Put your best foot forward
by Priya Mulji
“ARE you ready for a very important question?” he asked, “Yes,” I replied. “Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?” And that was the best conversation opener I’ve recently had on any dating app.
Hello, my name is Priya and I got dumped in lockdown. Yes, the love of my life sadly dumped me during the pandemic. Suffice to say, I’m not really in a place where I want to date, but I did download a popular dating app to just dip my toe in the waters.
As I predicted, no one really piqued my interest. In fact, the guys I spoke to just gave me a headache. One night, over a glass of wine, I decided to conduct an experiment to see if there were any common themes with people I wouldn’t have necessarily usually swiped right on. Within reason, I started swiping right on pretty much everyone. After a few days of conversing with men from different races, locations and backgrounds, the one thing that struck me was the different levels of conversations happening.
From those I actually properly spoke to, most Caucasian men were the best at breaking the ice and continuing a conversation. A majority of south Asian men tried hard, but they really needed to venture further than saying “hi, how are you?”, what you do for a living or what your favourite food is. Most black men I encountered just wanted to know what you’re looking for (implying to me, they just wanted to have a bit of fun) or didn’t say anything and a lot of East Asian men just talked about work. I have to say, that this wasn’t every single man. Some matches didn’t speak to me and others spoke well, so I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule. But these findings were backed up by my friend Kirsty who actively dates and said she sees similar patterns.
A key advice I would give desi men seriously looking to meet someone on dating apps is to up your game. Be more creative with questions and icebreakers. Rather than asking “what is your favourite food?” ask, “if there was one meal you could only eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
Other simple questions you could ask are where they would like to go on a holiday once the pandemic is over or which emoji best represents them. Reading a woman’s bio and making conversation about what they have written shows you have paid attention. In fact, there are many articles online on great conversation starters. You don’t need to make it super intellectual, but at least show that you have taken an interest in the lady because let’s face it, there are plenty of fish in the sea who will make great conversation, so make sure you stand out from the crowd.
I’m not ready to date yet, but when I am, I know I will be looking for someone that can hold a conversation, which starts with more than just ‘hi.’
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