It’s 6:45 p.m. on Thursday and your friends are at a rooftop bar eating tacos. You, however, are not there. You are walking around aimlessly, killing time before your 7 o’clock first date.
You’d love to cancel and make a beeline for the guac, queso, and the comfort of people who are not total strangers, but you’re also committed to putting yourself out there.
It’s hard not to sometimes feel like your dating life gets in the way of the rest of your life. But it’s possible to have the best of both worlds, at least sometimes. If this sparks your interest, grab your best friend and get ready to enter the world of Tinder double dating.
Step 1: Choose your double date buddy (and choose wisely).
This is not the time for feelings, it’s the time for strategy. Pick a double-date partner who’s a proven A+ wingperson in real life and who you can communicate very, very openly with.
I chose my friend Liza, because she could hold a conversation with a brick wall. And she’s down for anything — apparently even to have her personal dating business plastered on the internet. (Thanks, Liza.)
Liza is also, like me, a bit tired of the monotony of solo dating. “It just gets old after a while — the whole cycle of it,” she says. “Plus, when you have a demanding job, it can feel like dating crowds out your time with friends.”
An added bonus is that we tend to have very different taste in men, despite both being heterosexual women. As it turned out, this was one of the keys to our success.
Step 2: Set up your profile.
This is best done together at home over G&Ts. Keep in mind that it’s against Tinder’s guidelines to share an account, but you can each set up a kickass double-date profile on your own accounts and then combine forces.
Liza and I each picked three photos of the two of us together and one solo shot. On our bios, we wrote, “Hii boys! We’re Gretchen and Liza. We’re besties and we want you to grab YOUR bestie and take US on a double date. We like long walks in the park, breweries, and mini golf.”
Pro tip: Make sure you identify who’s who in your profile. We didn’t at first and were immediately inundated with messages pointing out the major flaw in our system. We quickly and sheepishly edited our profiles to read, “Gretchen (yellow shirt) and Liza (blue flowers)” to remedy to the situation.
Step 3: Decide who is going out with whom.
If you and your BFF have different sexual preferences, feel free to skip this step. If you have some overlap, it can get tricky. This is why you need a double-date partner who’s a good communicator (refer to step one above).
Liza and I decided that whoever matched with the person got to choose who went out with whom. This created an incentive to be the one Liking, Noping, and setting up dates. You don’t have to decide beforehand — you could leave it up to the double-date powers that be — but it will reduce your chances of a — *cringe* — love triangle developing.
Step 4: Be specific.
Say a little prayer, because you’re now coordinating four schedules instead of two. To make this easier, get specific right in your bios about what day and time you want to meet up. Eventually, our profiles read, “We’re free Wednesday evening” with a winky face emoji for good measure.
You can also be upfront about where you would like to go and what you would like to do. Do you and your BFF make great doubles partners? Offer that option. Four’s a crowd, so consider picking something rowdier than you would for a one-on-one first date. Biergartens, escape rooms, and concerts are all good options.
Step 5: Be prepared for a LOT of messages.
The amount of messages we received in the first hour — from old and new matches alike — was downright shocking. “Turns out it was an awesome icebreaker, and it kept the conversation light right off the bat,” says Liza.
This was a good lesson for us as well. We had both been stuck in an online dating rut. (You know, where you go cross eyed and everyone starts to look the same?) But there are so many different types of connections you can make on Tinder. And with the popularity of new features like Festival Mode, we shouldn’t have been so surprised that people were down to mix things up.
As women, we had prepared ourselves for plenty of threesome propositions. But there were surprisingly only a few. Instead, we got enthusiastic messages like “Hey it’s Turner and Robby. What’s up babes?” and “Well this is certainly a unique situation. I like it!” and “Bill and I are in. I’ll take Gretchen since I’m 2 inches taller.” Someone did ask us if this was all an elaborate scheme to rob two people instead of one, but we figured that was more of a him issue than an us issue.
Step 6: Go on that first double date.
It’s finally time for your double date. The good news is that you have your best friend there for pre- and post-date emotional support. I was pleasantly surprised to find that having Liza with me almost completely eliminated any first-date nerves. The bad news is that with a four-person dynamic, your date could go any one of a million ways.
According to Gabi Conti, dating expert and author of the upcoming book, “20 Guys You Date In Your 20s,” this is the time to go with the flow and remember that it’s not all about you. If you’re not into your date but your friend is, try to subtly let them know you’re not interested. Or, you can just be honest. Say something like, “Hey, so our friends seem to be hitting it off, but to be completely transparent, I’m not feeling much of a connection here,” says Conti. Then, just keep chatting as friends and wait it out for an hour or so. (You’re a good friend, not a saint.)
If neither duo is feeling it, there’s no harm done. And that right there is the best thing about a double date. “If the date is a total wash, then it turns into a funny story the two of us can relive for a good laugh,” says Rebecca, 23, a friend who is keen to try the double-date Tinder profile after hearing about this story. You’re already out, dressed, and with your best friend, so go hit up that rooftop bar and get yourselves some tacos. You’ve earned it.