How To Find The Love Of Your Life On A Dating App

Yes, it's possible!

How To Find The Love Of Your Life On A Dating App getty

Finding a serious relationship on a dating app — It seems impossible, right?

With all of the “here for hook-ups” and the polyamorous/open/ethically non-monogamous and just plain married guys and gals or the couples seeking their unicorns, how could you ever hope to find someone actually looking for something real just like you?

It’s not impossible. It happens for a lot of couples, including, much to my surprise, myself, on Tinder of all apps. The thing about Tinder and all dating apps is everyone single is on it, so where else are you going to find true love?


RELATED: The Unfiltered Truth About 13 Top Online Dating Sites

I filed for divorce from my husband after nine long months of chaos and attempts at reconciliation in early 2018. One of the first things I did was download Tinder. I’d started dating my ex-husband ten years ago. Dating apps were not a thing then, and I was fascinated.


I also had no idea where I might even meet available men. My ex-husband and I shared a friend group, so I couldn’t date those guys (even though I will say I tried. Bro code is fierce.). I also have two children 50% of the time, work a full-time job, and I don’t drink.

All of those things immediately eliminated how often I could go out and where I might even go.

Was I ready to begin dating when I first downloaded Tinder? Had I sorted out my issues with the end of my marriage and appropriately grieved the end of that relationship? Uhhhhh, definitely not.

I did, though, start a profile and go on a couple of dates with guys. I very quickly realized I wasn’t ready yet and took a break.


When I came back to the app, I had worked through some things. I still had more to work through, but I was ready to try to more actively date.

And I did. I went on dates with hot guys and intelligent guys and nerdy guys and guys who looked good probably like five years ago (and in their profile pictures), but now had badly receding hairlines and thought it was totally cool to show up to a date wearing slippers in the shape of paws (real story).

And after going through some frogs, I met Brian, my serious honey, on Tinder.

RELATED: 7 Dating Sites For Married People (Seriously)

Here’s what you can do to find your own Brian or Briana (and believe me, you want your own Brian or Briana):


1. Be clear about what you’re looking for in your profile. 

Not here for hook-ups, looking for dates, or looking for dates that could lead to something more are clear and to the point. All folks looking to send you on a walk of shame should swipe left (though to be fair, they may not even read your profile anyway, but you’ve done your part).

Do not say you’re looking for a significant other/boyfriend or girlfriend/husband or wife. That’s bound to freak out anyone.

2. Include realistic photos. 

Do yourself and your dates a favor and be honest. Include recent photos (taken within the last month). Even if you’ve been on the app a while, update your photos every month or so.

Don’t include photos where you use filters or are taken of you from super high angles. Include your hot face. Include your whole hot bod. Make sure your swipers know it’s your profile by not including a ton of group pictures.


You are not setting yourself up for success by not representing yourself as you are (see my use of the double negative there?). Your date should be able to legit tell it’s you when he or she meets you and you never want your date to be surprised in a bad way.

And if you’re carrying some extra weight, who cares? I promise there’s a Brian or Briana who wants that shake.

3. Be clear about what you’re looking for once you start talking to them.

The biggest surprise for me being on Tinder is how few guys would actually get to scheduling plans. This is a dating app. Ask me on a date! I wanted to scream at some of them as we were on day five of casual chatting with no plans in sight. 


This is 2019, lady. Why don’t you make the plans? you might be thinking. Everyone is different, which is why it’s important to be clear about what you’re looking for. I was looking for guys to ask me out. Yes, it’s 2019, but I’d had plenty of experiences in my early Tinder days of trying to set up plans with dudes who inevitably weren’t all that interested, so I wanted the guy to show interest upfront.

Plus, remember that guy or gal may not have read your profile, and you may need to make sure things are crystal. (When one guy wasn’t seeming to take the hint, I told him, “Hey, if you aren’t willing to wait to date four or five to have sex, then we’re not on the same page.” He quickly unmatched from me.)

RELATED: What Happened When I Tried Dating The Old School Way — With No Dating Apps

4. Set up a date at a place where you can get to know each other. 

Go bowling. Go ax throwing. Get drinks. Have dinner. Rock climb. The important thing is to go somewhere public (safety first) and where you can actually hear each other.


5. Don’t take it too seriously.

Yes, you realize that you’re actively on a dating app looking for love, but hey, use it as an opportunity to meet people of the opposite sex and feel things out. Don’t get so attached after one date that you’re heartbroken after he or she ghosts you. Do use it as an opportunity to figure out what you’re really looking for.

6. Be aware of the energy you’re putting in and make sure it’s matched. 

A good rule of thumb I used after some trials was: if I texted, I’d wait until he texted me back. If I was the last one to set up a date, I’d wait for him to set up the next one. It kept me very aware if I was being curved and made sure I wasn’t building up resentments by always being the one putting more energy in than the other person.

It’s hard out there in the dating world, but good luck! If anything, dating apps teach you that love might just be a swipe away.

RELATED: How To Start Online Dating, If You’ve Never Done It Before


Tara Mae Mulroy is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Swallow (Kelsay Books, 2018), and the chapbook, Philomela (dancing girl press, 2014). Her poems, stories, and essays have been published in Third Coast, CutBank, Juked, Waccamaw, The Journal, and others on her website.