How to set up a date on Tinder

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Practical Psychology

Since Tinder was born in 2012, over 50 million people have joined the dating app.

Swiping on potential matches in the area became the easiest way to set up dates and possibly make a love connection. Whether you are looking for Mrs. Right or Mrs. Right Now, Tinder can be fun or intimidating.

You’ve matched a dozen of what? There are a few steps between matching with someone on Tinder and setting up a first date. By making your matches comfortable, and showing them some personality, you’ll be seated across from them at the bar in no time.

When should you set up a date on Tinder? 

The world moves fast, and so do dating apps. If you wait too long to set up a date on Tinder, you might find yourself with a "pen pal," not a first date. After a handful of messages, if the time seems right, feel free to set up a date. 

Here's what Reddit users had to say on the subject. (Not everyone feels the same way, so be sure to do what's right for you.) 

  • u/katdanmorgan said, "I have often gotten stuck in the pen pal loop (you write for a few weeks or sometimes, a month) and I will say that you build expectations up fast. I would say if you’ve been talking for a week, I’d suggest either having an in-person date set up or at the very least, a plan for a FaceTime date."
  • u/MsCrys00 said, "I like meeting up after 1-2 days of texting... Got to find out if the chemistry is there. These days a video date works."
  • u/DeenaDeals responded, saying, "Not me. That's way too soon. As a woman, I get a lot of messages and I'm chatting with multiple people. Idk, my time is very valuable. It's eye opening to see everyone's different choices on this."
  • u/FinallyLooking said, "Woman here. I've been on a couple dates where they asked me out in the first 20 minutes of texting. It always catches me by surprise, but I usually say yes. My preference is 2 to 3 days of chatting. Basically have one good conversation, then circle around a day or two later and have another good conversation. That's the perfect time to ask for a date in my opinion. I have no problem with guys waiting a whole week, but I haven't seen much difference between results. Meaning I don't really know them better after 7 days than I did after 2. And guys that wait a week will often wait two or more... And it'll never happen. Final thought, you haven't screwed up. Go back to all of those conversations and start asking them out. Even if you chatted for a while and haven't talked to them in a week, circle back and say something like this, "It's been a busy week! But I'd love to see if you want to grab coffee. Maybe Thursday after work?""

How to set up a date on Tinder

Read your match’s profile

Everyone is on Tinder for different reasons. Some matches will be looking for a fun date, and others will be looking for something more. This information, along with general information about your match, may be found in their profile.

Before you craft your pickup line, read through your match’s profile and learn about them. Where did they go to school? Do they prefer beer over wine? Have they traveled anywhere interesting? In most cases, girls with great personalities will give you enough information in their bio to help you come up with a decent pickup line. 

Even the smallest fact about your match can help you craft a creative and thoughtful pickup line. Reading through your match’s profile will also help you avoid touchy subjects (matches might mention if they don’t drink alcohol or are just traveling through for the weekend.)

tinder profile

Strike up a conversation with a question or response to their profile

The average person is on Tinder for up to 90 minutes a day. I think that's down quite a bit since other competitive dating apps have came out. However, That's still a lot of time to match and start a conversation with someone. A quick “hello” or “how are you?” is often buried under more witty or interesting pick-up lines. (A greeting in GIF form, however, may catch someone’s eye and make them laugh!)

Let your first message reflect your personality. Cheesy one-liners are great for guys who pride themselves on being a bit corny and don’t take themselves too seriously. Observations about their profile and bio show that you took the time to get to know the person you are matching with. If your match has a question on their profile, giving an answer is a good idea, but know that all of their Tinder matches may be doing the same thing.

Your first Tinder message doesn’t have to make your match fall in love with you right off the bat, so don’t sweat it!

In fact, the first message is simply the door to opening a conversation.

Stay away from taboo topics

Tinder messages are the new first dates; and the rule about taboo topics apply online. Keep conversation lighthearted and focused on your match’s interests.

Religion, politics, and your ex should stay out of your messages.

No Tinder match wants to think they are a rebound or that they are going to get into a heated debate over drinks. In small cases, you might agree on certain topics. However, on most Tinder dates, if you find a small disagreement among politics or spiritual beliefs, it's hard to change the topic. 

This applies especially to sex. Tinder is often labeled as an app for people looking to have sex rather than a meaningful relationship. Even if you are simply looking for a casual fling, do not bring sex into the conversation. Unless your match strikes up a sexy conversation, leave bedroom talk for after the first date (that is, if it goes well.)

Women tend to expect, but not necessarily get excited over, sexual advances, sexts, and unsolicited images through Tinder. Aggressively flirting or sending a “dick pic” will more often not end the conversation or get you blocked from Tinder. 

Set up the date

Once you have established a rapport with your Tinder match, it’s time to suggest a date.

Note: rapport means having a few simple back-and-forth conversations that show you're vulnerable and a normal human being. 

Tinder’s icon is a flame, and without the spark of an in-person meeting, the flame will fizzle out. Be proactive during your conversation and establish a date. A recent GQ article suggests sending a dozen thoughtful messages before asking someone on a date, and not delaying past those messages. In fact, the #1 mistake most guys make when trying to score a Tinder date, is they keep the conversations going on and on before finally asking for a meet up. 

If you want to set up a date that your match will enjoy, base your date idea on your conversation. Let the conversation flow; an abrupt move may signal to your date that you are not interested in the conversation.

If you are thinking too hard about how to set up a date on your Tinder conversation, you might want to wait for a few messages to go by before you make a move. But don't let Tinder conversations fizzle out! The possibilities are endless, but the following date ideas are more likely to result in a positive response.

setting up a date on Tinder

Close the Deal with Date Suggestions

If your match is new in town: Someone who is traveling or new to the area probably won’t know about the best bars or restaurants in the area. Offer to show your match your favorite bar that has great drink specials or a unique theme.

If you have a similar taste in music: Going to a gig this week? Invite your Tinder match! Seeing a band play at a bar will give you both something to talk about. A gig or similar event at the bar keeps the drinks flowing and the conversation going without the awkwardness of staring at each other from across the table.

If your match wants to meet your dog: If you have a dog in your profile pictures, you probably get asked about them a lot. Set up a date that involves man’s best friend. Offer to go on a picnic at the local dog park, or grab a coffee at a dog-friendly cafe.

And one more thing: if you want to go on a proper date, don’t ask your match over to your home, even if it’s for a home-cooked meal. You can ask your match to “Netflix and chill” once you have met up before and they feel comfortable around you.

After you have set up a date on Tinder

Having a great conversation? Great! You do not have to stop chatting after the date has been established. Your match will appreciate if you are genuinely interested and engaged in your conversation. Continuing to chat shows your match that you are on Tinder for more than just a night of fun.

Once you have set up a date on Tinder, offer your Facebook name or profile. Moving your conversation off of the app will help set you apart from other matches. You can move up the Ladder of Intimacy: 

Intimacy ladder

Talk to friends about how to set up a date on Tinder

Having trouble? Worried that you don’t know how to set up a date on Tinder with a match that you really like? Setting up a date immediately on Tinder may work for some guys; others may need to have a longer conversation and charm their matches before meeting them in person. If you want to see a second or third date, you should be yourself and do what works best for you.

One of the best ways to ​improve your Tinder profile to get more swipes is simply to hand it over to a friend. When you give the ability of someone else to edit your bio and change your pictures, you must trust them; but they see the best parts of you and can show them off the best. 

Whether you are in the middle of a tricky conversation, or want some overall help on how to set up a date on Tinder, talk to friends about how you approach your matches. If you are trying to ask out women, talk to female friends. A like-minded peer will be able to read your individual messages and give you advice on how to set up a date on Tinder with a specific match.

Learning how to ask for a date on Tinder all comes down to your confidence. 

Now that you’ve learned how to set up a date on Tinder, what is taking you so long? Start swiping!

Reference this article:

Practical Psychology. (2018, July). How to set up a date on Tinder. Retrieved from

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