Ever feel like men and women speak different languages? Are you frustrated trying to understand the chat-speak used in dating apps? As the CEO of DOWN, the #1 app for hookups and dates, I’ve talked to thousands of dating app users, tested hundreds of dating apps, and had more conversations in dating apps than a gentleman should admit.
Meeting someone worth your time for a romantic date or a casual hookup can be challenging enough — they need to pass your basic attractiveness qualifications — but when we add in the complicated dance most people play over texting, it can be downright awful. Social norms, preconceived notions of gender roles, and scars from past experiences all help to build an intricate maze we need to carefully navigate before both people are comfortable and excited to meet offline. This “messaging maze” is usually chock-full of dead-ends, booby-traps, and misleading signs. Though most mazes share common paths and obstacles, which I’ll help you navigate below, no two messaging mazes are exactly the same.
Some messaging mazes are long, winding, and you’ll inevitably make many wrong-turns, so you won’t be able to escape the maze (e.g. meet in person). Others are shorter, less-complicated mazes, fitting for the laid-back and straight-forward person you’re chatting up. No matter what type of messaging maze belongs to the cute recipient on the other end of your match, I hope this guide steers you through to success!
When he says… “Hi”, “Hey”, “Hello” as his 1st message
He really means… You’re hot enough for me to message, but I’m too boring to come up with a more creative way to start talking. Feel free to ignore me!
When he says… “hey bb”, “hey sexy”, “wyd?”, “hru” and other text-speak
He really means… I’ve got no chance with you, so I might as well send you the signal up front!
When he says… “How are you?”
He really means… If I don’t make small-talk with you, chances are you’ll be offended by my lack of adherence to social norms. Yawn.
When he says… “What’s up?”, “Sup?”, “Whatcha doin?”
He really means… I haven’t spent any time seeing how you are different from other girls, so I’m sending a lamely vague message in the hopes that you’re 1 in 100 girls who will be bored enough to humor me.
When he says… “What are you looking for?”, “Why are you on [this app]?”
He really means… *Fingers crossed* Please say you’re looking for a hookup!
When he says… “I’m just here to make friends”
He really means… Friends are good to have, but friends with benefits are better!
When he says… “I’m looking for fun”
He really means… I want to keep it casual — no strings attached.
When he says… “I’m just going with the flow”, “i don’t know”
He really means… I want to keep it casual, but that could lead to more.
When he says… “I’m not here for hookups”
He really means… Hookups are fine by me, but I’m open to more. Please don’t associate me with the horny guys pestering you.
When he says… “Yes”, “No”, “Haha”, “lol”, and other one-word answers
He really means… Whatever you said has successfully killed the conversation!
When he says… “What are you doing this week / weekend?”
He really means… I’m testing the waters to see if you want to meet me.
When he says… “You have a sexy _____ (smile, look, body, ass, cleavage, etc.)”
He really means… I definitely noticed that perfectly-angled cleavage shot. I’m hoping you’ll respond positively to my compliment and signal that you’re open to talking somewhat sexually.
When he says… *Crickets* (disappears after a promising chat or compliment)
He really means… Things got complicated with someone else or you were out of sight / out of mind for some reason (travel, work deadlines).
When she says… “Hi”, “Hey”, “Hello” as her 1st message
She really means… I get dozens of messages every time I open this app — you’re going to have to say something to spark my interest or I’ll stop responding.
When she says… “How are you?”
She really means… I’m not used to having to start the conversation, so I hope you reply with something out of the ordinary.
When she says… “not much”, “nm”
She really means… Lame questions get lame answers. Yawn.
When she says… “What are you looking for?”, “What are you using [this app]?”
She really means… Are you just looking for an ONS (One-Night Stand), like most of the guys who message me?
When she says… “I’m just here to make friends”
She really means… I’m single for the right guy…
When she says… “I’m just here for fun and to make friends”
She really means… Play your cards right and I’m down for something casual. Play them wrong and you’ll get is another fizzling match.
When she says… “I’m just going with the flow”, “i don’t know”
She really means… I’m open to hookups but can’t say it more directly or I’ll be shamed by others.
When she says… “I’m not here for hookups”
She really means… with just anyone. You’ve gotta work harder than the standard horny guys messaging me.
When she says… “I’m not on here much”
She really means… I’ve been distracted with dating someone else and/or working my ass off.
When she says… “Yes”, “No”, “Haha”, “lol”, and other one-word answers
She really means… I’m bad at conversations and probably not that interested in you. Either that or I’m just a basic bitch.
When she says… “What’s your job?”
She really means… ♫ I don’t want no scrubs ♫
I want someone who is ambitious and successful. If I’m at the extreme end of this, I’m a gold digger and might as well as How much money do you make?”
When she says… *Crickets* (disappears after a promising chat)
She really means… Possibilities:
1. I got burnt out on chatting with so many people here who didn’t seem to fit what I wanted.
2. Things got complicated with someone else.
3. I was too busy with work deadlines or travel to prioritize this.
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