2 min read

A formula for dating apps

A formula for dating apps
Photo by Good Faces Agency / Unsplash

Like many single people living in NYC, I spent a good portion of my 20s on dating apps. I used to feel like swiping on dating apps was like playing a game of Candy Crush, hours of repetitive swiping and tapping, filled with the occasional bursts of excitement.

Last night, I was reminiscing about my dating days in NYC with friends who are still navigating the scene. They were interested by this formula I used back in the day, once that actually led me to meet my now-fiancé on Bumble. They asked me to write it down, so here is my tried-and-true dating app formula:

The Formula

1. What is your favorite cocktail bar in Manhattan?

This question served multiple purposes. First, it was an easy opener, so I didn't have to come up with something clever for each person. Second, it was a quick way to determine someone's familiarity with Manhattan and preference for cocktails. Third, it was also a convenient method to gather recommendations on trendy bars in the city. My friends and I often used these suggestions when planning our social outings. Occasionally I would also swap out "cocktail bar" with "coffee shop" or "sushi bar" for variety.

2. How long have you lived in the city for?

I asked this question purely as a transition for the next one.

3. What have you been up to during that time?

This question was open-ended, giving the person the freedom to share their experiences and essentially anything they wanted about themselves. We would often chat back and forth a couple times from here.

4. Sounds fun! Here's my number – let's hang out in person!

My goal was always to quickly transition from the apps to a real-life date. Providing my number was a way to encourage that to happen. I wasn't overly concerned about whether they actually texted or not. My priority was to move the conversation to a more meaningful setting, or end it.

Following this initial monotonous phase, I don't have much advice to offer. However, this formula was useful to me for years in getting past the repetitive swiping motions and progressing to actual in-person dates. While I went on my fair share of less-than-ideal dates, I also had a lot of fun getting to know different types of people. If you ever find yourself back on the apps, I hope this formula serves you as well as it did for me, and paves the way for your own future love stories.