It’s easy to brush off a Tinder conversation that dies down as a case of “they’re just not that into you.” But the truth is, it happens. It’s natural for communication to dwindle when two people don’t really know or have any investment in each other yet. But if you see potential with someone, it is possible to resurrect a fading chat, says relationship expert and mental health consultant Adina Mahalli, MSW.
“If you like the other person’s profile and you can tell they are putting in the effort to connect (even if it’s with small talk), this is a good indicator that the conversation is worth pursuing,” says Benjamin Daly, dating coach and author of “Appily Ever After: A Woman’s Guide To Online Dating.” “Often, it’s just the topic that’s run dry. Find a way to redirect the conversation to a topic where conversation flows. That way, you can build rapport.”
1. Send a funny life update.
A complete non-sequitur just might warrant a response. Change the subject by sharing something interesting that recently happened to you. Daly suggests “You’ll never guess what just happened…” or “By the way, I’ve got to tell you this…”
Tristen, 22, picked a conversation back up by writing, “I just woke up from the most amazing nap.” The other person responded with envy (sleep is important!), and it actually led to a date. (This was before the COVID-19 outbreak, of course; right now, virtual dates are your safest bet.)
2. Ask their advice.
Soliciting someone’s advice shows that you value their opinion, and it can also give them a glimpse into what’s going on in your life. Just make sure you’re being respectful and not demanding too much work from them. Asking a techie which MacBook model they recommend is reasonable; asking them how to fix your computer problems is not.
3. Share something that reminded you of them.
“Say something like, ‘Guess what, I saw a [thing they like] today. I knew you would have appreciated it,’” says Daly. “This personal touch is a subtle indication that you’re interested.”
Let’s say you previously talked to someone about your mutual love of cats. You could start with, “I was just walking past a pet store with the cutest kittens in the window and thought of you. What are you up to?” Or if there’s a band you both like, you could mention that you just heard a new song of theirs, and it made you think of your match.
4. Take advantage of a special occasion.
Arianna, 30, used the new year as an excuse to reach back out to someone she hadn’t spoken to since December. Sure, her “Happy New Year” message came a bit late — January 27th to be exact — but that only added to the humor of it, and the conversation resumed.
5. Comment on a new photo or video.
Tinder lets you see when a match has updated their photos or bio, creating the perfect opportunity to respond to something they’ve shared, says Steve Dean, online dating consultant at Dateworking.
If your match has their Instagram connected to their profile, you might also nod to something they recently posted there, says Dean. Obviously, don’t reach out about every story or photo they post — pick one you have something substantive to say about, then give them a chance to respond.
Is it time to move on?
While it can be worth it to try to revive a conversation, you don’t want to invest too much energy in someone who’s not responsive. Mahalli suggests cutting your losses if you’ve sent two messages and haven’t received a reply.
Even if someone’s responding, you don’t have to continue engaging if they’re giving you short answers, not asking questions back, or taking forever to get back to you. “Move on and find someone who is motivated to talk,” Daly says.
Mahalli just about sums it up: “If it’s causing you more anxiety than excitement, that’s more than your time is worth. Move on to someone fun!”