Anyone who’s ever used Tinder knows that it’s really nothing more than a numbers game. The more times you swipe right, the higher your odds of finding a chick who’ll be into you, or at the very least, attracted to you. But not all the stats associated with Tinder are promising—especially if you’re actually looking for something beyond a one-time hookup. In fact, among popular apps, Tinder has the lowest rate of long-term relationship success, according to a recent Consumers’ Research survey. Only 13 percent of users who’ve met through the app stay together past the first four weeks—the lowest rate among all of the dating services reviewed for the study. And experts aren’t too shocked. Many say the game-like basis of the app, the surface level messages, and profile tag-lines are to blame. “It makes it very challenging to gauge if you're compatible,” explains Laurie Davis Edwards, founder of eFlirt, an online dating concierge service.
The best way to determine if you’re a good fit for “Casie, 25” (and the best way to lay the groundwork for a lasting relationship) is to put a solid effort into planning the first few dates. “Use cues from her profile to curate a meaningful experience,” advises Gina Stewart, a dating coach that specializes in the online scene. “Not only does this show her that you’re paying attention, it will also create a better experience, which could be the seed that allows a relationship to grow beyond the first month.”
To help you plan the perfect date for your Tinder match, we asked Stewart and Edwards to drum up some creative date ideas based on different elements of both you and your crush’s profile. Ask her on one of these well-thought-out outings and you’re sure to set the stage for something long-term.
If she’s on a foreign vacation in one of her photos
If she can’t stop messaging you about her recent trip to Greece, take her to an awesome Mediterranean vino and tapas bar, advises Edwards. Planning a date based on a region she loves shows her that you’re a considerate, thoughtful guy, and the small plates angle is far less risky than asking her out for a full meal. “The time you spend on a date matters a lot. If you linger for too long you risk having your energy together decline. That could mean losing the opportunity to go on a second date even if it was an awesome experience otherwise,” warns Edwards.
If her profile says, "From Cali, lives in Philly."
If you’ve been chatting up a chick who’s new to your city, ask her to meet you at a secret, insider spot in your city. “Anyone can do tourist activities together, but not everyone knows about that cool speakeasy or hidden hole-in-the-wall. Plus, showing her something that’s personal to you will give her a better sense of your personality,” explains Edwards. Another idea: Ask her what type of food she misses most from her previous city, and go on a hunt together to find the best version of that cuisine. “You could some grab to-go orders of tacos from a few different places and set up a blind taste test in a local park,” suggests Stewart.
If you notice you both "like" Starbucks or “craft brews."
If you both like craft brews, take her somewhere with lots of different beers on tap or a brewery, advises Edwards. “If they do tasting pours, that’s all the better. Exploring together—even when it's just with your pallet—will create an instant conversation so there are no awkward silences.” Both Starbucks devotees? “Take her to a cool coffee shop with a few specialty lattes of their own. It's best to grab your drinks and then go for a walk with them versus sitting in the shop, though. Coffee shop ambiance isn't generally the most romantic and can create a friend zone vibe,” she warns.
If you’re both game nerds.
If you’re both into Pokémon Go or Madden (hey, a guy could get lucky!) a “grown-up” arcade that has some cool craft brews on tap is the perfect setting for a date. “If there isn't one near you, look for a bar that has board games. Creating a little healthy competition will give you lots of opportunities to tease each other, which is a form of flirting,” explains Edwards.
If you have the same taste in music
Whether you both love The Beatles or you have a shared affection for Fetty Wap, similar music tastes can be a great icebreaker. It can also serve as a jump off point for a creative date—just don’t spring on tickets for a big, expensive show while things are still new. “Going to a huge concert venue would be too much too soon, but if you both have music in common, aim for some low-key live music nearby,” says Edwards. “It's ideal if it's an un-ticketed event that way you can pop in and say goodbye when it feels right, rather than committing to spending the whole night together.”
If she’s working out in one of her photos
If she’s all about those #sweatyselfies, show her you share her passion for a fit lifestyle by asking her out on an active date. Just don’t plan anything too vigorous that will leave you both feeling gross and sticky. “My female clients often tell me they feel self-conscious about getting sweaty on a first date, so pick something that’s active but not a workout. For example, take her on a short hike,” suggests Edwards. Stewart agrees and suggests activities like frisbee golf and slackline walking. “If a girl is into sports there’s a good chance she likes a little competition. Incorporating some competition is a great way to flirt, and take pressure off of generating conversation ideas,” she says.
If she posts pictures of her dog
People don’t just like their pets—they’re totally obsessed with them. So taking an interest in her pooch may be the perfect way to spark a bit of puppy love. “If you’re also a pet parent, plan a doggie play date at the local dog park or plan to take your dogs on a walk together, suggests Stewart. Don’t have a pooch? “Suggest a date at a dog shelter where you go walk shelter dogs together. You’ll feel good about yourselves while getting to know each other.”
If her profile says she “likes to have fun”
Not all the chicks you come across on Tinder will have robust profiles, sprinkled with clues into their interests, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a date that will impress her. “I often see people who write something vague like they ‘love to have fun’, ‘try new things’ or ‘go on adventures.’ It’s hard to gauge what any of those things actually mean but it also presents an opportunity to get creative. Throw out all kinds of ideas: a wine and paint class, an escape the room adventure, or maybe a cheese tasting,” suggests Stewart.