I acted like a boy on dating apps to see if it would get me more matches

U up? *insert obligatory cry laughing emoji*

The cycle is always the same: download dating app, flick through, realise that all boys have different versions of the same profile, then realise that there’s only a handful of imaginative ways boys slide into the DMs and delete. Then, about a week later, redownload and repeat.

I have had countless amount of conversations with my girl friends about the typical nature of boys on dating apps. “U up?” is as common as a cold, and small talk about your degree is as boring as a Friday night in lockdown. It got me thinking, do boys know that their chat is usually dead? Do they know that that one girl they matched with has probably received several of the same thought-to-be original opening lines they slid into the DMs with? If I spoke to boys in the way that they so typically speak to girls on dating apps, would it make me more successful? Would I genuinely get more matches? Would there be a socially distanced line of suitors outside my front door?

All I needed was to dull-down my profile and match obsessively with boys. Upon matching, I needed to make sure I was the first to message in order to set the tone from the get-go. Hey cutie, truth or dare? *wink emoji*

My greatest strength? Probably benching 100kg at the gym

I realised I had to dull-down my Hinge profile when I had a couple matches who had way too much to ask me about. My original prompts: “Secret talent? I can lick my elbow”, or “Fun fact? I was on LadBible” gave boys way too much to chat to me about, which is not the boy-on-dating-app way of life. I realised I was putting in most of the legwork of potential conversations just by having engaging prompts.

So, I had to transform into a boring lad. Basic prompts. Height anxiety. Something about the gym. Tick. Tick. Tick.

At first, I thought that my prompts were evidently taking the piss. Surely no boy is going to see my prompts and think: this girl is deadly serious and totally not taking the piss. I was wrong. The amount of matches I got was the same, if not more, than I had before. Match away boyos, because now it’s DM slide time.

U up?

The “U up?” message must be sent in the early hours, with no prior communication and a recipient within your location. In the early hours of a random January Tuesday, I went in absolutely fearless.

See what I mean about giving boys too much to talk about

The trick with the “U up?” question is to obviously insinuate that you’re after a shag, whilst also maintaining a really boring conversation that makes them think you care about their human status.

My 1:30am “U up?” message was meant to lead into some dead chat about my recipient’s television habits, but as I said, my profile at the time was way too engaging and he took the conversation right out of my hands. After some exchange of “yeye” and “Hahahaha” (you know, boy talk) my potential date sent me a thread of nine messages wanting to know all about my favourite books, my last relationship, career prospects and my uni experience. Successful? I think so.

Truth or dare?

Boys who slide into the DMs with the horny-teen energy of “truth or dare?” have no idea how unthrilling it is to receive that question. So I asked.

Get the intentions ironed out fair and square, in fact, I would consider this a double success because this potential date rated my move. Good. To. Know!

Perhaps I piqued his interest by saying I could lift 100kg, but this boy went on to send me his phone number and after asking him what his favourite travel destination of all time was, suggested I could show him around. Success number two, secured.

You look like the kind of boy who could ruin my life

Perhaps we shouldn’t brand boys who are expressive of their emotions as an immediate softboi, but there are such opening lines that can only be described as softboi tactics, and I was desperate to use this specific line after receiving it myself. “You look like the kind of girl who could ruin my life.”

I had to find a worthy candidate of such a compliment and decided to eventually send it to somebody who didn’t look like they could actually ruin my life.

The response: “Not gonna deny it but what makes u think that then”. God I hate boys on dating apps. Once again, throwing the ball back into my court.

Here I inserted some reasoning as to why I thought he could ruin my life, he had a boat in one of his photos and I immediately thought of the Bridget Jones scene where she decides she has fallen for Hugh Grant on the boat. You know, when he says “Fuck me I love Keats”? That is why, potential date, you could ruin my life. Because Hugh Grant was once on a boat and ruined Bridget Jones’ life. He responded “Gotta hear more about this” which answers the question. My boyish tactics were enough to get him so interested that he’d listen to my Bridget Jones film critique. Ideal. The plan is working.

Dead chat

Listen, I’m gonna say it: boys on dating apps usually have dead chat. They’ll start the conversation and then quickly kill it by responding something plain like “fair play” or something no longer than four words “That show sounds great.”

So, I needed to start a conversation and then kill it. The way to a man’s heart? The Office.

Despite returning any questions with a simple: “you?” and not expanding at all on any of my answers, this potential date seemed completely fine with my dead chat, and even put in the effort to resurrect it. Again, questions of what I’m reading and my career prospects popped up. Perhaps this man was just genuinely interested and maybe even nice, but those qualities only contributed to my success.

You study medicine! I know a lot about that

Hear me out, someone feigning interest in your degree is nice and I totally would complain if they never ever mentioned my degree (because it costs a lot so please acknowledge it). However, there is a type of feigning interest that is totally hard to respond to: “I see you study English” for example, “have you read all the books in the world?” or “do you like Harry Potter?”. It’s trying small talk, a little bit of mansplaining, and it is tough.

The best subject to feign interest in is medicine. We all know how medicine students feel about their degrees, so to be able for a moment to share that pride was an honour for me. Meet Alexander Fleming; inventor of penicillin, writer of James Bond, and apparently this potential date’s maths teacher.

Despite eventually getting pied, I would say this opening line was pretty successful, but only because he managed to take it as a joke. Or did he? I definitely took his reply as a joke, but now perhaps he is emphasising my stupidity around his subject.

At the end of my week of acting like a boy on dating apps, I feel good and perhaps a tad overwhelmed by the sixteen active chats glaring at me with the reminder that I should reply. But just like a boy, I will reply in about two to three working days with something especially unrelated like: “Sorry for slows. I’ve been thinking, we should probably sleep together.”

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