May 23 2022
How Consent Creates Healthy Communication & Relationships
Written by Tracey Breeden, VP of Safety & Social Advocacy at Match Group

With the warmer months finally here, we are entering what many singles have been longing for - a summer of fun, love, and meaningful connections. Whether you’re newly single or are an online dating veteran, we want to remind everyone about ways to create communication rooted in respect, both on and off the app. 

Online daters have told us they value healthy and honest conversations and understand the importance of establishing both their 'green flags' and their boundaries in order to have a positive dating experience. This begins when mutual consent between all parties is agreed upon, without pressure, guilt, or coercion.  

To help our users navigate online communications and make consent part of the conversation, we have collaborated with our partners at Me Too and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) to create tips and help users set personal boundaries on what they feel comfortable with. 

In-app Notifications & Education:

Our research has shown that when our users have more awareness and education on safety and consent, they are more likely to focus on emphasizing safe practices IRL. That’s why we are educating and encouraging users to practice good communication and be a better dater. OkCupid and Hinge are rolling out this education in-app with additional brands to follow. 

Trust & Safety Center Tracey Breeden

Consent is hot AF. Agreement between people defining what behavior is comfortable and acceptable and what behavior is crossing a personal boundary makes dating easier and more fun.   

It’s your journey, be you. Everyone has different likes and dislikes, so active communication is important when you are getting to know someone. 

Feel empowered. We all change our minds and moods, so it’s important to check in about intimate interactions consistently, both online and in person, and feel empowered to say yes or no. 

Respect boundaries.  If someone says no, accept their decision and be respectful and understanding of their feelings.

Always trust your gut. Don’t feel pressured to say yes to something that you don’t feel 100% comfortable with.  


How communication can establish personal boundaries: 

Always ask their preferences and use clear language to avoid misunderstanding. One way to confirm if someone is comfortable is asking, “Are you comfortable talking about what you like and dislike sexually? I’d love to learn more about what’s important to you.”

It’s okay to set boundaries and stick with them. Be supportive of people setting boundaries, and accept “no” with understanding. It’s okay to say no!” 

Not in the mood? Make it known: 

We all change our minds and moods, so it’s important to check in about intimate interactions consistently, both online and in person. Just because someone said “yes” one time, doesn’t mean they will be in the mood the next time.

Sometimes you may agree to engage in something, and then you or the other person changes their mind once it begins. It’s important to let each other know and then respect boundaries. If you are uncomfortable, you might say: “I’m starting to feel uncomfortable and would like to stop talking about this.” If someone expresses discomfort, be understanding and supportive. It can be as simple as saying: “That’s okay!” 

Understanding the other person’s dislikes and preferences not only makes the communication safer, but also more fun. 

Safety and consent do not end when conversations move off-app or when meeting IRL. If at any point someone feels uncomfortable or wants to make a report of someone crossing your boundaries, we encourage users to report it back to the app. To report on or off-app behavior, a user can click on “Report a Concern,”  which can be found on the member profile, or report it directly to our Customer Care team.