Q: When you meet someone on a dating app, who makes the plans? The person who invites or the person who accepts? What are the rules for navigating online dating apps?
Online or offline, the rules of engagement remain essentially the same. The person who initiates contact on the dating app should also propose plans for the date and follow through with arrangements. It’s not about power dynamics; it’s a way of simplifying the matter of bringing two people together in a busy world.
It’s also common courtesy. If you met someone at a friend’s barbecue and asked him or her out, you would never expect the other person to make the arrangements.
At the same time, the person proposing the date does need to stay flexible. A proposal is a negotiable pitch. Busy lives, along with personal likes and dislikes, mean that some or even all factors must be worked out between the two of you. Proposing actual times and venues simplifies things for your date and offers a springboard for options.
— Lee Wallender and Sharon Kroll, founders of the dating and relationship advice site The Dating Gurus
We want people to make the first move without saying, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” just to please the person. Be a person who can make a plan by saying, “What are you allergic to? What do you like eating? I’ll try to come up with a few places.”
Offer to pay because it means you respect the date enough and you aren’t expecting the other person to always take care of it. I think the more we learn to be flexible and learn from experiences, without only choosing things based on what didn’t go well in the past, we can move forward in dating. Both people can offer suggestions to show effort and involvement in a relationship. Women and men should try to understand their partner’s thought processes.
— Bela Gandhi, president of Smart Dating Academy