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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Queer Daters, Here’s How Hinge Says You Can “Soft Start” In The Dating Game

Slow and steady truly does win the race… the dating race that is. With the LGBTQIA+ community navigating challenges daily, easing into conversations and taking the time to find common ground can lay the foundation for something truly meaningful. And, for queer daters, a “soft start” approach to dating might just be the most successful according to Hinge.

On June 6, the popular dating site released their second annual LGBTQIA+ D.A.T.E. (Data, Advice, Trends, and Expertise) Report. With over 14,000 queer daters surveying how they navigate the LGBTQIA+ dating scene, this data might just reveal what it takes to find more emotional intimacy and trust today. So, instead of zooming straight into serious topics, why not let things flow at their own pace?

Starting a chat with someone you’re crushing on can be nerve-wracking, right? Should you keep it breezy? Drop a compliment? Pop a question? Crack a joke? Or maybe aim for something a tad deeper? Starting slow and creating a comfortable pace can be crucial, so, take a breath, trust your vibe, and let the conversation flow

Starting soft can work wonders. And it really is ok to begin slowly. Let’s face it, building a real emotional connection takes time — there’s absolutely no need to rush. In the LGBTQIA+ community, where understanding and acceptance are fundamental, taking the time to truly know each other is invaluable. So, here are four ways that you can ease into your soft launch to dating.

photo by hinge

Make Your First Impression Unforgettable

Your Hinge profile is your digital first impression, so make it count! 76% of queer daters on the app wish they had seen more examples of healthy LGBTQIA+ relationships in the media growing up. This is your chance to showcase your personality, sense of humor, interests, and values. Choosing prompts that let you express what truly matters to you can help attract like-minded people, so try using a Hinge prompt that highlights your core values or passions. Plus, there are some fun LGBTQIA+ prompts that can help you show off your unique perspective.

Spark Meaningful Convos

Kickstart an engaging conversation by asking a question about something on your match’s profile — after all, 72% of LGBTQIA+ daters prefer this approach! Engaging with the content on your match’s profile is a great way to show you’re genuinely interested in who they are. Start by sharing bits and pieces about what you’re passionate about. Whether it’s your love for art, a favorite book, or a cause you deeply care about, letting someone in on what drives you can be a great conversation starter. It also allows you to see if your interests align over time.

photo by hinge

No Rush, Just Crush

While it’s natural to be excited about a potential connection, it’s essential not to rush into long-term planning too soon. Only 10% of queer daters prefer starting with discussions about dating intentions: most prefer taking things one step at a time or completely avoiding it at all.  Open communication is key to building trust, but don’t overshare too much as only 22% of LGBTQIA+ daters feel excited about excessive vulnerability early on. Share honestly, listen attentively, and let your guard down gradually to build a better emotional bond.

Cracking Up Connections

Laughter is the best medicine, and making your match laugh is key. Humor can be one of the best tools for building connections online, and 55% of queer daters feel most excited to go on a date with someone who shares a similar sense of humor. This ultimately creates a positive impression and increases excitement about going on a first date.

Take it slow and remember to savor the experience of getting to know someone new. This “soft launch” approach is all about allowing emotional intimacy to grow naturally, without the pressure to rush into anything serious right away. Dating is all about enjoying every moment, learning about each other’s stories and personalities, and letting things unfold at their own pace.

Lily Brown

Emerson '25

Lily Brown is the Wellness Intern for Her Campus Media. She writes for the Culture, Style, and Wellness verticals on the site, including Beauty, Decor, Digital, Entertainment, Experiences, Fashion, Mental Health, and Sex + Relationships coverage. Beyond Her Campus, Lily is a rising senior at Emerson College in Boston, MA, majoring in Journalism with a Publishing minor. She works as the Creative Director for the on-campus lifestyle publication, Your Magazine, where she establishes and curates the conceptual design and content for the entire publication ranging from style, romance, music, pop culture, personal identity, and college experiences. She has written and photographed for Your Mag along with several other on-campus magazines. Lily was recently recognized for her work on YM and awarded two EVVYs for Outstanding Print Publication. In her free time, Lily maybe spends a little too much time keeping a close eye on captivating red carpet and runway fashion, and binge-watching her favorite shows. She also enjoys expressing her thoughts through creative writing, exploring new destinations, and blasting ABBA, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, and Lady Gaga on Spotify. Additionally, she actively contributes to fostering a sense of community among college residents as a dedicated Residential Assistant.