Healthy Queer Dating Guide
How Do I Start A Conversation When I Feel Nervous Talking To New People Online?

Starting a conversation with a new match is one of the most exciting parts of the early stages of dating, but can also be nerve-wracking. It’s natural to want to build up courage and confidence to open up to someone new. When there are a million ways to make the first move on Bumble—how can you choose the right opening line? Consider starting by keeping it light and fun. You can choose to share a GIF or play Bumble’s Question Game feature that allows you to shuffle through pre-written questions you can send to your match. You can also discuss shared interests highlighted on your connection’s Bumble profile to break the ice. Bumble’s new Compliments feature is a simple, kind way to start a conversation by sharing what you like about someone’s profile. If you’re still seeking a nudge to kick things off, check out our round-up of 21 questions to ask a potential date!

How Do I Start A Conversation When I Feel Nervous Talking To New People Online?

How Do I Create A Positive First Impression On The App, Especially When I Don’t Feel Confident?

First impressions go a long way. After a few texts, you’ll want to know more about each other’s interests and values. An easy, effective way to do this is to use Interest Badges. Let potential matches know you’re proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community and prioritise equality by adding Bumble’s LGBTQ+ Rights and Trans Rights Badges to your profile. Discussing your beliefs and passions is a great way to keep a conversation going. Remember, it’s absolutely ok to be vulnerable and share how you’re feeling at the start of your chats; it’ll let your match know they can open up as well.

To foster a kind, respectful conversation from the start, be mindful of your connection’s headspace and let them express themselves and have a chance to talk. Consider holding off any discussions of bad previous dates or relationships gone sour until you’ve had time to get to know each other.

Sudheer (He/Him) shares, “I feel nervous and uncomfortable initiating conversations, so even though I'm not a fan of small talk, I use that until I find a common interest to talk about. I also have a few icebreaker questions to understand someone’s interests. For example, the most preferred question I use is to ask someone what their three genie wishes are! It's almost always a good conversation starter!”

How Can I Set Clear Dating Expectations And Boundaries When Connecting With People Online?

How Can I Set Clear Dating Expectations And Boundaries When Connecting With People Online?

Even though transparency in dating might feel foundational, it can be difficult to put into practice. It’s helpful to be clear about what you’re looking for to find someone like-minded who’s on the same page as you. As daunting as it might sound, it’s important to tell the other person what you want or expect from them. Since dating expectations usually aren't always clear, drawing the line yourself will also help establish trust. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, be clear about that as well. While setting the tone at the beginning, make sure to respect your connection’s boundaries and privacy.

Aliya (She/Her), who found a meaningful connection on Bumble, shares, “You have to show up as your full, complete self while setting boundaries. Be honest about them because you are setting them. If you don’t set your boundaries, you are going to screw it up eventually! There are no steps or a handbook. You have to practise kindness and honesty towards yourself and them.”

Show Interest And Make Them Feel Comfortable

Being liked is a great feeling—and showing interest indicates that you’re genuinely looking to forge a connection. Try to pay attention to your date’s cues about their comfort levels, and ask if you feel uncertain. When it comes to conversations, sticking to open-ended topics (versus getting very personal and intimate straight away) can help in getting to know each other better. Remember, a date doesn’t have to be an expensive dinner. A low-key walk together or a cup of coffee can be just as memorable!

If I Am Prioritising My Emotional Needs Over Physical Right Now, How Do I Communicate And Navigate Such Situations With A Date?

If I’m Prioritising My Emotional Or Physical Needs Right Now, How Do I Communicate And Navigate That With A Date?

Reflecting and communicating to your online match that you’re prioritising your emotional needs over physical needs is important—and vice versa. Talking it through may encourage your date to share how they’re feeling, which will help set boundaries and will allow for a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and desires.

Aliya (She/Her) shares, “Communication—SHAMELESS communication—is so important! If it’s about physical needs for you at a particular time, there’s nothing wrong. But again, the other person may have different priorities, so you just have to bring it up. But unlike boundaries, we’re usually way more scared and more ashamed, or shy even, to have this conversation. I know I was. However, I’m blessed with a partner who has been vocal about their own priorities in our relationship, same as me. They brought it up by simply telling me what they’ve been feeling about our connection, communicating that they needed more time and wanted to take it slow. I wanted that same exact thing but I was way more scared to say this. So my advice is, don’t be afraid to say it in whatever way you believe you can best express your needs.”

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