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Love Letters

A dating site matched me with someone I know. Now what?

She likes him but wonders if he swiped on her profile just to be courteous.

Have a question for Meredith? Submit here.

Q. I am a 28-year-old single female and I’m on two dating apps, Match and Bumble. On Bumble, people match when they both swipe right, then the woman has to message. I have matched twice with guys I know in real life. I was interested in each of them, but I did not initiate the message within the app’s 24-hour time limit. I was worried that because they recognized me they had “courtesy” swiped just to be nice (like saying hello to someone you sort of know if you run into them in a bar).

My assumption is now they know I’m interested. Ideally, I would like them to reach out. They are acquaintances, not people I know well. Both times they have been a Facebook friend and/or had my number already, so they can call me. But they can’t contact me through the app unless I message first. Do you have any thoughts on whether I should reach out outside the app or if the courtesy swipe is a legitimate thing? This is so confusing!

 — Swiping

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A. If you’re on an app that requires you to message first, you must message first. Remember, you’re not the only person who’s worried about courtesy swipes. It’s possible there’s a guy on the other end of the app who’s thinking that if you really like him, you’ll message. If you don’t, he’s not going to assume that you want to hear from him by phone or on Facebook. If anything, that might seem invasive.

Think about the rules of these apps and whether you’re suited for one that requires you to make first moves. Maybe you’d rather stick to apps that allow anyone to start a conversation.

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Also know that you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or rejected if you message someone who doesn’t write back or seem interested. That’s just part of the dating experience. There’s no shame in writing “Hi” just to see what you get in return.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Repeat after me: Men are not mind-readers. If you are interested, speak up. Stop hiding behind outdated notions of “the guy has to initiate everything.” You have agency, exercise it already. MABBITTY

Try real life? Reading your letter makes me thinks all this social media is an excuse to appear involved when in reality, you’re hiding. SEENITTOO

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If you’re Facebook friends, why can’t you just send a FB message saying, “Hey, i got a match with you on bumble! ha-ha!” They can then initiate if interested, or leave it alone. Hoping I don’t sound ancient with this advice. JACQUISMITH

When you are using an app where you have to message first but don’t, you are sending a clear indication that you are not interested. They are taking the hint you are giving them. They may have other ways to contact you but why would they in this case? Some people would take it as crossing boundaries. JT2499

“Ideally, I would like them to reach out to me.” You’re on the wrong app. GLASS-CORVETTE

I have heard of a courtesy flush, I have not heard of a courtesy swipe. ELLLEEM

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.
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