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Don’t Be Basic: 5 Things To Avoid On Your Next Tinder Date

By now, you’ve probably been on enough dating app dates to know that, while the possibilities are seemingly endless of the person you will meet, there’s usually a bit of a common rhythm and cadence to them. The person will be unique, but in many ways, the date won’t be.

For example, chances are high that you will:

  1. Meet some place public for the first time
  2. Do something that allows for conversation
  3. Talk for the duration of the date

Point 3 is the most important- you should always be prepared to talk a lot on these dates. You’re meeting up with a stranger, after all. It’s going to be awkward if you aren’t talking throughout most of the date. We can safely call anyone that isn’t comfortable with or prepared to talk a lot on a first Tinder date basic. Most of us have been there, and it isn’t fun.

How do you ensure that you aren’t that basic date?

There are 3 elements to a basic tinder date- forcing conversations, being inauthentic (i.e. laughing at things that aren’t funny, glossing up your job or hobbies), and not actually listening to the other person when it’s their turn to speak.

Here are 5 things you should avoid talking about to ensure you aren’t just another basic date off the Tinder scrapheap:

#1. How “crazy” it is that you met are meeting someone off Tinder.

It’s not 2013 anymore, and as such, this is no longer a relevant topic to discuss. Bringing up how crazy it is that you met off an app is simply filling space with words. It isn’t engaging and sheds light on how uninteresting you probably are.

I understand that there will be times where you are hard pressed to come up with something, especially if you’re the one driving the conversation. Again, this person is a stranger, so that’s to be expected. In this situation, stick with basic questions about the life they’re currently living.

If you find yourself running out of stuff to talk about, refrain from mentioning anything related to the app that united the two of you- don’t be that person.

#2. Anything they wrote about themselves in their profile.

Stuff that has already been already described about your date in their profile is on display to the whole world. You aren’t the first person that’s seen it or talked to them about it. In all likelihood, these 2-3 things have been the focal point of every other date they’ve been on before this one. And chances are, you have already touched on these things when initially messaging on the app. Repeating topics is a great way to blend in with every other Tinder date they’ve been on.

If they bring it up, that’s fine. At that point, you’re welcome to say something like, “That’s right, I remember reading that. How long have you been doing that?

#3. What her dating app experience or history has been like.

Being the one to initiate conversations about his or her history of anything is probably a no-no on the first date, but especially so about their dating app experiences.

Chances are, you’re going to get roughly the same answer:

“Oh, I’ve only used Tinder a little bit.”

Women don’t want to come off as having gone on a ton of dates, and guys don’t want to seem like they are just in it for the casual stuff. Any sane person is going to keep their guard up at least partially during the first date. They don’t know you or how you’ll judge them for their honesty.

In either case, their answer to the question is less than likely to be 100% true, which in and of itself, means this is not a good topic to bring up.

#4. Any area of your own life, at length.

Tinder dates are not a replacement for therapy. The balance of the conversation on the first date should be equal. If both parties strive to talk equally or less than the other, chances are it will be a good first date.

If you find yourself going down a wormhole about your family, childhood experiences, or anything that’s going to turn over rocks better left unturned, end that train of thought immediately. Don’t change the subject, but tail off and ask them a question in return. Keep note in your head of any time you find yourself talking for more than 30 consecutive seconds, because the basic date clock is ticking. Cut it off and save the details for another time.

#5. Any subject you aren’t confident enough to talk about.

Even if know you won’t see the person again, authenticity is key to ensuring you aren’t acting just like everybody else. As such, never try to impress a date by feigning interest in or understanding of a subject they are clearly passionate about. Laughing at stuff you don’t find funny or expressing interest in things you don’t care about is also a surefire way of being that person that no one enjoys going on a date with.

If she goes off about rock climbing and you’re afraid of heights, be open about that. Don’t knock her for her interests or make it about yourself. Maybe learn something about rock climbing by asking questions. Whatever you do, don’t tell her you’re ready to strap on a harness for the second date and then ghost her because you’d never do that in a million years.

People that do this are what makes the dating app experience difficult. Don’t be that person.

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About Ben Kissam American coach and sports psych based in Germany. I use psychology tools to make informed decisions about dating and life.

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