Treat the experience as a learning opportunity

Behavioural scientist-turned-dating consultant Logan Ury recommends cultivating a “growth mindset” when it comes to dating apps. Instead of viewing the process purely as a way to get results, try and see it as a way to learn more about yourself and what you’re looking for. As well as reducing the emotional sting of inevitable rejections, approaching the experience as an opportunity to grow will allow you to remain open minded when it comes to making connections.

Be patient

According to dating expert Amie Leadingham, apps like Tinder and Hinge can be frustrating because – despite showing the abundance of options out there – they can be slow to bring results. But just like in the real world, finding love online can’t be rushed. Leadingham advises tempering expectations when using dating apps and reminding oneself that it’s important to take things slowly.

Know what you’re looking for

Leadingham also recommends having a clearly defined idea of what you’re looking for in a partner. This includes what values you’d like them to have, their financial aspirations, their personality traits, and, of course, what they look like. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still be open-minded, but it will save you a lot of time and energy when sifting through the seemingly endless sea of options.

Be selective about your app of choice

There are hundreds of popular dating apps, and they all attract different crowds with different intentions. Some apps primarily facilitate hookups, whilst others cater to people seeking to develop long term romantic relationships. Dr. Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, a professor of sexual communication, recommends taking your time learning about each app so that you can choose the best one for you.

Make sure your main photo is focussed on you

Louise Troen, former VP of marketing at Bumble, recommends keeping your lead photo free of other people. The chances of a potential match putting in the effort to work out who you are in a group picture is low, and they’re more likely to just move on. Instead, go for a solo shot that showcases your personality, and steer clear of selfies.

Develop a thick skin

Unfortunately, there’s no way around the fact that using dating apps can be rough. When the matches just aren’t coming your way it’s easy to feel dejected, which is why dating consultant Eddie Hernandez recommends developing a thick skin. It can help to remind yourself of the superficial nature of online dating, and the fact that lots of people are in the same situation as you.

Know when to take a break

Whilst learning to brush off disappointment is important, sometimes the best course of action is to just put down the app for a few days. Taking a break allows you to keep perspective and prioritise your mental health, and Hernandez advises paying close attention to your emotional state whilst you’re using dating apps. If you notice a dip in your mood, try disengaging from any kind of online dating and replace it with healthy activities for a while.

Don’t move to other messaging apps too soon

Once you’ve struck up a conversation with a match on a dating app, it can be tempting to move to another messaging service like WhatsApp. This can make the connection feel more legitimate, but the Online Dating Association advises keeping the convo on the app you met on for as long as possible. This is because these apps have specialised processes for rooting out harmful behaviours, including romance fraud, which has been on the rise in recent years.

Don’t just mindlessly use dating apps

Dating columnist Annie Lord advises against using dating apps just because you’re bored, cautioning that they can quickly become addictive. Instead, only use them with the genuine intention to forge new connections with people that might lead to romantic relationships. It’s also a good idea to set restrictions on the amount of time you allow yourself to use the dating app every day, and schedule days when you won’t use them at all.

Be clear about who you are

Self-help author Mark Manson recommends displaying your true personality on dating apps, quirks and all. Whilst this approach will reduce the overall number of people you’re likely to connect with, those you do match with are more likely to appreciate you for who you are. Start by making a list of your values and character traits, and then craft your profile accordingly.