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Online Dating Tips

Dating App Tips That Will Help You Make a Connection

Dating apps have put interested singles at the tips of your fingers, and you now have access to more people in less time than ever before — without even getting off the couch! This sounds like a windfall, but having so many choices can lead to a paradox of decision fatigue, where too many choices can lead to confusion, overwhelm, and ultimately cause people to not make any decision at all, instead just scrolling away endlessly hoping for the “perfect” choice.

Remember that there is an appropriate mindset when it comes to online dating, and you’ll need to check in with yourself from time to time to make sure that you are going about this all the right way. We put together some practical tips on moving past the browsing stage of online dating and beginning to cultivate meaningful connections with other online singles.

Whether you’re new to online dating or you are just looking for some tips to help you get more out of your time in the digital dating world, we put together some tips to help you make authentic connections.

Common Struggles With Online Dating

Before we dive into our list of tips on how to make great connections on dating sites, we thought we would start by talking about some of the most common struggles that people experience with online dating. Hopefully, the tips in the section below give you a good idea of how to overcome some of these struggles and start connecting with people who share your interests, values, and goals.


With millions of people online dating, rejection is something that everyone runs into. Each time you swipe on someone or send a message, there is a good chance that they simply just won’t vibe with your bio. Rejection hurts no matter how many times it happens, so know that you aren’t alone when you’re feeling down about it.


There is nothing more confusing and frustrating than being ghosted by someone. You may have had a lot of great messages back and forth or even hit it off in real life, and all of a sudden, they disappear. It’s hard not to get self-conscious, and you may want to go back and analyze every single thing you did to find a reason why it happened. Don’t. They showed their true colors, and you can move on.


The entire internet is overrun by fake dating profiles, scammers, and bots. Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between a real person and a fake account, but there are ways you can decide if the dating profile you’re talking to is fake.

Online Dating Tips 101:

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most common frustrations and struggles with online dating, here is a list of some basic, helpful tips that will help you get the most out of your time on Zoosk.

Build A Strong Profile

Your first impression is the most important, so keep that in mind as you craft your dating profile. Make sure that you have clear, high-quality pictures, and include things like your interests, hobbies, and values that can act as a beacon for someone who shares these qualities with you.

We will get into honesty in the next tip, but you should absolutely focus on honesty when crafting your profile. By being truthful about who you are, you will improve your chances of connecting with someone who shares your passions and interests. Use your bio as a chance to showcase some of your personality, too. Are you funny? Serious? Quirky? Let it shine so people know what they’re getting before they even match you.

Make sure that you stay positive in your bio because negativity and aggression are major turn-offs for most people.

The Importance of Honesty

The desire to misrepresent parts of yourself can be appealing online, especially when you aren’t looking someone in the eye. Don’t do it — if things progress based on these false pretenses, you are going to be caught out in a lie once you meet in real life. If the match isn’t going to work online, then you can be certain it won’t work in real life.

Think of online dating as a way to put your true self out on display without compromising or feeling strange about it. There are a lot of people online dating (although this will depend on where you are located), and there is a pot for every lid. This is your chance to connect with someone about what you truly love. Bring your authentic self to your dating efforts, and you will be rewarded with a better chance of an authentic connection. Let your flag fly!

The Importance Of Your Opening Line

If your bio is your first impression, your opening line is your handshake. This is an important moment that will set the tone for your conversation. Sending something like “Hey” or “What’s up?” is boring and lame, and whether it’s true or not, it helps the recipient assume that the rest of the conversation is going to be just as uninspiring. Mention something that caught your attention on their profile or some other sort of observation that establishes a connection or an overlap in interests.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Even if you don’t feel like you are a very talented conversationalist, asking the right questions can keep things flowing and point your conversation in interesting directions. Before you hit “send” on a question, ask yourself if it requires more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Here are some good examples of open-ended questions:

  • “What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on, and why?”
  • “What’s your favorite book or movie? What about it do you love so much?”
  • “What’s the most challenging thing you’ve ever done?”
  • “If you could have dinner with anyone — living or dead — who would it be?”

If the person responds to your open-ended questions with one-word answers, then you’ve got a snoozer on your hands. Move on!

Show Genuine Interest

If you’re asking open-ended questions and the person on the other end of the chat is giving you great answers, don’t just move on to the next question. Pay attention to what they are saying, ask follow-up questions, or give them a little tidbit about yourself that you think might overlap with their answer. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to start an inspiring conversation, but if you are just jumping from one to the next and glossing over some major details that someone is giving up to you, then it’s going to become pretty clear that you aren’t really paying attention.

If you are honestly struggling with being interested in a person you are chatting with, save yourself (and them) the effort and politely end the conversation. Remember that everyone here is looking for someone to make an honest connection with, so the less time you waste on someone else’s, the more time you’ll both have to search for that special someone.

Use Correct Grammar and Spelling

If you aren’t taking the time and effort to check your grammar and spelling, it might also send a signal to the person you’re talking to that you can’t be bothered to address other details, like showing up to a date on time, remembering someone’s birthday, or other “little” things that all add up to a special experience.

Typos happen, but chronic errors can be a turn-off for a lot of people. Using an extension like Grammarly will actually spell check as you write on most websites, so even the free version of the app can avoid some embarrassment if spelling isn’t your strong suit! You don’t need to be a spelling champion and grammar professor — even installing a spell check is putting the effort in, and that’s what people notice is lacking when they get a message that is loaded with errors.

Make the First Move

Don’t be afraid to send the first message if you see someone you are interested in! It might feel like a scary step to take, but after all, you are on a dating site to meet people! You’ll need to deal with rejection — that’s for sure — but as they say: “ a closed mouth won’t eat.” If you see that someone viewed your profile and didn’t message, but they seem like a good fit, they may have a free profile, which won’t allow them to send the first message.

Getting used to initiating conversations can be a great character development exercise, so even if you don’t think the person you are messaging is your perfect match, the only way to find out the true answer is by talking to them.

If you are spending a lot of time on an app just scrolling, you can get more out of it by trying to make legitimate connections by sending an introduction and letting the person you that you saw their profile and you liked what you saw. Ask a question about something that jumped out at you, or let them know about a common interest you both share.

Keep Your Options Open

When you are chatting with people on an online dating platform, remember that you are there to explore your options and learn more about yourself and others while you are going through this process. Even if you are talking to someone who seems like a great fit, you can still keep learning more about what you think is important by talking to other people.

At the stage in a potential relationship where you are still just messaging on the app, or even if you have decided to move your conversations to texts, phone calls, or an in-person meetup, it might be worth it to keep talking to other people. In the process of seeking a partner, you have an opportunity to expand your horizons and learn more about the things that you hold important or valuable in a relationship. Use the opportunity as a learning experience and keep trying to contact other people. With millions of people using dating apps and websites, there is a good chance that more than one connection will lead to something interesting.

Know When To End a Conversation — and How To End It

Knowing how and when to end a conversation gracefully is an important skill to have both online and in real life. If you are noticing that you aren’t really able to move into deeper topics, or if the conversation just generally feels flat, it might be a good sign that things aren’t going to magically become more interesting and engaging. There are lots of other signs that might tell you that the conversation has reached an end, too, but knowing how to cut it off respectfully is really important.

To end a conversation, you could take a few paths:

  • Be direct and polite by saying something like “It was great meeting you, but I don’t think this is going to be a good fit. Thank you!”
  • Explain your reasoning by letting them know things you are noticing that you believe are signs that things aren’t really going to progress.
  • Lead with a positive by calling out something you appreciated about your interactions. “I love that we both enjoy riding horses, but I don’t know that we are going to see eye-to-eye on some other big topics.”
  • Use a canned response so you don’t need to overthink it. Something like “Thanks for your interest, but I don’t really see us being a good match. Good luck on your search!” covers your basis, is polite and supportive, and brings a close to the conversation.

Online Safety

Online dating can be fun and rewarding, but it’s important that you stay vigilant about your safety. Make sure not to disclose too much personal information to someone you are not ready to meet up with in real life. Things like your exact location, place of work, and full name should be reserved for someone you really trust. Using Zoosk’s messaging app is a great way to connect with someone without giving out your phone number or social media accounts.

A video call is a good idea before meeting in real life, too. If someone doesn’t look like the pictures they share on their dating profile, it might indicate that there is more going on than what they are sharing.

If you are planning to meet in real life, this might be a good time to ask someone to connect with you on social media so you can get a better idea of their lives. Search for them on LinkedIn or Google to see if the information they’ve given you lines up with what is publicly available online.