How to Get What You Want Out of Tinder
A friend of mine asked me, “Isn’t Tinder just for hookups?” I told her that I’m sure there are people that use Tinder for hookups just like there are people who use UPS as a drug dealer but life is what you make it. The truth is Tinder is just an app that puts you in front of people that are near you that have recently been active enough to match with you. Just like any tool it can be abused but who says that something more can’t come from it. Google “Tinder success stories” and you’ll find a whole heap of young love blossoming and some even leading to marriage as a result of a swipe right. So how do you make the most of Tinder and avoid those people who are just in it for the casual sex, hookups, ghosters and total commitment phobes. Together, with my dating team full of Tinder regulars, we have composed a list of our top Tinder tips and tricks.
Making your profile
Your profile is the most important part to the beginning of your Tinder journey. Whether or not you match with someone depends on the pics you choose and what you write, so it's best to put your best foot forward and take this part seriously.
5 pics to begin your story
Tinder lets you put up five pics so you want to pick pictures that really showcase your personality and style. All pics need to be taken within the last year, preferably 6 months. Recent pics are the most honest portrayal of yourself and leave no room for expectations or disappointment (at least looks wise).
Picture do’s and don’ts
Do pick a picture of your face (a selfie) that has good lighting, where you are smiling and wearing natural makeup. Don’t post pictures with a ton of makeup on. Makeup is amazing but in pics you want to be authentically yourself. Unless you put on more pancake than an Ihop, I mean Ihob (wtf), I would go for a more natural look. Do not post more than one selfie.
Do pick a picture that shows something you like to do. If you are into playing softball and you have a picture holding a bat, post that. If you play poker and have a pic of you with a winning hand post that. Showing a hobby in your pictures illustrates that you have things going on, that life doesn’t necessarily revolve around dating and that you like doing things. Don’t pick a picture with other people in the pic (unless they are background people). Also make sure the picture is natural and not forced or staged. Do not post pictures of you topless or at the gym.
Do pick a picture that is a close full body shot. Be confident in how you look and know that people find confidence the most attractive so hold your head high, arch your back, smile, find your lighting and snap some photos. Do not post pics with other people no matter what. Don’t post pictures of a full body shot more than 5 ft away. If you can’t tell that it’s you, then don’t post it.
Do pick a picture that shows you being silly. Whatever your version of silly is, show it in a picture. This shows that you are fun, light hearted and gives the other person an idea of your sense of humor. Don’t be gross. Even if you find giant orange dildoes hillarious and have a great pick of you from a friend's bachelor(ette) party wielding this phallus, don’t post it. Be silly and fun but don’t post anything that might get you kicked off Tinder.
Do pick a picture of you laughing. It shows you smiling but it also shows that you have a sense of humor, that you are fun and enjoy life. Also it shows that you are taking this Tinder thing more seriously than just posting one pic and if your silly pic made them laugh, your laughing pic will make them feel like you are right there with them. Don’t post a goofy laughing picture. Make it subtle yet still convincing enough that you are laughing.
What do you write for your bio?
People actually read the bio and if you don’t, you should. It helps you get a better idea (within 500 characters) of this persons character, writing style, dating focus and personality. Your bio should mention how tall you are (if that is important) what you are looking for, some fun things about yourself, and something inspiring. Keep it short and sweet but just remember to be yourself. Keep your wording open, light and not obnoxious. You don’t want to scare away a potential love interest before you’ve even had a chance to get to know each other. I also recommend telling them that you prefer talking on the phone before meeting and what times work best for you. I recommend evenings because this will show you that night times are open and available to each other. Because of the ever growing spam/bot problem on Tinder I recommend writing “FYI I am not a bot”.
Swipe right and swipe left
It’s fair to say that women are a lot better at choosing pictures and writing bios than most men are. So if you are a looking for a man, don’t judge too quickly on his pics. Pictures are merely 2-dimensional representations of ourselves and people are always (hopefully) a lot better in person.
Tinder Spam Bots
Unfortunately there is a lot of spam on the female side of Tinder. I read somewhere that 75% of female profiles on Tinder are spam. That makes it difficult for men but it makes it really difficult on women. Before you even match with someone, they are already a tad bit pessimistic and paranoid.
How to Spot a Tinder Scam:
Weed out scam profiles by looking for the following warning signs:
They reply WAY too fast: Many of the fake profiles on Tinder aren't real people, they are spam bots. Watch out for anyone who messages you immediately after being matched.
They quickly suggest chatting through text message or a chat program. Many Tinder users will move the conversation to text message, but spam accounts will suggest it almost immediately.
They don't listen. If your match responds with answers that don't make sense in the context of the conversation, that's a sign the replies are canned. Try asking questions, and if the answer doesn't make sense, move on. Try asking what the sign for gold is (Au) or the capital of Arizona (Phoenix).
They have a glamour shot. If your Tinder match looks like a model and is wearing a bikini, she may not be real (although, some reports say that scammers are being less overt and aiming for more of a "girl next door" look).
A simple chit chat back and forth about your day is fine but once we start having message conversations it’s time to get on the phone. If you are female you end up with a lot more matches than the men do so I recommend getting their phone number. Once they have given it to you send them a text right away so you know who they are for future references. “Hi Mike….it’s Mary from Tinder” Then send them a message on Tinder telling them you have texted them. Some people will start to try to have conversations over text but don’t let them. Set up a time to talk on the phone to have a conversation. If they can’t talk on the phone after 8 pm they are married or they have a girlfriend. I understand that we all have lives but if they aren’t ever able to set up a time during the week after 8 pm then the facts are the facts no matter what they tell you.
Talking on the phone
Keep the conversation light and fun. This is technically your first date and you are in a perfect position to ask great questions, be honest and have a good time. The best part about having these phone chats is that you didn’t have to get dressed up, put makeup on or spend any money. Another great benefit is that you can ask hard questions that you may be too intimidated to ask in person. The most important benefit of the initial phone date is determining your rapport and intellectual compatibility. If you can barely have a conversation, if the conversation is strained, if you are constantly talking over each other or they seem distracted or not engaged then you may have dodged a bullet. You can politely tell them you are not interested and move on and the best part you didn’t have to inconvenience yourself or waste your time in determining this.
How to get off the phone or say no to a date
When you are on the phone, you can usually tell if it’s going to work out within the first 15 mins. There may be one thing that turned you off or multiple things that you find unappealing but I’ve found that if you want to avoid getting cussed out, nasty texts and/or dick pics (yes men do that) the best way to handle the ‘let down’ is with respect and appreciation. I will usually ask them a few more questions about something trivial before I say….respectfully….”You know “Tommy” I don’t think we are a match but…..I REALLY appreciate your time.” They are usually shocked at first and say “Oh! Ok” To which you reply “Okie dokie. Take care”.
By handling it head on and respectfully you are nipping it in the bud and keeping it in your control. You can avoid beratement and anger just by having the courage to tell them upfront that it’s not working out.
Ghosting people, whether you’ve never met or met several times, is NEVER ok. Ghosting is a cowardly, selfish and passive way to handle the ‘not going to work outs’ of dating. It can be intimidating and a little bit nerve wracking to be honest and straightforward with people but life is full of opportunities to build stamina and confidence and this is one of them. If you’ve been honest about things not working out and they are still insistent on calling you and texting you then you have permission to block them but telling them honestly that you are not a match and that things are not going to work out is the most honest, best policy and can attract the best karma.
Setting up a date
You’ve had a good long talk on the phone, you feel comfortable and confident this person is a possible match (no expectations). I recommend a drinking or coffee date. The idea is to create the least amount of pressure on your time and finances. Even though you swiped right on a 2-d picture, got along smashingly on the phone, it doesn’t mean that you are going to find them attractive in person. I’ve had men behave completely different than the man they were on the phone. I’ve been on dates with men who were rude to the wait staff. By doing a drinking or coffee date, if you do enjoy each other then you can always continue your evening but nothing is worse than being stuck at a dinner table with someone you can’t stand knowing that someone is going to need to foot the bill.
Show up sober
Nerves can be pretty intense before a first date but it’s super important that you both are on the same level mentally as the night begins. I also recommend keeping pace with each other. Unless they are slamming drinks at a record pace (which might be a deal breaker for you) then by keeping pace you two can be on the same level together. Nothing is worse than a date who is drunker than you.
Drop the expectations
Just be yourself and don’t expect too much from this stranger. I’ve been on dates I thought went smashingly and never heard from them again. People are in different places, at different times in their lives and there is no way for you know what is going on in someone life, head or heart. Don’t take anything personally that other people do. Their behavior, their interest, their personality, their demeanor has NOTHING to do with you. Have a good time and if they contact you for a second date, you have the choice as to what you want to do.
Chances are if you followed these tips before you met them then you aren’t going on a date with a player, a cheat, a philanderer or commitment phobe but with that in mind the sea is large and there are a lot of fish in it so give things a chance, be honest and eventually, maybe just maybe, you might have your own Tinder success story.