From last week's Ask & Answer online session - (Attend the next one - RSVP here)
I get matches on Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel but all people want to do is message. How do I get people to meet me IRL?
This one is simple: ask them. Rather than focus on who asks whom, seize the moment and suggest a video-chat. For the past three months, people have had time to familiarize themselves with Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. A video chat is low-stakes enough that most people won't feel as pressured to take things to the next level.
When you first begin to message, don't use that time to ask interview-style questions. Use something in their bio or profile as a springboard for light conversation. Do they cook? Travel? Meditate? Use that as a conversation starter.
Understand that, since most people access dating apps and dating sites using their phone, involved conversations will get tedious very quickly. This is where many people lose their match's interest. Those platforms are not made to have ongoing conversations. They're for chatting only.
Give the conversation about 3-4 total messages each and then say, "Hey, I'm really enjoying talking with you. If you have some time later, want to chat on zoom for a few minutes?"
Understand that most people might not have the flexibility to hop on a spur of the moment video call. That's too much pressure, even for extroverts or people who are comfortable talking to strangers. That's why you should suggest a later time within the next few hours. I don't suggest waiting longer than a day, as that leaves too much time for them to over-think or, worse, continue swiping or messaging.
If they're interested, they'll say yes. If they're ambivalent or change the subject, take that as a sign they're either a time-waster or not interested in meeting up. Don't internalize their response. Think of it as saving yourself a lot of time and emotional bandwidth.