By Jamie Kravitz
On Bumble you can connect with daters who you might not otherwise come across, which means that there’s ample opportunity to meet new and different people. When you first match with someone and start exchanging messages, you may quickly find that you have interests in common—and perhaps a mutual attraction. But it’s not always immediately clear whether you like someone you’ve matched with enough to keep the conversation going or to ask them out.
If you’re chatting with someone who you haven’t met IRL and you don’t know very well, you might be on the fence about pursuing the match. So, how can you tell if you like someone enough to make your next move? Here’s what experts say.
Consider your own dating intentions
Before knowing if you want to continue a connection with a Bumble match, it’s helpful to know what you’re seeking. Are you looking for a relationship or are you looking for something casual? Or do you just want to get out there and meet new people? “Once you’re clear on your dating intention, you’ll have more clarity on who’s going to align with that intention,” says love coach Nicole Haley. This way, if you’re not sure what your feelings are towards someone, you can reflect on whether they’re after the same things. If they’re not, you may want to move on to someone else.
Ask them open-ended questions
When you’re trying to decide if you like a match or not, sometimes it’s helpful to keep the conversation going to get to know them a bit better. Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes, psychologist and author of “Toxic Insecurity: The Path of Relational Spirituality and Our Search for Authentic Love”, says her favorite prompt is to ask, ‘Tell me a favorite story.’ “It doesn’t direct the other person, and the way that they answer may show you if they’re kind, if they’re insensitive, or if there are some red flags.” Or you can try other open-ended questions like, “What makes you smile?” “What do you enjoy about your work week?” or “What do you like to do on the weekend?”
It’s also worth taking another look at their profile to get a better idea of your match’s personality and values. Revisiting their bio, photos, and responses to prompts can help you see if you have a shared hobby, if you relate to them in some way, or if they make you laugh—all promising signs that you like them. Overall, “if their profile piques your interest and they seem like someone you could have a good time with, then it might be worth taking the plunge,” says dating coach Amie Leadingham.
Trust your gut
You might be unsure about how to move forward with someone because you’re drawn to them even though they aren’t your usual type, or maybe they seem like a person you’d usually go for but you’re not into them for some reason. When it comes to the former, Haley encourages being curious and allowing yourself to get to know them more instead of assuming you already know who they are. “We read online profiles through a lens of who we think people are, but sometimes it can be skewed by our own past experiences,” she says. Trust that your gut is leading you in the right direction.
The same goes for when you’ve matched with the person who appears to check all the boxes. If you aren’t vibing with them, follow that feeling. “It’s important to listen to your gut and trust your instincts,” says Leadingham. “If something feels off, it probably is.”
Listen to your body
When exchanging messages or looking over their profile, pay attention to how your body feels. “If you feel calm and warm, that’s a positive sign,” says Dr. Rhodes. She also suggests another way that you can use your body to reveal your feelings: Sit in a chair with your feet grounded to the floor, close your eyes, and ask yourself: ‘Do I want to go on a date with this person, yes or no?’ Then, “Just trust the very first thing that comes to mind,” she says. Asking yourself the questions this way helps you use your intuition to get an answer rather than your head. “Usually, those feeling-based emotions are a better indicator of whether or not we should invest time in a person,” Dr. Rhodes explains.
Get on the phone
If you’re still not sure if you like the person, and especially if your time is limited, you can suggest hopping on a phone call. It doesn’t need to be long, even 10 minutes works. “You’re just getting a sense of who they are and if there’s enough of a spark that you want to meet in person,” says Haley.
Think of it as a low-commitment way to confirm your gut feelings about the match. Express that you’ve enjoyed talking to them so far and you’re interested in a quick chat on the phone. If they agree, and if after a few minutes of conversation you still want to know more, then it’s a sign that you may want to continue the conversation during an in-person date.
Whether or not you decide that you like your match and want to move forward with them, thinking critically about what you’re attracted to and what kind of person you want to date will ultimately help you find the meaningful connection you want.