. After the conversation has been initiated by the woman, the man has one day to respond or the match disappears. The time-limited feature is probably one of my faves because as a busy professional woman my time is very valuable.

Now that the Bumble lesson is out of the way let’s get back to the good part — me convincing my friends to use Bumble. In order to get me to stop talking about Bumble, they give in and download the app. For the first two days, they are into it and then after a few weeks I get

I don’t know what you are doing but I’m not getting anywhere on this app.

I’ve just met a lot of crazy people.

These dudes keep disappearing.

I can empathize with those feelings as I’ve met my fair share of “crazy” people on dating apps.  

See my Date for Hire story

Trust me, I definitely get THE STRUGGLE. I was barely getting matches let alone going on dates. Y’all one time I went on TWO dates in three months. I was ready to call it quits too.

I actually took a break from Bumble briefly mostly because I was exclusively dating someone (who wasn’t exclusively dating me…haha). I eventually got back on Bumble and I became a dating miracle…lol. I went from endless messages to averaging 2-3 dates per week and no requested hook-ups. 🙂

I know there are some people trying to figure out what I did to get such awesome results on a dating app and I will get there.

And for the Negative Nancys that want me to know my experience is unique and that most other women only encounter men who want to hook up I come with receipts!

A recent study conducted by Bumble found that 85% of Bumble users were looking for a long lasting and meaningful relationship.  Where are the hookups?…oh, that was just 1-4% of users.


So how do you find those 85% that are looking for more than a hookup on dating apps? I got you. Just follow these steps.


Step 1: Shift your mindset

First things first, you absolutely must shift your mindset right now. If you believe that dating apps are only for hookups then you will not take your dating app experiences seriously. Also, you will view all interactions as

See, I knew [he] was just trying to hookup with me.


Step 2: Understand that online dating is traditional dating on steroids.

Let’s start with traditional dating (you know meeting people not on dating apps)…If you were to reflect on these dating experiences then I’m sure there will be

  • hookups
  • awful relationships
  • People you dated briefly or even long-term
  • People you met while you were out with friends that you texted a few times and nothing ever became of it

The same thing happens with dating apps, just in a shorter time span and with multiple potential partners at once. Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to view dating as a one on one experience, but as we’ve learned exclusive dating died. That’s so 2014. So adjusting to the idea of dating multiple people at once can feel overwhelming, but trust me it’s so worth it in the end.


Step 3: Think carefully about what you put in your profile

Your profile is the first opportunity for people to learn something about you. For heaven’s sake please don’t but that you are smart and outgoing (I’m bored already). Use your profile as a way to convey your genuine interests. My profile talks about my love for craft beer, especially sours (yes, that’s my real life y’all…lol). It can also be a place where you state your interests. For example, for me, I’m looking for a man who likes craft beer and has a quirky sense of humor.

Unpopular opinion alert: I don’t put my occupation on my dating profile. In my description, I do say that I have a “successful career.” I won’t go back down the road of discussing how men are intimidated by a successful, independent, and intelligent woman (it’s here if you want to revisit). However, I have found it much easier to discuss my career and degrees when it naturally comes up during in-person conversations. Of course, some men still can’t handle it and that’s fine, no second date for you sir.

Lastly, it’s pretty easy to spot people who you likely should avoid. For instance, people who put nothing in their profile, include random quotes, or simply declare their desire for a hookup. See below for my fave.


Step 4: Swipe right on Bumble or left on Tinder for people other than your preferred type

If you only swipe right (or left) for your preferred type you are asking for a failed dating app experience (also a failed dating experience in real life).

Friendly reminder:


The number of matches I received skyrocketed once I loosened up on my preferred type. I ended up meeting a few dudes that I really liked that I would have NEVER given the time of day, had I not readjusted my preferences.


Step 5: Message people right away

When you match with someone go ahead and start the conversation. This helps you figure out fairly quickly whether or not this person is a potential prospect.

Pro tips: See if the person asks questions. Also, is the person able to respond with more than one word or short phrase answers. If yes, then it’s a good sign. If not, go ahead and “unmatch” or kindly tell the person you hope they find someone else.


Step 6: Set a time limit on messaging

I’ve learned that people exchange messages for weeks and even months without ever meeting in person. THAT. IS. FRUSTRATING. AND NO. WONDER. YOU. ARE. OVER. DATING. APPS. (Imagine that I yelled that slowly at you). Now I’m going to yell again…THAT IS NOT OKAY.

Set a clear time limit on messaging via the dating app (I recommend not giving out your phone number until after the first date is planned). 1-2 weeks is sufficient time. If there are no concrete plans in place to meet up after 1-2 weeks, move on!


Step 7: Make the first move!

So, remember I just said if there are no plans for a first date after 1-2 weeks move on. I want to be clear it shouldn’t be just on the dude to make the first move –women you can too. Make sure that you are clear about your intentions for scheduling a date.

Not clear: Would you like to get together sometime? This leaves the door wide open for a date to never happen.

Clear request: I’ve enjoyed talking to you and would like to grab a beer next week? This leads to you both reviewing your schedule for next week and finding a time for a date.  


Take home message: Shift your mindset, have fun, and say R.I.P. to your type. Oh yeah, ladies you can shoot your shot too!


Have I convinced you to give dating apps a [another] try?


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