For Men

Build Trust On Dating Apps

June 4, 2024
▪ 7 mins read

You might think women are super picky on dating apps. You might be close to despair that your profiles and messages are getting you nowhere in terms of matches. However, before you throw your phone away, let’s look if you’re building trust on dating apps effectively before you ask her out. 

With over 15 years experience coaching men to get results in their dating lives, here's my 4 point strategy for building trust on dating apps, pacing yourself and landing that date. 

  • Great photos that clearly show who you are (and look hot). 
  • The right messaging style that allows her to open up. 
  • Knowing when to ask her out (not too fast, not too slow, just right like Goldilocks).
  • How to handle it if she wants to chat on the phone before meeting up? 

What happens if you don’t build trust on dating apps? 

Here’s a simple outline of what happens when you jump the gun and shoot for the date before you’ve built enough trust or connection with her:  

  • You feel frustrated. Dating apps aren’t working for you, you’re over chatting online, so you’re now cutting to the chase and asking her out in the first 1-3 messages. You just want to meet a woman who wants to meet!! However, by not building enough trust first before asking her out, you’re actually turning women off. You don’t seem genuinely interested in her - you seem like you’re desperate for a date with any woman! 
  • She then feels like men on dating apps can’t even be bothered to get to know her, before they want something from her (a date). She then becomes more defensive, and disheartened, for the next guy she chats to. 
  • Add these two steps together and you get an environment on dating apps where people are at the same time hungry to meet one another, and so put off the experience so far, that she sets an almost impossibly high bar before agreeing to meet you… which is why learning how to build trust on dating apps is so important! 

So what are you going to do about it?

You’re going to learn the 4 crucial ways you need to build trust on dating apps before asking her out. 

Step 1: Use trustworthy dating app photos

Dating apps are visual places so let’s not pretend that photos aren’t the most important part of your profile. One of the simplest ways to build trust on dating apps is to improve the quality of your photos.

If you are not clearly visible it can be hard for her to relate to you. So even if that picture you have of you standing by the pyramids is really cool, don’t use it if it’s not a flattering and clear image of you. 

Here’s a short checklist to make sure that you’re not making any of these common mistakes with your dating app photos: 

  • Your photo is too dark, and your face is cast in shadow like someone from Assassin's Creed… 
  • Your photo is low resolution and pixelated (dare I say an old photo?) 
  • You're photographed with a bunch of friends, and figuring out who you are is like a game of Where’s Wally. 
  • You’re wearing sunglasses, hats, or ski gear in the majority of your pictures.
  • You’re weirdly positioned in the frame. Make sure that there’s space around both sides of your body and above your head in the image. If you’re too far to one side, or the photo is taken at a funny angle, you will appear less attractive. 
  • You look small relative to someone else. If you have a tall friend with his arm around you this is a guaranteed way to make yourself look physically smaller and less attractive. 
  • You have a bunch of clutter in the background. If you take a selfie at home, clear away that ironing board in the background! 

Otherwise it’s going to be hard for her to clearly see what you look like… and trust you. 

If you want more practical dating advice and coaching from me - make sure you check out my self-study WingMan Club with 25+ hours of online programmes to follow, plus a forum where you can ask me your questions. 

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Step 2: Message her in a trustworthy way 

I’m going to share with you a simple technique to improve the trustworthiness of your messages, but first let’s make sure you’re not doing any of these obvious errors:

  1. Make sure your SPAG is on point. A message typed in haste full of misspellings is an easy way to turn her off. 
  2. Don’t send a cut/ paste message. This comes across as low effort, and untrustworthy - like a spambot of the dating app world. 
  3. Don’t ask her out on the first 1-3 messages (more on this later!) 

Here’s the deal: If she feels comfortable with you, she’s more likely to open up and engage. Once she’s contributing freely to the conversation it’s far easier to then show her that you’re funny, cool, sexy etc. 

Ironically if you try to force her to engage by asking her lots of questions, without sharing much information about yourself, you’re going to get the total opposite scenario: She will shut down. 

Instead to build trust on dating apps you always want to balance a question to her, with sharing information about you. 

Simply by sharing information about you, before asking about her, you create trust. For those of you familiar with my work you’ll know I call this The Go First Principle. 

Let me give you an example of how swapping from a question, to a statement about yourself, is an easy way to be more original (and fun) in your messages to her, and build trust on dating apps. 

Here’s a pretty typical first message on a dating app. I know you think women have it easy on dating apps, but imagine you got 10 messages like this a day (maybe even in an hour) how in the world would you know which man is the right one to go on a date with?

Chances are she’ll get it “wrong” and invest time in a date with someone who doesn’t meet her needs, and then get more fed up with dating apps altogether. 

iMessage screenshot #1 showing trust building exercise

Here instead of asking her that question, ask it to yourself and share your answer with her: 

“Loving this sunshine and ice cream weather. Have you got a Twister on the go right now?”

“How are the Sunday Scaries going? I’ve just realised it’s only 15 hours until 9am Monday.” 

Step 3: Wait for the right moment to ask her out

So what’s the right moment? It’s not after 1 message, or 3, or 10… it’s when she’s contributing freely and playfully to the conversation. To get better at turning your matches into dates, I want you to let go of the idea of “how many messages do I send before I ask her out?”. Instead I want you to focus on reading between the lines to tell when you’ve built enough trust with her on dating apps that she’s happy to take that next step. Let’s look at some examples! 

In this first example she’s responding, but not really giving any new information to her side, this would be a bad time to make your move. She doesn’t trust you enough yet to open up, so you need to build out your conversation with her more, using my Go First Principle that I shared above.

iMessage screenshot #2 showing trust building exercise

In this second example she’s responding but her tone is still very formal, again not a good indicator, you’ll need to warm up this conversation first. Try swapping a few more messages that are playful in tone, and share about your life, alongside asking her the odd question to bring some personality into this chat: 

iMessage screenshot #3 showing trust building exercise

Finally this kind of response is just about right. She's warm and offering new information about herself- if you’re getting these responses and not acting on them by quickly trying to wrap this up to a date this could be another area that your dating app strategy needs tweaking in. 

iMessage screenshot #4 showing trust building exercise

Step 4: Oh no, she wants a phone call first?! 

Women will have had their fair share of no-hoper dates from dating apps. An important part of building trust on dating apps with her might be to suggest a phone call (or be receptive if she suggests one.) 

If she’s suggested you do a pre-date “screening call” here are a few tips you can use to build trust with her, and help it to go smoothly:

✅ Use a time constraint. Be off for a jog, cooking dinner, or about to hop onto a work meeting. It will take the pressure off you both to have a 10 min chat.

✅ Be informal. Aim to talk to her like you’re talking to a good friend. (And if you need help with this, talking to a good friend before your call to get warmed up can help!) 

✅ End with a clear next step “I’ve enjoyed chatting to you, how’s your weekend looking to meet up?” 

✅ Keep your voice slow and low! It’s an easy way to seem more confident/ 

❌ Avoid asking her intrusive questions like  “How things are going on dating apps?” or anything that could be interpreted as fishing for information on her dates. This will make you come across as insecure.  

❌ Interview her. Share information about your life instead, pause for a beat and give her space to respond. You don’t always need to tack on a “so what do you think about that?” to get her to respond. Natural, connected conversations just flow! 

If you can smoothly handle her pre-date call this will help her to build trust with you and feel secure that going on a date with you won’t be a waste of time. My goal is to get you so many dates, that you’ll also start to see the value in this! 


Remember dating is a learnable skill, and if you’re not getting the results you want so far you have it 100% in your power to create change. If you’d like to hear about how coaching can change your dating life, let’s chat?

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