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8 Low-Key Ways To Convert Online Matches Into First Dates – By Singaporean Dating Experts

How to get a date from online apps


getting a date on dating apps

Swipe left. Swipe right. Right again. That’s the start of your journey to find love online and you thank the heavens that finally, the person you had your eye on has matched your carefully crafted profile. 

But once the euphoria of a “Match!” fades, panic sets in. You have to make conversation with a near stranger and somehow, convince them to go on a *gulp* date with you. 

We’ve got your back though, and to prove our legit wingman credentials – we roped in dating experts to uncover hacks that’ll help you smoothen choppy dating waters and low-key steer you to that elusive first date. 


1. Get off the dating app and onto WhatsApp or Telegram asap


 tips on getting a date online

This request seems natural, but make no mistake friends, it’s a powerful tool to 1) get the guy or girl’s number 2) move things along faster to score a date.

We are more often on everyday chatting apps such as Telegram or WhatsApp, so the chances of talking becomes exponentially higher. I mean, not everyone has the liberty to scroll through Tinder at work or away from kaypoh friends who see swiping randos as “fun”. 

Not to mention, you instantly score + 10 points by separating yourselves from the pack. For guys messaging the girl in question on the dating app, at least now she is forced to save your number and will get less confused if she’s messaging Jon or John. 

Expert tip: Try to move fast – the whole process from matching to meeting up should be less than 2 weeks. Otherwise, the thrill of talking to a new person fizzles out. 


2. Sell yourself subtly


“You must meet me; I’m very handsome.” I kid you not, someone out there in the wide world of swiping thought it’d be a good idea to hard sell like an insurance agent. But if you don’t have the online charisma to pull that off as a joke, we suggest a more low-key approach: the soft-sell. 

Use this when: Someone asks what you do or why can’t you make it for a date

how to get a date quick on dating apps

You: I work as a fulltime banker, but sometimes do modelling on the side
Translation: I’m probably rolling in cash, and am pretty good looking.

online dating conversations tinder

You: I’d love to hang out but am not free that day. Am helping out with a friend’s wedding as the bridesmaid.
Translation: I have a good social circle, and am probably the helpful sort 

The key here is to subtly weave a favourable narrative about yourself, so that it’ll be incepted into the mind of your convo partner that you’re an utter catch.


3. Keep an eye out for upcoming events that match his or her interests


You don’t ask a girl who’s afraid of getting sunburnt to go cycling at Punggol Waterway at 12pm. You don’t ask someone who’s vegan on a date out to a steak buffet. 

Seems like common sense, but to improve your chances of a first date, you need to make sure your chatting partner is interested in the activities you suggest. One easy hack is to suss out his or her interests in the bio – and keep an eye out for upcoming events that relate to that.

Gear up with this ammo:

tips and tricks to score dates

Then pounce:

how to impress someone

ilight marina bay attractions 2018

May you and your photography-loving date enjoy taking snaps of i Light Marina Bay together.


4. Keep the convo going – don’t ghost or forgive ghosting


definition of ghosting

Image credit: GIPHY

Ghosting is simply bad manners. IRL, you don’t just leave a person hanging when they ask the time and reply a few days later – or never.

However, it’s a whole new story online. Multiple matches means it’s easy to get lost in the pack of guys or girls asking variations of “How is your day?” So, you enlightened one, if you’re interested in snagging that first date, be consistent and creative with your daily questions. 

Expert tip: Some people might not be naturally communicative, so you can use GIFs or memes to spark conversation. We suggest cute animal GIFs to lower defenses.

cute cat gif wingman

This fella here might be your best wing(cat) yet. Image credit: GIPHY

And on the flipside, if you’re ghosted, call it quits. Dating experts say apply the 3 strikes and you’re out rule: No reply once, maybe they’re busy. Twice, their phone died or they’re overseas. Thrice…YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.


5. Match the flow of conversation 


Less is more. Or more is more. Whatever. There isn’t any hard and fast rule when it comes to the flow of conversation – you’d just gotta let it go *cues hand movement like Elsa*.

Instead, take cues from your chat partner and respond to what they talk about with roughly the same amount of text. 

Don’t do one-sided verbal diarrhoea and be like this dude:

what not to do on a date

Yep, ignoring you right now. 

Expert tip: On the other hand, don’t reply with short and general answers like “Ok” “It was nice”. Hello, convo killer. Sharing specific stuff like “I’m so happy I got a promotion today” helps foster conversations since there’s something for the other person to latch onto. 


6. Play the “in the area” card 


singapore mrt map

Image credit: Transitlink

If he lives in Tuas and she lives in Pasir Ris, that’s a LDR by Singapore standards. So on the miraculous chance you learn you’re in the vicinity of each other, it’s time to seize the day and casually throw this one out:

“Hey, you’re in town too? Wanna catch a movie?”

If he or she doesn’t reply you, don’t fret, they might be busy or in the lands of Wakanda.

Expert tip: Don’t fret if he or she says no, they might already have plans. Keep your cool and don’t GrabTaxi down last minute just to oh-so-coincidentally be near Somerset like he/she is. 


7. “I’ll tell you more when we meet up”


Be a man or woman of slight mystery. After you’ve hooked your fellow chatter with intriguing tales of how you once saw aliens in your neighbourhood, tell them you’ll deliver the next episode of I Saw E.T In Sembawang in person. 

tell me more sloth gif

Image credit: GIPHY

This can easily segue into setting a date to meet. And notice the confidence of “when”, not “if”. It’s a sure thing because you. are. a. winner.


8. Just be direct


If all your low-key tactics don’t work, it’s time to put on your big boy or girl pants and step it up. 

Take a deep breath and copy-paste the below text after you’ve filled in the blanks:

“Hey, would you like to do [some fun activity] with me on 2024?” 

Press send and wait. 

hello waiting conversation three dots

The most agonizing three dots ever. Image credit: GIPHY

Best case scenario: You’ve got yourself a date! Woohoo. 
Worst case scenario: No reply or he or she says they can’t make it that day. 

Either way, you’d know where you stand.

Expert tip: Try to talk to more than one person at a time so that you don’t become hyper focused on an individual in the earlier stages and come across as desperate. Remember to be upfront if asked and not mix names up or juggle a whole continent of guys/girls.


May the odds be ever in your favour 


The thrill of chatting online is hard to beat, but there’s nothing like meeting people IRL.

It’s simple math – the more people you meet, the higher the chance of bumping into the girl or guy of your dreams. And nowadays, you can easily attend dating events that cater to a HUGE variety of interests. The sort you’d like to go for anyway, cute guy or girl optional.

Take for instance Spark Connections 2018, which has a whopping 170 activities* for you to choose from. Think non-boring stuff like go-karting in JB, photography and terrarium-making workshops, volunteering sessions, hiking and even a good ol’ round of Lim Peh Says

*From now till 30 April.

The organisers behind these events are all SDNTrust Accredited agencies, aka they are confirm more legit than your self-proclaimed love guru friend. More cred: the above article was backed up with interviews with folks from CompleteMe, Fabrique Love and Love Express Services. You might also recognise names such as Dating Moments, Divine Connect, GaiGai and Lunch Actually

hiking trails in singapore

Yep, conquer two new year resolutions in one: “Find love and work out”.

Bonus: There’s even an epic YOLO Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas for adventurous singles from 6-9 April – think amazing races, dance classes and wine tastings! 
Sign up here*.

*Registration closes on 29 March. T&Cs apply. 

spark connections singapore 2018

Inspirational quote for you to do something NOW if you want some romance. 

Image credit: Spark Connections

Whatever you choose to do, remember that you’re not alone in wanting more love in your life. And you, go-getting friend, will brave the swipes, matches and dates to emerge triumphant – or at least with a whole new bunch of friends and connections.

Just remember to drop us a DM if sparks fly 😉

Bonus for TSL readers: Follow Spark Connections and like, share and comment on this post to stand a chance at winning a $100 Sodexo gift pass – which can be used at merchants such as Mega Adventure, Guardian and Swensens. 3 sets are up for grabs! Winners will be announced on 5 April. 

Check out more events by Spark Connections here! 

This post was brought to you by Spark Connections 2018, an initiative of the Social Development Network.