Ok, so the ice has been broken… now what?

It’s honestly pretty tough to keep your match’s attention on a dating app, or even via text if you haven’t met yet, which is fair. I mean, we’re naturally going to put more effort into people that we’re already invested in, whether it’s family, friends, or something more. Besides, it can get exhausting to have the same conversation over and over again with different people.

Basically, you need to stand out. To do that, you need to have a conversation beyond “how are you, what do you do for a living?” so here are a few quick tips to keep your match’s attention:

Ask interesting questions…

…and ask about things you actually give a shit about.

We’re all familiar with the general “ice breaker” questions like “if you could live anywhere…” and a lot of apps like Hinge and Bumble are already allowing us to include these in our bios. Those questions are boring and overdone. You’re far better off thinking of something that matters to you because you’ll care more about their response. Plus it’ll be easier for both of you to take the conversation beyond a boring Q&A.

Refer to something in their photos or bio.

Personally, I think this should go without saying but apparently it needs a call out. We spend time choosing which photos to include or what to say in our app bios because we want to present ourselves a certain way. We’re basically giving you a prompt to refer to about where we’ve been, what we value, or how we like to spend our time, so use it! Plus, commenting on something from their profile is a subtle way to show you at least kind of care about getting to know them… and that’s really what we all want, right?

Stay in your lane.

This is something else that I think should go without saying, but I’ve experienced it so much myself so I know it needs to be said: Guys, do not use pet names. I am not your “baby;” We haven’t even seen each other IRL and we never will if you go down that road.

Be respectful.

Along those same lines, remember that you’re talking to another human, not some sex robot. I’m no prude, but there’s no bigger turn off than someone who sends sexual messages too soon. If you want to be honest about the fact that you’re not looking for anything serious, that’s fine, but you should say that instead of some gross comment about hooking up. Again. We have not even seen each other in person, so don’t sprint straight to third base without even hitting the ball.

Don’t be afraid to change the subject.

Obviously you can always continue the conversation with a simple “what about you?” if it’s something you know that both of you have an opinion on but sometimes, a conversation can only go so far. You don’t need to leave the conversation flow up to the other person, if you’re bored of it, they probably are too. Take some initiative and pivot to another topic.

Don’t overthink it.

This may seem to contradict my first two tips, but hear me out: You want to put SOME thought into the conversation (you have to in order to actually keep things going) but if you put TOO MUCH thought into it, you might end up saying nothing (if you’re like me and can be indecisive) or you might come across as creepy or trying too hard.

Keep things light and fun. You don’t need to jump into super serious conversations right away, but that doesn’t mean you can only talk about the frivolous things in life like which show you’re binge-watching.

Don’t forget that this person is probably busy living their life too, so if they don’t hit you back right away, don’t freak out. Besides, you haven’t even met this person yet; you’ve got nothing to lose by just being yourself.

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